Harvester Ant Farm in gel Time Lapse 52 days
- Published: 15 February 2013
- On Christmas day my niece sent me the curious gift of an gel Ant Farm. I was surprised to learn Harvester Ants are common for ant farms as I was mostly familiar of them as having painful bites for their size (12 ants biting/stinging can kill a rat, and that they have a rating of 3 on the 0-4 Schmidt Pain Index which puts them above even fire ants, honey bee stings, yellow jackets, and other insects I thought were pretty painful)
Because of the length of time there are bound to be errors with this kind of time lapse process inside a home. One of the cats had a spat with the dogs that knocked the tripod around slightly once. A few times you can see flashes of cat through the video. This is unedited footage to preserve its scientific integrity and to sustain my lazyness.
Today on day 52 I'm declaring this project officially done. The cats knocked the ant farm off the shelf as they were found sleeping right next to where it was the following morning. Many ants have died as part of their natural 3 month life cycle, and with no queen to keep the hive coming it does come down to the end. Hopefully all that blue gel is tasty and that they had decent lives indoors in stable conditions with pentiful food.
To make this I had a Linux camera driving a dslr camera with gphoto2, imagemagick, ffmpeg and other utilities glued together with some perl. A web cam in the mix acted as a light meter and preventing the dslr from shooting too many photos at night (although you can see a few black shots).