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Anting Kit Suggestions!


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Offline BugFinder - Posted March 12 2015 - 5:54 PM

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In anticipation of the flights beginning, I'm trying to put together an "anting kit".   I found a store in Santa Clara today. For any of you who are local it's called San Jose Scientific, 1043 Di Guilo Ave, Santa Clara.

 

I spent about $100 on 36 test tubes with cork stoppers, and 4 or 5 small plastic containers I'll use for collecting insects at work.  The great thing about these test tubes is they are packaged in some cardboard that I think I i will be able to use to store them when they have ants in them.

 

If there is anything anyone recommends being included in someone's anting kit, please let us know in this thread.  What do you keep in your anting kit?   What did you go anting without last year and wished you had brought with you?  Thanks!

 

 


“If an ant carries an object a hundred times its weight, you can carry burdens many times your size.”  ― Matshona Dhliwayo

 

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#2 Offline ToeNhi - Posted March 12 2015 - 7:43 PM

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I would not recommend using the cork stoppers unless you plan to drill a hole through them and place the test tubes in a foraging container.

I would recommend a good pair of featherweight forceps or something to pick up the ants with. If you don't have one yet, a hand trowel or collapsable shovel for digging. If you are going to look for Camponotus spp, you may want to invest in some type of tool to split wood. If you are looking for queens with workers and brood, you may want an aspirator or pooter.
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-ToeNhi


#3 Offline BugFinder - Posted March 12 2015 - 7:48 PM

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Thank you ToeNhi.  I am planning to make a hole in the cork and place it in an outworld once I get them home and get them in a test tube that has water for them.


“If an ant carries an object a hundred times its weight, you can carry burdens many times your size.”  ― Matshona Dhliwayo

 

My Journals:

Camponotus sansabeanus

Tetramorium (sp)

Pogonomyrmex Californicus

My Ant Goals!


#4 Offline ToeNhi - Posted March 12 2015 - 8:16 PM

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You may not want to take the test tubes with you while anting if they are made of glass. Check out Tar Heel Ants' website. They have specials going on right now with kits put together for beginners that include the featherweight forceps and collection vials. It comes with some other items you may not need or want, but at the discounted prices, and chance to win a larger formicaria, it's a pretty good deal.

Since we are in the same city, I will let you know if I find anything flying in our area.

-ToeNhi


#5 Offline BugFinder - Posted March 12 2015 - 8:32 PM

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Awesome!  I would love to go anting with you when they start flying!


“If an ant carries an object a hundred times its weight, you can carry burdens many times your size.”  ― Matshona Dhliwayo

 

My Journals:

Camponotus sansabeanus

Tetramorium (sp)

Pogonomyrmex Californicus

My Ant Goals!


#6 Offline antmaniac - Posted March 12 2015 - 11:21 PM

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Any small containers fit in pocket easily are ideal. For better mobility and preparation, those small seal/zip bags are the best. They can be folded and put in wallet. When there is a new queen running on the road/car park, just unfold the bag and blow air into the bag, this also provide some moisture inside the bag. Then either use hand or small stick/leaf to put the queen into the bag.
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#7 Offline dspdrew - Posted March 13 2015 - 6:31 AM

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Here's what I do for the test tube/container situation. I bring a little cooler with all my test tubes already made up and laying inside on some of that egg crate foam I use.

 

gallery_2_137_14829.jpg

 

 

On the very bottom is a big plastic container filled with refrigerated water (not ice). This keeps the temperature inside the cooler very stable and around room temperature when in a hot car. I carry small containers with me for putting the queens I find in. Once I've used up all the containers in my pocket, I make a pit stop at my car to transfer what I have into the test tubes, and head out for more. This way you get the queens into the test tubes right away, but you aren't carrying them around in your pocket which is not a good idea if they're glass. It's also a little hard to carry a lot of them in your pocket. Many times I have queens that start laying eggs just minutes after putting them in a container, and this way I don't have to try to move those eggs later. It also can get very hot and dry in the containers in your pocket which can lead to them dying before getting them home.

 

I too bring a trowel with me in case I want to dig up a founding chamber or something. I have one of these (http://www.amazon.co.../dp/B0013KTADE/). It's nice because it fits in your pocket, but I will say, after digging a lot with it, your hand will start to hurt.

 

If you ever plan to dig up a whole colony, bring an aspirator, and a jar already lined with Fluon. That way as you suck up the ants, you can just dump them into the jar with the lid off, and nothing comes back out. That makes it much easier.


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#8 Offline Crystals - Posted March 13 2015 - 6:54 AM

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There is a related thread here that may help: http://www.formicult...ping-materials/

 

 

Personally, in my back pack I have a variety of materials:

  • featherweight tweezers to eaily and safely move ants/brood
  • Small jars (I don't trust test tubes in a back pack, and they seem especially prone to over heating)
  • hammer (if stripping bark from trees)
  • small plastic shovel (the kind you often see attached to kids pails meant for sand castles)

If I am going after an entire small colony, I will pack a larger plastic container with the upper rim lined with a small layer of olive oil to prevent escapees of most species.  I usually only do this in spring when I can easily find an entire colony trying to warm up under a rock.  I usually pick on small Formica or Myrmica colonies in a gravel pit or construction area if I go after an entire colony.

 

I do have an aspirator powered by a small dust buster - needed with easily excitable Formica with their formic acid as they attempt to gas me out.


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#9 Offline Foogoo - Posted March 19 2015 - 8:32 PM

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Has anyone used plastic test tubes? Seems like they would be more robust.


Camponotus vicinus, Crematogaster 1, Crematogaster 2, Formica francoeuri, *, *, Myrmecocystus testaceus, Novomessor cockerelli, Pheidole hyatti, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, Solenopsis invicta


#10 Offline Miles - Posted March 19 2015 - 8:42 PM

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Has anyone used plastic test tubes? Seems like they would be more robust.

Yes, and they are. But terrible for long term use - so many micro scratches.


I’m passionate about a lot of things — conservation, public service, milkshakes — but ants reign supreme! I’ve been studying ants and their care for over a decade. Inspired by Steve Irwin, E.O. Wilson, and Sir David Attenborough, I share interesting facts and stories about insects and the natural world to get others excited about conservation and science.

 

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#11 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted March 19 2015 - 8:47 PM

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Wow, $100 for 36 test tubes? Drew we need to make http://www.lcmlab.com/ more known, where you can get 25 of the perfect sized test tubes (in my opinion) for a little more than $3. Seriously use this site. Everything is nice and cheap there, considering you are ordering in bulk.


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#12 Offline Foogoo - Posted March 20 2015 - 11:15 AM

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Wow, $100 for 36 test tubes? Drew we need to make http://www.lcmlab.com/ more known, where you can get 25 of the perfect sized test tubes (in my opinion) for a little more than $3. Seriously use this site. Everything is nice and cheap there, considering you are ordering in bulk.

 

Shoot, I just ordered 10 for I think $9 on Amazon last night. Do you guys use 25mm (or is it 20mm?) or 16mm? The larger diameter is easier to work with, but I think the queen would be more comfortable in the 16mm.

 

Related to the OP, has anyone tried PVA sponge in the place of cotton? I was thinking maybe that would reduce the tugging and flooding problems. Or even a piece of regular sponge.


Camponotus vicinus, Crematogaster 1, Crematogaster 2, Formica francoeuri, *, *, Myrmecocystus testaceus, Novomessor cockerelli, Pheidole hyatti, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, Solenopsis invicta


#13 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted March 20 2015 - 1:42 PM

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16mm is the smallest size for Camponotus, but still not too big for small species. Essencially, if you want to use a single size for all, use 16mm.
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#14 Offline dspdrew - Posted March 21 2015 - 4:17 PM

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Related to the OP, has anyone tried PVA sponge in the place of cotton? I was thinking maybe that would reduce the tugging and flooding problems. Or even a piece of regular sponge.

 

I thought about it before, but never tried it. If I had them in perfect little cylinders, I think they might work pretty good. I'm just not sure how easily they would be able to tear them apart.



#15 Offline Foogoo - Posted April 3 2015 - 8:09 PM

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Paintbrushes! Didn't realize how useful they are until I was trying to chase small queens around a rock today.


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Camponotus vicinus, Crematogaster 1, Crematogaster 2, Formica francoeuri, *, *, Myrmecocystus testaceus, Novomessor cockerelli, Pheidole hyatti, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, Solenopsis invicta


#16 Offline antmaniac - Posted April 3 2015 - 8:46 PM

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You can also try to cover the queen with a cup, then slip a paper under it. This method can be used to catch all types of insects. Depending on your reaction, I usually use a big cup. A cut out bottle works too.

#17 Offline Jonathan21700 - Posted April 4 2015 - 12:32 PM

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You can also try to cover the queen with a cup, then slip a paper under it. This method can be used to catch all types of insects. Depending on your reaction, I usually use a big cup. A cut out bottle works too.

I use that for capturing flies.


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#18 Offline PTAntFan - Posted April 5 2015 - 10:32 AM

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16mm is the smallest size for Camponotus, but still not too big for small species. Essencially, if you want to use a single size for all, use 16mm.

What about depth? 100mm?  150mm?


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#19 Offline dspdrew - Posted April 5 2015 - 10:51 AM

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Go with 150 mm length.


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#20 Offline antmaniac - Posted April 6 2015 - 3:41 AM

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You can also try to cover the queen with a cup, then slip a paper under it. This method can be used to catch all types of insects. Depending on your reaction, I usually use a big cup. A cut out bottle works too.

I use that for capturing flies.

 

If you can catch fly, I am sure catching queens would be like a walk in the park for you.


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