starting an isopod culture

fluxlizard

Avid Member
Hey guys. Fall will soon be here, so I am collecting native field crickets and isopods to start cultures before weather makes them unavailable.

When starting with isopods, can I get away with a big jar with crumbled damp paper towels for a substrate until babies appear? Seems like this would make adults easy to sort out and toss back into the yard...

What about temperature for native isopods? Seems like they are usually found in cool places like under stones and boards and things. Will heating them up make them grow and produce faster or stress and kill them?

Thanks!
 

CarlC

Established Member
I started my cultures in a deli cup with insect lid with some dirt and crumbled oak leaves. Took a few weeks before babies appeared. I keep the cups at room temp.

Carl
 

sandrachameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey guys. Fall will soon be here, so I am collecting native field crickets and isopods to start cultures before weather makes them unavailable.

When starting with isopods, can I get away with a big jar with crumbled damp paper towels for a substrate until babies appear? Seems like this would make adults easy to sort out and toss back into the yard...

What about temperature for native isopods? Seems like they are usually found in cool places like under stones and boards and things. Will heating them up make them grow and produce faster or stress and kill them?

Thanks!
Babies usually come in spring, so you may have a wait - which may make changing paper towels and providing food in a jar a pain in the arse.

70F works well
 
I am a college student and I research Terrestrial Isopods. Having said that I have been breading them for almost a year and have turned out with almost 300+ isopods in about 4 months. I will tell you what I did to culture them. As I said I work for a lab and so the lab covered the cost of a small culture kit. However, it is VERY easy to do the same thing on your own without a culture kit. Pretty much I have about a 2-3 gallon tub with a small vent onto so that I can regulate airflow. I put some organic soil about 1.5-2 inches high. Then simply put the isopods in the soil. Now, being that isopods are actually crustaceans, they breath through gills and so they MUST have wet soil. The soil just needs to be moist so DO NOT drench the soil. Once I put the isopods in I cut up a sponge and made them damp and scattered them throughout the container. As food I use bran, provided by the kit but you can pick it up at any store I am sure. I sprinkle a bit of it on the top of the soil and BOOM! 5 months later I am SWARMING with isopods. I feed my cham 5-6 a day and I still have hundreds!! Once set up you just need to make sure you spray the soil ever few days and make sure there is food at all times.
 
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