(image credits, IG:monkeytailedskinks)
With “rubber ducky” in the name, it isn’t much of a surprise that any species belonging to Cubaris isopods are deemed cute.
They’re also a bit rarer than other pill bugs as they were only recently discovered. But why are they named the
Rubber Ducky isopod?
These insects sport the typical dark grey lining of an average sow bug, with the exception of both ends. The head and tail are both splashed with a stark coloration of yellow, hence the rubber ducky aspect!
Cubaris species are not the easiest isopod to take care of, but this does not make it impossible. They simply have a few more requests when it comes to their care.
This article will look at each of those in detail! And to make sure that we have the Rubber Ducky isopod as a whole, we will keep all species of Cubaris in mind throughout this text.
This type of isopod is relatively large when you compare them against the average terrarium-dwelling isopods. They can reach an impressive length of 2 cm or 0.79 inches.
Rubber Ducky isopods are slow growers and won’t reach full maturity until they are a few months. Once adults, they aren’t particularly quick at breeding.
These insects are still considered to be a dwarf isopod, meaning that their brood size wouldn’t be all that large, to begin with.
The majority of isopods tend to thrive for a few years. This is different from most insect species, which take on a more seasonal lifespan. Some isopods can even last up to five years if cared for correctly.
The overall longevity of a bug depends on a variety of factors, most of which have to do with their environment.
This is where you come into play. Your Rubber Ducky isopods will have a few specific needs that
should be met in order to give them the best chance.
This article will focus on those aspects of care so that you can house happy, healthy Cubaris!
RUBBER DUCKY ISOPOD CARE
Native to Thailand, these small insects should be given an enclosure that somewhat mimics the characteristics that you would find in the wild.
The care involved in taking care of an isopod includes the size of the enclosure, what’s placed inside, nutrition, and the habitat characteristics.
We will go over each of these categories in length to ensure that you have the right tools!
Bugs, as a whole, are known for being resilient to a number of threats that come their way, even if they aren’t long-lasting beings.
The truth about the Rubber Ducky isopod is that not too much is known about it yet. They were only discovered a few years ago.
They were also quite elusive, making them such a rare insect to add to one’s collection. The overall care of a Rubber Ducky isopod isn’t incredibly challenging once you know how to care for them properly, even if they aren’t the hardiest insects.
There are a number of different types of enclosures used to house isopods. This can depend on what the eventual goal is.
If you want to simply have your own colony, then you can start smaller. You can also add them to a terrarium or vivarium that already has an animal.
Clear containers work just fine, as long as you upgrade them to the appropriate size and don’t place too many bugs inside at one time.
The best option for an isopod like the Cubaris species is a 20-gallon acrylic tank. We suggest
the following size of a tank per the ratio of bugs you house.
10 to 25 bugs – 10 gallons
25 to 50 bugs – 20 gallons
50 to 5 bugs – 30 to 40 gallons
100 or more bugs – 75 gallons
Generally, most pill bugs are incapable of climbing the walls of an acrylic tank due to
the slippery surface.
If you want to take every precaution, you can add a thin layer of Vaseline just below the lid. The most common reason why these isopods could scale a tank is that the acrylic has a lot of scuffs and scratches.
Another possibility is to have your Rubber Ducky isopods kept in a small can. We aren’t talking about a simple tin can but rather the 1-liter bottles.
Being on the smaller end, you should be able to house at least a group of 5 or so bugs before
needing to switch out their type of enclosure.
As far as substrate goes, this type of sowbug isn’t all too picky. You can follow the
same rubric for most terrarium-inhabiting isopods.
What’s added to the floor of an enclosure will rely heavily upon the moisture needs of an insect. Rubber Ducky isopods do prefer it to be moist, but we will go over this in greater detail later on.
The typical substrate that you’ll see in these types of enclosures is different types of moss, leaf litter, and other organic matter.
You may be surprised to find that this cute little sowbug is found within the limestone caves of Thailand. With such a unique habitat, you would assume them to have a complex substrate request.
In all honesty, they simply want plenty of moisture with places to hide. The substrate that you add can add both of these elements.
Coco fiber and different types of moss are great because of how they retain moisture that is within the enclosure. The addition of rotting wood and leaves will double as food and places to hide.
You can also purchase pulverized limestone as a way of adding some of that natural habitat. The best ratio to include all of these items is to have a little under half of the area covered in the rotting wood with 25% coco fiber, 10% sphagnum moss, 10% pulverized limestone, and 15% dried leaves.
We also want to mention that any leaves that will be added to your tank should be boiled
first. This will rid them of any unwelcomed parasites.
Considering the natural environment of a Cubaris species, they like it to sit in a moderate range.
Caves, regardless of being somewhat underground, tend to be somewhat close to the average found in that region.
Even the limestone caves of Thailand will stay somewhere between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or 21 and 27 degrees Celsius.
Rubber Ducky isopods prefer for this range to be met, as long as the humidity levels are also routinely checked.
This may be a bit challenging depending on the owner’s home. Those with colder rooms may want to consider investing in something that will add to the overall warmth of the tank.
There are heaters that you can place under the tank and are quite consistent in keeping the temperature within that ideal range. Adding substrate will also add heat.
Perhaps you live in an area that is a little too warm. The placement of your tank can have an impact. Rooms that are further away from sunny windows tend to be a little cooler.
Regular misting will also aid in keeping the enclosure from getting too hot.
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Humidity is one of the most important factors when it comes to the overall care of your Rubber Ducky isopod.
This species has a preference for higher humidity than other types of pill bugs. The type of substrate that you add can add to the moisture content for your isopod.
Organic matter such as coconut fiber and moss tend to have the highest gain when it comes to humidity.
People have also added yellow squash as an additional way of providing water. You can also routinely mist the tank and that should do the trick!
This species of pill bug does require a fairly diverse diet when compared to their fellow isopods.
As with most animals in this category, leaves that have been boiled are essential. It’s important to add plenty of protein.
How exactly can you ensure that an isopod will get enough protein, especially for the type of animal that feeds upon leaf litter? Decaying wood, diced vegetables, and limestone that are pulverized will be sufficient.
One of the unfortunate facts about the Rubber Ducky isopod is that it tends to reproduce at a slow rate. Their broods generally have about 5 to 10 individuals, while the gestation period is about 60 days.
Cubaris species do breed throughout the year, so that’s a positive!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
How long do Rubber Ducky isopods live for?
These little bugs may live to be a few years, which is a lot longer than other types of insects!
How much does a Rubber Ducky isopod cost?
This cost depends on the company that you choose to go with, and how many you purchase at one time. The average price of a Rubber Ducky isopod is around 100 dollars.
Why are Rubber Ducky isopods so expensive?
Being discovered only a few years back, this type of sowbug is a bit rarer. This amps up their price tag!
Rubber Ducky Isopods are unique looking Cubaris isopods that are not for the absolute beginner as they prefer a certain level of humidity and have specific temperature requirements.
They are not all that easy to breed and are fussier than some of the other isopods. If you are interested in prolific isopods that are easy to care for, we suggest you have a look at our Dairy Cow Isopod care article here.