For advanced isopod keepers, selective breeding is an important part of the hobby. Occasionally, a unique morph or mutation may occur in the colony’s offspring. These individuals with unique traits may then be separated from the main colony to boost that trait in a new lineage. More often than not, these traits occur in the form of colours and patterns.
The isopod populations in the wild typically express dominant traits. Any individuals with recessive traits (the “special” ones) in the colony would normally not carry them on to the next generation as a recessive trait requires both parents to possess them for their offspring to express the same traits. With human intervention, individual isopods that express the same traits to various degrees may be separated to ensure that these traits can be passed on to the next generation.
When isolating individuals with the desired traits, ensure that there are at least 2 or 3 females to each male. Females can get stressed when outnumbered by a few horny males.
Selective breeding is a long and time-consuming process, especially for slow-breeding species. The process inherently results in a higher rate of inbreeding, so the offspring may be more fragile and sensitive to changes. However, the endless possibilities add a truly exciting dimension to isopod-keeping!