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Tropical Grey / Powder Blue Isopods (P.pruinosus) - Tropical Isopod Culture

Tropical Grey / Powder Blue Isopods (P.pruinosus) - Tropical Isopod Culture

P. pruinosus is a medium sized isopod, reaching lengths of 9-15mm as adults. These soft bodied, oval shaped isopods come in a range of colour morphs, including ‘powder orange’ ‘Oreo crumble’ and ‘powder blue’, otherwise known as tropical grey. The powder blue morphs earned their name for their dusty blue colouring before molting but develop a brilliant grey sheen soon after. These isopods are prolific breeders and great eaters making them the ideal clean-up crew addition to a tropical bioactive set-up.

 

These like to spend time both above the substrate, cleaning the surface of organic waste whilst being fascinating to watch, and within the substrate working as underground cleaners and soil aerators. Their long oval bodies allow these isopods to move with some speed and they can easily dart away when disturbed. For this reason, they make excellent clean-up crews and feeders but not so much a handleable pet. P. pruinosus can be kept as a medium sized colony in a 10-15L tank but is best kept isolated due to their prolific nature. If adding to a bioactive set-up, we suggest adding any clean-up crew 7-14 days prior to adding other inhabitants, to ensure the colony has enough time to establish itself within their new environment.

 

 

Adult size: 9-15mm

Lifespan: 2-3 years

Status: captive bred

Place of Origin: Europe, now distributed worldwide

Temperature: 21-27˚C

Humidity: 60-80%

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, squash, and sweet potato), sepia/ calcium supplement, protein source (fish flake, shrimp pellets, nutritional yeast)

  • We suggest keeping P. pruinosus between 22-23˚C and 70-80% humidity for best results. 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 drier 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 sometimes nibble on them whilst molting! 
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