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Laser Pointer?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Offline cap_backfire - Posted July 15 2021 - 12:17 PM

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Hear me out... 

Laser pointers (red) produce a surprising amount of actual light but it is definitely in the red spectrum.   My colonies ARE mostly exposed to light but to view the ants in deeper passages, they freak out when I use any other form of light.  Do you think I could use a laser pointer or would this be detrimental to them in some way?   Well, besides my cats bothering me the entire time.   

I mean, I know I wouldn't want a laser pointer blasting ME in the eyes but... Hmmm... this might not be a good idea.  



#2 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 15 2021 - 12:19 PM

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I don’t think it would harm them, but how much would it really illuminate?

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#3 Offline M_Ants - Posted July 15 2021 - 12:27 PM

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Maybe take the laser apart and make the beam wider somehow?  


Veromessor pergandei- 3 queens 50ish workers and brood

Veromessor andrei

Myrmecocystus testaceus

Crematogaster sp. 

C. baldies a.k.a bald fraggles a.k.a C. absquatulator

Hypoponera opaciceps

Brachymyrmex patagonicus

https://www.youtube....FG7utFVBA/about


#4 Offline cap_backfire - Posted July 15 2021 - 12:34 PM

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Hmmm... It would illuminate more into the chambers I built.   I drilled them out pretty "deep" and they elude me.   I wonder if I shined it through some kind of lens to make it wider.   

Essentially it would be like looking at them through the red film I initially used, but obviously much more intense.  I wouldn't be able to see colors straight away but I would definitely be able to see more than I am now, and possibly get a better count of the brood as well (actually they're easiest since they're bright white or, at worst, beige)   The nest is carved out of black walnut so it's already pretty dark.   The other nests are either test tubes or dirt so I can see them just fine.   Unless they're burrowed... In which case... you get it.  

 

Thanks for the idea to widen the beam a bit... I know they sell some that are built for that or a small flashlight I could use film over or something.   

 

Thanks, guys!  



#5 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 15 2021 - 12:44 PM

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You know, I shine a flashlight on my ants multiple times every day, and they don’t seem to care, even Formica.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#6 Offline ReignofRage - Posted July 15 2021 - 12:52 PM

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I think a cheap flashlight with a red flim over the front wwould work better than a laser pointer. I don't know if they would react much differently if you just shone a regular white light or a red light.



#7 Offline cap_backfire - Posted July 15 2021 - 12:55 PM

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These discolor seem to freak out, grabbing up brood and running all over.   I'm just looking for less stressful solutions for them as I'm still worried they'll move into their outworld again if I make it too uncomfortable for them with flashlights and whatnot.   

Good input though.  I'll keep "training" them instead.  



#8 Offline Canadant - Posted July 15 2021 - 2:46 PM

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I discovered that it wasn't the light that bothered my Formica (notorious for spazzing) but the vibrations I made when I disturbed them. I discovered this when I moved them into a formicarium that did not have a lid. With the new formicarium, I covered with a half cardboard box. This box could be lifted without tou hing the formicarium causing vibrations. I was surprised to see that the light didn't even phase them. Technically I could leave them uncovered and not cause a stir.
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"You don't get what you want. You get what you deserve".

#9 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted July 15 2021 - 7:05 PM

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Keep in mind they can see red light, though it isn’t as bright.
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#10 Offline cap_backfire - Posted July 16 2021 - 5:57 AM

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Keep in mind they can see red light, though it isn’t as bright.

Well that's fair.   They are exposed to light pretty much constantly but not as bright as I need to "peek" at them.   

Thanks for hte input, guys and gals! LOVE this group!  



#11 Offline ConcordAntman - Posted July 16 2021 - 12:32 PM

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I don’t know about the laser. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation LASER. The whole process of creating and amplifying a coherent beam makes it hard to defocus one. When I was working, I used lasers to vaporize tumors. We took great precautions to avoid patient burns from an errantly reflected beam. Even a laser pointer can cause eye damage https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC5754573/ I’d be wary about pointing it at tiny creatures that are basically chitinous cases of salt water. The thermal energy delivered by the coherent beam is what does the damage. You wouldn’t want to illuminate and accidentally burn some of the ants in your colony. 


Edited by ConcordAntman, July 16 2021 - 12:36 PM.

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#12 Offline cap_backfire - Posted July 16 2021 - 12:39 PM

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I don’t know about the laser. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation LASER. The whole process of creating and amplifying a coherent beam makes it hard to defocus one. When I was working, I used lasers to vaporize tumors. We took great precautions to avoid patient burns from an errantly reflected beam. Even a laser pointer can cause eye damage https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC5754573/ I’d be wary about pointing it at tiny creatures that are basically chitinous cases of salt water. The thermal energy delivered by the coherent beam is what does the damage. You wouldn’t want to illuminate and accidentally burn some of the ants in your colony. 

This is totally fair.   Thanks again for the heads up!   I'm just using indirect flashlight beams now, like the "edge" of the beam.   It's working... Well, it's a comrpomise.  I can see them a little better and they freak out a little less.   



#13 Offline ConcordAntman - Posted July 16 2021 - 5:10 PM

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A carbon dioxide laser at 5-8 watts could vaporize something the size of a Camponotus queen. A laser pointer has perhaps 0.0005 that wattage. I have no idea how much damage that could do to a larvae, pupae or worker. The flashlight is safer.


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#14 Offline futurebird - Posted July 16 2021 - 6:22 PM

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These discolor seem to freak out, grabbing up brood and running all over.   I'm just looking for less stressful solutions for them as I'm still worried they'll move into their outworld again if I make it too uncomfortable for them with flashlights and whatnot.   

Good input though.  I'll keep "training" them instead.  

I have discolor too and they are always in some light. I put very bright filming lights on them and they don't mind much.

 

But I have started using colored light as cool white seems to bother them, purple, pink, red, blue, warm white are fine. 

 

If you use a laser pointer maybe defuse it? I imagine it could damage their eyes ...

 

I have been trying to acclimate my colonies to more light by covering them with handkerchiefs and take one off each day. It seems to be working. 


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Starting this July I'm posting videos of my ants every week on youTube.

I like to make relaxing videos that capture the joy of watching ants.

If that sounds like your kind of thing... follow me >here<





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