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Posted by Lester G. Milroy III on May 26, 2002 at 15:48:32:
In Reply to: How about... posted by Lyn on May 26, 2002 at 14:30:17:
: maybe placing a container (like a litter box) inside the cage, where it would always be. A large rock could be placed in it so they could climb in and out. Once they became accustomed to a set feeding schedule, and that this is where their ants were, they would climb in on their own to get the ants. I could simply move the rock an inch or so away from the side so the ants couldn't climb out, and move it back once the ants were gone. Would this be a possible alternative to letting the ants loose in the whole cage, or transferring them to an alternate cage? Thanks again for all your help!
:You will want to maximize the floor space in the enclosure as much as possible to allow for home-range behavior. By adding this other container, you will be minimizing that space. You can teach the HLs that there is a place in the enclosure where food will be and they will recognize that place as such. You only supply enough ants (chilled) so that as the ants warm-up, the HLs will see that activity and approach to eat them. When they have eaten enough, they will leave that spot. Offering only a few ants (15 - 20 at a time) will not panic the HLs which in turn would panic the ants and promote defensive behaviors. I have used this method for 14+ years and it works very well. Any ants not eaten can be removed with little disturbance to the HLs. If only a very few are left, the ants will wonder around and the HLs will eat them at leasure. Lester G. Milroy III