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byFormica Mausoleum (Bug Box Successor?) "Easily keep bugs from being dragged into the nest"


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#1 Offline drtrmiller - Posted December 8 2016 - 4:40 PM

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My goal with the bug box is to create a beautiful box for observing and photographing ants eating insects, while also serving the purpose of keeping large insect pieces from being carried into the nest.

 

After working on the original design, which consisted of a 3D-printed platform/pedestal where a small injection-molded box could be fitted into place, I realized today that maybe there was an alternative—somewhat of a micro-GlassBox foraging area—complete with contrasting mirror-white floor and translucent backsplash for isolating the action.

 

Here is the 2-inch long prototype I came up with (more details, below):

 

 

The lid is the only removable piece.  Larger insects are placed inside the box, and the lid is placed back on.  The ants find their way through the jail-cell style walls on either of the short sides, leaving the front and top views completely unobstructed for close-up filming and observing.

 


Edited by drtrmiller, December 8 2016 - 5:27 PM.

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#2 Offline cazantyl - Posted December 8 2016 - 4:47 PM

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That looks pretty neat. Would adding a lip to the hole opening discourage the ants from yanking larger parts out? If they had to climb up a slight shelf into the enclosure through the holes to get in and out? 

 

What laser cutter do you use? I've been considering taking the plunge on one for awhile now.



#3 Offline Serafine - Posted December 8 2016 - 4:54 PM

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This looks awesome!

 

Will there be an XL version? That thing is like 5cm long, that's a bit more than twice the size of my majors, I doubt they fit through the slits :D


Edited by Serafine, December 8 2016 - 5:01 PM.

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#4 Offline drtrmiller - Posted December 8 2016 - 5:34 PM

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This looks awesome!

 

Will there be an XL version? That thing is like 5cm long, that's a bit more than twice the size of my majors, I doubt they fit through the slits :D

 

Some larger Camponotus sp. majors (excluding C. gigas) have a head capsule width of about just shy of 3 mm; and so if these were holes, those ants could not fit through.  But they are not holes, and are instead 2 mm wide slots.  Because the head capsule is wider than it is tall (to accommodate the muscles for mandibles), those same ants may orient their head sideways in order to pass through.

 

My analysis is based on C. pennsylvanicus, where major workers had a maximum head capsule width of 2.8 mm, and minors averaged about 1.6 mm width.


Edited by drtrmiller, December 8 2016 - 5:49 PM.


#5 Offline Serafine - Posted December 8 2016 - 5:54 PM

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Well, I'll just try when they come in stock for Europe. I guess if there's any issues I can still cut out one of the bars.


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#6 Offline drtrmiller - Posted December 10 2016 - 6:56 PM

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I'm currently looking at the possibility of incorporating some sort of swappable plastic inserts that act as filters.  Several filters/inserts may be included with the kits to fit a variety of use cases, including closed inserts for when an insect needs to be contained to the small space for photography.

 

Not only do the filters allow different sized ants into the box, but it also restricts the maximum particle size that can be removed from the box intact.

 

1.5 mm round filters are shown below:


Edited by drtrmiller, December 10 2016 - 7:16 PM.

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#7 Offline noebl1 - Posted December 10 2016 - 7:10 PM

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Swappable filters is a great idea; adjust the size to the ants you keep.



#8 Offline Serafine - Posted December 17 2016 - 1:54 AM

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Modular design is always great. Is this a mealworm or a superworm?


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#9 Offline XZero38 - Posted January 3 2017 - 9:21 AM

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Modular design is always great. Is this a mealworm or a superworm?

that is a mealworm, superworms are much darker and larger



#10 Offline drtrmiller - Posted January 3 2017 - 9:23 AM

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Sorry, it's a small waxworm moth larva.

Edited by drtrmiller, January 3 2017 - 9:23 AM.


#11 Offline XZero38 - Posted January 3 2017 - 9:31 AM

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Sorry, it's a small waxworm moth larva.

i stand corrected






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