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ANTdrew's Isopods Journal


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22 replies to this topic

#1 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 15 2022 - 10:33 AM

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Beginning 9-15-2022

 

I've taken the plunge into the world of isopod keeping. I've loved raising spring tails for a number of years, so I figured I would branch out to other detritivores. I'm also teaching life science this year, so I figured isopods would be the perfect, no-hassles creatures to keep in my class. I may even try some genetics experiments with the students using the cool color morphs out there. 

 

I decided to start with Armadillidium klugii, which are commonly known as clown isopods. This isopod is native to Croatia and Montenegro, which is cool since my family emigrated from Croatia as well. This isopod is brightly colored, and some believe this to be a form of mimicry of the Mediterranean black widow spider. 

 

Ten klugii arrived in the order. I set them up in a small display case box from Hobby Lobby with substrate I made using sterilized compost, rotten wood, and leaf litter. I put a sterilized piece of bark and a magnolia seed pod for them to hide in as well. They have been more active than I expected so far. I'm hoping they will breed and build up a good colony. Stay tuned! 

 

IMG 3765
IMG 3764

 


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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#2 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 17 2022 - 8:03 AM

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Update 10-17-2022

 

I've had these delightful creatures a little over a month now. They seem to be doing pretty well, but I haven't noticed any mancae yet. From what I gather, that will take a few months. These are very photophobic creatures, so taking decent photos is a challenge since they scuttle away as soon as I set up decent lighting. They love munching on their leaf litter, nutritional yeast, and mushed peas. The Sinella springtails in their enclosure are going nuts, too. Compared to ants that escape and trash their homes, Isopods are boring in a good way.

 

IMG 3960
IMG 3961
IMG 3962

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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#3 Offline NicholasP - Posted October 18 2022 - 5:45 AM

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Ooh nice. I'm very jealous. Only ones I keep are powder orange, milk back x dairy cow color hybrid, and dwarf purple isopods. And only the dwarf purple isopods I have actually grow. I love those color on the klugii though.



#4 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 18 2022 - 5:52 AM

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Cool. How long have you had them? 


"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#5 Offline NicholasP - Posted October 18 2022 - 8:19 AM

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Cool. How long have you had them? 

The dwarf purple I've had for around 2 months. Explosive breeders they are. The powder oranges I've had for 2 weeks and the hybrid colored isopods I've had for 3 months.



#6 Offline ANTdrew - Posted January 11 2023 - 5:58 AM

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Update 1/11/2023

 

It's been tough sledding with these critters, to be honest. All but three of them died off, mainly because I think their enclosure was too humid. I finally saw something good happen today, though: I spotted their first manca feeding on some smushed peas I gave them. Perhaps there is still hope for my klugii clowns? Is there a balm in Gilead? 


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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#7 Offline Flu1d - Posted January 11 2023 - 10:07 AM

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Update 1/11/2023

It's been tough sledding with these critters, to be honest. All but three of them died off, mainly because I think their enclosure was too humid. I finally saw something good happen today, though: I spotted their first manca feeding on some smushed peas I gave them. Perhaps there is still hope for my klugii clowns? Is there a balm in Gilead?


Oh nooo!

Heres to hoping they can turn it around!

#8 Offline ANTdrew - Posted January 11 2023 - 4:07 PM

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Got some photos of the munchkin mancae!

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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#9 Offline justaguy - Posted January 11 2023 - 7:32 PM

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Got some photos of the munchkin mancae!

Nice, I hope they're doing good.



#10 Offline ANTdrew - Posted February 20 2023 - 11:25 AM

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Update 2-20-23

 

It is said that ant-keeping requires patience, but isopod keeping requires a glacial patience. I'm just now starting to reap some fruits from my efforts, though, as the mancae in my Armadillidium klugii colony are continuing to do well and are gaining size pretty quickly. There are at least 12 of them, if not more. Some good news for my klugii clowns is that they will be getting new tank mates soon. I won a bid on eBay last week for 20+ more of them that should hopefully be arriving soon. I've already started work on a new, larger tank for them with increased ventilation, which is the key for success with this species. 

 

Another fun addition to my collection are these Armadillidium maculatum zebra isopods. I also ordered these from a good vendor on eBay as well. This species is supposed to be a little easier to keep than the clowns, so I have high hopes for their success. I started off with over 20 of these stripey creatures. 

 

IMG 4609
IMG 4611

 

There is a bit of bad news, though! I recently ordered some springtails from Josh's Frogs, which I realized were infested with grain mites. I put the springtails right in with my isopods before realizing the loathsome hitchhikers were also in the culture. I'm hoping that the springtails will outcompete the trash mites, but I also plan to move all the isopods into new setups frequently until I hopefully leave all the mites behind. If it ain't one thing, it's the other! 


Edited by ANTdrew, February 20 2023 - 11:26 AM.

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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#11 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 17 2023 - 4:25 AM

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Update 4-17-2023

 

 Now that I have my ants back to keep me busy, I've been sort of neglecting my isopods, which is actually the best way to keep these secretive creatures. The Armadillidium klugii are doing very well now. I haven't seen any die offs from the new shipment, and they are really enjoying the heat in my kitchen now. In fact, every time I've checked them in the past few weeks I've seen couples paired up mating. I expect a big boom of clown isopods this summer! 

IMG 5017
IMG 5018
 

 The A. maculatum zebras are also doing great. They have lots of mancae now, so they will probably have a big population boom soon. Both species love the Repashy Morning Wood isopod food I've been feeding them.  :lol:

IMG 5019

 


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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#12 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 6 2023 - 3:54 PM

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More zebras coming soon!

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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#13 Offline ZTYguy - Posted May 6 2023 - 11:02 PM

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Woah! There are children here!  :lol:


Currently: Considering moving to Australia
Reason: Myrmecia

#14 Offline LowQualityAnts - Posted May 7 2023 - 5:26 PM

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Woah! There are children here!  :lol:


The birds and the isopods.

#15 Offline Ernteameise - Posted May 8 2023 - 12:57 AM

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Seeing this....

how does copulation actually work in Isopods?

Do they have the copulation organs that shrimps and crabs have? Shrimps and crabs mate face to face. So seeing this rodeo/ wrestling event made me wonder.

Or maybe the male steers the female towards a dumped sperm packet on the ground?

Please enlighten me, I would like to know more.



#16 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 8 2023 - 5:24 AM

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I honestly don't know myself. I plan to order Orin McGonigle Isopod Zoology book soon, so hopefully that will enlighten me. From how the male is perched, it doesn't seem like he reaches anything but shell..  :lol:


Edited by ANTdrew, May 8 2023 - 5:48 AM.

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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#17 Offline Ernteameise - Posted May 8 2023 - 7:46 AM

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I honestly don't know myself. I plan to order Orin McGonigle Isopod Zoology book soon, so hopefully that will enlighten me. From how the male is perched, it doesn't seem like he reaches anything but shell..  :lol:

Well, I await further information with anticipation for when you get the book.

I know that the females carry the babies in a pouch on the belly, so the assumed male doing something to the upper outer shell does not appear to be very efficient.....



#18 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 25 2023 - 9:40 AM

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Update 5-25-2023

 

Everything is going well for my terrestrial crustaceans at the moment. My Armadillidium maculatum zebra isopods have a huge second generation now with tons of mancae. You can see a bunch of them hiding in this magnolia seed pod below. 

IMG 5312

 

My A. klugii are also doing well, but I haven't spotted new mancae just yet. I bet some will be showing up very soon. I've been feeding both of the species Morning Wood isopod food, which I just sprinkle in as a powder. No matter how much I put, it's all gone the next time I check on them. 


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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#19 Offline liamsantics - Posted June 7 2023 - 8:57 AM

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i find that a mix of morning wood, bug burger, and fresh blanched veggies along with some hermit crab calcium work wonders for even my pickiest isopods. i say hermit crab calcium because they seem to like it more. i put a bowl of normal cuttle powdered cuttle bone in one place and flukers hermit crab calcium in another. i did this for 10 colonies and in 8 of the 10 colonies the bowl with the hermit crab calcium was the emptiest . i plan on doing more experiments before i come to a conclusion but the colonies were all of even size of powder orange and blue isopods. i think the isopods like it better because it has this honey stuff in it. but again its not conclusive as there are a lot of uncontrollable factors.


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#20 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 8 2023 - 5:20 AM

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Update 6-8-2023

 

My two isopod groupings continue to do well. I was slightly concerned for my Armadillidium klugii because about five of them have died off in the past few weeks, but yesterday I saw an encouraging sight, lots of new baby mancae! I continue watering one side of their enclosure two times a week using water from my rain barrel. They sure love their Morning Wood powder. That is the green stuff these guys are munching on below.  :lol:

IMG 5408 (1)
 
My Armadillidium maculatum, on the other hand, never stopped making babies. These creatures sure know how to populate! 
IMG 5407

 


  • Ernteameise likes this
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.




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