Orange Koi Isopods (Porcellio scaber ‘Orange Koi’)

When it comes to Japanese-themed terrariums, Orange Koi Isopods can offer a ton of creative influence.

We offer a ton of Japanese miniature decoration so that you can focus creative efforts on other aspects of the tank… Like caring for these compassionate critter pets!

In this guide, you’ll learn all you need to know about setting up an Orange Koi sow bug home, how to feed and breed them and troubleshoot any issues that may arise with your colony.

Read on to get started!

Common Name Orange Koi Isopods
Family Name Porcellionidae
Scientific Name Porcellio scaber 'Orange Koi'
Use Cleaning, Aerating Soil, Feeders
Temperament Non-aggressive
Lifespan 1-3 Years
Diet Detritivore
Adult Size 20 mm
Breeding Type Egg Layer
Care Level Moderate
Minimum Tank Size 2-5 Gallons
pH 6.5-8.0
Hardness Soft
Temperature 64-82°F

What Are Orange Koi Isopods?

Orange Koi Isopods are a species of terrestrial, woodlice-like crustaceans that belong to the family Porcellionidae.

They are commonly referred to as “Orange Koi,” the name derived from their striking orange and black patterns, resembling koi fish.

Porcellio scaber ‘Orange Koi’ is native to Europe and typically found living in forests and on the ground near bodies of water.

This species is attractive and considered popular in the pet industry, making them a great experimental organism choice for beginner hobbyists.

What Do Orange Koi Isopods Look Like?

Porcellio scaber ‘Orange Koi’ are small terrestrial crustaceans that range in size from 1/2-3/4 inch in length.

They are usually a deep orange-brown color, with a mottled pattern of red and black throughout their body.

They have a hard exoskeleton and two antennae that are used to sense the environment.

The underside of their body also features two tail-like appendages that are used for climbing and grasping.

A single pair of eyes is located at the front of the head. These simple, round eyes are used for detecting shadows and movement.

Benefits Of Using Orange Koi Isopods

Using Orange Koi Isopods in vivariums can be highly beneficial thanks to their unparalleled cleaning capabilities and ability to quickly break down organic matter.

First and foremost, the isopods will go to work sorting through the substrate, eating any non-digested food bits, leftover plant matter, and waste, which would accumulate and potentially turn toxic if left unchecked.

They are also scavengers, so they can be a huge help in providing a balanced diet for larger vivarium occupants and maintaining the highest water quality.

All this helps reduce potential odor and health risks.

Beyond their clean-up services, Orange Koi Isopods can also be quite the sight, adding color and pattern variation to your enclosure.

They are low-maintenance pets, making them a perfect choice for any type of vivarium.


Porcellio scaber 'Orange Koi Isopods' Complete Care Guide!

Orange Koi Isopods Facts

Orange Koi Isopods are an easy-to-care-for species of woodlice with distinctive orange markings.

They feed naturally on decaying plant matter, fruit, and vegetables, have a gentle temperament, and can live up to 5 years.

Reproduction occurs sexually, and all stages of the life cycle (eggs, juveniles, and adults) spend time in the soil or on plant matter, where they scavenge for food.


Porcellio scaber ‘Orange Koi’ are a delightful species of terrestrial crustacean native to parts of Europe, North Africa, and the Caucasus mountain region.

They belong to the family of Porcellionidae and their natural habitat consists of birch and beech woods, leafy meadows, and damp deciduous forest floors.

Conditions in these regions tend to be cool and moist all year round, with occasional dry spells during the heat of summer.

Orange Koi Isopods require ample stable moisture in their environment, so they naturally inhabit areas with a thick layer of organic matter, such as leaf litter, moss, and rotting wood.

To help maintain their desired levels of humidity, they often dig and hide in the moist soil beneath rocks and logs. 


In their natural habitats, they feed on decaying plant and animal matter, fungi, and a range of other organic sources.

Organic matter such as dead leaves and grass, bark, and sphagnum moss will all provide a healthy diet for Orange Koi Isopods.

They may also opportunistically feed on algae, lichens, and microbial mats. 

Porcellio scaber ‘Orange Koi’ are scavengers, so they need access to multiple food sources and plenty of variety in their diet.


Orange Koi Isopods are usually not very skittish or hostile towards humans or other animals.

They are generally quite docile and tolerant towards gentle handling and don’t seem to mind the presence of other creatures.

When someone touches them, they may feel threatened and scurry away quickly, so care should be taken when handling them. 


Orange Koi Isopods can live surprisingly long lives, with an estimated lifespan between one to three years depending on their environment, diet, and the amount of care and attention they receive. 

Porcellio scaber ‘Orange Koi’ has a few development stages, beginning with the hatchling, which is about half of a millimeter long and will molt up to fifteen times over the course of its early development before reaching maturity at three to four months old.

This relatively short juvenile stage is followed by the adult stage, where the isopod will reach its full size and lifespan.

During the adult stage, the isopod will breed and reproduce, laying up to ten eggs in one molt – a process that can continue over the course of their life. 


Porcellio scaber ‘Orange Koi’ mate and reproduce via an external form of fertilization.

The father will transfer sperm to the female during mating and impregnate her.

After mating, the mother will then lay eggs on the substrate of the enclosure, typically on the underside of a rock or leaf of some sort.

During the incubation process, the female will fiercely safeguard her eggs from predators.

The eggs will hatch after two to three weeks, and the young isopods will emerge as tiny versions of their parents.

After birth, the mother will stay with her offspring to help shield them from potential threats.

As the young isopods age, they will molt and cast their outer shells, in order to grow larger.

It is important to have the right conditions in the habitat to ensure healthy molting and growth.

Optimal temperature and humidity levels, along with a suitable substrate, are necessary elements in the caring process.

Where To Find Orange Koi Isopods

In order to find Orange Koi Isopods for sale, the easiest place to start is online. Many pet brands sell both live isopods and cultures online, with a range of prices to choose from.

If you’re looking to find wild Orange Koi Isopods, your best bet is to search in damp, shady, and humid areas.

These isopods live in boreal oak forests and in cool ecosystems, such as gardens near rivers, so you should try searching in those areas.

It’s also worth noting that you won’t be able to find this species in all parts of the world, as it’s mainly found in North America, Europe, and Asia. 

Orange Koi Isopods Care

Orange Koi Isopods should be kept in a warm and humid environment with the right terrarium substrates to ensure their comfort.

Feeding them should include a balance of both nutritious and supplemental foods.

To breed, they should be kept in the right optimal conditions and nursed properly afterward.

Tank Requirements

To ensure proper care and maintenance of Orange Koi Isopods, it is best to provide them with a damn woodland terrarium type.

This enclosure should have a pH between 6 and 8, a hardness of 5 -12 dKH, and a temperature range of 59-86°F.

I also recommend a semi-moist and well-draining substrate composed of 2 parts coco peat soil and 1 part sand or vermiculite.

It is important to provide these isopods with low, scheduled terrarium lighting to mimic their natural environment.

Providing a good combination of these conditions will ensure your Orange Koi Isopods live a healthy and happy life.

What Do Orange Koi Isopods Eat?

Orange Koi Isopods are invertebrates that have very specific nutritional needs. In an environment with the right conditions, they should find plenty of food within their substrate.

Orange Koi Isopods enjoy a variety of foods! Here is a list of things that you can feed them:

• vegetables (bok choy, carrots, zucchini, spinach, apples, etc.)
• fruit (bananas, raisins, blueberries, etc.)
• fish flakes
• algae wafers
• cucumber slices
• cooked fish
• baby food

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 Orange Koi Isopods

In order to keep Orange Koi Isopods happy and healthy, it is important to choose tankmates that have similar care requirements. 

Some of the best tankmates for Orange Koi Isopods include worms, springtails, and other small terrestrial invertebrates.

All of these animals share a similar desire for warm, moist habitats, making them well-suited for starter colonies.

In addition to their beneficial soil-turning abilities, these animals can also provide beneficial aeration and beneficial soil conservation.

No matter what tankmates you decide to keep with your Orange Koi Isopods, it is important to be sure that all animals receive consistent care and nutrition.


Orange Koi Isopods are an interesting and easy-to-keep species that can make a great addition to your terrarium or paludarium.

With the proper setup, humidity, temperature, and nutritional requirements, you can have a thriving colony of these small critters in your home.

Keeping Orange Koi Isopods can be a fun, educational experience that can be rewarding. With the right knowledge and understanding, you can give a loving home to these unique pets.

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