Casting an Aphaenogaster treatae Ant Colony with Molten Aluminum (Cast #066)04:33

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Published on January 26, 2017

This is the first cast that I have made of a colony built by this species of ant, which I have identified as belonging to the species Aphaenogaster treatae. I usually prefer to identify ants by their common name for the videos but as far as I can tell there is no common name for this species. At first glance they look similar to other ant types. I had to use a microscope to view the smaller features on the ants and a taxonomic key in order to identify the ant species. Above ground, these ants generally make a single colony entrance which is easy to find early on by the small pile of discarded dirt surrounding the colony. Eventually, rain washes the dirt away and all that remains is the small hole of the colony entrance.

The basic structure of this colony is a single entrance tunnel, leading to several wide chambers stacked closely on top of each other, then a long tunnel leading to a wider pad-like chamber at the deepest point. The cast is fairly small compared to the others that I have done, but is a great illustration of the uniqueness in colony structure that each type of ant creates. Finding new ant species and discovering their colony structure is what really interests me in doing this, and hopefully that comes across to you in the videos that I post.

The finished cast is displayed upside down from its natural orientation and is 6.5″ deep and 8″ at its widest.

More pictures of this cast at

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