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Baby woodlice, after a long wait

Jennewt

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I took about a dozen of these adult woodlice into captivity at the end of last summer, probably August or September. I feed them a bit of fish flakes every week or so. I was just reaching the point where I was giving up hope of getting any baby woodlice, and thinking about feeding the adult woodlice to some of my larger sals.

Today I lifted the cardboard to feed them, and there were many little woodlice scurrying in every direction. Success at last!:D

 

Lasher

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I've been trying to get a culture going since christmas, I'm jealous, well done!
What are you keeping them in(size, substrate, temp etc)?
 

Daniel

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I am not sure if it is appropriate to congratulate on the successful breeding of woodlice, Jen! :p

"Normal" woodlice seem to be much harder to breed than the tropical (white) ones. I have a culture running since some months, too and the birthrate is rather low.
Volland and Friedrich describe in their book "Breeding Food Animals - Live Food for Vivarium Animals" that the number of breedings in the year depends on light (best results with a low amount for 7 hours/day) and temperature (best results with 20-25°C).
 

Abrahm

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Awesome! I'd like to try my hand at culturing these guys also. The more variety we can provide, the better our care. Maybe Caudata Culture is beginning to see a need for Caudata Food Culture?
 

gr33neyes

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It seems strange to see another member culturing them. Here in the UK we get them everywhere, just goes to show that what we take for granted isn't so in other places.
 

Lasher

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It seems strange to see another member culturing them. Here in the UK we get them everywhere, just goes to show that what we take for granted isn't so in other places.

I'll give you a fiver for every wood louse you can find in the middle of portsmouth :p
 

Jennewt

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I've been keeping them in a shoebox-sized plastic container with soil and wood chips and a thick layer of carboard over the top. I sprinkle a bit of fish food under the cardboard. They've been in my basement all winter, around 15C. There is no natural light down there, but I adjust the timer on the lights to give a shorter cycle in winter.

Daniel, I have newt eggs here, but I take that for granted. This is something unexpected! You better congratulate me!;)

Becky - when you say you get them everywhere, do you mean find them outdoors, or find them for sale? I have plenty of them outdoors in summer as well, anytime I have the patience to go rummage about the garden for them. But what I really need is TINY ones (to feed small terrestrial newts). That was my motivation for trying to culture them. Also, I prefer the less-crusty less-rolly variety of woodlice, so I selected those for my culture.
 

gr33neyes

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I find them everywhere outside, especially under rocks whilst worm hunting, all through the year. Must be our damp climate they like. I have fed some of the bigger ones to my axolotls, they don't seem to mind the crusty bits :)
 

ajc

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Warm them up a bit Jen, 20C is ideal. And give them a moisture gradient - they are finicky.
 

Coastal Groovin

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I was given 8 woodlice of an unknown species back in May. They are a rusty red color. Its now January and I only have 30! Things were slow in developing but then bang a big poplution explosion. Going by this birth rate I hope to have 70 or more by this Novemeber. I hope when I get to this number I will be able to start using them as food. Useing them for a change of pace meal. you know when Im out of crickets and its to cold to go outside meal...lol I find plenty of the comman gray ones in my yard under an old brink pile in the summer. Im not sure why I even started raising these. Although I think my frogs like them alot better than crickets.
 

petro

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I have them in my tanks already from the beginning(years)
They multiply also from the beginning.I have my newts never
below the 16 degrees celcius,so have baby's from the woodlice
almost every month.
Not many(around 20)but even they get born between my newts,
they stay on a steady amount of 30 adults.(sometimes a little more or less)
Petro
 

taherman

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I've had pretty good luck lately with cutting corrugated cardboard (the thicker the better), into roughly uniform rectangles as long as your container is wide, and almost as wide as your container is tall. These are then stacked and placed on their side over ~1/2" of damp coco pith (envision a library card catalog with damp coco pith on the bottom of the drawer, and all the cards made of cardboard...if that makes any sense). This provides many crevices as well as a humidity gradient on each piece of cardboard. Food can be sprinkled across the top and all the crevices between the cards have access to it. To harvest simply lift out one card at a time, tap it over an empty rubbermaid box, and replace until you have enough to feed out.

Working out well for me so far.
-Tim
 

Jennewt

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My problem now is how to get the baby woodlice separate from the adult woodlice. I'm just picking the small ones out a couple at a time with a spoon, but this is rather inefficient!
 

Greatwtehunter

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My problem now is how to get the baby woodlice separate from the adult woodlice. I'm just picking the small ones out a couple at a time with a spoon, but this is rather inefficient!

I use one of those metal tea strainer things (sorry thats the best way I could describe it). I take a piece of the cardboard out of the rearing container, shake a bunch of the woodlice into the strainer, then I give it a tap against the side of another container a few times, and out pops the babies.
 

lilacdragon7

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!!! You guys are telling me rolly-pollies are wood lice? I'm confused. I've got a huge wood piece in my tank where the newts have dug themselves a wonderful home, would the woodlice head for there? or stay under the water dish? How many should I have in a tank at a time? I've got a twenty tall (mistake when I went out to gather my supplies), but the land area takes up a little less than half since they have been terrestrial for the past several months. I catch them in the water some days, but mostly just land.
 

Greatwtehunter

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Yeah some people called woodlice rollie pollies and I even think sow bugs as well. The woodlice will automatically go to the coolest, damp spot in the tank. There's no exact number that I could give you for the amount to throw in but you could start out with a couple and go from there depending on how well your newts like them, but given the fact that the newts and the woodlice like the same hiding places you may never see the newts eat them.
 

pete

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I admire your patience. My Pill bug farm didn't last long. Pill bug is another name for you. How about potato bug, too?

A correctly-sized screen in a frame may help you separate them faster. No promises, though.
 

fishkeeper

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I got some Spanish orange isopods in a trade and put them in a warm vivarium(meant for dartfrogs and treefrogs), they bred slowly at first but without any predation picked it up to the point that I'm guessing from 20 their were 100 in a few months. It got to the point where some died by getting stuck in the condensation on the glass...not to mention those who drowned in the water section. After rescaping the tank and adding newts it seems none survived the water section growing bigger...or are hiding very well.

Anyone cultured the diff. species available by hobbyists? I believe these ones are just orange variants of normal P. scaber.
 

Coastal Groovin

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Is it really good to feed them cardboard? I don't think it would be very rich in vitamins and minerals! I think people should stick to carrots, fish food and old leaves.
 

Jennewt

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Cardboard is basically the same as old leaves - wood fiber. They do reproduce faster if they are fed fish food rather than just cardboard.
 
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