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Awesome Sow Bugs

Discussion in 'Invertebrates General' started by MadDog, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    In my last post I stated that I had started a sow bug colony and was going to try to breed them. I set the tank up like I have read to do, plus like I saw they liked it in the yard. When I checked on them today, which is day two or three, there was piles and piles of tiny white babies. It shouldn't take long for them to produce. Most sites say they live for two to five years with three years being the most common. So far they seem to be very easy to keep and I am already planning on getting a bigger container. :) I don't know what I am going to do them exactly, but I feel like they are going to be a good addition. When I get my camera, I will take some pictures of them and their setup.
     
  2. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    These guys are doing great! If you can find them in your yard, collect them and watch them. Even if you don't have a purpose for them, they are great to watch! I've already noticed so many interesting things about them. They breed like crazy too. So do roly polies. I have both in a ten gallon tank and the floor is covered with them. They will eat ANYTHING. I've given them all kinds of plant matter and they turn nothing down. They like bread too. So easy.
     
  3. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Nice. Are they feeders or are they 'pets'?
    Here are a few snaps in case people don't know what they are :)
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  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Roly polies, sow bugs and pill bugs are common names for the same thing.
     
  5. Evozakira

    Evozakira Elite Member

    Oh man i remember playing with roly pollies when i was a kid. I loved them :D
     
  6. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    Sow bug is more commonly used for the flat ones (rough sowbug and the like) while roly poly is more commonly used for the pill pug. They are different, yet in the same family.
     

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  7. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    They are just pets for now, but I also plan to use them as feeders. Wow! That's some great pictures.
     
  8. skelly98

    skelly98 Elite Member

    thats cool! have you considered introducing a few to a terrarium? it supplements the lizards, and keeps the terrarium clean. i used some in my anole tank, before the anole died :(((
     
  9. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    That's my plans, but I don't have a terrarium to introduce them into yet. I am planning this awesome tropical tank and they should do great in it. It's going to have mantella frogs in it. They would enjoy them alot I'm sure. lol If they breed as well in the tropical tank as the do in the tank they are in now, I might not have to add any other food. lol
     
  10. Evozakira

    Evozakira Elite Member

    My new tokays said toss them in their tank haha
     
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    In my neck of the woods the names are used interchangebly.;)
     
  12. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    The tokays would probably just overlook them. They'd be like, "What are we suppose to do with these tiny things?" lol

    Yeah, it really depends on where you're from Merlin. Common names differ so much place to place. lol
     
  13. bucher70

    bucher70 Elite Member

    Whats the care like on these guys, I read in Reptiles usa that they have a great calcium to phospherous ratio. It was an article on leopard geckos actually, The author highly recommended them in leos diets.
     
  14. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I might look into those, though I currently have no herps small enough to eat them, that could be arranged. They are actually not insects at all, but crustaceans.
     
  15. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    butcher70, they are so easy to care for. All you have to do is collect them, keep the substrate moist, feed them plant material, and keep them cool. Room temperature is O.K., but a little cooler is even better. I have been observing the ones outside and there has actually been a larger amount to show up since we have had some cool weather. They breed like crazy and apparently live up to 5 years. If you do start some, go ahead and put them in a large container. A ten gallon seems to be good for my guys, but I wish I would have put them in something a little larger. It's hard to move hundreds if not thousands of little crustaceans.
    Jen, I would go for it. Even if you don't have anything small enough to eat them, they are so much fun to watch. I literally watch them for hours on end. If y'all have any questions, just ask.
     
  16. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Ha, I live in Michigan. This time of year, the ground is supposed to be frozen, yet a few weeks ago, I went out and weeded my garden for spring, and raked up the soil. That day, I think it was about 50 degrees. (Our average in January is more like 12º) I saw several of them out there, and was totally surprised. I always liked the little guys.

    We had some at the zoo I worked at, but they wanted them kept on sand, and the cage well lit with no cover, and feed them this powder stuff.... needless to say, they did not last long. I think we killed 200 in about 2 weeks. It was one of the many points of contention I had with them.

    I might do it, come spring.
     
  17. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    I was just looking at them and realized I had ALOT of babies. They are almost the size of a grain of sand. Just match their environment outside and they will thrive. I also want to get some giant canyon isopods, but I will have to order them. They can apparently get up to an inch long!
     
  18. Dragonscalestudios

    Dragonscalestudios Elite Member

    I keep Porcellio laevis(locally collected, huge specimens up to 3/4", commonly referred to as sow bugs), Armadillidium vulgare(locally collected, commonly referred to as roly polys), and Trichorhina tomentosa (dwarf white's).

    The care is similar for all, keep damp and warm(I keep mine in the mid 80's). I feed all of mine a combination of items, such as shredded, non-printed cardboard, vegetable scraps (all especially love avocado skins, banana peels, carrot shavings, and melon rinds).

    The major difference would be the breeding. A. vulgare take up to 18 months to sexually mature, and so breed MUCH slower. Not worth the effort of trying to maintain a culture for feeder purposes. P. laevis and T. tomentosa on the other hand, breed at a much faster rate.

    My fully grown adult bearded dragons love the adult P. laevis as treats. My mantellas love the baby P. laevis and T. tomentosa as both viv janitors, and as everyday feeders.
     

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