newprotest.org: My Ant Farm Project

My Ant Farm Project

I like bugs


During spring, I like to build up little ant farms to keep in the house. I only keep them for the season -- I'm often running so many projects that I'm bound to forget to feed and water them. Absent-minded professor and all that.

While I have them, I try to research and document everything I can. Photos and interesting facts make it fun to learn.

ANT SCAN

2010-07-30 23:29:11
by: jovial_cynic
Holy smokes, this is an amazing video. The introduction text reads:

I installed an ant colony inside my scanner. I scanned the nest each week during the last five years.

ANTS in my scanner > a five years time-lapse! from françois vautier on Vimeo.



What an amazing project.

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ANT DRINKING FROM A RAINDROP

2010-07-23 16:10:14
by: jovial_cynic
Saw this on boingboing and couldn't resist reposting. Ants and all that.



I love the way the ant appears to lounge on the water drop at the very end of it.

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BUGS-IN-LAW

2008-05-26 20:26:28
by: jovial_cynic
I visited my brother-in-law and his wife in eastern Washington, as they recently purchased their first home. While there, I happened to see a bunch of familiar ants from a colony under his back patio.


As it turns out, the ants go crazy over Doritos - something I didn't realize when I had my own aphaenogaster colony. I just figured that all ants liked sugar. I guess these ants like salty foods as well.


Here's a nice close-up shot of one of the critters.


I also managed to stumble upon a beautiful little spider. I don't see a lot of hairy spiders on the west coast, so I wanted to get a good shot of it.


(click for big)

Look at those green iridescent fangs. Delicious.

And here's a video of the spider running away from me.



And since my digital camera handles video well enough, I figured I'd capture a video of a little roley poley bug as well. They're so cute.



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SO LONG, ANTS

2007-12-17 08:46:25
by: jovial_cynic

image: Ant (cc) Jeff Kubina

Well, folks - the ants are doing fine and well, but it's time to close this chapter of the ant section of my blog. I offered my ants up for sale to a local school that will display the ants as a year-round exhibit, so the ants are no longer in my possession. I loved keeping up with them and watching them, but I have a THOUSAND projects going on, and I'm absent-minded enough to risk letting them all die by forgetting to feed or water them. They're in much better hands, and the kids at the school will have the chance to see the little critters doing their thing.

Come next spring, I may have a change of heart and start again with another species I find in my back yard. We shall see.

To everybody that commented and expressed appreciation with this first ant project, thanks. I'm glad I've turned people onto one of my childhood passions and dreams. I've always wanted to have an antfarm, ever since I was just a little kid, and I've accomplished that dream.

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MOLD

2007-12-04 10:33:18
by: jovial_cynic
For fear of my ants not getting enough water in the open farm setup, I decided to place the nest over a wet paper towel, and periodically put water on the paper towel to bring moisture into the dirt. I thought it was a clever idea until I checked this morning to see that half of the pile of dirt was covered in mold.

The ants discard the parts of the crickets or whatever that they don't plan to eat, and I guess they typically do it in a section of their tunnels. In the case of their current habitat, there's only one dirt section, and it's all rather confined, so they just shoved their scraps to the side.

I cleaned up the mold, added some new dirt, and changed up the tank again a bit. I have a temporary setup right now - I added a small piece of wood that's propped up a bit, and a bunch of the ants carried eggs and larva under it. The queen is currently still in the hotel with another group of ants, but I've moved them off of the wet paper towel. I'll have to think up another way of doing this.

Since the terrarium has a glass bottom, I managed to take a couple of pictures of the ants under the piece of wood I mentioned previously:





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2007-12-03: FUN WITH MACRO 2007-12-01: NONE OF THE ABOVE 2007-11-26: FOOD OPTIONS 2007-11-24: ANOTHER MOVE 2007-11-19: APHAENOGASTER OCCIDENTALIS? 2007-10-27: GOURMET FOOD 2007-10-16: QUARANTINE THE DEAD 2007-10-16: NOT SO HUNGRY 2007-09-27: ODD BEHAVIOR: DIRT OVER LIQUID 2007-09-25: HIBERNATION 2007-09-24: EXCAVATION PROJECT 2007-09-23: PICKY EATERS 2007-09-22: LARGE FOOD, SMALL TUNNELS 2007-09-19: NOT EXACTLY ANTS 2007-09-17: THAT'S A LARGE MEAL 2007-09-16: BACKFILLING 2007-09-16: APHIDS 2007-08-16: TERRARIUM FARM 2007-08-03: NEW ADDITION 2007-07-30: FIGHT 2007-07-30: FORMICA OBSCURIPES 2007-07-30: ANT-WORM SYMBIOSIS? 2007-07-18: SETTING THEM FREE 2007-07-06: BOY ANT 2007-06-24: TEST TUBE BABIES 2007-06-23: MEET FORMICA PACIFICA 2007-06-22: ANT CRYSTALS 2007-06-20: TERRAFORMING 2007-06-18: DECIDEDLY UNHAPPY 2007-06-18: FOOD MANIPULATION 2007-06-18: FORMICA PODZOLICA 2007-06-17: FOOD! 2007-06-17: JUICE BOX 2007-06-17: WATER CHAMBER 2007-06-15: SECOND ANT FARM 2007-06-14: NEW CHAMBERS 2007-06-14: MOVING THE ANTS 2007-06-13: BUILDING MY OWN ANT FARM 2007-06-10: FINALLY - ANT FARM! 2007-04-16: NICE ANT FARM 2004-12-15: ANT FARM