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Thread: All my woodlouse dreams have come true!

  1. #1
    swords's Avatar
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    All my woodlouse dreams have come true!

    I just did a trade of some Utrics with a member of this board for some of his Porcellio scaber woodlice for my vivariums. For now I'm just starting a base colony of my own before I start seeding vivariums with them. These little squirts have some very good press as a live "terrarium maintenance crew" so I'm very anxious to see them in action.

    Here's how they arrived:

    Packaged securely in these tiny foodies with egg crate stuffed with green food and peat not a DOA in the whole lot and plenty of tiny little ones in the peat, and they are TINY (could not get a pic of the babies). I hope they can't climb cos the babies will zip right out of my aluminum mosquito screen! LOL

    Here's where I'll be keeping them for now.

    I'm going to look for some bark or some kind of wood to replace the eggcrate (brand new) when I go for a walk in the woods - I'll bake it before giving it to them.

    Here are the stars of the show:

    They're very energetic (hard to photo cos they won't sit still) and it's fun to watch them tentatively test out the new soil and then scurry back onto their shipping eggcrate for a while.

    Here's their bin:


    I'm still a bit curious just how wet I should keep it for them? Should there be moisture on the very bottom of the tub next to the plastic or would that be too much? Currently the soil is moist but not wet - squeezed all the water out by hand. I can mist every day like I do the other plants/vivarium if that's a good routine to get into. I just don't want to mold the peat, I'm kinda anti-peat due to the nasties it can carry (algae, molds, slimes, etc). I boiled my water when I mixed this soil up so hopefully the bulk of any bad stuff was wiped out by the time it cooled.

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    rattler's Avatar
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    they always stay that color? ive got a 10 gallon full of the local gray ones......used to feed them to the frogs, now they are juse part of the clean up crew for trimmed off dead leaves and the like........
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    limeslide's Avatar
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    Cute! I want to go looking for them later on this spring so I can add them to my Coenobita tank to keep the tank clean and free of mold.

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    swords's Avatar
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    Yeah I believe these will always be orange. From what I've read online they are the same as they grays we have here too, this is just a color mutation called "orange form". I think they're kinda pretty with this coloration. I wonder if feeding them carrots would enhance the coloration even more... The orange nymphs are bright white.


    Are these easy/fast enough breeders to use as feeders for a few small frogs? There's certainly got to be more meat on them than fruit flies. I always foul up fruit flies unless I have a whole stack of cultures going which has prevented me from ever having just one tank of frogs and a half dozen fly bins in various stages to ensure a supply of food usually too much and a waste of flies for just a few critters. Went through all that with my surprise Anole when she was a hatchling and it was enough. I'm just not into maggots and all that... I do have my limits! lol

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    kayaker78's Avatar
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    Carrots don’t help... I tried! These will stay orange, but I am guessing it is a recessive trait so, if mixed with gray individuals the babies would likely end up gray. They do sometimes look more orange after molting. I wouldn’t keep them to wet, just be sure that they have moist areas where there is humidity. They can survive in very dry terrariums as long as they have someplace humid to retreat, such as a hole under a water dish where water is allowed to spill over when the dish is filled. After awhile you will learn what is too dry, if you see them crawling all over (at night) conditions are good, if they are hanging out in humid spots I would keep the terrarium wetter.

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    swords's Avatar
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    Not more orange with carrots - at least I wasn't too far out there with my guess! lol

    I won't get any gray ones while I have the orange ones, that way they'll stay a "pure" orange line.

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    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    I swear I saw something like these scurrying around in my front yard when I was ripping out some old shrubs, but they were sort-of grey/blue colored.

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    kayaker78's Avatar
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    Stay away from blue/purple ones (or any in the same area as them) as they are infected with the vibrio virus...

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