Friday, November 12, 2021

My First Merulanella!

Mitch Belville Shipment Series, Pt 3/4
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Back to the isopods lol! This time we'll be discussing a species AND genus that's brand new to me, Merulanella sp. "Vietnam"! The various Merulanella spp. that have been entering the hobby recently are some of the prettiest, most interesting isopods in culture IMO, however this particular species is very underrated in comparison (and probably not truly Merulanella either, but that's besides the point). In fact, I almost didn't even ask Mitch to send me some, but a gut feeling told me I should give them a try. Lo and behold, these are now one of my favorite isopod species! 😂

Some of the individuals come out rather drab and grey looking, with some scarce patterning. However, half of the individuals have beautiful orange red borders on their bodies, as well as orange antennae, and are just very striking, they almost look like they're on fire! 😍 I don't get why they aren't more popular in culture, they really are quite an attractive isopod!

I've got my half a dozen individuals housed in a moderately ventilated 1 gallon shoebox, with a thin layer of moist coconut fiber as the substrate. On top I've got eggcrate pieces for hides, as well as plenty of leaf litter for food. I'll also supplement their diet with dog food, and will keep them at around 73F°. Sadly this was the only species I received from Mitch that had high die offs during shipping, but a decent amount still survived the week long transit, and this is a species that I know to be a relatively fragile shipper. One of the females looks gravid, so I have little doubt I'll establish a colony soon. 😁

Now, here are some photos of this underappreciated species:

Such an interesting species, not only are they pretty, but they are also very fast moving, and almost remind me more of roaches than other isopods in their behavior. Hopefully I'll be able to acquire some of the other Merulanella spp. in the future, fingers crossed!

Anyways, that's gonna do it for today, as always thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all in the next post! 😉

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