Isopods, in the desert? More likely than you think! The Arizona roly-poly is the only terrestrial isopod native to the United States southwest and is extremely well adapted to its arid home in a number of ways. The cuticle is very dryness resistant, sporting the similar blue shine seen in Porcellionides pruinosus. There is a strong resemblance in the body segment morphology to Armadillo sp., another isopod adapted to dry climates. Behaviorally, Arizona roly-polies are active above ground during the monsoon season, and otherwise return to a humble life of eating detritus and frass in rodent burrows or under boulders. They’re often found in small but scattered groups, living side by side with scorpions, darkling beetles, tarantulas, centipedes, and sand roaches. Their unique desert lifestyle poses some challenges to captive culture; these isopods do not like stagnant air, but also cannot be kept bone dry. The enclosure must be warm and extremely well-ventilated, and the substrate should be kept mostly moist.
- Adult Size: 20 mm
- Care Level: Intermediate
- Temperature Requirement: 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Substrate Humidity: Dry vs Moist
- Favorite Foods: Not picky