Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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formicarium furniture

Ants living in your furniture
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
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I thought an ant colony would be cool to have, but where could I put it where it wouldn't get in the way?

If it was simultaneously a coffee table then it would be a very trendy bit of talking-point furniture, and I would also have a formicarium.

To expand the idea furthur, you could make pluggable formicarium parts which you could build all sorts of furniture out of, and keep lots of ants and maybe other colony insects in observable places in your living space.

Would need a lot of development though to avoid this being leaky and high maintenance furniture...

conskeptical, May 09 2007

Formica http://www.formica....ion/woodgrains.html
Woodgrain-effect... [hippo, May 10 2007]

Formica http://www.formica....ction/patterns.html
..and groovy patterns too. [hippo, May 10 2007]

classy-looking formicarium http://www.disktek.net/formic1.html
[hippo, May 10 2007]


       I've got furniture with termites in it.   

       Good one, [Ian].
baconbrain, May 09 2007

       I've seen beehives kept behind glass walls, so this is probably possible.   

       But can we please make sure the colonies include a queen, so they reproduce, and an exit so they can get their own food?   

       Also be sure to research the effects of slamming your coffee down on the table.
ye_river_xiv, May 10 2007

       yeah, I think it might be hard to get them to want to live in there. I was thinking less of an exit, and more of a feed/clean drawer: I don't want ants all over my living room! Beehives behind glass walls sounds cool :)
conskeptical, May 10 2007

       I want a Formica formicarium.
hippo, May 10 2007

       A conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota, has a leaf-cutter ant colony. They say it doesn't need much care and has been going over a year.
Ford, Jan 17 2008

wagster, Jan 17 2008

       Oddly enough (and this is of very little relevance, by the way) I've just set up a formicarium in the lab (we're not allowed to keep vertebrates there*). Unfortunately, I picked a huge European species that bloody hibernates, so the first task is "wait until spring".   

       To solve this hibernatorial problem, I'm just about to order a colony of weaver ants, which are bigger and meaner and don't hibernate.   

       Incidentally, the "formicarium" in the link is actually an "ant farm", and isn't really ideal, except for teeny ants.   

       Any other ant-fans out there?   

       [*we tried filleting a goldfish, but apparently that still counts. I have a plan to get a giant squid as our next lab pet.]
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 17 2008

       me, I actually tried raising weaver ants, but so far, my attempts in the sense were futile... I got a queen weaver ant from a fully established colony(95% lucky), and man, she was massive, approximately 2 inches in length. Her abdomen is very unlike from that of the other queen ant species, and infact, very large in comparisson to the other weaver ant queen I've ever seen; it was white all around except for the "far from each other" chestnut - colored plates. In fact, her abdomen was so swollen with eggs that they resembled the bolster - like abdomen of major Isoptera species. And what an egg laying machine - 1 egg every 15-20 seconds, so far the most prolific queen ant I ever encountered.   

       @WAGSTER , back to the topic, have you ever raised these ants successfully? My colony was not thriving, until the queen's abdomen shrunk to 65% of it's previous size, so I released the captives back to their original colony... What's the best way of keeping them?
efmp1987, Mar 06 2008

       I've got a colony of weaver ants (Polyrhachis dives) at the moment - came as a nest with about 500 ants (and hopefully a queen in there somewhere). So far they're just running around inside the antarium. About a third of them seem to wander about carrying other, dead ants. They're hoovering up cooked chicken and ham pretty damn fast.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 06 2008

       It would be a nice conversational point.   

       Did anyone else see the title as "Fornication Furniture" at first glance?
Shadow Phoenix, Mar 07 2008

       add a hopper for organic waste, so they could eat.
copycat042, Mar 07 2008

       I had a dream years ago of making a huge ant farm from one of those extra deep picture frames. It fell apart when I discovered delivery of live ants requires a signature in person. My boss was very indulgent, but having bugs delivered to the loading dock was not on.
stoaty, Mar 08 2008

       @ Wagster   

       Nice to know that you feed them with cooked meat, but what does your formicarium looks like? the typical glass type? or the jar? does it qualify as a furniture?
efmp1987, Mar 11 2008

       [efmp] I think you meant me rather than [Wagster]? Anyway, their present formicarium is just a regular aquarium. Their deluxe home is under construction, complete with double glazing. (Seriously- for tropical ants you need double glazing, otherwise the glass is always covered in condensation).   

       I'm also converting a very early Toshiba laptop into a formicarium for smaller ants.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 11 2008

       //I'm just about to order a colony of weaver ants, which are bigger and meaner and don't hibernate.//   

       You might like to consider inch-long brick-red bull ants, simply because they're the only ants I know that rear up and stare back at you. It's a bit disconcerting the first couple of times, but it would make your lab pets more of a talking point.
pertinax, Jan 23 2010


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