You could call the Dalmatian
After all, any
That said, there is one species that’s arguably become the defacto dalmatian.
In this guide, we’re going to explore some of the best
101 dalmatian isopods on the market and figure out who is really the top dog.
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Popular (and Rarer) Dalmatian Isopods
Just a quick primer before we jump in.
Though many stunning spotted
Other genes (like the Koi gene) give rise to similar visual effects through different means. Visually, there’s not always much of a difference, but there certainly is when it comes to breeding.
That aside, without any further ado, here we go.
1 | Porcellio scaber ‘Dalmatian’
Porcellio scaber ‘Dalmatian’ is undoubtedly one of the most popular species of its kind.
Prized for its classic black and white dalmatian look, it fits the dalmatian brief better than any of the others on this list.
But does a close resemblance make it the best
I’m pleased to say P. scaber ‘Dalmatian’ is not all bark and no bite.
These versatile critters are super adaptable, breed quickly, and are easy to care for – making them suitable for almost any setup. Average household temperatures and typical humidity levels of 70%+ should be absolutely fine, so they’re a great choice for a bioactive vivarium too.
And growing up to around 1.5cm in size, P. scaber ‘Dalmatian’ is a relatively large species that can certainly pull its weight when it comes to bioactive cleaning duties.
They also come in a cool Orange Dalmatian variety too!
Not to be confused with the “Orange Koi” Isopods,” which look very similar but result from a different gene expression. Then there’s the Lava Isopods too, another fascinating Porcellio scaber color morph (but I’m not sure that it’s because of the dalmatian trait).
2 | Dairy Cow Isopods (Porcellio laevis)
Dairy Cow Isopods are the other hot contenders for the Dalmatian
Sporting mottled black and white carapaces, they have a slightly different take on the classic dalmatian look.
If I were a judge on Crufts and comparing Dalmatian Isopods vs Dairy Cow, I’d give the bovine option points for size and their stronger look, but they lose points for visual accuracy.
At almost 2cm fully grown, these critters can get pretty big.
Just like the Porcellio scaber Dalmatians, Porcellio laevis are excellent bioactive custodians. An active nature combined with a large appetite makes for an effective cleaning machine.
I wouldn’t advise mixing them with any other
3 | Japanese Magic Potion
Isopod (Armadillidium vulgare)
Here, we add some color to the mix!
The Japanese Magic Potion
As it only affects dark pigments, some of the dark elements of the carapace have been stripped to a creamy translucent white. Leaving behind dark spots and some characteristic acid-yellow splashes.
The contrast really is electric, and it’s fascinating to see genes play out this way.
You can get this species from two distinct lineages: American and Japanese. The American is larger and more visually distinctive, but the Japanese are much easier to breed.
Oh, and there’s also an Orange Dalmatian variety too. You’re welcome.
4 | Armadillidium maculatum “Zebra Dalmatian”
With its characteristic black and white stripes, the Zebra Isopod bears some of the hallmarks of a Dalmatian
But, there’s a variety that takes it one step further.
Enter the “High White Zebra.”
As we now know, the dalmatian gene affects darker pigments. So, in this case, we end up with a much whiter Zebra
Plus, the expression of the gene can produce very different results. Some isopods will still retain some of those distinctive stripes in the form of long black spots, whereas others have just a few black flecks more akin to a scale-like pattern.
Some even have a lovely brown color too!
Where to Buy Dalmatian Isopods
These days, Dalmatian Isopods are popping up thick and fast.
You can grab the classic Dalmatian Isopods right here from our partners, Rubber Ducky Isopods
They also offer the Dalmatian
Everything you need in one kit! (Including a Dalmatian Isopod culture).
Also includes: Organic Leaf Litter, Bark, Long-Fibered Sphagnum Moss, RDI's Isopod Breeding Super Food, Vermi-Composted Wood Mulch, Bioactive Soil (Created by Paonia Soil Company), Organic Colorado Mushroom Compost, 6 Quart High-Grade Plastic Bin (with locking lid).
From our partners at Rubber Ducky Isopods.
Being pretty established in the hobby, the classic P. scaber Dalmatian Isopods (and Dairy Cow Isopods) are relatively easy to source. But with the others? Not so much.
Thankfully, RDI also offers Orange Dalmatian Isopods, Zebra Dalmatians, and Lava Isopods (even if the latter are not true dalmatians).
They have a vast (and rapidly growing) species selection, so be sure to check back regularly!
That’s a Wrap!
We’ve looked at a variety of classic and up-and-coming Dalmatian
Which do you think looks the best?