Shiro Utsuri Isopods (Nesodillo archangeli) Care Guide

Shiro Utsuri Isopods are fast becoming a fan favorite, and I can honestly see why.

Named after an ornamental breed of Japanese koi fish, these critters are anything but zen. They’re one of the most active, friendly, and cute isopods you’ll ever find.

Seriously, these things are hilarious!

And they’re pretty easy to keep, too – could these be your perfect pet isopod? (Spoiler alert: I think they’re ours).

Read on to learn how to care for these curious critters and culture them for yourself.

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Shiro Utsuri Isopods – Characteristics, Benefits and Uses 

Shiro Utsuri Isopods have had a bit of an identity crisis lately.

Having previously classified as a Cubaris species, they’re now going by the scientific name Nesodillo archangeli, but even that’s in contention now (or at least the latter part is).1

Naturally, their black-and-white mottled Dalmatian coloration draws comparisons to the classic Dairy Cow Isopods, but there are some key differences – both in appearance and personality.

  • Much like their bovine cousins, Shiro Utsuri Isopods are large (growing up to around 2cm), but they have a square, flatter body with a broad white skirt.
  • They also have more of a classic “ducky face,” so they’re arguably much cuter. 
Shiro Utsuri isopods on leaf
With their bright white coloration, Shiro Utsuri Isopods really stand out from a backdrop of leaves.
  • And on the subject of standing out, these guys aren’t shy! 

They’re very active and inquisitive. I’ll often spot them exploring the surface of their enclosure and even climbing up plants in a planted terrarium.

Look at this little guy crawling up Rae’s finger. They’re fearless.

So, how do they stack up in different applications?

As isopod pets – Shiro Utsuri isopods have got to be the most friendly isopods I’ve ever encountered. They’re so happy to be handled and very curious – without a doubt, they’re a fantastic choice for a pet.

Suitability for terrariums – They’re by no means a tried-and-tested bioactive species, and they’re too large/expensive to be a feeder. However, they’re suited to tropical conditions, and they have big appetites (and haven’t eaten any plants in the planted terrarium we’ve tried them in), so they can work.

👉 Ready to get some for yourself? Grab a culture of Shiro Utsuri Isopods here.

Next up, find out how to care for them.

How to Care for Shiro Utsuri Isopods

Enclosure & Conditions

Nesodillo is a tropical genus of isopods found in a variety of regions in Asia and the Pacific.2 So, they definitely appreciate a more moist and humid environment.

That said, they’re pretty forgiving overall.

If you can provide typical warm household temperatures and a minimum humidity of 50%+, they’ll be fine. These isopods don’t require any special care to culture effectively.

Your typical isopod bin setup and care routine are more than likely a good match.

To start, you’ll want a container of a reasonable size (these guys get pretty big, and they like to explore) with some moderate ventilation.

A shoebox-sized plastic container is always my go-to recommendation to get started.

isopod bin setup
Something like this isopod enclosure should be fine.

An abundance of leaf litter and the odd cork bark chunk should form the majority of the setup, with a handful of sphagnum moss in one corner to form a moisture gradient.  

👉 Shop leaf leaf litter here.

Finally, you can always throw in additional natural materials as hiding spots too. 

Look at this little fellow hiding in a seed pod!

Feeding

These isopods have quite a strong feeding response

Maybe it’s because they’re already out and about being active, but they’re very quick to find and devour any food I put in there. 

shiro utsuri isopod feeding on bee pollen
Seriously, they will fall over themselves to get a piece of this bee pollen.

Though, they do seem to favor the heavier food supplements rather than vegetable scraps.

We tried the usual cucumber/cuttlebone combination, and they weren’t really interested, whereas they seem to really appreciate a good protein and calcium source.

I’ve had success feeding my culture freeze-dried shrimp and minnows along with the standard diet of leaf litter and softwood branches.

That said, the most convenient food source we can offer has got to be our Isopod Superfood Blend.

Developed through trial and error by our partners over at Rubber Ducky Isopods, they’ve really cracked the code on what isopods want and need. It’s packed full of protein, calcium, and micronutrients to deliver everything isopods need in one small pinch.

shiro utsuri isopod eating algae disk
My isopods liked this algae disk, too.

Breeding

Shiro Utsuri Isopods are quite prolific breeders once they’re settled in.

Of course, nowhere near the levels of some other isopods, but certainly a lot more than your typical Cubaris species, for example. 

Keeping them on the warmer side tends to help with these things, but you needn’t do much other than keep your isopods happy and healthy.

Where to Find Shiro Utsuri Isopods for Sale

Shiro Utsuri Isopods are our favorites, so we had to offer them ourselves.

That’s why we’ve partnered with the team over at Rubber Ducky Isopods to offer these amazing critters directly on our site!

Trust me, you can count on our partners to go the extra mile to make sure your culture arrives in tip-top condition. We don’t charge extra for heat/cold packs or insulated packaging, and every culture arrives snugly housed in sphagnum moss, leaf litter and our superfood blend.

👉 Shop Shiro Utsuri Isopods.

Have Your Say

What do you think of the Shiro Utsuri Isopod?

Are yours as crazy as ours?! Let us know in the comments. 

For mottled black-and-white goodness, check out our post on the classic Dairy Cow Isopods (Porcellio laevis). Or if you need more pet inspiration, we have a dedicated pet isopod guide too!

References:

  1. https://www.reddit.com/r/isopods/comments/uxq8da/why_is_it_nesodillo_cf_arcangelii_shiro_utsuri_an/ ↩︎
  2. https://koreascience.kr/article/JAKO200924733173736.pdf ↩︎

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