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The Ant Sorter ”RAPID”

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When you have collected ants for your frogs, you have the options EITHER to feed the ants to the frogs as long as there are any ants left in the jars, OR to try to culture this excellent type of food by means of a ’formicarium’. In case you wish to try the culturing venture you are first faced with the problem of extracting the ants, with eggs, larvae, pupae etc, from the collecting jar. The easy way to do this is to let the ants do the job for you.

  1. Get hold of a second lid that fits the collecting jar. Make a hole in this lid and attach a plastic tube through the hole as shown in Fig 3. Put another small lid or petri dish over the inner opening of the tube to prevent debris from clogging the tube.
  2. Attach the outer end of tube to a formicarium. (There are many ways to make a formicarium; mine consist of ’chambers’ of 4 mm plexiglass covered on both sides by 2 mm glass; and connected to each other via T-connectors and plastic tubes)
  3. Replace the original lid of the jar with the new one, and turn the jar over on its head (Fig 4). The main chamber of the formicarium should be covered e.g. by a piece of black paper. The ants will find the way to their new home and will start moving their young there.
  4. After a few days the majority of the ants have moved and you can disconnect the collecting jar, feeding the remaining ants to your frogs.

Studying ants has its merits, even without feeding them to frogs. However, should you be successful in culturing the small ants shown in these photos (Tetramorium), please share your methods with the frogging world!


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