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Reference for genus specific formicariums?


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#1 Offline Ants4fun - Posted March 10 2018 - 8:03 AM

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I think we should compile genus specific pictures and videos of ant nests, so as to better construct formicariums better suited to their needs. This would be especially helpful for newer ones in the any keeping hobby.

I know many are focused on one or two general designs to fit a wide variety of ants, and others (ex. Ants Canada hybrid nest line) have begun to introduce genus specific nests. However, the more I study ant formicariums, the less they look like actual ant nests.

Do you all think this is an actual need?

Edited by Ants4fun, March 10 2018 - 8:04 AM.


#2 Offline drtrmiller - Posted March 10 2018 - 11:37 AM

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Ants conquered the natural world because of their incredible ability to adapt to a wide range of environments. Only specialized ants, such as leafcutter and weaver ants, really require a specific formicarium construction. Organic shapes that resemble subterranean chambers aren't necessary, as ants will customize their environment by placing substrate in cracks and sealing off areas, wicking moisture from place to place, and even using their own bodies to custom tailor the nest.

As for commercial "genus-specific" formicaries, I believe this to be more of a gimmick that's appealing to kids and uninformed novice hobbyists, as opposed to a practical or useful design consideration. Perhaps the most glaring evidence of this is the fact that the products I've seen are extremely cavernous, having much more vertical height to the nest chambers and tunnels than will ever be found in nature. That isn't to say that this is a bad thing, but it, along with the plastic construction, does defeat the purpose of faithfully emulating an actual ant nest.
  • ctantkeeper, Kevin, Nathant2131 and 1 other like this


#3 Offline Ants4fun - Posted March 10 2018 - 1:00 PM

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I agree that current species specific formicariums are not up to my liking. However, I wonder if many ants are more specialized than some realize. For example, psuedomyrmex and camponotus prefer cramped elongated nest setups, while harvester ants prefer setups with large circular Chambers.

Perhaps the current formicariums market isn't as three dimensional as it should be. Also, many formicariums setups (ex. Acrylic nests) don't necessarily allow for too much customization.




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