Titan Isopods look like something straight out of an old Godzilla flick! All you need is some coastal town decor for your enclosure and you got a retro movie set.
This care guide will provide you with all the knowledge you need to ensure your Porcellio hoffmannseggi lives a happy, healthy life.
Read on to learn more about how to create the perfect enclosure, what to feed your sow bug, and how to recognize common signs of illness. Don’t worry, you’ll be a pro in no time!
|Common Name||Titan Isopod|
|Scientific Name||Porcellio hoffmannseggi|
|Use||Cleaning, Aerating Soil, Feeders|
|Adult Size||over 3cm|
|Breeding Type||Egg Layer|
|Minimum Tank Size||2-5 Gallons|
|Hardness||Moderate - Hard|
What Are Titan Isopods?
Titan Isopods, scientifically known as Porcellio hoffmannseggi, are a species of woodlice of the family Porcellionidae.
The common name comes from their impressive size (up to 3 cm) and their curious and fearless nature towards humans.
Titan Isopods are mainly found in the tropical regions of Spain and other areas surrounding Spain, where they inhabit damp and shady forest floor habitats.
What Do Titan Isopods Look Like?
Titan Isopods on average, grow up to 3 cm in length, with females being larger than males.
Their bodies are typically covered in deep bluish-black coloration, except for their outer skirt segment, which can be more of a light gray-brown color.
The underside of their bodies is pale and has banded markings.
They have seven legs on either side of their bodies alongside two large paddle-like uropods at the back to help them move.
Titan Isopods also have two antennae on the head, as well as antennae filaments around their heads.
These antennae help them sense their environment and detect potential threats or prey.
Furthermore, they have two simple eyes, which are used for orientation and differentiation between light and dark.
Benefits Of Using Titan Isopods
Titan Isopods are ideal for vivariums as they are capable of breaking down waste and detritus in the environment and contributing to the cycle of life.
They produce helpful nutrients such as calcium, ammonium, and nitrates when they molt, which help to maintain the health and balance of the enclosure.
They also help to aerate the soil, adding oxygen to the environment.
By keeping the substrate clean, Titan Isopods prevent the build-up of debris and waste which can lead to unhealthy environments for other creatures.
Apart from that, they’re relatively low-maintenance as they don’t require any special care or treatment, making them suitable for beginners in miniature ecosystems.
Titan Isopods Facts
Porcellio hoffmannseggi is a species of woodlice found in tropical areas of Spain and other surrounding areas.
Titan Isopods have the ability to survive in extreme temperatures and survive long periods of time without food.
They are very adaptive creatures, able to survive in new places they arrive at either through our migration or the movement of the land they inhabit.
They feed upon decaying organics, have a charismatic and fearless personality, a lifespan of two to three years, and can produce up to five litters in a single year.
Titan Isopods originated from Mediterranean regions, primarily in Spain and other countries near the Mediterranean.
They inhabit damp, shady forest floors and humid leaf litter habitats and are highly active animals.
Porcellio hoffmannseggi loves to burrow into and explore the terrain which makes them easy to find and observe in their natural environment.
They are also found in more arid regions where they are found in caves, under rocks and logs, and on the soil surface of grasslands and deserts.
Given the warm and humid habitat of the Titan Isopods, they can live in a variety of climates around the world, from deserts to tropical and even temperate regions.
They are highly active creatures and can sometimes be seen on the surface after rains, searching for food and shelter.
Therefore they are commonly seen in Spain, sometimes in large numbers, scavenging the terrain for food.
Titan Isopods are opportunistic scavengers, meaning they eat whatever they can get their little claws on if they are hungry enough.
In their natural habitat, they can be found munching on a variety of things including decaying wood, organic debris, and if they can find them living or dead insects.
They may also supplement their diet with mushrooms, moss, lichens, and fruits, which helps them to meet their nutritional needs.
Titan Isopods have a surprisingly gentle and fearless temperament around humans, compared to other invertebrates, and can even be handled without much trouble.
They rarely bite, and if handled correctly, will often willingly climb up their handler’s hand.
This makes them a popular choice among invertebrate hobbyists. However, they should not be handled too frequently, since it can cause them stress.
Titan Isopods can also be kept in communal tanks alongside other animals.
They typically get along well with other invertebrates and live peacefully alongside them. In the wild, they tend to form large colonies, which allows them to feel safe.
Titan Isopods have an average lifespan of 1-2 years when cared for properly. However, it can be longer depending on the conditions.
They have a distinct life cycle which starts with an egg being laid and hatching into an immature juvenile. Then, the juvenile will molt and grow into an adult in around 4-5 months.
Once, an adult, their size does not change with successive molts, however, their color and other features will continue to change.
During the adult phase, Porcellio hoffmannseggi reaches sexual maturity and can begin to reproduce.
During their lifespan, Titan Isopods will molt anywhere between 12-15 times, depending on the availability of food and other factors.
Titan Isopods reproduce through a mating dance involving male and female isopods.
During courtship, the male begins by orienting himself to the female, then vibrating his antennae, jerking, and walking in circles.
This behavior known as “stridulation” helps the male attract the female. If the female is interested, she will lower her pleopod barriers and begin the reproductive process.
The female will then lay an egg packet with up to ten eggs. The egg packet adheres to her underside and contains a layer of jelly and a protective covering.
The female incubates the egg packet for around 14 to 32 days until the young hatch from the egg.
When the young isopods hatch, they are only 1 to 2 millimeters in size.
Once the young isopods grow to a sufficient size, they can begin to fend for themselves and move out on their own.
Where To Find Titan Isopods
Titan Isopods can be found in the wild in tropical countries like Spain.
They inhabit damp and shady forest floor habitats so you will most likely find them under logs and rocks. If you are looking to buy a Titan Isopod, reputable online pet stores are the best place to purchase one.
When buying online, there are certain questions you should ask to ensure the health and safety of your pet; make sure the store provides information about the isopod’s age, diet, and health.
When buying from a local pet store, make sure the isopod looks healthy and vibrant. Look for isopods that are walking around, not sluggish and lethargic.
Buying an isopod from a local pet store also ensures you will get one that is already acclimated to the environment and is ready for your care.
Titan Isopods Care
Titan Isopods require an enclosure that consists of a proper terrarium substrate, lighting, and a shallow water dish.
They should be kept at temperatures consistent along with the humidity levels. Porcellio hoffmannseggi should be fed a diet of fruits, vegetables, and commercially-available insect food.
Good sanitation and regular cleaning of the enclosure are essential for the health of the isopods.
Titan Isopods require higher humidity and temperatures in order to thrive, so a terrarium with a tight-fitting lid is best for its environment.
A shallow substrate of about 5 inches in depth should do for a normal-size colony.
Use a mixture of peat moss, coco peat soil, and natural sand for the best results. A small, shallow dish of water should also be provided for drinking.
The ideal temperature for a Titan Isopod tank should be between 24 °C and 27 °C, with the relative humidity in the tank between 75 and 85%.
The ideal pH for Porcellio hoffmannseggi should be 7.0-8.5, slightly alkaline or at least neutral.
Lighting is not necessary, but scheduled terrarium lighting can be beneficial in providing natural day-night cycles.
What Do Titan Isopods Eat?
Making sure your Titan Isopods have adequate nutrition is an important part of proper care. Here’s a simple guide to help you feed them the food they need.
Titan Isopods are omnivorous, meaning they will eat both plant and animal-based foods. Here is some example of things you can feed them:
• Fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, apples, blueberries, and bell peppers
• Lettuce, spinach, and other leafy greens
• Fish and shrimp flakes
• Commercial isopod food
A soluble form of calcium should also be provided to ensure proper growth and shell health. It is best to provide food to your isopods twice a week and remove any uneaten food to prevent mold.
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.
Best Tankmates For Titan Isopods
Titan Isopods prefer to live in large colonies, so having plenty of their own kind is the best choice when deciding which tankmates to keep with them.
Other species in the Porcellio genus are the most ideal tankmates for Titan Isopods, as they are closely related and have the same environmental requirements.
Other isopods in the genera Armadillidium and Cubaris can also be good tankmates as both genera have similar requirements and benefit from sharing the same dietary habits.
Other beneficial invertebrates such as terrestrial worms and springtails are great for helping to keep the environment clean and free from mites or other harmful pests.
Finally, some species of small arthropods such as centipedes, millipedes, and spiders can also be kept with Titan Isopods.
These larger invertebrates may potentially prey on the isopods, so it is important to research them carefully to ensure they are non-predatory species before adding them to the enclosure.
In conclusion, Titan Isopods, or Porcellio hoffmannseggi, are an interesting and hardy species of woodlice from the family Porcellionidae.
They are particularly impressive in size, reaching up to 3 cm in length when fully mature, and they inhabit damp and shady habitats in semi-tropical Spain and the surrounding areas.
For best results, keeping these Isopods in the right enclosure, with the right substrate, temperature, and humidity, and providing a correct diet, will ensure happy and healthy isopods.
Frequently Asked Questions
Porcellio hoffmannseggi’s natural habitat is in parts of southern and western Europe, including France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, as well as Morocco.