Here you can see the so called Formicarium of my ants. It is basically an normal terrarium with additional holes to connect new elements, when the colony gets to big. The aluminium covered test tube is the current nest of the colony, as the queen of the colony is in there since her mating flight. When new queens mate with male ants (male ants die directly after mating with the queen, as their only purpose in the ant world is reproduction ) the queen stores the sperm and uses it her whole life (up to 30 years!) to produce eggs.
The ants filled the entrance of the test tube with pine needles, to secure the nest (picture 2). In picture 3 you can see the nest I want the colony to move in in the future. I built it out of concrete and carved some caves into it. Ants are not able to see red light, so I covered the nest with red foil. That allows us to look inside the nest, without bothering the ants. But for now, the test tube has a perfect size for the colony (16 ants). The ants I own are Lasius niger ants, which is the most common ant species in Germany! Picture 4 shows the ground of the so called outworld, which is basically everything except the nest. It is covered with sand and small stones and I added some pine needles for nesting purposes. In the back on the right side you can see the watering place, but the ants do not use that at the moment, because they have a water source inside of the test tube. On the microscope slide in the front lays the ant food. I feed them every two days with honey (sugar source) and mealworms or crickets as the protein source.
MEALWORM-UPDATE: I found 4 new pupae this morning, which makes 19 in total!
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