How I built an anthill
A couple of months ago Andrew Deveykin relocated their ants from the already tight tubes in large anthill, who made himself.
In continuation, he talks about the construction of large and resettlement. Since the relocation of ants doubled its numbers and now has about a hundred Amazons.
Did you know that all the ants in an anthill - a girl? Even harsh, militant-looking soldiers, in fact - a soldier's. Boys ants are only required at the time of reproduction and only once! (And if this time would be a failure?)
During the breeding season winged princes and princesses leave the anthill in search of a partner. After mating, the princess cast the wings, and the princes ... skates :( And then once the female carries the eggs for about twenty years! By the way, no other insect in the world does not live as long as the queen ant. However, the worker ants live from one to five years.
Fertilized, throwing wings uterus begins to look for a suitable hiding place. If you find, will pick up and plant it in a test tube with a wet cotton swab, then become mirmikiperom;)
So, in vitro, we became a bit crowded. Camponotus fellah - ants are quite large. Working about a centimeter in length, and mamashka and soldiers - two times larger. More than forty workers from already struggling offspring were placed in a test tube, and I decided to build ant farm (artificial anthill).
The principle is simple - you need to cast from plaster or plaster block with ready passages and rooms, which will have access to the arena, and the ability to humidify the ventilation design. Information on the internet - the sea! And with all of this - the first time - always an act.
As always, before the accomplishment of something new, I started with the blank material. I bought a box of Ferrero chocolates, box of beads, a hose, and a pack of clay plaster. I began by saying that eating sweets - it helps the brain activity :) A box of chocolates is hosting under. Top cut to the arena is well ventilated. The edges will be missed the mark lip gloss to the ants could not get out of it.
Cut off walls in a box for beads, cut holes for ventilation, humidification and input. I made a sketch of the interior.
In the sketch, the position under the glass, the glass molded interior so that they made the most of the depth of the box, but did not reach the back wall. One camera stands apart - a humidified chamber. The tube is inserted into it from above cocktail (two cameras on it have the proper shape for passage of the tube).
The model in the assembly without plaster.
To simplify the process of taking out the casting out of the box and to prevent leakage through the plaster already made holes, laid out the bottom of the box with cling film.
I assumed pour plaster into a box and cover glass with a clay form, squeeze excess plaster. In fact, it's not a good idea. At least I did not succeed. However, experience with plaster I have almost zero. I cast a plaster mold first and last time when I worked in the polisher stomatpoliklinike almost twenty years ago. I then cut out of the wax skull, the size of five centimeters, and immortalized it in the dental plastic. I lost it when moving, sorry :(
So, the first batch began to freeze before I stuck the form. For me it was a complete surprise and, in an attempt to finish the job, I crushed glass :( ... but still, we're not used to retreat ... Using glass as a piece of plastic cut from a box of chocolates, and the remains of plaster, about presenting me the allotted time frame, I still did casting. plaster of Paris had not enough. to the front of the turned out okay, I turned the form on the glass. the rear wall plaster dipped in a couple of places formed a hole, but the front side otlilas fine. I cleaned the clay.
dig in the bins a little alabaster: smeared holes and boosted sagging areas. When casting froze, but not yet dried out, the knife completely level uneven parts and hangnails, cut through the passages to the ventilation.
Casting soaked in water with detergent for dishes, to wash the gypsum soak plasticine fat.
thoroughly rinsed cast and left to dry for a few days.
Procured a new piece of glass, Formica collected and glued with silicone.
In order to cover up the ventilation daughter suggested nylon mesh. The grid was very thin, durable and, thanks to its special weaving, had not slidding cell. My daughter also glued and mesh with hot glue.
Exit the arena
Well, you can connect.
I cut a hole in the old arena and connected the new Formica pre-moistened.
I read a lot about what the ants are not very willing to move to a new home. To encourage relocation, many keepers obscure new Formica. I decided to give your ants a little time, leaving everything as it is. Long wait, they can not make me :)
Scout long and carefully examined the new home, constantly stopping, moving his mustache and cleaning them.
- A grid you strong? And then we have a cat :)
It soon became two, then four scouts. Then about six workers about an hour roamed the Formica scanning antennae space and simulating everyday life: clean each other, we tried to gnaw the grid and wall ... In the end, he was invited to inspect a military expert - a soldier - and then it began!
Drag and drop the eggs, larvae and cocoons are left in the test tube. Shift them from place to place, looking for the egg and drag in Formica. Pieces 15 workers and one soldier sitting with a uterus in vitro.
- Attention migrating: to follow things in blue corridor
Drag ... eeee ... Robot-nannies :) Workers dragged crooked working, I thought they were pulling freshly hatched, but once released gnarled, they jumped to their feet and started to run. I think they dragged nurses, who never came out of the tube.
I did not see where they activate the button. Most often, after releasing the transported got up and started to run
But there were times when the activation button is pressed to forget and ant half an hour lying in the same position
In the arena of the three: one soldier and two workers. The rest are in Formica. At one point trying nibbling wall. It turned out that the wall they bite to obtain building materials for laying of ventilation.
I missed both transferred Mothers. After her departure in vitro were only larvae, cocoons, one soldier and a small group of workers.
Soldiers met and fed each incoming porter.
The hardest part - to drag the larva larger than an ant
to carry off the last larva. In vitro sit three workers - eats something and polusoldat sits at the entrance. In the arena of a soldier and a worker, the rest are in Formica :)
Close up the bottom two ventilation holes. Ants gained fresh plaster and four times reduced the remaining two ventilation holes. All pupae and larvae are carried into the tube inside the left the eggs. Sami also sit inside. The passages are quite large between the chambers. I hope that the two holes will suffice them. At the very least, stop digging :)
Vygryzli fresh plaster ...
... and closed up the top openings
I think that all participants in the construction and will remain with the lead-sealed mouths :(
But no - with the help of friends, almost all we get rid of the "seal" in the first hours after the completion of
All the dolls back in Formica. In the arena of anyone ... at all. One sits in a test tube. To it sometimes looks at a group of 3-4 workers. They're clean, "kiss" and go, leaving one. Removed the tube, I changed the scene and put a large water bottle. Ant farm is ready :)
to observe and photograph ants A flat glass is much better. Finally able to take a picture of the process of unpacking the newborn
As well as packing ...
Noticed that the worker is busy with larva soldier, and that in a strange move ... tonyusenkoy inside the cocoon!
Ants build in the air model of DNA from the eggs. Probably aired.
Open water ants, for some reason, did not really know how to drink. Maybe it's just my? I had to put them in cotton wool trough. So they drink and do not drown themselves :)
For honey syrup they put the plastic cover on bottled water. Its boiling water poured by pushing a finger recess and dipped in cold water. Get high saucer.
appears in the larvae of a red down :)
I'm very pleased that my ants were eating cat food. I believe that this is a very healthy food :)
On the social justice: a soldier tempted working;)
- Until next time :)
Finally - a short video of the daily life of ants. A little nervous because of the lighting, so make sharp attacks. Usually they move uniformly: