Common Roly-Poly

Magic Potion Isopod
Magic Potion Isopod

Armadillidium vulgare

Cultivar Name: “Magic Potion”

15 mixed: $100
50 mixed: $250

Detailed Species Stats -Click-

  • Adult Size: 25 mm.
  • Care Level: Easy.
  • Temperature Requirements: 68-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Air Humidity: Not picky.
  • Substrate Humidity: Moist.
  • Favorite Foods: Not picky.
  • Locality: Savannah, Georgia, United States.

Isolated by Jay Fiore and refined by Roach Crossing.

It has been five years since the original “Magic Potions” arrived at Roach Crossing, and the isopod world has changed a lot in that time. More species are available than ever before, and endless new names and faces have popped up on the scene. In that time, many hobbyists both wholesome and avaricious have come and gone, and unfortunately Jay and I’s beloved “Magic Potions” were right in the cross hairs.

“Magic Potion” is a strain of Armadillidium vulgare derived from stock collected by Jay in his old backyard in Savannah, Georgia beneath a flower pot. The original stock were all wild types, until one day dalmatians popped up in his millipede enclosure. Attached is the fateful correspondence that led to Roach Crossing’s acquisition of the original stock.

Upon receiving them, the priorities were two things: the simple recessive dalmatian mutation, followed by the extent of the yellow coloration. After three generations of intense selections, a few other traits endemic to the line became clear: this stock grew very slowly relative to other common roly-poly lines, but in exchange the adult size was massive. Other traits such as an inclination to burrow more were observable but not as noteworthy.

By the October 2016 Tinley Park reptile expo, the line was ready for its first public release… to very little interest. Only after several more months of refinement and enumeration did the line begin to catch on, and their popularity exploded like a powder-keg as other isopods became popular.

“Magic Potion” has become a namesake in the isopod hobby. Unfortunately, most stock traded as “Magic Potion” has been bastardized. Below are some guidelines for reviewing and elucidating stock.

  • “Magic Potion” is not “Japanese Magic Potion”, and “US Magic Potion” is not a proper moniker. The Japanese dalmatian vulgare are completely unrelated to true “Magic Potion”, are smaller, breed faster, have less or no yellow, and have a different distribution of spotting due to other underlying genetic differences.
  • “Magic Potion” is not the name of the simple recessive mutation. This is simply called dalmatian and has been for many years. So-called “Japanese Magic Potions” are simply Japanese dalmatians, as no information exists as to what other traits they were selected for other than their origins in Japan and their simple recessive dalmatian mutation.
  • “Magic Potion”s DO NOT HAVE ORANGE SPOTS. Any stock with red/orange/brown spots or solid wild type individuals is not a true “Magic Potion” and has been compromised with other lines. “Orange Dalmatian” vulgare were created at Roach Crossing using “Magic Potion” and “Orange Vigor”, and thus possess some “Magic Potion” traits, but the two are not one and the same. “Orange Dalmatian” have far less yellow, have red/orange/brown spots, and are smaller.
  • “Magic Potion”s are magical. The namesake comes from the mystical swirling of the prominent yellow on their creamy white background color, as if a magical potion has been swirled around in it. They possess large, black spots, concentrated mainly at the front and back of the body. They are huge by vulgare standards and even dwarf some “larger” species. They are cryptic and tend to burrow more than other vulgare lines, making it an even neater treat when a bunch of them come out after a watering or feeding.

Jay Fiore and I are very proud of this line, and to see it corrupted and misunderstood does this unique genetic treasure an immense disservice. Feel free to contact me with any further questions or comments about this delightful captive treasure.

The image that started it all. Photo by Jay Fiore.