A formicarium is a vivarium which is designed primarily for the study of ant colonies and how ants behave. "Ant Farms," similar to these, are popular subjects for school projects. Those who study ant behavior are known as myrmecologists.
A formicarium is usually an ant colony enclosed by a transparent box made of glass or plastic. The first commercially-sold formicarium was introduced around 1929 and patented in 1931 by Frank Austin, an inventor and professor at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Austin included painted or wooden scenes of palaces, farms, and other settings above the ground level, for a whimsical look.