Late in the evening of January 24th, a Giant Isopod (No.28 at Toba Aquarium) molted.
Giant Isopods, which can grow to over 30 cm in length, live in the deep sea, but are actually a member of the well-known species of Sowbugs which molt in two stages. When molting, the Giant Isopod first molts the posterior half of its body near its tail. The anterior half of the body near the head then molts at a later date.
This time No. 28 molted only the back half of their body.
This is the fourth time a Giant Isopod has molted its posterior half at the Toba Aquarium. However, molting is extremely rare, and currently there are less than 10 reported cases of molting occurring in captivity in the world.
To date, the only reported cases of molting from around the world have all involved caudal molts. We have yet to see a Giant Isopod molt its anterior half, as unfortunately, all individuals died before being able to molt the front half of their body.
We do not know when No. 28 will molt its anterior half, but when it occurs, we hope it will be successful!
Video of the molt (YouTube)