We sent off for H.o.p.’s ants from Uncle Milton Sept. 4th. The window for arrival had the latest date as Oct. 18th. Last week we received notice that they’d be mailing them out and they arrived today, first class mail, in an envelope marked “Temperature sensitive, Keep from Heat and Frost, Perishable, Handle with care”.
These being harvester ants, they arrive without queen, and ready to bite. Kind of. They weren’t moving much. As instructed, to calm them (they were already pretty out of it, only three appearing to be alive at the time) we put them in the refrigerator for fifteen minutes then transferred them to the ant farm.
Slowly, over the course of the evening, they have begun to revive. We think 24 made it and 3 or 4 were dead.
They’ve been exploring a bit. You poke three one inch holes in the gel to enable their tunneling but thus far they’ve not explored those holes. Instead they are up and down the top of the aquarium, and have begun to break up bits of gel off the surface and down one of the sides.
They have been breaking apart their dead.
Breaking things up into little bits seems what these guys are geared to do.
All in all, there’s not much else going on right now.
One isn’t supposed to move them much, and keep them out of direct light, in a place where they won’t be jostled. We chose a bookshelf where H.o.p. can easily observe them.
They’ll entertain us for one to three months and then begin to die and what we’ll then have on our hands is a depressing art installation on futile industry.
Here’s a guy with a pretty cool ant farm that has LED lights at the bottom that enable viewing.
An aside on how the hermit crabs are doing. After our last sand change a couple of weeks ago, Sarah dug down deep and hasn’t surfaced. There’s no dead fish smell so she must be moulting. Jerry and Climber only come out at night, spending their days holed up under the driftwood. After the last change of sand we immediately began having a problem with mold, which isn’t good. Since Sarah is down deep (we know approximately where she is, not exactly) we’ve not changed the sand as we worry about disturbing her.