Battle Arena Tostitos

The ecosystem of my house... in a jar

There are two bugs commonly found in my house... ants and daddy longlegs spiders. Wherever we leave food out, there's sure to be a swarm of ants within hours. In many corners and crevices and around furniture, hang long and skinny-legged spiders. The spiders wait for prey, usually ants, to come crawling along and becoming entangled in the webs as their next meal, while ants scout around and may gang up on insects to subdue and bring pieces back to the nest to feast on. With this simple system going on in the rooms, bathrooms, and garage of my house, naturally one would contain it in a jar for observation, documentation, and maybe even gambling...

I present to you... Battle Arena Tostitos. Ant(s) and spider(s) are dropped into The Arena where eventually they duke it out. Allow me to introduce the basics of Battle Arena Tostitos...

The Arena
The Arena is a small Tostitos salsa jar I found sitting in our kitchen cupboard. There is a ring of Vaseline on the inside wall of the jar. This is to prevent ants from escaping, since apparently they have a hard time crossing this stuff. It's not impossible for them to cross, but at least difficult. Spiders are also unable to climb up the smooth glass surface of the jar. The lid of the jar can thus be removed for better viewing and documentation during intense battles. However, the lid is still usually sealed just in case.

The Contendors
First, we have our eight-legged friend, the daddy-longlegs spider. You can read up on some interesting basic information about this common house spider (warning: gross spider close-up shots), technically known as pholcidae (no, I don't know the correct pronunciation). Here's another link discussing the myth about daddy-longlegs' lethality. These guys are all over my house, mostly in the bathrooms and garage, but you can also find some in the dusty abandoned corners of bedrooms.

Next we have our ants. I actually don't know what kind of ants these are. If there's some sort of "common house ant" then these are probably it. They weren't very prominent when we moved in a couple years ago, but within the past few months they've really let their presence be known. They can be seen in swarms around food that's been left out or randomly scouting around a room.

Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Round 4
Round 5

Summer '03