The disadvantage of using of dental plaster for making casts of ant nests is that much reassembly from excavated pieces is required. Filling the nest with molten aluminum requires more equipment, but the cast is strong and can be excavated as a single piece. I describe the construction of a field-portable metal-melting, charcoal-fueled kiln. I also describe operation of the kiln, and present examples of aluminum casts of the nests of several ant species. The quality of the casts and methods for their display are discussed.
Species 1: Hymenoptera Formicidae Pogonomyrmex badius (harvester ant)
Species 2: Hymenoptera Formicidae Solenopsis invicta (fire ant)
Keywords: aluminum, ant nests
Back to Display Presentations, Subsection Cb. Apiculture and Social Insects
Back to Posters
Back to The 2002 ESA Annual Meeting and Exhibition