Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Ant Ecosphere

The Boy received an ant ecosphere for Christmas, among other things. It's much cooler than the ant mine that he had earlier. There are four spheres which we've set up with soil for tunnels, soil and grass for that outdoorsly living, hay for nesting and a pantry. The spheres are all connected by tubes.

Following assembly, no glue required, The Boy obtained some small ants. The instructions did warn us that the ants needed to be more than 3mm in length otherwise they would escape through the air holes. Well, I reckon ours were 4-5mm and they still escaped. Nevermind, there were some much larger, red-headed ants not far from home. Bit of sugar-flavoured, damp cotton ball to attract them. Pretty soon they were crawling all over the small container that we had to capture them in. Managed to get the lid on without getting bitten but did squash a few heads.

By the time we arrived home I'm afraid that many of them appeared a bit lifeless. Perhaps there was too much moisture in the container and they'd drowned. After two days inside the ecosphere only two or three ants, from the 30-40 we'd obtained, had ventured outside of the container. As they weren't interested we released them.

The next time we decided not to have any moisture available. The Boy didn't think that we would capture any ants with such small bait. Only a matter of minutes passed and there would have been close to 100 ants swarming around the container. I managed to get the lid on and between then and removing the ants on the outside of the container I happened to receive three bites. Little buggers.

A couple of hours passed and only a few ants ventured outside of the container. And there were 50-60 inside that container. So, we went outside to play soccer, washed the cars and had a water fight with water blasters that Santa brought. When we checked on the ants about half of them were running around the ecosphere. They are fascinating to watch. In the morning there were only two left and the rest appeared to have made their home.

Ant Ecosphere - a video.

That night I was surprised to discover a spider on the floor of the living room. Next surprise was that he wasn't dead. I grabbed him with the tweezers and put him in the food container for the ants. By morning there was no sign of the spider. I'd say he had been completely devoured.

Ant Ecosphere.

Ecosphere from below.

Ants up close and personal.

Close up.

Dried grass sphere.

Wall of death, ant style.


Anonymous said...

Wow congratulations. Annette

Iris Flavia said...

Cool stuff!