Merulanella bicolorata (Yellow Panda)

One of the hardest isopods I’ve ever kept. I tried two different times and failed both times, (it happens!). I do not keep these anymore but sheesh what an absolutely beautiful isopod. Shame they do so poorly in captivity. Hopefully we can get lucky and someone gets a few captive generations in for a nice strong line here in the states. (I know a few are working with them have had some luck, but the hardest part isn’t over).

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Super fun looking! Pandas are the best.

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Sick! I was thinking of getting some, but if they are super difficult I may hold off for now. Gorgeous Merulanella species.

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I’d say one of the MOST hardest. But never know, maybe you hold the secrets!! :crazy_face:

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We believe in you Eric!

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I want that species so badly!! I didn’t realize they did so poorly in captivity, though. :frowning_face: The few species I’ve kept have done well so far, but it sounds like Yellow Pandas are out of my league. :disappointed_relieved: Does anyone happen to know if the Merulanella ‘Ember Bee’ is any easier? I had my heart set on keeping one or the other, so I hope the Ember Bees aren’t quite as tough! :crossed_fingers:

I did develop a hypothesis about why isopods colonies may crash (in addition to the buildup of waste in the container over time). With the more expensive species of isopods, we often buy 5-10 animals to start with for financial reasons. But that means the whole colony has very little genetic diversity. When I decided I wanted to try ‘Panda Kings,’ I did a little (expensive) experiment. I bought small quantities of Panda Kings from 3 different sources. Lo and behold- they are thriving thus far. I’ll have to wait and see how they do longer-term, but I suspect the increased genetic diversity will positively contribute to the health of my colony.

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So far my ember bees have been thriving but these are at least F2 captive as far as I’m aware. Which plays a strong role especially with lower counts. No babies yet though. Slow growing.

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Yep, and 5-10 is usually what anyone would start with. I always buy from two different sources when possible.

@mblaney that hypothesis may be correct. One of the main food sources is substrate and if that is already decomposed, there are no more nutrients that are readily available. I do a 1/2 change of substrate every 6 months to lower the risk of this happening.

The Merulanella group is scary :grimacing: Most are so expensive and so fragile to care for.

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