Isopods are classified in the crustacean family and have gills. What?
Are you telling me I am putting land crabs or little hard-shelled fish into my pet's habitat?
Yes, they have gills, and they need to absorb hydration through the respiration of moisture from their environment.
Wait, do they need water to submerge themselves?
The keyword here is humidity. Humidity is moisture, water vapor within the air of your pet's habitat. "But, my pet Bearded Dragon's enclosure is arid." We have to remember that isopods pre-date the dinosaurs and have survived in all sorts of environments across the globe, even deserts! Deserts? When it comes to a desert, most people immediately picture a vast plane of sand, radiating heat as far as the eye can see. Many deserts around the globe are some of the most ecologically diverse habitats known to man. So this being said, Isopods can retain moisture from a small area of an appropriate moisture-retaining substrate within your pet reptile's enclosure.
I measured the humidity in my pet Bearded Dragon's enclosure; it's deficient..
Do not worry; let's think about how small an Isopod generally is. This tiny arthropod is what, at max, a millimeter from the surface it lives on. So, if you provide this designated moist area we spoke of(yes, it will evaporate in an arid enclosure, but this results in a micro-climate in which humidity is greater), it will be more than adequate for these little buggers to retreat to when hydration is necessary. Word of caution, be sure this Isopod haven never completely dries out, as Isopods and Springtails can not last long without moisture.
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