Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Introducing, Commando Isopods!

2021 Roachcrossing Shipment Series Pt. 2/4
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Introducing to my collection, the rarely cultured, chonky little Alloniscus perconvexus, AKA "Commando Isopods"! 😁 Now this species is one that I've really grown to love in the short time I've had them, but admittedly I was quite stressed when I received them... 🙃 See, I've never kept anything that required saline conditions of any kind before, and didn't have the supplies on hand to take care of such species. So when Kyle surprised me with this species without warning, (albiet with good intentions), my initial reaction was panic, since I knew I had to get some special materials for this species, and being as strapped for cash as I am right now, that's not really something I wanted to have to do... 😅

However, after talking with my buddy Brandon Maines, who's cultured this species quite successfully in the past, he told me that their salt requirements were exceedingly low, considering he had hundreds of them in a container with a small amount of their native, salted sand mixed in with a bunch of regular sand... So the sea salt was very, very diluted, and they did just fine. In fact he advised me just to use plain, pure sea salt (sold in most grocery stores, but make sure it doesn't contain any iodine or harmful anti-caking agents) instead of special salt mixes for saltwater fish, (which is what I'd been recommended to use previously by other keepers). I'll be trying that method out, since it seems a much more cost effective and easy way to accommodate the needs of these isopods, something that's greatly needed in an invert sub-hobby that seems to love overcomplicating husbandry for a lot of the rarer species.

I have mine in a 6 qt shoebox that's moderately ventilated, with an inch of sand mixed with a tiny bit of coco fiber as the substrate. Said substrate has been hydrated in salt water, and since it's a closed system, the salt I added in there initially is all I'll ever have to add to that enclosure, all subsequent waterings will be done with fresh water. On top of the substrate I have pieces of bark that I've partially buried, and leaf litter for them to feed on. In addition to the leaf litter, I'll offer dog food as their staple supplemental diet. They'll be kept rather humid, and in the 70-74F° range. This is a rather slow growing species, but they are apparently fairly prolific when sexually mature, and their offspring are rather large compared to the mancae of some other isopod genera.

Here are some pics of the little cuties:

These things are so adorable! ☺️ It's quite fun watching them make their burrows in the sand, though I only have them on an inch of substrate to avoid anaerobic conditions. A fatal mistake some keepers of Alloniscus make is giving them a very deep substrate, but wet sand gets anaerobic quick unless there is good aeration in the substrate or great drainage... Either way, a substrate an inch or so deep is more than enough for this species, you can still see their burrowing activity, and don't have to worry about anaerobic conditions either.

One interesting thing to note, is that this strain of Alloniscus perconvexus is one that's known to throw out orange individuals... I would really love to isolate an orange morph in the future, so hopefully my culture does well and throws out some random mutations like that! 😁

Anyways, that's it for this post, I'll be sure to keep you all posted on these cuties, they aren't well established in the hobby at all right now, though hopefully that will change in time! Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, keep on bugging, and I'll see you all next time! 😉 


  1. Thanks for the informative post! Good luck with this species!

    1. No problem, glad you found it informative! Hopefully these will breed well for me! 😁