Powder Orange Isopods (Porcellionides pruinosus) Care Guide

Powder Orange Isopods truly are vibrant little critters. 

With velvety orange coats and lightning quick moves, they make a flashy isopod pet (that are perfect for beginners) and they really shine in a bioactive clean up crew too.

Honestly, being prolific, hardy and hungry is a recipe for success when it comes to terrariums and vivariums – and these isopods fit the bill.

Find out how to care for this sun-kissed species as a pet and how to use them effectively in a bioactive setup.

Let’s do it! 

Powder Orange Isopods (Porcellionides pruinosus)

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Powder Orange Isopods Size, Appearance and Behaviour

All that glitters is not gold… sometimes it’s an isopod.

In truth, Powder Orange Isopods range from a subtle dusted texture (like they’ve just invaded a bag of icing sugar) to a bold and bright appearance.

There really is something for everyone.

It’s not surprising really, considering Porcellionides pruinosus is an isopod species prized for its diversity of color morphs. 

Of course, we have the very similar Powder Blue Isopods, but there’s also the “White Out” and “Oreo Crumble” varieties to enjoy too.

Powder Orange Isopods (Porcellionides pruinosus)
The Powder Orange Isopods and Powder Blue Isopods are very similar.

Overall, Porcellionides pruinosus are a medium sized species, growing to around a centimetre in length.

Don’t let that fool you into thinking they don’t get the job done in a cleanup crew! These little critters feel the need for speed, and their high activity level more than makes up for their stature.

Pros (and Cons) of Powder Orange Isopods

As one of the staple types of isopod in the industry, Porcellionides pruinosus are a common choice for good reasons.

  • Adaptable and hardy – Powder Orange Isopods are able to thrive in a wide variety of environmental conditions. Though they definitely favor warm and humid environments, you can have confidence that they’ll do fine in most setups.
  • Super prolific – This species can (and will) rapidly form large broods, resulting a very healthy population in no time. They’re even known for mysteriously showing up in other isopod cultures and quickly establishing themselves…
  • Amazing cleanup crew – These hungry critters are super active and will eat just about anything – making them effective terrarium and vivarium custodians.
  • Color diverse – With such a wide range of tones and textures on offer, there’s a lot of isopod individuality to enjoy with this species. They tend to change as they mature too, so you can watch them develop over time.

> Convinced? Shop the Powder Orange Isopods here.

There’s just the one important con with this isopod, and it’s not going to be a deal-breaker for most people. 

  • Not good for handling – This soft-bodied species doesn’t have the same level of protection as some of its more armored cousins. Plus, they’re super fast – making them difficult to handle carefully. So take care when transferring these isopods, you don’t want to be dropping them into a new enclosure from on high.
Powder Orange Isopods (Porcellionides pruinosus)
Powder Orange Isopods aren’t as tough as they look

Porcellionides pruinosus Orange Care 

Habitat

As a small to medium sized species, you can manage with an average sized container when you’re culturing them on their own.

Many of the smaller plastic containers and Tupperware boxes should work a treat.

Of course, as they reproduce and grow (which they will do rapidly) you’ll have to think about upgrading them to a bigger space.

One important point, Powder Orange Isopods need lots of ventilation. So, be sure to create plenty of holes for airflow if you don’t have a purpose built enclosure.

Just note, they are quite the escape artists!

If you can find or create a container with lots of little holes rather than a few larger ones, that’d be best. You can also cover the holes with a fine mesh screen if you have some persistent jailbreakers.

Powder Orange Isopods (Porcellionides pruinosus)
They’re very good climbers, so expect the unexpected…

In a planted terrarium/vivarium, Porcellionides pruinosus are most active on the surface and the upper layers of the substrate.

As with many other types of isopod, these are reported to like a distinct moisture gradient in their habitat. Meaning a practical separation of at least one moist area and a relatively dry area.

Which is probably fairly easy to achieve in a planted tank of a decent size with a varied landscape.

For the substrate, you can’t go too wrong with a variation on the classic ABG mix with plenty of litter on top for food. You’ll want the substrate to be at least a few inches deep. 

In a isolated culture, a mix of coco coir, sphagnum moss and peat moss (or I prefer earthworm castings as a sustainable alternative) is a simpler option. 

Powder Orange Isopods Temperature and Humidity 

What makes Powder Orange Isopods a universally great choice (especially for beginners) is their tolerance of a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels.

Provided you have the care basics down, it’s really hard to go wrong here.

A typical warm household range of 70-80°F (21-27°C) should be a-okay, but I’ve seen as low as 65°F recommended too.

As far as humidity goes, they do appreciate the higher levels but anything above 50% humidity should be fine. Which realistically speaking, should be very easy to achieve in a closed container (even with plenty of ventilation).

That being said, humidity is incredibly important to an isopods survival – so don’t sleep on it too much.

Powder Orange Isopods (Porcellionides pruinosus)
Isopods are crustaceans after all.

What do Powder Orange Isopods Eat?

With the Porcellionides pruinosus species, what they lack in size they make up for in appetite!

Honestly, they’ll eat just about anything.

Just like most isopods, leaf litter and decomposing softwoods like cork bark are going to form the staple diet. Whether you’re culturing these in isolation or as part of a large vivarium setup, these are essential items that will need periodically topping up.

In terms of supplementation, you’ll need to top them up with extra food sources a couple of times a week when culturing.

  • Vegetable cuttings – These remain the cheapest and easiest way to provide some additional calories. A little bit at a time is best, you don’t want any to go to waste and spoil.
  • Fish flakes – To stay strong and healthy, they’ll need extra protein sources. Fish flakes are an easy thing to have on hand, but they’ll eat all sorts.
  • Specialized isopod food – The easiest way to tick off all the nutritional touch points, grab a dedicated blend from the experts. This Isopod Super-Food Blend from the team at Rubber Ducky Isopods will keep your bioactive team in top shape.

As mentioned earlier, these are of the softer shell variety. Which also means they won’t need as much calcium supplementation as some of the walking tanks (comparatively) like the Dairy Cow Isopod.

> See my Isopod Food Guide for more help on this topic.

Breeding Powder Orange Isopods 

Being such prolific breeders, it’s easy to get a large culture going.

They’ll establish quickly in a new terrarium/vivarium, so you can usually seed your container right away with a small amount (say 10-20).

That being said, if you have lots of animals that would enjoy a Powder Orange snack, then it’s probably best to culture them separately at first until you have a sufficient colony size.

In terms of watching them progress, LaTexiana on Reddit had the following experience, “Typically both my Powder Blues and Powder Oranges start out white and then become progressively more blue or orange as they age.” 

Where to Find Powder Orange Isopods for Sale?

Being a true isopod staple, Powder Orange Isopods are readily available online.

Personally, I recommend the team over at Rubber Ducky Isopods.

Along with your isopod starter culture, you’ll get some sprinkled oak leaf and isopod superfood to get you and your new friends started!

> Shop the Powder Orange Isopods here.

Over to You

Do you keep Powder Orange Isopods?

What’s been your experience? 

Let me know in the comments.

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