It all started with a giant order of common slaters. A customer had ordered 500 animals and we didn’t have that many animals left in our stock. So we decided to go out and look for some. We, that is my brother Stefan and me. My experience with the hunt for osniscus asellus is the following: They can be found in much higher numbers in pinewoods than in deciduous forests. So we went to the Swabian Alb to look for some in a beautiful wild spruce forest.
The internal challenge was to become the isopod king by being the first one to find 250 animals. We started that game out of desperation because we expected to take half of a day to find the animals and we still had enough work to do already. Therefore the desire for it was relatively limited. Surprisingly, after 2 hours we had found 600 animals on an area of only 100 square meters. Stefan was faster, but that is simply because he is a non-smoker. At least that’s how I talk my way through it.
And since it was probably his lucky day, he found this beautiful Oniscus asellus “Mardi Gras” under a piece of spruce bark. We both stopped and looked and were fascinated by the yellow-gold glittering spots in front of us. We have both already seen many isopods, but the beauty and perfection surpassed anything we have seen before.
Judging by her size, she is already adult. Since our eyes didn’t get better with age, we had to wait with the sex determination, until we could put on the reading glasses in our isopod breeding crib.
That was definitely our first action when we came back, grabbing the 3.0 reading glasses. Unfortunately it is a female. The “unfortunately” consists of the following fact: If you only have a single color morph, you can only cross it with a wild color counterpart. To a male color morph one can put innumerable females and hope that it fertilizes quite many. Therefore, already in the first generation one can count on a much higher number of offsprings than with a female color morph.
But you shouldn’t look the gift horse in the mouth, but rather saddle it. So we put them together with three male Oniscus asellus (“woodlouse”) and several push prayers in a 5 litre box and started waiting.