#043 - Aluminum Fire Ant Colony Casting

Large Picture - A very large aluminum fire ant colony cast displayed on a wood base.
Specifications

Ant Type: Fire Ants (
Solenopsis
genus)

Cast Number: #043
Created: 10/19/2013
Cast Weight: 17.9 lbs.

Cast Material: Aluminum
Cast Dimensions: 18"x12"x13" (HxWxL)

Base: Stained Wood Oval
Base Dimensions: 0.75"x11"x14" (HxWxL)

Mount: No mounting, cast sits on base
Orientation: Upside Down
Making of Cast #043
Description
This is the deepest fire ant colony that I have cast so far, at 18" in total depth. Because of the chamber structure at the bottom of the colony, it is mounted upside down from its natural orientation. The structure is pretty typical of the larger fire ant colonies, with many interconnected tunnels near the surface and more pad-like chambers near the bottom. This cast has some interesting architectural features. On the right side there is an almost detached section that really stands out. At the deepest part of the colony there is a single distinct tunnel leading to a chamber which looks really cool. You can see me uncover that chamber in the video. Not much of the surface mound was captured in the cast, so most of what you see is the subsurface portion of the colony.
Base Description
The cast is displayed upside down from its natural orientation and sits on three round wood risers attached to an oval wood base. The base was purchased at a hobby store and stained with Watco Danish Oil Dark Walnut with no clear coat, giving it a nice natural look. There a three 1-1/4" round wood risers which support the cast in its proper orientation. There is no mounting between the cast and the base so the cast can be taken on and off the base for viewing. The bottom of the base has four felt pads to protect the surface it is displayed on. A stainless steel plaque is mounted on the base engraved with the cast information.
Related Information
Casual Survey of Three Acres of Land Reveals 120 Fire Ant Colonies - I set out to see how many fire ant colonies I could find in an area of approximately three acres on a cold December day. I knew there would be many, but had no idea there would be this many.