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Zebra Isopods (Armadillidium Maculatum)

Zebra Isopods (Armadillidium Maculatum)

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Zebra Isopods For Sale

Zebra Isopods (Armadillidium maculatum) are the most commonly sought-after isopods. For most people, zebras are the first isopod they purchase as an aspiring hobbyist and breeder. They have a striking colour and can be line-bred/isolated to produce better stripes on them.

Zebra Isopods: Insight

  • Place of Origin: France
  • Scientific Name: Armadillidium maculatum
  • Environment: Semi-arid
  • Ideal Temperature: 75℉-80℉
  • Breeding Difficulty: Intermediate
  • General Size: 1.8 cm
  • Rareness: Low
  • Humidity Range: 70%-80%
  • Diet: soft-boiled plants, fish food, moss
  • Supplements: calcium powder

Zebra Isopods: Abstract

These are some of the isopods that pet lovers keep for aesthetics, more than just a cleanup tool in terrariums and vivariums. They have striking black and white stripes on their exoskeleton, which helps to ward off predators in the wild. Though they are from the family of common pill bugs, their distinctive features stood out. These beautiful species are native to the arid regions of the Mediterranean and Southern France. 

Zebra Isopods: Special Characteristics

  • They have distinct black and white stripes, which resemble the pattern of zebras. 
  • They have smooth, domed, and tough exteriors.
  • These roly polys grow up to 1.8 cm.
  • Their antennae are shorter compared to other isopod species. 
  • These species prefer moderate to high ventilation. 
  • They are from the deciduous forests of the Mediterranean and French regions.
  • When threatened, these isopods roll into a ball.
  • Resilient and easy to maintain. 
  • They are active and not too shy once they establish and settle in. 
  • These isopods make the best choice for beginners.
  • They are widely popular isopods and are budget-friendly. 

Zebra Isopods: Morphs

Zebra Isopods are commonly seen in black and white stripes. However, there are various morphs developed by breeders. Some of them are:-

  • Yellow Zebra Isopods: They have yellow and black stripes.
  • Chocolate Zebra Isopods: Has white stripes with a dark brown base colour.
  • Dalmatian Zebra Isopods: Also known as high white isopods. They have a predominantly white color with black spots. 
  • Spotted Zebra Isopods: They have white spots instead of stripes. 

Zebra Isopods: Artificial Enclosure

There are several factors to consider for an ideal enclosure of Zebra Isopods. These isopods require a large container to accommodate their needs. Though the size may vary depending on the colony, it is always better to opt for bigger enclosure boxes for them to breed and thrive. 

It is essential to provide ventilation to the enclosure for good airflow and humidity maintenance. Choosing a container with ventilation outlets covered with mesh will be suitable for the Zebra Isopods. For those who prefer DIY, drilling holes in the container's sides will also help provide the necessary ventilation. 

These holes should be strategically placed to facilitate cross-ventilation while minimizing escape risk. While zebra isopods may not possess exceptional climbing abilities, covering any ventilation openings with a fine mesh is still advisable to prevent them from escaping. This precautionary measure ensures the safety of the isopods within their enclosure.

Zebra Isopods: Substrate

The right substrate mix helps to provide an optimal environment for the isopods. A classic choice for substrate mix is the ABG Mix, which offers the perfect base for the isopod setting. 

In addition to the mix, the coir of coconut works as an excellent material to retain moisture. This will help make the same environment as their original environment. Coconut coir and sphagnum moss are very loose materials, which will help them burrow inside as they do in their natural environment.

Leaf litter is the primary food source and provides hiding spaces for isopods. They contribute to the nutrient cycle within the enclosure of the isopods. 

The discharge from the earthworms is a rich source of organic matter, and it contains microorganisms. It provides valuable nutrients for the isopods. This addition promotes soil fertility and helps sustain a thriving ecosystem within the enclosure. 

Zebra Isopods prefer arid temperatures with less humidity. While maintaining overall high humidity, providing a drier section within the habitat allows the isopods to choose their preferred microclimate. When misting, make sure to mist on a small area, leaving the rest of the container dry. 

Zebra Isopods: Tips to Care

  • Zebra isopods require a less humid environment but not a dry and deserted environment. Therefore, it is essential to provide the necessary moisture for hydration. 
  • Provide a lot of hiding spots within the enclosure for the isopods to form their colonies. Adding wooden bark, dried leaves, and stones to the enclosure helps to mimic their natural environment and acts as hiding spots.
  • It is important to maintain the temperature range of the enclosure. Extreme temperature fluctuations can be stressful for the isopods. 
  • Regular maintenance is crucial to keep the enclosure clean. Make sure to remove excess uneaten food, molting, and any mold to keep a healthy environment. 
  • An overcrowded isopod enclosure may lead to competition for resources. Therefore, it is important to maintain the number in an enclosure. If the isopod population is increasing, relocate to a bigger enclosure or provide a separate enclosure for the new colonies. 

Zebra Isopods: Temperature and Humidity

Zebra Isopods prefer a slightly warm temperature of 75 to 80. It is crucial to maintain the temperature. During winter, it is ideal to provide heating mats to the enclosure to maintain the optimal temperature. 

It can be difficult to maintain a balance between humidity levels, particularly when ventilation and a dry region are required inside the enclosure. Excessively high humidity levels should be avoided, even if some moisture is required, especially to support the isopods' hydration and maintain a healthy substrate. 

Zebra Isopods: Food and Diet

Feeding them with the right food and having a perfect mix of supplements will help make them remain healthy. It also ensures that they are reproducing healthy offspring.

The container in which they are kept should be supplied with a large amount of decaying organic materials, which will help them get the necessary nutrients. In addition, litters of leaf or bark of the wood can also be fed as part of the feeding cycle. Other supplements include:-

  • Flakes of Fish Food: It is an easy supplement and contains high amounts of protein.
  • Pieces of Vegetables: A portion of the vegetable or the remains from vegetable cutting in small amounts can be supplied. It has to be ensured that it should not be supplied in large quantities.
  • Food specially made for the Isopods: Specially designed food always has the best mix of nutrients, which will make them remain healthy and give a longer life span.

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