Bugs & Microfauna: Isopods

About Our Isopods

Why our cultures are different

NEHERP's Warehouse Entry Rules NEHERP's Microfauna Room Entrance Dwarf White Isopod On Plant Orange Isopod Dwarf White Isopods Montenegro Isopods Zebra Isopods Organic Fragmentation By Isopods Free Heat Or Ice Pack With Every Order NEHERP Isopod Culture
NEHERP Isopod Culture Free Heat Or Ice Pack With Every Order NEHERP's Microfauna Room Entrance NEHERP's Warehouse Entry Rules Organic Fragmentation By Isopods Dwarf White Isopod On Plant Orange Isopod Dwarf White Isopods Montenegro Isopods Zebra Isopods

When it comes to our effort toward offering the absolute highest quality Isopod cultures, there's more going on behind the scenes than one might expect. Our process actually starts at our front door, where there's a sign limiting entry to trained employees only. It's not that we're unfriendly (although we are from New England... :-)), it's just that we take the prevention of cross contamination very seriously. Our specially built isolated microfauna rooms are temperature & humidity controlled in an attempt to ensure every critter is comfortable & healthy, while drastically limiting the risks of contamination from outside sources. All Isopods in our culturing program are fed Repashy brand diets to ensure vitamins, nutrients, and calcium are available at all times. It may sound silly to say our Isopod cultures are especially "clean" considering they are detritivores, but we never offer waste from any source as food, nor do we pull Isopods from inhabited vivariums for sale. The media we use is a slightly modified version of our #1 best selling NEHERP Live Vivarium Substrate, so every culture can be added directly to a vivarium or new culture when received. When it comes time to ship, either 40-hour heat pack(s) or non-toxic ice pack(s) are added free (when weather isn't ideal) to maximize the likelihood of healthy arrival. Our record for healthy shipment arrival is probably one of the best in the industry (if not the best), and we do our absolute best to pack every box carefully. From our front door to yours, we're confident you'll feel good about the quality of our Isopod cultures.

Jump To A Variety:
Isopoda Armadillidium maculatum Isopoda Armadillidium maculatum 'Chocolate' Isopoda Armadillidium sp. 'Montenegro'
Armadillidium Largest - Most Expensive
Isopoda Dwarf Sp. 'Gray' Isopoda Dwarf Sp. 'Purple' Isopoda Dwarf Sp. 'White'
Isopoda 'Dwarf' Sp. Smallest - Least Expensive
Porcellio scaber Porcellio scaber 'Dalmation' Porcellio scaber 'Spanish Orange'
Porcellio Medium - Average Expense

Live Isopod Cultures: Armadillidium Species

Our largest & most sought after species of Isopods

Isopoda Armadillidium maculatum Isopoda Armadillidium maculatum 'Chocolate' Isopoda Armadillidium sp. 'Montenegro'
Armadillidium maculatum Armadillidium maculatum 'Chocolate' Armadillidium sp. 'Montenegro'
Click to show Isopods on a natural background
Zebra Isopods Chocolate Zebra Isopods Montenegro Isopods
Armadillidium maculatum Armadillidium maculatum 'Chocolate' Armadillidium sp. 'Montenegro'
Click to show Isopods on a white background
NEHERP Staff Description:
These are the largest Isopods we work with, approaching 5/8in in length. Species in this genus are able to roll into a ball when they are disturbed, which helps to protect their soft underbelly while only exposing their harder shell. This behavior has earned them the common names "Roly Poly" and "Pillbug". Unlike our smaller varieties, these reproduce significantly slower and are far less common in the hobby. Although they perform the same function as any other Isopod we carry in a live vivarium environment, Armadillidium species seem to be more commonly kept as pets by invertebrate enthusiasts. If they'll be used as a detritivore within a vivarium designed for another primary inhabitant, we strongly recommend allowing extra time to ensure they can establish a large enough population. Otherwise, these are a great choice for those who are looking to build a micro-vivarium with Isopods as the primary inhabitant.
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About Armadillidium maculatum:
These are affectionately known as "Zebra Pillbugs" within the hobby. Native to Europe & Northern Asia, their blackish-gray & white striping stands out on any vivarium substrate. They seem to explore enclosures without much shyness, and tend to stay in view once a population is established. They tend to explore more when humidity is high & there are a few dimly lit areas available to them. An awesome choice for those looking for a starter Isopod Pet.
About Armadillidium maculatum 'Chocolate':
These are hand-selected Armadillidium maculatum which have been line bred for a dark brown coloration. Available Isopods are bred from a line which was separated from one of our cultures in early 2017 by a young student team member of ours who took the project on as an experiment, after he'd seen line-bred Isopods being talked about on social media. Unexpectedly cool stuff! This is an ongoing project which is constantly improving.
About Armadillidium sp. 'Montenegro':
Commonly referred to as "Clown Isopods" by enthusiasts. These are some of the more rare Isopods in the hobby today, and are the "newest to the hobby" species that we currently offer. Young individuals have slightly more drab coloration with the top row of spots being white/gray in color. As the Isopods mature, their skirt coloration seems to become brighter orange, and the white/gray row of spots turns to bright yellow.
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A. maculatum (Zebra) A. maculatum 'Chocolate' A. sp. 'Montenegro'
Armadillidium maculatum (Zebra)
$26.99/ea Culture
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Armadillidium maculatum (Zebra)
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A. maculatum (Zebra) - 15 Individuals - Mixed Ages
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A. maculatum (Zebra) A. maculatum 'Chocolate' A. sp. 'Montenegro'
Armadillidium maculatum 'Chocolate'
$29.99/ea Culture
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Armadillidium maculatum 'Chocolate'
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A. maculatum (Zebra) A. maculatum 'Chocolate' A. sp. 'Montenegro'
Armadillidium sp. 'Montenegro'
$74.99/ea Culture
Armadillidium sp. 'Montenegro'
$74.99/ea Culture

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Armadillidium sp. 'Montenegro'
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A. sp. 'Montenegro' - 15 Individuals - Mixed Ages
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Live Isopod Cultures: Dwarf Species

Beneficial detritivore microfauna for live vivariums & more

Beneficial microfauna for live vivariums

Isopoda Dwarf Sp. 'Gray' Isopoda Dwarf Sp. 'Purple' Isopoda Dwarf Sp. 'White'
"Dwarf Gray"
Nagurus cristatus
"Dwarf Purple"
Isopoda Sp. 'Dwarf Purple'
"Dwarf White"
Trichorhina tomentosa

Click to show Isopods on a natural background
Nagurus cristatus Isopoda Sp. 'Dwarf Purple' Trichorhina tomentosa
"Dwarf Gray"
Nagurus cristatus
"Dwarf Purple"
Isopoda Sp. 'Dwarf Purple'
"Dwarf White"
Trichorhina tomentosa

Click to show Isopods on a white background
NEHERP Staff Description:
The 'Dwarf Isopod' label applied to these varieties stems from the hobby, and doesn't reflect an official taxonomic rank. These Isopods are just under 1/4in long as adults, and are the smallest varieties we offer. Younger specimens are only slightly larger than common Springtails (Collembola), making them more difficult to spot than their larger cousins. These Isopods are our top-choice for use as a cleanup crew within a live vivarium housing most inhabitant species. They reproduce fairly quickly, are easy to manage, and seem to be active both day and night. We consider Dwarf Isopods to be suitable for all tropical & temperate enclosures which have fairly moist (not necessarily wet) substrate, and a minimum of 50% relative humidity. In addition to being kept as pets & utilized as detritivores within live vivarium environments, these dwarf species are sometimes offered as feeders for small insectivores. Dwarf varieties seem to reproduce fastest when kept between 70-80F, but they will survive in both higher and lower temperatures.
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About The "Asst" Option:
The "Assorted" (Breeder's Choice) option is our best deal on a healthy Dwarf Isopod culture. With this selection, you'll receive one of the three Dwarf Isopod species we carry. This option allows us to pull from whichever species is most plentiful at the time, which helps ensure we can keep up with demand. For being flexible and selecting this option, we're able to provide you with the lower price (5-10% off!) on the culture. :-) If you'll be using Isopods for a live vivarium & don't have a strong preference one way or the other, this will be your best bet since all three of these species perform the same task.
About Dwarf Gray Isopods:
We consider Dwarf Gray Isopods (Nagurus cristatus) a tropical species. These are frequently found in tropical greenhouses, which has earned them the colloquial name of "Greenhouse Woodlouse". The line we work with was actually unexpectedly sourced from a shipment of tropical plants from Florida back in 2012. (We believe our line originally came from Central or South America) From From what we've been told, it seems that Nagurus cristatus is actually a parthenogenetic species. (All female, producing asexually) This variety seems to reproduce a slightly slower than our other dwarf Isopods, so they are available less often. These are also called "Dwarf Striped Isopods".
About Dwarf Purple Isopods:
Adult Dwarf Purple Isopods seem to have a slightly purple/brown hue. (Well illustrated in this example photo) We've found that they are happy to explore upper regions of backgrounds & wood decor, so long as there is enough moisture present within the enclosure. There has been debate within the hobby for years about the official name for this species, but we aren't confident enough to post one way or another. We've seen them colloquially referred to as "Costa Rican Purple Isopods", "Jungle Purple Isopods", and a handful of other names. If you have information on the official species name of these Isopods, please let us know. We'd love to learn!
About Dwarf White Isopods:
Like the purple variety, Trichorhina tomentosa are also keen on venturing upward within a moist enclosure, and can sometimes be found on backgrounds & other hardscape decor. They are the easiest dwarf variety to spot due to their coloration. (Here's another decent closeup photo) We're told their native range extends from Central to South America, so we consider them a tropical species. Dwarf White Isopods are among the most commonly utilized & easiest to keep species in the live vivarium hobby. Other colloquial names for these include "Dwarf Tropical Woodlice", "Tropical White Isopods", "Dwarf White Sowbugs", and "Dwarf White Woodlice".
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Dwarf Sp. (Asst) Dwarf Gray Dwarf Purple Dwarf White
Dwarf Gray
$13.49/ea Culture
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Dwarf Gray
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Nagurus cristatus - 15 Individuals - Mixed Ages
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Dwarf Sp. (Asst) Dwarf Gray Dwarf Purple Dwarf White
Dwarf Purple
$12.99/ea Culture
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Dwarf Purple
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Isopoda Sp. 'Dwarf Purple' - 15 Individuals - Mixed Ages
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Dwarf Sp. (Asst) Dwarf Gray Dwarf Purple Dwarf White
Dwarf White
$12.49/ea Culture
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Dwarf White Isopods
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Trichorhina tomentosa - 15 Individuals - Mixed Ages
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Dwarf Sp. (Asst) Dwarf Gray Dwarf Purple Dwarf White
Dwarf Sp. Assorted
$11.99/ea Culture
Dwarf Sp. Breeder's Choice (Single Type) - 15 Individuals - Mixed Ages
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Dwarf Sp. Assorted
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★ Today's sale prices are below our usual "discounted assortment" deal!★
Today's sale prices are lower than our assortment deal!
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Live Isopod Cultures: Porcellio scaber

Beneficial detritivore microfauna for live vivariums & more

Beneficial microfauna for live vivariums

Porcellio scaber Porcellio scaber 'Dalmation' Porcellio scaber 'Spanish Orange'
Porcellio scaber P. scaber 'Dalmation' P. scaber 'Spanish Orange'
Click to show Isopods on a natural background
Porcellio scaber Porcellio scaber 'Dalmation' Porcellio scaber 'Spanish Orange'
Porcellio scaber P. scaber 'Dalmation' P. scaber 'Spanish Orange'
Click to show Isopods on a white background
NEHERP Staff Description:

This is one seriously prolific little Isopod which has established populations on every continent except for Antarctica. Adults grow to around 3/4in long, making them significantly larger than the Dwarf varieties we work with. While there are a few Isopod enthusiasts keeping these as pets, we've found that the majority of our clients utilize Porcellio scaber as detritivores within live vivariums & other enclosures which would benefit from their company. We consider this species an excellent choice for all temperate & tropical live vivariums (50-95% relative humidity) which house medium or large inhabitants. (Over 6-7in long) Colloquial names for this widespread species include "Rough Woodlouse", "Common Woodlouse", and "European Woodlouse". Porcellio species can't roll into a ball like their Armadillidium cousins. We keep these between 70-84F, and provide a slightly moist substrate at all times. It's especially important to provide a source of leaf litter when keeping this species, since hungry individuals can sometimes turn on live plants when their preferred food source runs short. If Porcellio scaber Isopods begin munching on plants in your enclosure while plenty of leaf litter is available (this is extremely uncommon), we recommend offering more nutrient rich foods (Repashy Bug Burger or Repashy Morning Wood).

All three of the varieties we work with (natural/wild type, 'Dalmation', and 'Spanish Orange') are different lines of the same species (P. scaber). For that reason, the care recommendations & behavioral analysis above applies to all three varieties. There are over 190 species of Porcellio, and we look forward to working with new types in the future. When we do, we'll be sure to update this article.

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Porcellio scaber 'Dalmation' 'Spanish Orange'
Porcellio scaber
$11.99/ea Culture
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P. scaber - 15 Individuals - Mixed Ages
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Porcellio scaber 'Dalmation' 'Spanish Orange'
Porcellio scaber 'Dalmation'
$24.99/ea Culture
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Porcellio scaber 'Dalmation'
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P. scaber 'Dalmation' - 15 Individuals - Mixed Ages
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Porcellio scaber 'Dalmation' 'Spanish Orange'
Porcellio scaber 'Spanish Orange'
$17.99/ea Culture
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Porcellio scaber 'Spanish Orange'
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15% Off - $15.29ea Culture
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P. scaber 'Spanish Orange' - 15 Individuals - Mixed Ages
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