Exo Terra Incubator
We've long been a fan of incubators for raising queens and we've been using this incubator for the last few months to store our queens in test tubes and incubate their eggs. It has the unique ability to heat and cool. This allows it to maintain a constant temperature whether the ambient temperate is hotter or colder than your desired setting.
Humidity is variable depending on how many test tubes you have stored inside. We've found that with over a 20 or 30 test tubes the humidity is usually around 60%. It does have water baffles in the lower shelf enabling you to add more water to increase humidity if you wish.
Maximum capacity of the incubator would be approximately 300 150mm test tubes. With 200mm being the largest test tube that would fit inside.
We've currently had great success with the unit. As all of our queens are local caught we're able to maintain a constant temperature similar to that of the environment we caught them from. Of the queens that have laid eggs, gestation has taken as little as 4 weeks in some Pheidole species. The constant temperature also helps to reduce stress levels.
As the unit is also capable of cooling we will be able to use this as a hibernation chamber. We will slowly lower the temperature in line with external temperatures and then maintain a constant temperature throughout winter.
We will update this post once they start coming out of hibernation and let you know how it goes.
Pick one up for under $300 at Amazon.com
In an unfortunate case of bad timing, a live TV interview in Australia has been interrupted by a mating swarm of ants during their nuptial flight.