Thursday, August 24, 2023

Isopods from Eddie!

I recently traded for some fantastic new additions from isopod hobbyist extraordinaire, Edwin Lopez of EzEddie Isopods. 😄 

Let's start with the main thing I traded for, Merulanella sp. "Ember Bee - Vietnam". Now, for those of you that don't know, I think isopods in general tend to be pretty overrated. I'm not saying I don't like them, I just think they're overhyped, and in general I find them a lot less interesting than roaches or beetles. However... these are the exception to that rule, not only are they absolutely STUNNING in terms of coloration, photos just don't do them justice, but they are also incredibly active and roam their enclosure way more than other isopod genera, and so are more on par with roaches than isopods IMO.

It should be noted, most of these "Merulanella" in the hobby likely aren't true Merulanella, it's just the genus they resemble the most and what we're tentatively calling them. It's a very similar situation to the "Cubaris" spp. in culture.

I've got mine set up in a well ventilated container with an inch or so of coconut fiber as the substrate, topped with a large piece of rotten wood, lots of bark slabs, and leaf litter. I'm keeping them humid, and at around 75-80F°. In addition tonthe leaf litter I'm offering dog food, fruits, and artificial pollen. 
None of them looked gravid in the slightest on arrival, and yet two females have already given birth to small broods! I'm quite happy with their progress, and all of the individuals I've received have molted at least once or twice in my care already. 😁 

Here are some pictures of a few individuals, that do not do this species justice:

This line is highly variable in coloration, and the patterning is very variable in this species as well. I'd love to get one of the high yellow or high red lines one day, fingers crossed. 🤞 

Edwin also threw in a freebie species, a group of Trachelipus sp. "Balkan Giant". These are fairly similar to T.rathkii in appearance, but larger and with more minimal markings. It's a nice species, one I hope does well for me.

I've got them in a well ventilated enclosure with a thin layer of coconut fiber as the substrate, topped with moss, leaf litter, and bark hides. I'm keeping two thirds of the setup humid, the last third dry, and keeping them at around 75F°. Just offering them my typical isopod diet of leaf litter and dog food, with dead insects occasionally thrown in as well.

Here are some pictures of them:

A neat little species for sure, will be nice to get a colony established of this more obscure species. 😊

Well, that does it for this post, thanks for reading, hope you all enjoyed, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

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