Amber Isopods (Cubaris sp.)

Do you have a knack for exotic pets and want something a little different than the usual hamster or guinea pig? If yes, then the amazing Cubaris Amber Isopods are the perfect fit for you!

These cubaris isopods are native to Southeast Asia and make for unique and low-maintenance pets.

In this article, you’ll learn all the basics of Cubaris Amber Isopods and how to have the best experience while caring for them. Let’s dive in!

Common Name Amber Isopods, Cubaris Amber, Amber Ducky Isopods
Family Name Armadillidae
Scientific Name Cubaris sp. 'Amber'
Use Cleaning, Aerating Soil, Feeders
Temperament Non-aggressive
Lifespan 2-3 Years
Diet Detritivore
Adult Size 1-2 cm
Breeding Type Egg Layer
Care Level Easy
Minimum Tank Size 2-5 Gallons
pH 6.5-8.0
Hardness Soft
Temperature 70-80°F

What Are Cubaris Amber Isopods?

Amber Isopods, or Cubaris sp. ‘amber’ as they are scientifically known, are small, nocturnal crustaceans belonging to the family of Armadillidae.

They are also sometimes referred to as Malaysian Woodlice and get their amber name from their unique and attractive gold/brown coloration.

These animals are small, rarely getting longer than a centimeter or two. They are native to Thailand and Malaysia, living in tropical rainforest and mangrove habitats.

What Do Cubaris Amber Isopods Look Like?

Cubaris Amber Isopods are small-sized crustaceans that usually only reach up to 1.5 centimeters in length. They are speckled with hues of light brown and gold, which gives them their common name.

Their exoskeletons are tightly fitted, almost like a suit of armor, and they have 7 overlapping segments, with two pincers on the head and two antennae.

Their eyes are small black dots, and they also have two pairs of legs underneath, which they use for walking, digging, and burrowing into the ground.

They have four hind legs as well, known as pleopods, which are used for swimming and help regulate water flow through the gills. 

As for physical appearance, their strongly visible exoskeleton gives these crustaceans a slightly warty and bumpy appearance from a distance. 

Along this exoskeleton, they have lots of tiny hairs that create a quilled look, creating a neat and attractive design. 

Additionally, they have two pale blue stripes running down the length of their back, which provides them camouflage and makes them difficult to spot amongst the foliage.

Benefits Of Using Cubaris Amber Isopods

Cubaris Amber Isopods are a great addition to any vivarium type. Not only do they look attractive due to their unique coloration and interesting behavior, but they serve a variety of useful purposes.

They are an excellent form of natural pest control, eating excess food, decaying plant matter, and even the droppings of other animals in the terrarium.

They are also very efficient at aerating and breaking down terrarium soil, keeping your biotope healthy.

Finally, they help promote microbial diversity and can even be used as a supplemental source of food for animals such as frogs and lizards.

The Complete Cubaris Amber Isopods Care Guide!

Cubaris Amber Facts

Cubaris Amber Isopods are small, nocturnal detrivores native to Thailand and Malaysia. They are peaceful and docile, with an average lifespan of 2-3 years.

Not only does their amber coloration offer them some form of camouflage from potential predators, but it also aids in temperature regulation and protection from drying out in their environment.

These Isopods can also survive in environments with a change of habitats due to natural disasters or other factors.

This type of adaptation is especially true for mangrove habitats which can be washed away by seasonal flooding and then regrow in a new location.


Cubaris Amber Isopods are commonly native to Thailand, Japan, and Malaysia.

In their natural habitat, they can usually be found in tropical rainforest areas and mangrove habitats. When in their natural environment, they are often found in leaf litter on the ground, fallen tree branches, and rotting logs.

They generally prefer dark, damp, and humid places as they feed on and break down decaying organic matter.

They can even be found in abundance in the water, trapped in muddy areas where water is stagnant.

The Amber Isopod’s unique gold/brown colors link them to the wet and murky locations in which they live.


In their native habitat, Cubaris Amber Isopods feed mainly on decaying plant material, particularly wood, and leaves.

They will also take advantage of the organic matter found on the topsoil of their environment, such as fungi, molds, and bacteria.

These animals have the ability to break down this organic matter much faster than other decomposers and therefore play an important role in the ecosystem.


The temperament of Amber Isopods around humans or animals is generally calm and gentle. They are curious creatures, but not dangerous or overly aggressive.

When handled, they are not likely to bite, as they don‘t have teeth. However, they may become a bit stressed when mishandled, making them wiggle and jump away.

Since they are nocturnal animals, the best time to handle them is at night, when they are more active and less likely to be stressed.

In general, they are quite hardy and resilient. When sharing a living space with other animals, such as other isopods, they usually coexist peacefully and share food sources if necessary.


Cubaris Amber Isopods have a relatively short lifespan, typically living between one to two years.

In their lifetime, these animals will go through three different stages, the egg, the juvenile, and the adult.

The egg stage is the first and shortest stage, where the eggs are laid by the female and then hatch in two to three weeks.

Once the eggs have hatched, the juvenile stage begins and the isopods feed and grow larger in size. Multiple molts will happen during this phase. 

Following the juvenile stage, the adult stage is where the isopod reaches adulthood, is sexually mature, and is ready to start mating with other isopods.

At this stage, they typically reach their full size and sometimes can lay eggs as well.

Adults typically live for the longest period of time, some living up to two years. The entire lifespan can be affected by the temperature, humidity, and environment the isopod is living in.


Cubaris Amber Isopods are dioecious, meaning there are separate male and female individuals. The female isopods produce eggs that are fertilized internally by the male and then carried around in a purse-like structure.

The female will eventually deposit the eggs in an area with the moist ground, such as leaf litter or damp soil, where they will hatch in four to six weeks. 

Breeding Cubaris Amber Isopods requires patience and dedication, but the reward is well worth it!

Where To Find Cubaris Amber Isopods

Cubaris Amber Isopods can be found in some pet stores, but many serious hobbyists prefer to try to catch them in their natural habitat.

To find them in the wild, they can typically be spotted hiding under logs, rocks, leaf litter, and other accumulations of decaying organic material.

Make sure not to disturb their natural habitat too much and be sure to always keep the container damp, as Isopods prefer humid environments. 

If you’re looking for an easier way to catch them, consider buying specimens online. Online stores offer isopods that are already raised and cultured in captivity.

They can be purchased and added to your terrarium with ease. In addition, buying from an online store will guarantee the quality of the specimens, since the health of wild-caught isopods can be difficult to guarantee.

Cubaris Amber Care

For optimal care, Cubaris Amber Isopods should be kept in a warm, humid, and well-ventilated enclosure with a layer of substrate, such as coco fiber, to burrow in.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of their habitat are also essential for their overall health.

Tank Requirements

When it comes to setting up an ideal tank environment for Cubaris Amber Isopods, it is important to consider appropriate vivarium conditions.

A neutral pH of around 7 is ideal, between 6.5 and 7.5, and the hardness should range from 5-10 dGH, or 50-100ppm on average.

It is important to choose a substrate that is non-toxic and will not compact over time, such as coconut husk or terrarium sand.

For terrarium lighting, Amber Isopods prefer indirect lighting and prefer darkness at night. To stay warm, the temperature range should be between 24-28 °C or 75 – 82⁰F.

What Do Cubaris Amber Isopods Eat?

Feeding your Cubaris Amber Isopods is an important part of their care. These isopods are detrivorous and are generally happy to eat a variety of both live and dried food.

This includes fruits, vegetables, and commercial products. Here’s a list of things you can feed your pet isopods:

  • Fruits: apples, bananas, pears, etc.
  • Vegetables: carrots, lettuce, sweet potato, etc.
  • Commercial pellets 
  • Dried fish or shrimp
  • Green leafy vegetables 
  • Ground turkey or beef 

When feeding your isopods, it’s important to use caution to avoid overfeeding. Isopods should only be fed a pinch of food every other day.

If you’re more of an avid hobbyist like myself, be sure to check out my ultimate DIY Isopod food guide. I give a more in-depth explanation of the best foods and my personal favorite recipe.

What Do Isopods Eat? + A Fun DIY Isopod Food Recipe!

Best Tankmates For Cubaris Amber Isopods

When deciding which tankmates to add to your Cubaris Amber Isopods setup, it’s important to consider their harmlessness and beneficial traits to the environment of your tank.

Low-maintenance animals that can survive in the same conditions as Cubaris Amber Isopods, such as snails and other invertebrates, are ideal tankmates.

More specific beneficial tankmates include beneficial species of springtail, beetles, and worms.

These animals are invertebrates and feed on decaying organic matter, helping to keep your tank clean and healthy. 

Smaller reptiles, amphibians, and fish can also make great tankmates for Cubaris Amber Isopods, as long as you’re careful to ensure that your tankmates remain safe and properly fed.

Care should be taken to add predators after all of the invertebrates have been established in the tank and to make sure the predator will not eat the isopods. 


Cubaris Amber Isopods are incredible and unique pets that anyone can care for given the right knowledge and environment. They bring joy to their owners and offer an escape from the outside world.

With the information given in this article, you will have everything you need to provide the perfect home for your Cubaris Amber Isopods. Now get out there and enjoy your amazing new critters!

Frequently Asked Questions

Amber Ducky isopods prefer a temperature between 7382 degrees Fahrenheit (2328 degrees Celsius).

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