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.
- 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.
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? Find them 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.
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.
Finally, you can always throw in additional natural materials as hiding spots too.
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.
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 mostly been feeding my culture freeze-dried shrimp and minnows along with the standard diet of leaf litter and softwood branches.
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
I recommend you buy your culture of Shiro Utsuri Isopods from the team over at Rubber Ducky Isopods.
You can count on them to go the extra mile to make sure your culture arrives in tip-top condition. Plus, the shipping is included! So you can shop with full transparency.
Grab your new isopods with a mini culture kit with food and supplies.
Have Your Say
What do you think of the Shiro Utsuri Isopod?
Are yours as crazy as ours?! Let us know in the comments.