Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Habitats, part 4: Adding Isopods to the Terrarium

We have been observing our terrarium this past week for any changes. More than half of the grass has died out, due to overcrowding, we speculated (although I thought the fact that the terrarium had a few spills might have been a contributing factor.) We also noted that some other plants are making their appearance, as you can see in the lower right-hand corner of the photo above. We also looked evidence of our earthworms we added last week. The earthworms usually only come out at night, but they often leave clues to their movements, such as tunnels which can be seen on the side of the terrarium.
You can also find dirt formed into squiggle-like piles, which are really piles of castings, which are often used to hide the entrance to a tunnel. I couldn't get a photo of them, so I found one that looks like them to show you.
This week we added some pill bugs, or more appropriately called Isopods, to our terrarium. (Isn't he cute?)

Quentin's sketches of a Isopod
What we learned:
Isopods have:
  • One pair of antennae (they actually have another smaller pair as well)
  • Simple eyes
  • Seven pairs of legs
  • Seven separate segments
  • they have antennae-like appendages out the back called uropods
  • they are dark gray to light gray; sometimes they have a pattern
  • are omnivores or scavengers feeding on dead or decaying plants or animals, but some may eat live plants
  • they live under rocks or logs and similar places. This is because they breathe with gills.
  • they are nocturnal.
  • Some roll up into a ball when disturbed. We call them pill bugs because they look like pills when they roll up. 
You might also want to see:

Science Sunday


  1. Okay, I finally broke down and added a completely separate botany board to my pinterest account, it was getting too confusing, Oreo cookie moons next to your terrarium posts........

    My kids love to collect roly polies, as we call them down here.

  2. This is a very interesting project!

  3. I love this project. I think this would be so fun to do. I am off to find out more info on it. You do the coolest things!

  4. Okay, so I can call them rolly-pollies? :)

    It sounds like you have done some great observations of your terrarium. This is a project I would like to do with my little nature study group. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas and for submitting this to the OHC Blog Carnival.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It means so much.