Pennypack (Armadillidium vulgare) Isopods (12ct)


Experience Level: Intermediate

Pennypack are a great addition to your terrarium/vivarium eco-system as they serve multiple functions. First, they clean their environment by consuming leaf litter, animal feces, and dead plant material; their waste being a valuable source of nutrients for your plants. Second, they’re great snacks for amphibians and lizards alike. Third, they are extremely active and fun to watch. These isopods are a beautiful shade of gold and get darker as they age. They’re excellent feeders for frogs, lizards and other terrarium pets due to their soft exoskeleton (possibly the softest of all isopods). They’re also very prolific once established and fantastic substrate aerators.

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In the wild, isopods are most often found in layers of leaf litter, under rocks or logs, or burrowed a short distance under the
surface of the soil. The environment they seek is moist and dark, in or near dead and decomposing wood and other plant products

material. In a home vivarium setting, they do best in dimly lit terrarium/vivarium habitats where temps range between 70-85
degrees F and humidity is at 80-90%. They prefer a moist, organic substrate such as peat moss, coconut fiber, sphagnum
moss, leaf litter, and leaf compost.


Isopods are omnivores. They feed on frass (poop), leftover bits of feeder or pray insects, dead and decaying plant matter, and
pretty much anything else in or on the substrate. In captivity, bits of fish food flakes, dog or cat food, bits of fruit and
vegetables, dried leaves, and mosses are all viable food sources.


  • Any plastic container (shoebox or sweater box) that retains moisture and retards predators will suffice
  • The culture growth rate will be directly proportional to food availability and container size (bigger container = slower rate)
  • Optimum breeding temperature is low to mid-80’s F (warmer = faster)
  • Place culture in warm, dimly lit location
  • Substrate: Base layer: 2-3 inches of equal parts coconut fiber and peat moss, mixed and moistened (moist but not
    dripping wet). Top layer: a layer of moist oak or maple leaf litter and oak/maple wood/wood bark
  • Feeding: Feed fruits, vegetables, and occasional fish food flakes/pellets. Do not overfeed. Feed only when previous
    food is completely devoured.
  • Temperature & Humidity: Mist culture (with dechlorinated water) every 2-3 days. Keep base and top substrate layers
    damp and moist. Maintain culture temperature at 80-85 degrees F for best breeding results


There are both male and female isopods. After mating, the female lays several dozen eggs which she carries in a brood pouch
on her underside. It takes 3-4 weeks for the eggs to develop and hatch. A few days after hatching, fully formed, minute
isopods emerge. While nearly invisible at first they soon grow to a size that can be seen by the naked eye. Females are
sexually mature at about 6 months old.


To harvest and relocate isopods from culture to habitat simply remove a portion of culture substrate (isopods and all) and place
it in the desired habitat. Isopods will also congregate on pieces of wood, bark and cardboard. Any of these items can be carefully
removed from the culture, placed over the target seeding area, and gently tapped into the desired habitat.


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