Our lab really loves the leggy invertebrate fauna. I've been keeping Tigriopus copepods for a while, and I'm working on culturing Tisbe. Dungeness crabs (Cancer or Metacarcinus magister - depends on whom you talk to) are a somewhat recent addition to the 'pods of the CTELab. A fan favorite, though, are the isopods. Pentidotea wosnesenskii (or wozzes) has been the biggest player, but I'm hoping to rope in P. resecata as I move into my eelgrass work.
I'm hoping to get an isopod colony started. For a lot of our work, we rely on the assumption that isopod fatty acids rather quickly reflect their laboratory diets after transitioning from a wild diet. Starting with just released, young isopods gives us a much higher confidence in attributing their fatty acids to their lab diets. There have been a fair number of brooding female wozzes in the field, so I'm hoping they'll be ripe for reproduction in the lab. Here's my setup - if they do well in here I'll be trying this out with P. resecata!
They've been eating and pooping like mad. I thought they'd stop at the Smithora algae I've been giving them, either scraped off or still on seagrass, but they've been mawing on the Zostera itself! This is promising considering I want to study how eelgrass wasting affects Zostera palatability, but I think it means they're pretty darn hungry.
Time to find them some food!