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Betta132

Isopods with domino roaches- potential issue?

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My domino roach terrarium has some isopods in it. I didn't put them in on purpose, they migrated over as babies on a goat skull that I brought from another terrarium and apparently didn't clean off well enough. The goat skull is against the glass, and I can see a few isopods crawling around in a cavity under it, but I don't have any way to reach them and get them out short of digging up a third of the terrarium. They're just regular outdoor isopods, the little grey ones with speckles, I don't know the species. 

Could they potentially be an issue? They're in the wet corner of the terrarium, most of the rest is fairly dry. It's a few inches of coco fiber substrate topped with dried pecan leaves, and there's currently under 20 roaches in it. Could the isopods eat the oocathae, or will not being able to spread into the dry areas keep them from doing anything? 

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Supposedly some isopods do eat oothecae, so they could become a problem. However I think that the Therea will end up out-competing them in the end, especially sine their cage is likely drier than the isopods will tolerate. However, if the isopod species is Porcellio scaber, then you may need to take action, since those are pretty protien hungry compared to most other isopod species. 

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I Googled Porcellio scaber , and it's definitely not those. Mine are rounder and slow, and they're from Texas. I only ever find them in moist places, and the few I've seen have stayed in the wet areas. They won't run out of food because I'm keeping a layer of leaf litter in there, but I don't think they can go anywhere. Plus, the wet spot is across the tank from the heat pad, so it's kinda cold. 

If I see any oothecae that are in the wetter area, is it safe to move them to a dry area so the isopods can't reach them? Just lightly pick them up and set them down in another spot of similar temperature, maybe near the spot where I put all the non-leaf food in. They get cat food and occasional dried shrimp or worms from a can of fish food in addition to all the leaves, and sometimes a bit of carrot or a berry. I keep one corner of the tank wet so it spreads moisture out about 1/3 of the substrate, and the rest is varying stages of dry. There's a heat pad stuck to the non-wet side of the tank so they have a warm spot and it keeps the tank from getting too cold, and the roaches can choose where they want to be. I don't know where the nymphs hang out, I can't find them and haven't dug in to look, but the adult male doesn't seem to have any preference. 

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6 hours ago, Betta132 said:

I Googled Porcellio scaber , and it's definitely not those. Mine are rounder and slow, and they're from Texas. I only ever find them in moist places, and the few I've seen have stayed in the wet areas. They won't run out of food because I'm keeping a layer of leaf litter in there, but I don't think they can go anywhere. Plus, the wet spot is across the tank from the heat pad, so it's kinda cold. 

If I see any oothecae that are in the wetter area, is it safe to move them to a dry area so the isopods can't reach them? Just lightly pick them up and set them down in another spot of similar temperature, maybe near the spot where I put all the non-leaf food in. They get cat food and occasional dried shrimp or worms from a can of fish food in addition to all the leaves, and sometimes a bit of carrot or a berry. I keep one corner of the tank wet so it spreads moisture out about 1/3 of the substrate, and the rest is varying stages of dry. There's a heat pad stuck to the non-wet side of the tank so they have a warm spot and it keeps the tank from getting too cold, and the roaches can choose where they want to be. I don't know where the nymphs hang out, I can't find them and haven't dug in to look, but the adult male doesn't seem to have any preference. 

Oh OK, Armadillidium vulgare then? Those probably won't be bothering your roaches at all. 

Ideally the Therea ooths should be in the moist area actually, if it's too dry they won't hatch. I'd just leave them alone though, wherever they are laid, the isopods probably won't be eating them. 

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Armadillidium vulgare look to be the right ones, thanks! Good to know they won't be likely to get up to anything. If I see them starting to multiply a ton, I'll lure them with bait (carrots, probably) and pick some out, but if not I'll leave them alone. I assume domino roaches deal with some form of isopods in the wild anyway. 

 

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3 hours ago, Betta132 said:

Armadillidium vulgare look to be the right ones, thanks! Good to know they won't be likely to get up to anything. If I see them starting to multiply a ton, I'll lure them with bait (carrots, probably) and pick some out, but if not I'll leave them alone. I assume domino roaches deal with some form of isopods in the wild anyway. 

 

A.vulgare tend to take forever to grow and breed, so your dominos will probably thrive regardless of their presence. :)

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In my experience Armadillidium are very drought resistant, but reproduce slowly and are good roach companions. Porcellio, however reproduce very quickly and are always hungry. I have seen them come out from underground and take pinky mice away from my snakes. Unless it is very dry, they quickly outcompete Armadillidium, and will reproduce fast enough that you will need to remove them before they overtake some of the smaller roaches. If its Armadillidium, I think your dominos will do well, and have a nice cleaning buddy species.

 

 

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I'm still only seeing a couple of them, so they definitely aren't breeding very fast, and they seem to be behaving. Not sure exactly how damp the substrate patch they like is, but it also has some springtails living in it. 

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As of nearly a year later, I have lots. I put a simple pitfall trap made of a plastic cup in the tank with some food, and I took out easily a hundred adults. They haven't gone ridiculously out of control, but I thought it would be good to thin them out a bit. They're eating the leaves that I put in my for my domino roaches, is the only reason. 

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