This is a cast I made of a new type of ant I found. These ants are commonly known as winter ants and are of the species Prenolepis imparis
. They're called winter ants because they are very active in the winter, whereas most ants are not. I have seen these ants active when the temperature was close to freezing. The colony structure of the winter ants is typically a single colony opening with a very small tunnel leading deep into the ground with a few small chambers
spaced fairly far apart. I didn't include a weight on this cast like I usually do because the weight of the actual tunnels and chambers of the cast was very low compared to the weight of metal at the top
which is a result of the pouring process, and not part of the actual colony. This cast is extremely interesting structurally considering how it was built by the ants. It has an almost perfectly vertical shaft reaching 40 inches (102 cm) deep, and is only 0.18 inches (4.6 mm) in diameter on average.
While excavating this cast, the small tunnel broke in several places so I had to piece it together in order to mount it. I mounted the cast on a long oak board and used wood pegs to piece the broken portions of the tunnels together. The finished cast display can hang on the wall. I rounded off the edges of the board with a router and stained it.