Latest visitors to my composted soil mix... There are 1000s of them (solved my crustacean meal and chitin need thnx mother nature)
There are some videos online for culturing your own very easy!
A woodlouse (plural woodlice) is a terrestrial isopod crustacean
(crustecean meal or insect frass?)with a rigid, segmented, long exoskeleton and fourteen jointed limbs. Woodlice mostly feed on dead plant material, and they are usually active at night.
Woodlice in the genus Armadillidium and in the family Armadillidae can roll up into an almost perfect sphere as a defensive mechanism, hence some of the common names such as pill bug, or roly-poly. Most woodlice, however, cannot do this.
It is a primary component of cell walls in fungi, the exoskeletons of arthropods, such as crustaceans (e.g., crabs, lobsters and shrimps) and insects, the radulae of molluscs, cephalopod beaks, and the scales of fish and lissamphibians. The structure of chitin is comparable to another polysaccharide - cellulose, forming crystalline nanofibrils or whiskers. In terms of function, it may be compared to the protein keratin. Chitin has proved useful for several medicinal, industrial and biotechnological purposes.
Chitin is a good inducer of plant defense mechanisms for controlling diseases. It has also been assessed as a fertilizer that can improve overall crop yields.
Giant Isopod (interesting deep sea creature)
Culturing Isopods - cheat sheet
Postby Philsuma » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:06 pm
Keeping / Culturing Various type of Isopods
Isopods, also known as Rolly-pollies, Sowbugs, Woodlice, Pill bugs. Available in various colours and morphs; dwarf white, giant Spanish orange, tan, striped and even purple. They are considered "Viv-friendly" and do not ravage Viv plants or bother the frogs. All frogs relish the larvae and most other sizes - they are considered good feeders and usually high in Calcium.
The first thing you want to do upon getting your newly acquired culture home is to “Split it”. Try to replicate the type of soil or substrate that came with the original one. Then transfer up to ½ of the original culture into the new one, thus effectively making a second culture.
Never "use-up" 100% of your culture all at one time. If you must seed a vivarium with it, then again, only use up to ½ of the culture. Always try to keep “splitting” your cultures in this hobby, that way, you will be assured of having an extra should you need it, or even if one goes bad or fails. You can also make your own cultures of feeders to supply other hobbyists with or even recoup your own initial investment.
Isopods do well on “dirt” type soil. Use any combination of garden soil, loam so long as it does not contain any chemicals, fertilizers / manure or Styrofoam / perlite ect. I mix up a huge batch that includes organic soil, some small amounts of sphagnum, a small amount of medium size charcoal bits and some small pebbles ect.
When mixed with clean water, the soil should be moist and damp but never sopping wet.
I also lay 2 small 1.5 inch square pieces of clean, plain, non-colored corrugated cardboard laid directly on the surface of the soil and these can also be damp but not soaking.
The cardboard is very important for two reasons:
1.The Isopods will congregate on the board, allowing for easy removal of adults or shaking out of the larvae.
2.The cardboard will allow for a quick and easy visual check of the overall level of moisture in the culture. If the cardboard is too dry or too wet, you will be able to see it very easily.
Food for the Isopods is easy to provide as well. I use any good quality flake fish food or pellets and you can use small potato slices as well.Small pieces of fruit- mango or melon buried under the surface of the substrate works well with the tropical species. Just remember to feed small amounts of the fish food so as not to foul the culture with uneaten food.
Isopods can be used in 2 different ways:
1.They can be “seeded” by placing a portion of the culture soil directly into the vivarium substrate and allow a few weeks or months for the seeded portion to reproduce and escape frog predation. These Isopods will take on “janitor” duties, removing frog waste, fungus, rotting plant matter and creating small tunnels for other insect microfauna.
2.The tiny larvae which look very similar to springtails in size and colour can be found on the cardboard squares and shaken out into the viv to directly feed froglets. The larvae that survive frog predation can grow and then take on janitor duties as well.