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Skirted Isopod (Oniscus asellus) - Woodlouse Culture

Skirted Isopod (Oniscus asellus) - Woodlouse Culture

A very underrated species which comes in a variety of colours, ranging from grey to brown to green. This species has a pretty marbled look to it with a paler grey skirting. A shy species that is more sensitive to temperature fluctuations than most common isopods. 


Oniscus asellus is possibly one of the most common isopods found across the British Isles and their distribution stretches across Europe. A very shy and placid isopod which can grow to a fairly big size considering they prefer vegetation over protein. These are a fairly prolific species once settled and seem to prefer rotting wood, which they both eat and hide under. 


Adult size: 1.6cm

Lifespan: 2 years

Status: captive bred

Place of Origin: Europe, now widespread

Temperature: 18-23˚C

Humidity: 70-80%

Diet: Hardwood leaf litter (oak, beech, hazel etc), rotten hardwood, flake soil, organic waste/ faeces, sphagnum moss, mushrooms, variety of fruit and vegetables (favourites include cucumber, carrot, and sweet potato), sepia/ calcium supplement, protein source (fish flake, shrimp pellets, nutritional yeast)

  • We suggest keeping O. asellus between 21-22˚C and 70-80% humidity for best results. These do not tolerate big fluctuations of temperature, so try to keep their conditions as consistent as possible. We keep a large colony of isopods in a 40x20x20cm storage tub with vent holes across the lid. A smaller colony will do just fine in a 20x15x15cm enclosure.


  • Like other isopods, these need a humidity gradient which can be achieved by making sure there are dry and damp areas in their environment. The best way is to provide sphagnum moss or live moss on one half of the enclosure as a 'hydration station' and keep this constantly moist. We suggest keeping the substrate moist (not soaking!) and provide plenty of bark pieces and leaf litter to allow them to seek out dryer spots.


  • Make sure you use a high-quality substrate (no coco coir!) such as our Premium Millipede Edible Substrate as this will be the main food component for your isopods, and provide crushed cuttlebone or eggshells for calcium, as well as a good quality protein source once a week for optimal health. We prefer to feed vegetables to our isopods to help deter fruit fly and fungus gnat infestations, but that’s just our choice! Like many invertebrates one of their favourites is cucumber which we provide in slices and replace once completely eaten, which is around once a week.


  • We recommend not keeping any protein-hungry isopods with millipedes, as they can potentially damage or kill them during a moult!


PriceFrom £5.94

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