What Is Killing My Pets?

What Is Killing My Pets?


For this week’s double hidden video, I needed
to confide in my most nature-loving AC Family. Though this week’s episode ended on a high
note, I’m afraid, guys, what’s coming up is not good. I’ll explain everything next week! I actually don’t know if things will be ok,
but I’ll do my best to find solutions to our problems. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! Something terrible has happened. Some major events have taken place since last
week, within the Selva de Fuego, our newly constructed South American biotope paludarium,
home to our Fire Ants, named the Fire Nation, as well as to a variety of aquatic creatures
living in this river. AC Family, I hate to announce, that life within
our river is dying. Let me explain how it got to this point! Let’s rewind to last week’s episode, where
we left off, pleasantly surprised to discover Romeo and Juliet, our beloved pair of golden
Ram cichlids, were spawning. This event, filled me with immense hope for
life in our river, because this species generally will not breed unless water conditions are
optimal. And to think, the fish had only been living
in the Selva de Fuego’s river for a few days. We were about to witness the miracle of life
take place before our very eyes, and what I was particularly looking forward to was
watching Romeo and Juliet raise their fry, i.e. the technical term for fish babies, together
as first time mom and dad. AC Family, I was excited to show you guys,
a super cool behaviour called “mouth-brooding”, unique to cichlids, where the parents suck
the fry into their mouths to transport and/or protect the babies. But just when we thought Mother Nature was
about to show us something beautiful, she took us down a very different and grim road,
and things didn’t turn out as expected. In fact, things took a turn for the worst. The morning after, I came to this. 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 guppies. Where were the other two guppies? Looking around I was shocked and horrified
to discover one guppy in the process of dying, and another struggling to take its final swim. When they officially died, I pulled them out
of the water to place their lifeless bodies on to Fire Nation territory for the ants to
consume and process into nourishment for Selva de Fuego soils. The Guppy Gang was now down to just 8, but
that’s not it. Joining our death count was one of our four
Corydoras catfish, also now returning to the Earth by way of the Fire Nation. But AC Family, here was the saddest part. I looked to the site of Romeo and Juliet’s
spawning from the night before. A tonne of little tiny cichlid eggs lay embedded
on the spawning rock, and hovering over it was Juliet, but no Romeo. AC Family, Romeo had also perished over night,
seen floating on the water’s surface. I handed his body over to be transitioned
to the soil by the Fire Nation. Juliet seemed distressed swimming around looking
for Romeo, who was nowhere to be found. I could only imagine what she could be thinking
right now, wondering in desperation where the father of their upcoming fry could have
possibly disappeared to. The sight was immensely heart-breaking and
difficult to watch. AC Family, I’m so sorry. I have no idea what happened. What could have possibly caused these fish
to die, when just the night before it seemed the water was perfect? How did this lead to the river eventually
looking like this? Well, let me explain what happened next. First thing’s first, I needed to transport
Juliet and her eggs to a separate aquarium so they could be safe from the guppy gang,
who might attempt to eat the eggs and the chichlid fry if they do successfully hatch,
and also safe from whatever might be killing the fish in the river. I carefully picked up the spawning rock placed
it into a container, and moved it towards Juliet. Her instinctive parental drive to protect
her eggs superceded her natural fear and she moved into the container, which I then proceeded
to cover for safe transport to a separate cycled tank of mine. In the new tank, she unwaveringly stood by
her eggs, never leaving them, not even once. Looking at Juliet now, I could see she was
totally saddened, confused, and visibly nervous without Romeo around to be with her through
this stage of her very first parenthood. And now to get to the bottom of what was killing
the fish in our river. There were a few possibilities I could think
of. The first, ammonia spike. You may recall from a previous video that
in order for a captive aquatic system to work, there needed to be teams of beneficial bacteria
in the system to covert toxic ammonia from waste produced by the fish into nitrites,
which is also toxic, and then further into nitrates which is not so toxic and can be
removed by partial water changes. The river was a couple days due for a water
change before this all happened, so perhaps it was possible that the Selva de Fuego’s
filter still didn’t have enough beneficial bacteria to neutralize the amount of toxic
ammonia produced by the fish, and so this ammonia spike went on to kill the four river
inhabitants over night. This would be the first thought of any fish
keeper, though this also didn’t make sense to me, because Romeo and Juliet wouldn’t have
spawned the night before if the water quality wasn’t good. Regardless, it was time to get some answers. We had to analyze the chemistry of our river
water to find out if our fish were being poisoned by their own waste. Using my aquarium water quality test kit,
I checked the ammonia levels. According to the chart, ammonia was somewhere
between 0 and 0.25 ppm, which was low. It seems ammonia levels were not our fish
killer. I then proceeded to check nitrite levels. 0 ppm. Then nitrate levels. Also 0. Then pH levels… neutral. So oddly, our water quality test didn’t show
anything alarming on a chemical level. But then, later that day, another guppy gang
member died. What was going on here?! If it wasn’t poor water quality that was killing
the fish, what could it be? What were other possibilities for our fish
fatalities? The previous nights saw spiders in the Selva
de Fuego. Could the fish have been sustaining injuries
from spider bites? No, that is highly unlikely since orb weaver
spiders generally stay clear of water. But then, I looked to the Fire Nation, who
seemed to be throwing one of their massive water raves. I have noticed the Fire Nation would sporadically
throw huge parties, mass gatherings on the surface of the water, for no apparent reason
at all, using the aquatic frog bit to support them. Could the Fire Nation have stung five fish
to death? Even our Corydoras catfish come up to the
surface for air periodically. I suppose this was a possibility, but also
a bit unlikely that it happened all on one night. It did also hurt to know that our beloved
Fire Nation might have been our fish killers in this River murder mystery, but I didn’t
want to point our finger until we had more facts. What do you guys think? How do you believe the fish died? Let me know in this ipoll here and in the
comments section. Advice from you aquarium fish experts, would
be greatly appreciated, as well. And now, for how the river became blood red. Over the next couple of days, I mulled over
this fish murder mystery in my mind. I also closely monitored the progress of Juliet
and her eggs in their incubation tank. In just two days each egg was showing the
appearance of a black stripe, which would soon become the tiny spines and nervous system
of the fry. What a miracle to know that these eggs were
indeed successfully fertilzed and destined to hatch. Juliet stood over them the whole time, ensuring
their proper hygiene and safety. It was assuring to see Juliet looking stronger
now and a bit more composed, as if she had accepted that Romeo was no longer going to
return, and that she was going to have to take care of the fry on her own, as a single
parent. But I didn’t want to just let the deaths of
our fish go in vain. I couldn’t just do nothing and leave room
for another mass death event to happen again. The health of the river also affected the
health of our ants, because as you know water ecosystems and land ecosystems are closely
tied, and the Selva de Fuego is no exception. The Fire Nation drinks from this river. We couldn’t afford to have it become a death
pool. I did notice new algae was beginning to appear
in the River, which was completely normal, and in fact a good thing for the water system
as the algae helps consume toxic nitrates produced from the fish’s waste. This gave me an idea. I needed to get more serious about the health
of our river by amping up its cleaning team! So, AC Family, my idea: First, I needed to
upgrade the river’s mechanical filter. Right now, the filter was a small submersible
filter which was enough to keep a good volume of water moving through our teams of cleaning,
beneficial bacteria living within its filter media, but I felt, you know what? We’re the AC Family, we could go bigger and
higher tech. And so, behold. Our bigger and higher tech machine to deal
with our river’s filtering needs. This huge bad boy was a Shiruba canister filter,
which I have found great success with for my other 75 gallon established fish tank. The river within the Selva de Fuego was only
20 gallons, so this filter would be more than enough to keep our river free of toxic ammonia
and nitrites. To prepare this new huge filter, it needed
its jumpstart colony of beneficial bacteria. I took some filter medium from the filter
of my established fish tank, which was packed with colonies of beneficial bacteria, and
transplanted it into the new filter. It was now ready to start its great work for
our Selva de Fuego river waters. I also modified the input and output tubes
of the filter for proper installation within the Selva de Fuego. But now for the big problem: installing it. This was an external filter which meant the
only way the input and output tubes could be situated into the setup was through this
hole here. But I knew that the moment I removed all that
white blockage, fire ants would come pouring out and it did look like a lot of fire ants
were presently congregating in that area. So I needed a diversion of some sort. My solution? A couple cockroaches on sticks strategically
placed away from the area but at a distance close enough to the hole so that those hanging
out at the hole would be called to the site. If less of a Fire Nation crowd were at the
hole, it would then give me the perfect opportunity to remove the old filter and install the input
and output tubes of the new filtration system. I also prepared a modified balloon to act
as a barrier to block the entire hole so I could buy more time to properly stuff the
space with the white blockage. In a few short minutes the time had come. The roaches had worked at drawing fire ants
away from the hole. I took a deep breath. I knew it was inevitable: I was going to be
stung in this process, but this task absolutely had to be done! So AC Family, here goes nothing… 1 – 2 – 3! I went in and removed the white blockage. With the help of a friend, I removed the old
filter’s plug, then installed the new filter’s input and output tubes, then proceeded to
fasten the balloon. Success! And with minimal escapees. What a relief! As expected, I got stung many times, but thankfully,
we didn’t have a tonne of escaped ants which was my greatest fear. I turned the new filter on and instantly,
the new currents spewed out some of its biofilm, colonies of beneficial bacteria into our river. The fish loved this new stream of water. This new filter offered a greater current
which spun floating raver ants around and around, but more importantly would pass a
greater volume of water through a greater team of beneficial bacteria ensuring all toxic
ammonia and nitrite levels were low. This extra powerful ammonia-nitrite neutralizer
would also come in handy if and when the Fire Nation decides to turn this river into a sewage
system and start dumping their garbage into the water, speaking of which… Wait! Now I know you may be thinking: AntsCanada
get to the point! How did the river become blood red? Don’t worry, guys I’m getting to that here! Adding a more powerful filter was not enough. There had to be more cleaning agents to help
support our filter. I needed to go the extra mile, by adding an
additional team of aquatic plants. You see, aquatic plants also absorb poisonous
ammonia and nitrites, as well as nitrates. This means that with more plants in the system,
it would take longer for the fish to be poisoned from their own feces or from the decay of
ant garbage in the water. Currently, the only plants in the Selva de
Fuego’s river were the frog bit and some moss. I knew we could do better than that! So again I went to my established tank to
harvest some of the most hardy plants I’ve ever grown underwater, a marvelous and vivacious
plant called Sagittaria. Here you see it completely carpeting the bottom
of my community planted fish tank. I started off with a few Saggitaria plants
in this tank, and in just 7 months it completely spread across the entire floor. This was perfect to introduce into the Selva
de Fuego because it was easy-growing and also native to South America, meaning it still
fit species-wise into our South American biotope theme of the Selva de Fuego. And so, I went in to collect them. Three days later, this is what the Selva de
Fuego river looked like. It was just gorgeous with the newly planted
Sagittaria, but you may notice a few changes to the setup. In order to properly grow these plants, we
needed some extra growing medium to sustain them, so above the gravel layer, I had to
add some soil which contains all the necessary nutrients needed for the plants to root. Also, I added some extra CO2 support, carbon
dioxide diffused into the water to help give these new plants a vitalizing boost, and the
final touch… Upon further research, true South American
biotopes are supposed to have sandy floors, not so much pebbly floors. Also, many of you fish enthusiast AC Family
expressed concern that the pebbly floor could negatively impact our Corydoras barbells,
the little fleshy mustaches on the side so their mouths, so in light of this, I decided
to add on top of the soil layer, this layer of sand… red sand. Sand that took a couple days to settle when
I added it, and that AC Family, is the reason the river became blood red for a two whole
days. It looked scary to see the river like this,
but I saw it as a sort of passing through fire of sorts. I knew that once all of this red dust had
settled, our river would be a completely transformed biospace, and I was right. Viewing our river’s metamorphosis was awe-inspiring. It was much more natural now, healthier, more
stable, and best of all, much more prepared now to deal with lethal agents like ammonia,
nitrite, or nitrate spikes. To add to the toxin-eating team of plant life,
I also added some floating duckweed to join the frogbit at the surface of the water. Now AC Family, are you ready for this? If you thought this transformation was incredible… Check out what our river looked like, almost
two weeks later! Behold, the new river of the Selva de Fuego. The waters were crystal clear now, our fish
loving their new lush aquatic territories, and boy have our team of aquatic plants flourished
beyond belief! The Sagittaria were now properly rooted into
the soils and have begun to send out runners to start new baby Sagittaria plants. And look at that huge water floor of duckweed! They truly flourished! All those duckweed roots are absorbing harmful
ammonia and waste in the water, which was awesome! Our frogbit was also proliferating now more
than ever! This new team of plants also helped keep algae
levels low because it limited the amount of light entering the water’s depths, and also
would outcompete algae for nitrates and nutrients in the water. As for Juliet and the eggs, the fish eggs
were now wiggling with eager fry about to emerge, but I was sad to discover that as
if destined to live up to her name, the day before the eggs were about to hatch, Juliet
had mysteriously passed on to join Romeo at the end of the rainbow bridge. I have absolutely no idea, how she died, but
this sudden death told me that the Fire Nation was not our fish killer. I continued to do more research on dying Ram
cichlids and I discovered that newly acquired ram cichlids dying suddenly with no immediate
external signs of illness is actually quite common in the fish pet trade, particularly
for the exotic colour phases. I was shocked to learn that it is a common
practice for fish breeders to inject the fish with hormones to stimulate them to display
their colours much more quickly. It was reported that this is very common with
bulk fish breeders in Asia. The injected hormones often leads to a whole
slew of health side-effects eventually leading to death. To this day, I don’t know what killed my six
fish, but I tried to do my best to adjust my South American habitat world to ensure
the deaths don’t happen again. The Selva de Fuego is a bitter sweet story
of life and death. Romeo and Juliet’s eggs eventually went on
to hatch into wiggling little tadpole-like babies. A few days later, they became free swimming,
feeding on microscopic, newly hatched brine shrimp. I knew they were looking for their parents,
but for now I had to play that role and give them the head start they needed, before handing
them over to a more experienced fish keeper to raise to adulthood. It was just adorable to see the fish sleeping
together in clumps, which I assumed they would have done in their parents’ mouths. Let’s hope these fish go on to live long and
fruitful lives in the aquariums of their future owners. They are first generation aquatic Selva de
Fuegans. Overall, this water system will continue to
evolve and grow more and more stable. With the new plants and filter to handle the
bioload, I went ahead and added one more Corydoras catfish. In the coming days, I look forward to adding
a couple more Corydoras catfish to complete their cleaner team to six, as these fish are
naturally found in shoals of hundreds in the wild. What I absolutely love is how the Corydoras
kick up a cloud of debris as they sift through the sands for food, and it seems the Guppy
Gang have learned to follow the catfish so they could eat some of the edible bits from
the debris cloud. This debris cloud also, carries little tiny
nutrient particles to the roots of the floating plants. What an amazing species interdependence! Our Selva deFuegans truly rely on each other. I may also add some Ottocynclus catfish to
feed on the algae growing on the Sagittaria, but all in time, when I know the system is
much more stable. I also need to mention that I swapped the
assassin snail with an apple snail, because I learned later that assassin snails were
native to Southeast Asia not South America. Minor change. I was also delighted to learn that the Guppy
Gang were not pandas like I was told they were. They were actually called fire dragon mosaiics. How cool is that? An even better and more fitting name for the
Selva de Fuego! I loved watching the Guppy Gang for hours,
as they wandered the thick Sagittarian forest, in search of food. I suddenly caught sight of the Fire Nation
forming trails on the floor of duckweed. How cool! It seems the Fire Nation were appreciating
the new walking area, even if it was kind of a wet one. You would think this new wet floor would lead
to more ant water raves, but surprisingly quite the opposite. There were no more huge gatherings of ants
on the water. Perhaps the ants just needed a safer bridge
for traveling on top of the water and prior to this duckweed floor, they needed to use
their bodies? Who knows? As for my old tank, it seems after removing
a large portion of the Sagittaria carpet and swapping out some filter media, literally
out of nowhere, my Amazon sword plants must have loved the new abundance of plant resources,
and decided to flower! Wow! Even my Anubias found the opportunity to send
out a flower bud! This entire experience taught me an important
life lesson, as an ant keeper, as a fish keeper, as a caregiver of life. As much as I put a lot of time, thought, and
work into recreating nature, as was the goal with this Selva de Fuego, I realized you can’t
recreate the wild and only take the beautiful. You must also be willing to take the ugly,
because both are inseparable in nature. When recreating the natural world, we must
be prepared to accept all its rules, and this includes its rules of death. I don’t view the death of pets as a good thing
per se, but whether it be ant keeping, fish keeping, or any animal keeping for that matter,
the death of a pet can help teach us how to better care for future pets. The death of our fish, pushed me to improve
the health of the Selva de Fuego and the quality of life for all its inhabitants. Had I not made those changes perhaps we would
have one day suddenly lost all fish, and God forbid the Fire Nation through water poisoning. The death of Romeo and Juliet, though tragic,
helped me learn about the common practice of hormone-injection, so now I as well as
all of you AC Family watching now know to only buy from reputable fish breeders. There are positive sides to death, even though
we humans may not be able to appreciate the whole picture enough to see it, but nature
can show us through death that her rules are non-negotiable, what we may be doing wrong,
and why we must work within her parameters, lest we see our plans for the future falter. People often are surprised at how much I know
about ants, and to be truthful, a lot of my knowledge came from simple trial and error,
experimentation, which even involved losing ants along the way at times. The lives of these ants who passed on were
not in vain, though. It helped me learn to be a better ant keeper. Now, all this biological engineering of vivariums
over the past few months has been quite the undertaking, wouldn’t you say, AC Family? From water beasts to sky beasts, and having
to manage all these different variables, though ambitious, it has all been an exhausting venture. So AC Family, I felt it was time to revert
back for a bit to some classic ant keeping, just ants and a setup. And it just so happens, that one of my most
cherished ant colonies has been due for a very long time now for a new ant farm upgrade. It’s been awhile since we heard about the
Dark Knights, my black crazy ants currently living in their two story ant setup, but that
ends now. I had the perfect home waiting for them to
move in. It was time for some innovative ant housing
technology, I can’t wait to show you. Alright AC Family, are you excited to see
the Dark Knight’s new setup? I am super stoked to show you, and finally
bring back the Dark Knights to the channel, so hit that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON
now so you don’t miss out on next week’s super cool ant video! Also don’t forget to hit the LIKE button every
single time, including now. Also, if you’re new to the channel and want
to catch up on your AntsCanada Lore. I’ve put together a complete story line playlist
so you can watch how all of the ant colonies you love on this channel, came to be, all
their challenges and hardships, all their successes and life events, their entire story
lines can now be watched from the very start so you can better appreciate the journey these
ants, as well as us watching them, have been embarking on. It’s incredible how epic the lives of ants
are! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would just like to watch scenes of Romeo and Juliet’s babies growing
up. Grab some tissues if you do watch. It’s heart-warming and tugs at the heart strings. Before we get to the AC Question of the Week,
I’d like to plug my daily vlogging channel, daily vlogs of my travels around the world. The vlogs are currently covering my exploration
of Sri Lanka, and the ants and wildlife are just insane! Do check it out and subscribe! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: Name three things spiders
use their silk webbing for. Congratulations to Samuel Irvine who correctly
answered: Three things spiders
can do with their webs: Prey Immobilization,
Guide Lining, and Ballooning?. Congratulations Samuel, you just won a free
e-book handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: Name one change we had to make
to our river to make it healthier and better equipped at dealing
with toxic agents in the water. Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

My Fire Ants’ New Ant Farm

My Fire Ants’ New Ant Farm


Let’s get fired up, AC Family! We’ve got some action for you today! When you own and care for an ant colony, overtime
you develop a sort of understanding. Eventually it gets to the point where you
almost know what your colony needs, when they need it, and how much of it they need. It’s almost like you form a psychic connection
with your ants. And for weeks now my massive fire ant colony,
a colony you guys have named “The Fire Nation” has been demanding that I add new living space
to their setup. The Fire Nation is now bigger and more voracious
than ever and has been needing some new living space, some fresh territory added to their
lands. So finally today, something amazing has arrived
for them. Behold, their new state of the art ant farm,
our newest, baddest, larger and most advanced ant farm yet, the AC Hybrid Nest 2.0. Today we’re moving them in, and learn about
what happens when an ant colony picks up and moves into fresh territory. You won’t want to miss all the awesome fire
ant action ahead so keep on watching until the end! How will our Fire Nation take to this new
specially designed home? Find out here, in this episode of the AntsCanada
Ant Channel. Please subscribe to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! Let’s cut right to it, AC Family. Look at these fire ants, Solenopsis geminata. They’re ready to move into some fresh new
space, and they’ve been ready for a long time now. Adding new living space and removing old living
space is important for the health of an ant colony because in the wild, the elements,
creatures, and microbes help keep ant nests fresh and clean. New soils are moved into an ants nest by way
of rains and other things like winds or animal or plant activity. Alternatively, ant colonies will literally
pick up and move their entire colony to a new location or dig their nests into new soils
abandoning old tunnels that may have become too soiled or too lived in. In a captive ant farm setup, ant colonies
don’t have this luxury and are forced to deal with the living space you give them for as
long as you hold them in. So it is important to cyclicly remove old
parts of an ants’ setup, especially if they are not natural nests, and replace them with
new living space so the ants can benefit from fresh and clean nesting media. I am actually in the process of drying out
the Fire Nation’s outworlds and removing them from the network just to clean them out and
allow them to breathe, free of ant activity for several months. So let’s look at the Fire Nation’s new future
home, shall we? I’m so excited! A lot of you have been writing to us for years
now asking us when our new improved Hybrid Nests would release, well, the wait is finally
over, AC Family. Proudly presenting our newest flagship formicarium,
the AntsCanada Hybrid Nest 2.0. I’ve been waiting for so long for these to
finally launch at AntsCanada.com, as they have taken 2 yrs for the AC Team to develop,
test, tweak, and improve. Let’s go over its exciting features for us
ant keepers! When you first receive your Hybrid Nest box
you immediately notice its size. This is a huge formicarium. It is 10 inches long with a living space of
8 inches x 8 inches. This houses thousands and thousands of ants. You may notice this is our Formica Hybrid
Nest version. This is the first of our series of genus-inspired
formicariums, and we will roll the other versions out gradually in the coming months. Though this design is inspired by nests belonging
to the genus Formica, almost every species can live in any of the designs. Our Fire Nation will love this Hybrid Nest…
hopefully. If we compare its size to our old Hybrid Nests,
you will see that these new Hybrid Nests are much bigger by many times, and in case you
wondering about the price, I’m happy to say these new Hybrid Nests will cost a few dollars
less than our previous Hybrid Nests. So if you look at the cover you will see the
name of the version of Hybrid Nest, as well as an indented area. I wanted this here for people like me who
like to name their ant colonies or label them by species like they do in museums. A sticker or label can be placed here in this
area for that. Or you can simply write in this area with
permanent marker. Completely up to you! Lifting the cover we see the beautiful interior
of our Fire Nation’s new luxurious home. Look at all those rooms and corridors! I cannot wait to see how the Fire Nation makes
use of them. You will also notice several openings on the
sides. There are two openings here and here which
act as exits and entrances. Our AC Test Tube Adapters fit perfectly inside
so you can attach a new test tube colony directly to the Hybrid Nest, and by the way if this
is your first time seeing these new test tube adapters, we have two sizes, one for smaller
ants to keep their test tubes humid, and a larger AC test tube adapter for your larger
species like Camponotus and Pogonomyrmex. You can also use these to accommodate water
test tubes for the colony to drink, which is what I’ll be doing for the Fire Nation. Of course these exits also accommodate our
large size of tubing. You’ll also notice this smaller hole which
runs to the other side of the Hybrid Nest, and that is to fixate a heating cable if you’re
the type that likes to heat your ant colony for quicker growth. It is placed on one side so there is a good
heating gradient for your ants to thermo regulate and choose where to position the colony according
to their desired temperature preference. These smaller peg holes above the heating
cables are there for some planned features which we will introduce sometime in the future. You will notice that there are multiple levels
and that the floor is slightly granulated. This helps with foot traction as well as holding
any digging medium in place in case you choose to add some or in case your ants decide to
drag some in from your outworld. Now lifting the upper portion off the Hybrid
Nest, you’ll notice the hydration tray in which you place your hydration medium of choice. Water poured into this tub here flows freely
underneath the living area of the ants and humidifies the ant colony from below via these
tiny microholes. This is the Formica design, so about a 30%
of the floor space is microholed, perfect for most ants. Other Hybrid Designs which will be releasing
overtime over the next few months will have slightly different humidity offerings. No matter what species of ant you are keeping
you want to maintain a humidity gradient with some drier parts and some more moist parts
so the ants can hydroregulate, super important for the proper rearing of the young. Every species has their moisture preference
so it is always best to give them a varied choice and this Hybrid Nest does exactly that. But enough talk and theory. It’s time to see what the Fire Nation thinks
of this custom-designed craft of ant technology. Let’s move the Fire Nation into their new
home! To setup, I first had to secure the glass
onto the Hybrid Nest. I always like to use Elmer’s school glue because
it is non-toxic and easy to use. I allowed it to dry over 12 hrs. Also, I had to add my hydration medium. For the Fire Nation, I am going to use cotton
and toilet paper, but you can also use soil, Ytong, sponge, water gels, perlite, sand,
or whatever media you know your ants like. I also only put it in the areas under the
microholes, but you can fill the entire tray if you so choose. This will hold moisture longer if you’re the
type that doesn’t want to have to water every two or three days. So my plan was to add pieces of large tubing
into the two exits and cut this highly traveled small tubing, which we call the Geminata Pass
that connects the Fire Palace, the rubbermaid bin, with the surrounding outworlds, and attach
the ends here and here. On the other holes I was going to place water
test tubes for the colony to drink from. All Hybrid Nests also come with perforated
plugs in case you want to plug any of the exits up. But for the Fire Nation, I wanted this new
home to have a function. I wanted it to be a drinking station, just
so it gave the ants a greater reason to move in to this space and call it home. So here we go, AC Family, first I had to put
on some gloves because as we saw a couple videos back, these girls pack a good sting! Alright 1 – 2 – 3. I cut the Geminata Pass and quickly attached
the ends to the two exits. All escapees were snatched up and thrown back
into the Fire Palace. Instantly, the ants were alarmed at the sudden
shifting of their trail which prior to this moment remained untouched for many months,
and they became wary and curious at the new smell of the Hybrid Nest. They stammered about, rather confused at first,
but then they began to wander into the Hybrid Nest. More and more ants came and began to snoop
around. I knew it wouldn’t be long before the ants
on both ends would find each other and meet and establish a new trail running through
their new Hybrid Nest. No ant had wandered yet towards the water
test tubes. I covered the nest and allowed the ants to
move in. Let’s see their progress 1 hour later. Lifting the lid. Wow! Looks like the move is well under way. Ants are drinking from the water tubes and
the ants are moving about excitedly inside. They’ve also established a trail within the
Hybrid Nest. Let’s come back later. 2 hours later the fire ant trails running
through the Hybrid Nest were now solidified and very apparent. Every time I came back to check up on the
ants, the trails became more obvious and the ants more excited about their new home. I loved watching the ants establishing their
trails! It was like watch ant highways. Don’t they just look mesmerizing? I could seriously watch this all day, every
day. How about you, guys?! So the Fire Nation will take a few more days
still before they elect this Hybrid Nest a suitable nesting
location. I will know when they will start to truly
call this home when they start moving the brood into here. I will be sure to keep you guys updated on
their progress. For now, the ants will continue to leave their
pheromones on the surface of the Hybrid Nest and mark their territory. Though I do like natural nests involving dirt,
I do also love keeping ants in dirtless formicariums like this because you can actually see the
interior nest activities of the ant colony uninhibited, not just what happens outside
of the nest. Hopefully, soon we’ll even catch a glimpse
of the queen whom we haven’t seen for over a year! Let’s hope, AC Family. And by the way, what should we name this new
ant territory? Leave your name suggestions in the comments
and I will choose my top 5 favourites for the AC Family to vote on in a future video. So if you would like to get yourself one of
these cool Hybrid Nests, I have placed links to this item at our shop in the description
box of this video. The new Hybrid Nests now ship out in less
than a week from purchase date and just a reminder that we do ship worldwide. Hope you guys can join me at admiring ants
in the comfort of your own home. It’s really a different thing observing ants
in person than through a Youtube video. Thanks for watching another episode of the
AntsCanada Ant Channel. This is AntsCanada signing out! It’s ant love forever. Alright, AC Family, so what did you think? Do you like the Fire Nation’s new nest addition? Don’t forget to leave your name suggestions
in the comments for this new section of the Fire Nation’s territory! I hope you ant lovers out there get a chance
to own one of these Hybrid Nests one day and see how cool it is to watch ants living in
it. AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would just like to watch extended play footage of the ants moving in
to their new Hybrid Nest. And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! 2 weeks ago, we asked: List one reason why the
praying mantis was an ideal predator to control the
Golden Empire’s population. Congratulations to Animals and Stuff who correctly
answered: The reason the praying mantis is an ideal
Predator is because the are smart, have great eye sight,
move with slow motion but also move quickly if needing
to get to safe ground, she can also fend for her self with no issues, can move without
the ants noticing her and also kick ants off her. Very thorough answer! Congratulations Animals and Stuff you just
won a free ebook handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What does an ant colony do when their
current nest gets too dirty or too lived in? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win one of these brand new Hybrid nests from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

My Fire Ants Are Planning an Escape

My Fire Ants Are Planning an Escape


Oh my god. Look at this! I have a very serious problem. A problem that all ant keepers of this species inevitably go through. Now these tropical fire ants can be an ant keeper’s dream Or can be an ant keeper’s nightmare. Look at all these ants! It’s incredible, they have completely filled up all living spaces that I provided for them. And they’re constantly requiring more space, more food, and also a lot more maintenance. Remember my ant routine video? Showing the maintenance required for this ant colony? Well, In just a few months, maintenance has tripled. The growth rate of Solenopsis Geminata is truly unprecedented. Before I used to be able to spot clean this out world. But now, I just got to put on some gloves, cover it with baby powder, and grab at their garbage. There is no other way I also inevitably do end up scooping some workers. I try to save as many as I can, but when you’re dealing with this many ants it’s practically impossible without unintentionally scooping up some workers. By the way guys if you’re new to ant keeping, or if you’re looking to get into ant keeping, please don’t let this video scare you because this species, is a very difficult species to house. I’ve been keeping ants for many many years and I’m comfortable working around them. Most commonly kept ant species, are not this extreme. But I love the challenge! And I know a lot of you ant keepers out there are also up for the challenge of keeping these girls. In fact, these are so hard to keep that I make sure to test all of our AntsCanada products on them to ensure quality and effectiveness. But if you saw the title of this video then you already know what’s up next. These ants have a big plan in mind. They are planning…an escape! In this video, I’m going to show you how I could tell that these ants were planning a big break out and what I did to circumvent their plans. And also, actually change their minds. So be sure to keep watching until the end. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the AntsCanada ant channel! Now let’s go back to a couple weeks ago, when this colony was smaller. At this point, the colony was an ok size manageable, eating well. Maintenance was pretty easy as well. And they were a delight to watch. There weren’t too much but there were also weren’t too little. But then I noticed something very alarming. If you look over there you’ll see ants on the screen. Right underneath the cover. Not exactly an emergency situation, because they’re still inside and they can’t get through the cover But, This was alarming because it meant the ants were crossing my barrier. Now the thing is here in the Philippines, the air is super humid all the time. Which means that dry barriers, like baby powder and Fluon lose its effectiveness over time. Simply due to the moisture in the air. And so what I now have to do, is I have to add baby powder every month just to replace this barrier, so the ants can’t cross. I just simply dip a cotton ball into some baby powder, and gently pad it against the upside down lip. Now here’s the thing; if you look carefully there at the top, you’ll notice that there is a grouping of ants, just kind of sitting there. Sitting there, as if they were planning something. Or, they were waiting for something. Based on experience, when ants do this, I’ve found that they’re ready to make an escape. And if you notice now that all of that baby powder’s there, it seems like that grouping is starting to disseminate. And they’re all going away. Thankfully, these ants are in an AC out world, which is designed to keep ants, like these fire ants, inside. And luckily, it comes with a cover. I also make sure to place baby power on the bottom of the cover, just to keep this from happening again. Now on goes the cover, and I don’t have to worry. A colony at this size is very healthy. Not too crowded, and they’ve established a very prominent highway. But are not completely carpeting the surface. They are, however, growing at a very exponential rate. And I found that the larger the colony, the more agressive they are. Which can prove to be a challenge, especially when you’re working around them. In this case, like when I’m changing water tubes. These ants are super aggressive, and I definitely need to wear gloves. Of course when working around these girls, and dealing with disconnections and connections I will have some escapees. And for them, I just flick them back into the out world. So they can rejoin their colony. Escaped ants basically are kind of helpless, they’ll die without their colony. Ants are stronger in numbers. A lone ant wandering around is kind of useless, and I always find those random escapees that escape while I’m disconnecting connections trying desperately to get back and rejoin their colony. But this video is not about those random escapes. This video is about their great escape! Now remember when we saw that grouping of the ants kind of just hanging out? As I said before, I always find that ants hanging around in groupings like this in their out world somewhere towards the top indicate that the ants are sort of contemplating ways to get out of this familiar space. Now it’s not out of the ordinary for ants to setup resting spots around their out world by any means. But with these fire ants, when I find them hanging out around the top it’s kind of a red flag for me. Now I find when ants are showing signs of wanting to escape their setup it usually means that they need more food. So in this case, when I suspect that they want to escape I just double their feeding portions. I know this helps because every single time I add more food, I see less and less of these ants just hanging around the top contemplating an escape. Anyone whos kept this species knows exactly what I’m talking about. These ants are voracious eaters When these girls wanna escape, I just feed them more cockroaches. Check it out guys And now here I am, adding a little bit more baby powder just to be safe. Look how many workers are foraging this out world, it’s just crazy both hybrid nests here are completely full. It just boggles my mind how one queen can give rise to so many workers so quickly. The queen’s egg laying rate must be phenomenal I bet she lays one egg every few minutes, and it’s around the clock. Again for those of you who are into ant keeping, or want to get into ant keeping don’t let this alarm you because most species like Lasius, Camponotus especially, Formica and other species particularly from the temperate regions Even Tetramorium do not grow this fast. And for all you guys out there who want very large and impressive colonies, I hope you’re watching this video and paying attention. This is what you can expect. If you’re from a temperate region and you’re keeping temperate region ants trust me, it’s a good thing that it takes years for ant colonies to get this large. Also worth noting, if a colony reaches a certain size that you really like all you gotta do is lower the temperature just a little bit. Perhaps by one or two degrees. And that will slow down the egg laying rate of the queen. You can also limit food, but doing this will lead to mass deaths. When my ants are showing signs of wanting to escape not only do I double the food portions, but it also indicates that the ants need more space. I mean look at brood that they’ve moved into the tubes now! These ants need new space and they need it soon. Now instead of adding another formicarium, or another one of these out world nests, I wanted to try and show you guys something really cool that you can do. To increase their living space using just a few materials. Introducing, my solution to offering these ants some new space The Antagon! Okay, perhaps the name is kinda tacky But it’s really cool and I wanted to show you guys what you can do especially if your colony is really large I definitely wouldn’t recommend this kind of setup for a new colony with just a few workers. Because for small colonies humidity is everything and I’m not sure if I would trust the consistency of humidity in a network of tubes like this But for a very large and active colony that could use the space This can add a lot of fun to the design of your ant setup. It can also add a little bit of distance for those of you who have ants that are willing to travel far distances to get to other satellite nests or out worlds. It allows you to increase the space without actually increasing the space. Alright, so basically what I’ve done here is I’ve connected a bunch of our large AC tubing using a variety of different connectors available at the AC shop. And I’ve let this tubing kind of run around this stool which I’ve placed on top of the desk and these tubes will eventually connect to the ant setup. I can’t wait to connect them! Ants love exploring new areas. Especially when the colony is large like this, and they really just want to explore some new space. And of course, we all love spoiling our ants. So here we go guys! I’m going to connect this fire ant colony to the Antagon! Here we go! Gotta grab the escapees and throw them back into the out world. Look at them go! And there you have it! Some new living space for this growing ant colony. And you know what? I don’t see ants trying to escape anymore. This will probably only last them Mmmm, I would say a few weeks. So, do stay tuned for an upcoming video when I give this colony even more living space. By the way guys, for those of you that liked this ant footage of ants moving into the Antagon I’ve created a hidden cookie for you guys and you can simply click here to watch ants just moving into the Antagon or visiting the link that I’m going to put in the info section of this video. Overall, despite these little challenges keeping ants is such a fun experience. This colony is an example of what can be achieved with time, patience, care, and a proper setup. We at AntsCanada have taught thousands of people to keep ants and we’re still counting. We make sure to help our customers achieve beautiful, healthy, and fruitful ant colonies just like this. Ants are truly the most amazing creatures on this planet. And it really is my desire for you guys to find out just how awesome ants really are. If you would like to get into ant keeping, or you need help with your current ant colony, be sure to watch our free videos on this channel or read our various articles at AntsCanada.com Also be sure to visit our forum which is super helpful. It’s a place where thousands of ant keepers, from all over the world meet, post about their ants and read up, because just like ants we are better in larger numbers. Thanks so much for watching this video, please subscribe so you can stay updated with our weekly videos which we upload every Monday, at 8:00 AM sharp. Don’t forget to leave a comment, like, and share! It’s ant love forever guys! Bye! Thanks guys for watching this video it really means a lot to me Don’t forget to subscribe to this channel, we upload a video every Monday at 8:00 AM sharp Eastern Standard Time And don’t forget to check out our great playlists on this channel you’ll see an ant tutorial playlist over there that can help all you beginner ant keepers And we have a fire ant playlist for those of you who like to watch large active colonies Finally don’t forget to visit us at AntsCanada.com. We have lots of great information on ant keeping we’ve got a forum full of thousands of ant keepers from all over the world who you can learn from and please if you’ve got ant colonies don’t forget to contribute and I highly recommend you journal in the journaling section. And finally if you need ant colonies be sure to visit our GAN Project at the Queen Ants for sale section. We sell ant colonies in key cities all over the world and if you would like to be an GAN farmer and sell colonies of your own in your city, please write to us at GAN at AntsCanada.com

OMG! I Caught a NEW QUEEN ANT! | A MONSTER ANT BATTLE feat. Trap-jaws, Weaver Ants, Marauder Ants

OMG! I Caught a NEW QUEEN ANT! | A MONSTER ANT BATTLE feat. Trap-jaws, Weaver Ants, Marauder Ants


Oh my God, guys! I caught a new queen ant, and not just any queen! This beauty is a trap-jaw queen ant. Look at those jaws. They are just crazy massive and super dangerous. I’ve been stung and bitten by one of these
girls and it was one of the most painful bites I have ever received from an insect. Trap jaw ants get their name from the way
in which little tiny hairs trigger their massive and menacing jaws to snap shut with blinding
power and speed! Today we put these jaws to the test and meet
this brand new queen trap-jaw ant and welcome her to the AC Family. Plus, we take a look at some other super menacing
ant species that exist in the tropical country I currently live in, and for those of you
asking me to pit two species of ants together so they could fight and war, well you’re in
for a treat because today we’re going to watch as two monster ant species come together. AC Fam, grab your magnifying glasses and put
on your hiking boots as we take a look at some monster ants here in the Southeast Asian
tropics, and I also explain how I got here all the way from Canada, in this super cool
episode of the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please subscribe to my channel, and hit the
bell icon, too. Thank you and welcome to the AC Family, and
I don’t know why I’m whispering. Enjoy the video. If you’re an ant keeper there is this sort
of inexplicable joy that one feels when you find a new queen ant. Perhaps some of you look forward to this feeling
this coming Spring, or if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere or the tropics you’re probably
experiencing this now. The thrill of finding a large ant, identifying
that my goodness it’s a queen in nuptial flight, then capturing her to raise your own colony
is something comparable to a partnership I liken to the movie Avatar. You sort of form this deep connection with
this queen, a bond which if you’re looking at Avatar the movie is like your tsaheylu
to your Mountain banshee or your Ikran. You and the ant are two species which share
the geographical land and come together to form a partnership where if you techincally
look at it, can be a mutualistically beneficial relationship. You provide for all the needs and care for
the queen and her future babies, offering them food, housing, protection, resources,
and maintenance duties, while the queen provides us a flourishing colony that brings us amazement,
wonder, learning, and if you’ve watched this channel for awhile some pretty amazing, deep
insights. So when I found this Odontomachus species
queen ant, I freaked out. I found her walking on a windowsill of my
building, and quickly placed her into a bottle, then test tubed her. Take a look at her, isn’t she amazing? As mentioned earlier trap-jaw ants get their
name from their mandibles. Those straight mandibles are capable of opening
180 degrees. These jaws are locked in place by an internal
mechanism, and can snap shut on prey or objects when sensory hairs on the inside of the mandibles
are touched. The mandibles are powerful and fast, and I
mean super fast! One study of Odontomachus ants recorded peak
speeds of between 126–230 kilometres per hour, that’s 78–143 mph, with the jaws closing
within just 130 microseconds, and the peak force exerted was about 300 times the body
weight of the ant. Those are insane numbers. That’s about 18.6 tonnes of force if this
queen were the size of a human, or like the force of dropping about 12 SUVs down onto
whatever it is the human-sized trap-jaw queen might be biting. Let’s just be thankful she isn’t that size. These trap-jaw ants can also apprently use
their jaws as a catapult to eject intruders or fling themselves backwards to escape a
threat. Those are some amazing jaws if you ask me. Now, let’s put these jaws to the test. I’m going to place this probe into the test
tube and see how this queen reacts. Ready guys? Here we go. Let’s move the probe closer to her. It’s getting closer. Let’s repositon here. She hasn’t noticed us yet, but… oh, now
she smells the probe. Here we go. She’s checking it out. Here she goes – contact. Woah did you see that? Well, of course you didn’t actually see it,
it was lighting fast. Check out this slowed down replay. Woah! It was so fast our cameras couldn’t even pick
it up. I just felt and heard a small tiny tick but
I am sure it was powerful. Just amazing. This queen is special because trap-jaw ants
are a species that is semi-claustral. So remember a few videos back when I explained
ant reproduction and how queen ants seal themselves off and don’t eat during the founding stage
as they give rise to their first set of workers. Well, some species actually do hunt and forage
as they raise their first set of workers. Kind of like how some birds do. Trap-jaw ant queens leave the nest, find food,
then return to the nest to feed their young. So this trap-jaw queen ant being semi-claustral
and does need to hunt while raising her first set of workers. Now, I don’t know if she has mated or not,
and she still has her wings, which doesn’t necessarily mean that she hasn’t mated, but
perhaps she might be hungry, so let’s see if she will eat this baby cockroach nymph. I had heard that trap-jaw ants love this species
of feeder cockroach known in the pet trade as “lats” or “red runners”. So here we go guys! Let’s see if she will eat this baby cockroach. It’s getting closer. The cockroach has been pre-killed but due
to insect nerves, it’s still able to move and it creeps closer and closer to our queen. It’s so close! Is she going to bite it? Suddenly the cockroach falls on its back exposing
its soft underside. This is it, guys. What? What a surprise! She doesn’t want to have anything to do with
the food. Now this species is a challenge to get started
into a full colony from just a single caught queen ant because of how finicky their diet
is. You see trap-jaw ants also happen to be very
specific feeders and prefer very specific terrestrial insects and other invertebrates,
and looks like this time, she’s not interested in our cockroach. Look at her as she approaches the cockroach
so cautiously when he jaws can easily crush that cockroach in one swift blow. She really seems like a gentle giant, doesn’t
she? She’s not a monster ant at all. So, I gotta get that roach outta there. Now how on Earth am I going to do that? Ummm ok I’m just going to try to fish it out
here. Ok, done. She checks the area just to make sure the
cockroach is gone, everything seems clear, and look at her now just taking her place
and settling back in. She’s so cute, right guys? If we successfully raise a colony from her,
what should we name the colony? Let me know in the comments section. OK, so what am I going to do with this new
queen ant now? Well because she is semi-claustral, her setup
will be a little different from if she were just a normal queen ant. I’ll need the help of this neat piece of ant
equipment. It’s called an AC Test Tube Portal. Basically it allows you to connect up to 4
test tube setups or tubing, and creates a mini space where you can feed semi-claustral
queens, create a small chamber in a tubing network, make it easier for queen ants and
small colonies to move out of moldy test tube setups and into new test tube setups, and
can be used for a bunch of other stuff, too. The applications of this equipment for ant
keepers are actually quite endless. It even has a little trap door to drop food
in easier. So what I’m going to do is simply attach this
Trap-jaw queen ant’s test tube to this test tube portal and then place this test tube
portal in a dark spot somewhere where she can be at peace, and if she’s mated, we should
soon have eggs. I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated on her. Now another thing that makes the trap-jaw
queen special is that unlike the Fire Nation, our Fire Ants, which is a species originating
in South America, our Black Crazy Ants, which scientists suspect originated in India, and
our Yellow Crazy Ants which scientists suspect came from West Africa, these trap-jaw ant
are in fact a native ant, a species that is originally from here in the Philippines. You see, the Fire Nation, our Black Crazy
Ants, and our Yellow Crazy Ant colonies, though we love them so much, are all considered “tramp
species” essentially ants that have successfully colonized many countries, but have originated
from another country in the world. They migrated here through human activites
like trasnport of plants, goods, etc, and their ability to conquer the land and overpower
native ants helped them establish themselves here many years ago. They’re essentially naturalized migrants or
invasive ants. Alright guys, so here’s alittle something. Speaking of international migrations, so many
of you guys have been asking why this channel is called AntsCanada when I am in fact living
the Philippines, so here’s the story. I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada to
two Filipino-migrant parents, and started this ant channel in 2009 in Canada with Canadian
ants. Now, I know this sounds totally, totally random
guys, but I moved to the Philippines in 2011 to become an actor, comedian, and singer. I actually live 3 separate lives as a youtuber
running not one, not two, but three channels, which I rarely talk about in each channel
and I’ve been trying to do my best to keep my channels and content separate, just because
the 3 channels are so vastly different, and the audiences are therefore also different,
but for those of you who might be interested I’ve placed links in the description box to
my other channels, but just a warning, you may be like “Whhhaat da?!” So that explains why this channel is called
AntsCanada while most of it is filmed in the Philippines, and also explains why a lot of
times you guys might happen to see one of my product endorsement commercials airing
before watching these ant videos. Alright, but back to the ants. Relocating here to the Philippines turned
out to be pure serendipity because I was shocked to discover that the Philippines just so happens
to be one of the hottest of the biodiversity hotspots in the entire world for endemic flora
and fauna, especially for the mighty ants that live here! I thought I had to close my ant channel when
I moved from Canada but I guess not. About 30% of all currently known ant genera
have been recorded in the Philippines. New species are being discovered all the time. Check out this map from Antmaps.org. This map is colour coded and all the purple
areas have the highest concentration of ant species that are endemic and the Philippines
is one of those purple countries. If you ant lovers out there have a chance
to visit a tropical country, I really hope you can stop by the Philippines because it
really is an ant haven. OK it’s time to explore the ants. Just this week, I was able to travel just
beyond the borders of the city to Los Banos, Laguna, to the lush countryside to film these
amazing ant species for you guys. Are you ready to check them out? OK here we go. So these brownish-reddish ants all marching
in a line like this, might seem like your every day brownish-reddish ants, until you
see one of these. That is a major. This species is called Carebara diversa, one
of the most impressive polymorphic ants ever. They’ve got really tiny minors, and huge supermajors,
and when I say huge, these supermajors are massive, with heads as big as a centimeter
large or larger. They’re also known as Marauder ants. Very famous in the ant world, and check out
what they do that’s really cool. The supermajors give piggyback rides to the
minors, like this here, and… oh, where is she going? It seems like our cameras are scaring her,
and she’s running off the beated path, and where is she going now? I feel bad I feel like we just disorientated
her. Oh, looks like where ever she was going doesn’t
matter now. She’s heading back the other way. Take a look at this beauty, guys. This is a Diacamma species. Huge, huge ants, and they sting. This ant species is pretty cool because they
are sort of queen-less. Among the workers they elect a sort of dominant
worker which takes the place as the egg-laying queen and who’s allowed to mate. Males from other colonies are allowed into
the nest where they mate with this one queen, also known as a gamergate. They’re very aggressive and hunt singly. Take a look at this menacing trap-jaw ant. This is Odontomachus infandus. Look at that head and those chompers. I don’t want to feel what it feels like being
bitten by that, so I’m just going to keep my distance. Thank God it’s cleaning itself right now because
these ants are quick and so hard to film using this macro camera. Sorry guys for my noob filming for all of
these ants. Now although this trap-jaw ant looks scary,
it seems that by far, the dominant ants in this entire area are the Asian Weaver ants. I found a trail of Asian Weaver ants and they
were carrying all sorts of insects that they had killed: ants, termites, and it seemed
I was just on time to catch an epic ant battle between Weaver ants and a trap-jaw ant. Woah look at the trap-jaw ant trying to sting
the Weaver Ants, and the Weaver Ants are ruthless and brave. Look at how this worker is trying to bite
the stinger, while another is trying to bite the jaws! Wow! The trap-jaw ant opens its mandibles wide,
ready to snap shut on a weaver ant at any moment, but it seems like today, the weaver
ants will win this battle. Isn’t that crazy AC fam? Unreal that we got to capture that on film. So guys, I managed to get a lot of footage
of these ants that you’ve seen here, as well as other ants not shown in this video, so
I’ve created a hidden video for you guys here, if you want to check out the ants that I filmed
on this day, and I just wanna say a special thanks to my friend David General, an ant
taxonomist from this area who helped me ID these ants. Now these beautiful and awesome native ant
species have lived here for millions of years, and it was really cool to be able to admire
them. But you know what, can I be honest with you
guys, as I was observing these ants, I realized that thought these tropical ants are really
cool and it seems like these ants are really intense all the time, a part of me does miss
the ants that I grew up with in Canada, our familiar North American ants. I miss the tiny Lasius ant hills and huge
Tetramorium ant wars by the sidewalks. I really miss running into Formica ant hills
in the field and their panicky workers in the sun, and man do I really miss those huge
and impressive carpenter ants, but I guess, as the saying goes, “The grass is always greener
on the other side.” I suppose the most we can do is enjoy what
we have right, when we have it, and really take the time to look closer and admire the
beauty that surrounds us, in all shapes and forms, even in the things most people never
notice like ants. Thanks for watching this video and until next
week, AC Fam, it’s ant love forever. Thank you guys so much for watching this video
it really, really means a lot to me. Hope you guys can subscribe and join the AC
Family, and let’s discover just how amazing ants are. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook
where we often do livestreams and announcements, and we’re currently having a fun contest where
we’re giving away our free ant t-shirts which just debuted at the shop. So join us! Link to our Facebook page is in the description
box. Alright guys, and we’re going to top this
video off with the AC Question of the week. Last week we asked, name one of the new territories
we added to the Fire Nation. Congratulations to David Rafael who correctly
answered the Hydrocombs. We also accepted the Tropic of Pyro and the
Fire Jungle, and now for this week’s Question of the Week we ask, what is the name of the
species featured in this video that give piggyback rides to fellow smaller sisters. Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win our brand new Test Tube Portal v2, which you saw earlier in this video,
and remember guys we’ve got an awesome Christmas sale and promo that’s happening all month,
so visit us at AntsCanada.com. It’s Ant Love Forever.

Ants vs. Carnivorous Plants

Ants vs. Carnivorous Plants


Oh no! AC Family, we have a serious crisis on our
hands. Look at how many ants are filling this massive
tank, the Hacienda Del Dorado, the home to our active colony of yellow crazy ants. This is the Golden Empire, our fastest growing
ant colony on this channel. In fact this 8 queen supercolony of yellow
crazy ants is so fast growing, they are set to outgrow this huge vivarium soon if they
continue on this path of rapid, unchecked population growth! Of course on this channel, mass execution
& culling of ant populations is definitely not our style! So I turned to you guys, the AC Family, and
on our Twitter page, I asked you, if you felt it would be ethically, ok to introduce carnivorous
plants into the Hacienda Del Dorado as a natural form of population control, and to my surprise,
by 65% margin, you guys chose the ant-eating plants. AC Family, you won’t want to miss these mind-blowing
scenes of epic ant vs plant action, and guys, you won’t believe the incredible plot twist,
so keep on watching until the end. In a world where not animals are on top of
the food chain, but suddenly plants are in the Hacienda Del Dorado, I welcome you to
another episode of the AntCanada Ant Channel. Please subscribe to my videos and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! So here’s how this all went down. Lately, the sheer numbers of ants that come
to the surface at every feeding has been staggering. Watch what happens whenever I lay down a tray
of honey, or some feeder insects. At first, a few members, and then a few minutes
later more, and soon much more, and then droves more! It isn’t long before a blanket of ants appear
on the surface clamoring for the food, like hungry savages devouring whatever I place
into their territory. There’s no denying that the Golden Empire
had definitely exploded in population. Perhaps it is due to the extra hot weather
we’ve been getting here in the Philippines, as it has currently been summer for a few
months now. This is the Golden Empire’s first summer in
fact, and that coupled with the fact that the colony has 8 egg-laying queens, and has
been receiving a full supply of insects and honey daily, it is no wonder the Golden Empire
is quickly filling up the Hacienda Del Dorado. The Hacienda Del Dorado itself, so far has
been good at self-sustaining. The organisms within the terrarium seem to
establish a nice balance and working relationship. Springtails which you guys officially named
the Spring Cleaners by the way, do a great job at taking care of garbage, we have millipedes
from a previous video eating up decaying plant matter, but nothing existed in our little
community of creatures to keep our ant population in check. And now, I have been noticing more and more
ants testing the security baby powder barriers for weaknesses, and based on past experience
we all know what that means. They may be planning an escape. AC Family, we have a serious crisis on our
hands. The Golden Empire’s population absolutely
needed to be controlled and immediately. Now adding a predatory insect or animal into
the Hacienda Del Dorado to eat the ants was definitely not an option. I considered possibly a toad or a gecko, but
no, such animals would undoubtedly end up being devoured by the ants. Although it is true that the ants of our Golden
Empire here are harmless to humans and seemingly non-aggressive, they are actually pretty savage. Their acid sprays can be lethal to other animals. This week, my pet bird managed to get into
the Hacienda Del Dorado, and the ants practically blinded her for a good two days. You can see what happened on a vlog on my
other channel. There have been many cases of dogs & other
animals here in the Philippines with severe eye injuries and even swollen tracheae due
to the formic acid sprays of ants like these. I highly doubt an ant lion would even be able
to survive the Golden Empire. It would drown in this swarm and fall prey
to these ants. So you see, unless we’re talking about a full-out
ant eater, placing any kind of predatory animal in here would not work at controlling population
size. The predator would simply not survive. But what if our predators were not animals
inserted into the Hacienda Del Dorado, but instead were plants. AC Family, meet Nepenthes, the notorious,
carnivorous pitcher plants. Let’s take a closer look, shall we? Here we have two hybrid plant monsters. These ominous plant beasts belong to the genus
Nepenthes. To the left, we have a stout cross breed product
of the species Nepenthes mirabilis, thorelli, and campanulata, all native to Southeast Asia. And to the right, a more slender hybrid of
Nepenthes ventricosa and alata, both native to the Philippines. These plants are gorgeous, but don’t be fooled
by their beauty. Make no mistake. These plants are lethal to insects. Let’s go over how these pitcher plants work. At the end of several of the leaves exist
tendrils from which pitcher-shaped plant parts hang. Located at every pitcher’s peristome, the
name for those glossy-looking lips of the pitcher, are honey-glands, which produce a
liquid secretion that act as the pitcher’s bait. This secretion is sweet, perfect for luring
in a potential unsuspecting ant. In fact, these particular species of pitcher
plants specialize in feeding on ants above all insects. So when an ant or other insect comes to drink
from the sweet secretion, the peristome’s slippery surface causes the ants to fall in,
and inward pointing microscopic hairs keep the ants from being able to climb out. At the bottom of every pitcher waiting for
the falling ants lays a liquid called phytotelmata which drowns the ant and digests it. A shielding flap covers every pitcher keeping
debris and excess water from falling into the pitcher which could potentially render
the pitchers ineffective. Let’s take a peek into this pitcher which
is midway wilted and doesn’t have it’s covering flap. You can see the liquid phytotelmata inside,
and wait a sec, there’s a tiny spider living in there. Haha! I assume it’s mooching off the pitcher of
any extra small insects that might fall inside. How funny! It seems some creatures are able to hack the
pitcher plants’ evolutionary devices. Now the reason I chose to go with pitcher
plants and not something like venus fly traps is because first, these pitcher plants can
consume more ants than a venus fly trap plant can. Venus fly traps can only capture as many ants
as they have traps, which is usually a small number compared to the number of ants we need
eaten in this case. These pitcher plants on the other hand can
consume are larger amount of ants, pretty much until the pitchers are full, and as each
pitcher eventually dies and rots away, new pitchers grow with every new leaf. Pitcher plants seemed like the better option
for what we needed. Also, I was surprised to find that pitcher
plants happen to be hardier than venus fly traps. As a child I owned a venus fly trap on 2 occasions
and both times they died. Venus fly traps are notoriously delicate plants,
while these pitcher plants are a bit more tolerant of various conditions. The only instruction I had regarding their
care was to give them only distilled water and provide them with good lighting. I was told, they grow well in hummus, coconut
husk, and peat moss which was perfect because those media were exactly what I used for the
Hacienda Del Dorado. Pitcher plants like most carnivorous plants
evolved their feeding behaviours in order to acquire needed nutrients, mostly nitrogen
and phosphorus. In their natural habitats, pitcher plants
and many other carnivorous plants grow in soils that are too poor in minerals and/or
too acidic for most plants to survive. So rather than relying on photosynthetic glucose
to survive like most plants, pitcher plants supplement available nutrients and minerals,
which plants normally obtain through their roots, with the constituents of their insect
prey. The idea of using these pitcher plants to
control our ant population still made me nervous, however, as I have never before done this
nor ever attempted to use a predatory factor to control my captive ant colony populations. Usually, most ant keepers either lower the
temperature at which the colony is at and/or limit the food provided to slow down egg production,
but I couldn’t lower the temperature as I feared it would have had a negative effect
on the Fire Nation which are killed by lower temperatures, and limiting the food at this
point would have lead to mass deaths within the Golden Empire. These pitcher plants seemed like the best
and most humane option. So here we go. My plan was to plant the two pitcher plants
here and here. They needed to be in a good location with
ample lighting, and every morning natural sun hits these spots of the Hacienda Del Dorado. I wanted to keep the pitcher plants partially
in their pots just in case I wanted to remove them for any reason and also to help retain
more water. So, I simply cut the upper part of their thin
pots to better hide the pots after planting. One thing I was told that I found rather peculiar,
was that the ants may, quite ironically, end up taking care of the pitcher plant, because
some of the sweet secretion produced by the pitcher plants’ honey glands actually does
provide ants with food as some ants are able to get away safely without falling into the
pitchers. So, I am extremely interested to see what
relationship the ants ultimately establish with these pitcher plants. It might end up being a partial predator-prey
and partial mutualistic symbiotic relationship. AC Family, let’s find out. I’ve covered my arms in baby powder to keep
the ants from climbing all over me and put on some gloves. Wish me luck! 1 – 2 – 3. I began to dig a hole for the first pitcher
plant. In the soil, I also found groups of brood
which I carefully placed aside for the ants to carry away somewhere else. Hole excavated. And now placing the first pitcher plant into
the Hacienda Del Dorado. Alright, and now for the second pitcher plant. This corner was a bit easier as I only needed
to relocate a large rock and place the pitcher plant in its spot. Done. Both pitcher plants were now inside the Hacienda
Del Dorado. Let’s watch. I held my breath! Ants immediately were drinking from the sweet,
slimy peristome. As expected, in their eagerness to drink the
delicious secretions, ants one by one and rather quietly began to slip into the pitcher. It seemed the peristome was quite slippery
as ants tried their best to gain footing as they navigated the outside of the pitcher,
only to eventually fall in. Some ants however, were lucky and managed
to leave the pitcher after having their drink. I looked to the other pitcher plant. This too was popular with the ants. It seemed this pitcher worked a little differently. It looked like many ants fed from the peristome,
but were also lured into the pitcher. Ants entered the pitcher freely, and some
were even able to crawl back out. From the looks of things, though, more ants
entered than were able to leave. It wasn’t long before the pitcher plants gobbled
up many ants, and you could see them inside their bellies! See them? It looked as though the ants were still alive
in the pitchers but could only climb to a certain point before slipping back in. Peeking in from the top, you could see the
ants, alive within the pitcher plants. I suspect that the ants would eventually simply
tire out and die at the bottom of the pitcher and then be digested. Watching the ants alive inside the pitcher
made my heart weep. This was the first time I’ve ever done anything
like this and honestly, though I knew this was something that needed to be done, a part
of me felt so bad for doing this. Watching the ants trying their best to get
out was difficult and heart-wrenching. AC Family, I know you guys feel it, too. But then, suddenly I noticed something peculiar. Checking one of the other pitchers I saw that
ants were drinking from the peristome but strangely were able to both enter and exit
the pitcher freely. I looked to the third pitcher on this pitcher
plant and shockingly, the same. Ants were not being trapped inside these pitchers. It seemed as though pitchers were only in
capture-mode for a limited time. I looked at the other pitcher plant and noticed
the same thing. Ants could quite easily enter and exit the
other pitchers. It seemed the youngest and oldest pitchers
were rendered safe for the ants, while only one pitcher on each plant was in their lethal
prime. How interesting… Furthermore, all pitchers both lethal and
non-lethal, both young and old seemed to be providing the ants with the secretions. Even immature, budding pitchers seemed to
be providing the ants with sweet goods! Woah! Suddenly, I realized that this was all part
of the pitcher plants’ completely ingenious design! You see each pitcher plant was only consuming
a small portion of the ants that visited it, while allowing most of the ants to leave unharmed
and with bellies full. This meant that these surviving ants could
return to the colony and let the rest of the colony members know about the pitcher plants’
sweet offerings, so the ants would eventually learn that the pitcher plant was a reliable
and constant source of food. It ensured ants continually visited the pitcher
plants, protect it from potential herbivorous which might come along and eat the pitcher
plants, and aerate the soils in which the pitcher plants grow. The relationship between the ants and the
pitcher plant was indeed mutualistic, and sure if you saw ants as individuals then yes,
the relationship was partially predatorial, but if you saw an ant colony as a super organism,
as a single animal, the relationship was completely mutualistic because in sacrificing just a
few members of the colony, it ensured the plant survived to give the ants a constant
supply of sugar, which in turn meant the ant colony would be nourised. The ants would also end up caring for the
pitcher plant via protection and soil aeration. Wow! I totally expected the pitcher plants to be
ravenous beasts, consuming huge amounts of ants, but instead, it turned out the plants
only took what seemed to be just enough, perhaps the right amount to get enough nutrients it
needed for its size, while still allowing the majority of ants to leave as their friends. I was mind-blown by this, and it was another
display of nature in its oh so familiar process of taking just enough according to what it
needs and giving back to the other living things it depends on. It was beautiful, actually and pretty inspiring. It made me wish we humans could one day find
our similar balance, and realize that the other living things we share the planet with,
should be given back to and cared for so that they can stick around, because after all,
in the end, we need them to survive. Thanks so much for watching another episode
of the AntsCanada ant channel. This is AntsCanada sign out. It’s ant love forever. Alright, AC Family was that a plot twist or
what? Now, I don’t know if these pitcher plants
will be an effective solution to the Golden Empire’s population control or if they’ll
even survive the harsh and untamed Hacienda Del Dorado lands, but if the plants eat enough
ants to get amply nourished enough to grow bigger, while also feeding the ants so that
the colony thrives, it will grow more pitchers which will in turn eliminate more ants. We will see how the proportions work out over
time, and I will surely update you on these pitcher plants and the ant population as time
goes on. AC Inner Colony, I’ve left a hidden cookie
for you here if you just would like to check out some uncut and unedited footage of one
of the pitcher plants consuming ants over a period of several minutes. It’s truly a marvel how these pitcher plants
are designed at trapping the ants effectively. And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week. Last week we asked: What is your favourite reason
why ants are the best pets, either mentioned in our last
video or your own? Congratulations to TheFatRat, who answered: Ants are great pets because they
teach responsibility and dedication. Congratulations TheFatRat you just won a FREE
Omni Nest Small formicarium from our shop. For this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What is the technical name
given to the lip of the pitcher on which insects can find
the sweet secretions? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win a free AC test tube portal from our shop! Perfect for offering a mini outworld especially
for those of you with new ant colonies right now! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload a new ant video every Saturday at 8AM EST. If you enjoyed this video, it would truly
help us out if you LIKED, COMMENT, and SHARED. Thanks, guys! It’s ant love forever!

Ants vs. Snake

Ants vs. Snake


Welcome everyone to the AntsCanada ant channel. On this channel, we’ve seen some pretty incredible
stuff occuring in the lives of ants, but what I was able to shoot for this video was something
I’ve never ever before seen. In case you haven’t been following the saga
of the lives within this terrarium, I along with a tonne of AC Family out there are convinced. This terrarium carries a curse. Every ant colony we have tried to move in
here to inhabit this terrarium we so carefully crafted with selected plants, originating
creatures, and soil, have either died before moving in, thought to have died inside, or
escaped. In fact, some of you have suggested the ghost
of the bearded dragon that died in these lands, is haunting our every attempt to move in our
ants. But AC Family, what we find today inside this
terrarium will truly blow your mind. Keep on watching until the very end. Today, we discover that these cursed lands
harbour a dangerous creature that I had no idea was living secretly in this terrarium
all this time. A serpent. Welcome everyone to another episode of the
AntsCanada ant channel. Please subscribe to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy. Never in my life, have I ever come across
a terrarium that truly acted like it had a mind of its own. Where all the creatures seemed like they were
mere parts to a giant creature, each creature with its own function in the grand superorganism
like in this terrarium. New creatures that I never knew lived here
have begun to emerge, seemingly out of nowhere. Snails for instance, awake to greet the new
day in these rich territories. I believe the snails may have come in with
the ficus’ original soils, and they’re an interesting addition to this terrarium as
they graze on mosses, plant matter, and decaying material. But more abundant than these and perhaps the
most dominant animal lifeform within this world, are the diminutive critters called
Springtails. Springtails are little creatures which used
to be considered insects, but currently are referred to by scientists as Collembolans. They are omnivorous but feed primarily on
molds and fungi that grow on decaying matter. They also feed on microbes. That is how small they are! To me they seem like flocks of sheep in the
micro world. Also sharing the habitat with the Spingtails,
are these less social but cute critters: Mites. The mites also feed on decaying matter and
fungi, and help with decomposition of material. It seems the flocks of Springtails want nothing
to do with the mites, and vice versa. And now bursting through the flocks comes
a confident ranger. A Titan. For those of you who are new to the channel,
this is a worker ant of a colony of Asian Marauder ants named the Titans, that we recently
moved into this terrarium, and boy are we happy to see it now. We initially thought they had died out sometime
during the transition, but since our last video, we discovered that the colony was actually
still alive and inhabiting these lands somewhere. Seeing the Titans foraging like this was a
good sign that the colony was functioning as normal. If they were having a rough time moving homes
before, it seems now they have gained their second life. The Titan travels confidently searching for
food that it can bring back to its family in a hidden burrow somewhere in this terrarium. I still haven’t been able to locate where
the Titans had setup homebase, but I suspect that it is somewhere here, around this driftwood
piece. So, I have begun to place food near there
for the workers to feed from, but here’s where I was reminded that the ants were not the
dominant organisms within this terrarium. For in placing this precrushed baby roach
on to the ground’s surface, it wasn’t long before other terrarium inhabitants began to
snatch up this opportunity for a meal. At first, this cockroach attracted springtails
and various other terrestrial creatures. But then the ground below the cockroach began
to move. A Titan came by but totally was not interested
in the cockroach. Several hours later, I returned to discover
the cockroach half within in the soil being eaten by a creature below ground. It was being eaten by an earthworm, admittedly
one of my worst fears in the entire world. I didn’t even know earthworms ate meat, but
it seems the worms in these lands had a taste for dying insects, and surprisingly, so did
the snails! Like a slimy scavenger, a snail came to finish
off the remains which the earthworm left behind. Although they may seem repulsive, earthworms
who belong to the class Oligochaeta, play a major role in the conversion of large pieces
of organic matter into rich humus, thus improving soil fertility. Here you can see a piece of leaf that a worm
has dragged into its burrow. This will then decay and improve soil quality. Earthworm digestion also helps convert vital
minerals and nutrients into more absorbable forms for plants. Watch as this earthworm excretes waste. Each of these pieces of earthworm feces is
loaded with nutrients for plants. Earthworm tunnels also enable the processes
of soil aeration and drainage. There’s no doubt these earthworms are biologically
important in this terrarium. But wanna hear something cool, AC Family? Earthworms do not have eyes but you may be
surprised to know that they can see light. They have specialised photosensitive cells
called “light cells of Hess” which help them tell if it’s sunny or dark. This is essential because many of their predators
are daytime creatures, and sensing quick light changes from a shadow of a predator can make
the difference between life and death. Watch what happens when I move the light on
this earthworm. It quickly instinctively retreats, but doesn’t
go far because it can feel that it is still enclosed in its burrow. It seems all the creatures in this terrarium
have acheived a sort of balance. They kind of live together and feed together,
but I wasn’t prepared in the least to discover that in these flourishing lands, lives a creature,
a monster in fact, that I have never ever seen in my life. I was awake at 2AM one night and peeked into
the terrarium and discovered a peculiar creature moving through the moss. At first, I thought it was a really long and
thin millipede. But as I looked closer, it seemed the creature
had no legs. That was odd. Perhaps it was a type of worm? Take a look. And then, that’s when I saw it. The creature had a little tiny tongue flickering
out of its front end as it moved about. Oh my G! This creature was a snake! I had no idea snakes this small even existed. It was only about 2 inches long! I couldn’t see a pronounced head nor eyes,
but I could see that flickering tongue smelling the world as it navigated around. Can you believe it, guys? An actual snake was living in this terrarium. I found it really cool and assumed it was
feeding off the small terrestrial insects in the terrarium, perhaps feeding on the ever
abundant springtails and mites. I watched it for a good 30 minutes before
it finally disappeared in the shadows. In the morning I decided to look it up online. Typing “blind snake” into Google, the very
first search result that popped up was the exact snake I’d seen the night before. The snake’s name was Indotyphlops braminus,
commonly known as a Brahminy Blind Snake, a tiny nonvenomous snake found mostly in Africa
and Asia, but has been introduced to other parts of the world. I was surprised to learn that they also were
commonly called “flowerpot snakes” due to the fact that they have been introduced to
other parts of the world through the plant trade, living secretly in soils of flowerpots. This explains how the snake got into our terrarium
in the first place. It must have come in with the soil when we
planted the ficus. But nothing prepared me for what I was about
to read about Brahminy Blind snakes, that suddenly made my heart jump into my throat. Their diet consisted of larvae, eggs, and
pupae of ants and termites! The snake fed on ant babies! Oh no! Though it seemed the snake had no interest
in the adults, the fact that the snake ate the young of ant colonies meant that it would
affect future generations from developing and in the world of ants, workers only lived
for a good month or two before dying, so the success of the colony and queen depended on
the successful emergeance of succeeding generations of ants. This snake living in our terrarium was a direct
threat and predator to our Titans! This was just insane! What terrible luck! And what made things even worse was how these
snakes reproduced. Brahminy blind snakes reproduce through a
process called parthenogenesis, which meant they were able to reproduce on their own without
a partner to mate with. In fact, all specimens of Brahminy blind snakes
collected, have been known to be female. Turns out all offspring that hatch from their
eggs, are 100% clones of their mothers and therefore are also born female. This was a nightmare, because it meant that
we only needed 1 of these snakes to start a population of them living in these lands,
a population of snakes that fed on ant babies! Little did I know, the night before, the curse
of this terrarium had reared its ugly blind head. Examining the terrarium I couldn’t find the
snake anywhere. I kept watch night, after night, after night,
after night, but saw no signs of the snake. I assumed the snake was nocturnal because
when I had sighted it, it was in the wee hours of the night. These snakes apparently live in the nests
of termites and ants but also burrow in soil for most of its life. I guessed that it came out that one time to
feed. My experience with snakes is limited to the
pet snakes I’ve owned including this male Sonoran green tree python here, named Valentino,
which I’ve owned for a few years now. He feeds at night usually once every week
or two. If the Brahminy Snake in our terrarium is
like Valentino here, I suppose we can expect for it to emerge again within 1 to 2 weeks. But I began to question, how it was able to
survive so long in the terrarium. I bet when we introduced the Titans, it had
a feast on some ant young. Who knows how much Titan offspring it had
already fed on. Who knows how many Brahminy snakes actually
existed in this terrarium by now. So many questions. Finally, after more nights of failing to spot
the snake, I decided to take matters into my own hands. It was time to go into the terrarium and look
for the snake myself. It was Operation SNAKE HUNT! I carefully took apart the decorations of
the terrarium, careful not to disturb the soil too much in fear of possibly disturbing
the nest of our Titans. I searched and looked carefully for any snake. Sadly, by the end of the search, I could find
nothing. No snake. Perhaps it was truly buried deep in the soil
somewhere. I resolved to keep my eye out every night
for the snake to emerge once again, capture it, remove it from the terrarium, and save
our Titans from their predator. Now here’s where I need your help, AC Family. If I do capture this ant baby-eating snake,
should I release it outside, or should I use it as a natural form of population control,
say for the Fire Nation or even the Golden Empire, whom we tried to biologically control
at one point with pitcher plants, which ended up failing because the plants ended up establishing
a pact with the ants. Or should we release the hungry Brahminy snake
into one of the plant pots in which I know the savage black crazy ants that killed our
beloved Jawbreakers a few months back live? Perhaps this would be the perfect opportunity
for vengeance. Take a moment now to vote here, and let your
voice be heard, AC Family. As for the fate of the Titans, there really
was nothing left for me to do but let nature take its course within the terrarium. As ant keepers, and ultimately keepers of
wildlife, we always strive to recreate nature in its perfection so we could be witnesses
of its beauty. But I realized though this entire terrarium
curse saga, that perhaps part of nature’s beauty is in its natural chaos and in its
propensity to be uncontrolled, undictated, and its parameters determined by no other
mind besides its own. It was at that moment that I realized that
this curse which tripped up all our plans, was in fact, nature telling us who was truly
in control, and who was just a player in the grand scheme of things. Afterall, thanks to us and our collective
decisions, we unkowingly made it possible for a tiny snake and all its future babies
to be fed in a lush environment that was comfortable and free of its predators. It seems nature always has the last say. Alright, AC Family wasn’t this all just mind
blowingly crazy? If you enjoyed watching this video and want
to help us keep making more, please remember to hit that thumbs up button, leave me a comment
to express your thoughts, and share this video with all your friends so they too can follow
these epic ant stories. Oh and of course, if you haven’t yet, what
are you waiting for? Hit that subscribe button and bell icon so
you can be notified every time we upload a new video. AC Inner Colony, I’ve left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would just like to watch extended play footage of the eerie creatures
living in this terrarium. And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week. Last week we asked: Name one preparation that
needed to be done before moving the Dark Knights
into the terrarium. Congratulations to Ant Nation who correctly
answered: Putting baby powder
on the tube so they can’t get to the mesh. Congratulations Ant Nation, you just won a
free ebook handbook from our shop! And in this week’s AC Question of the Week,
we ask: Name one way in which
earthworms help in an ecosystem. Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win a free ant tshirt from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every saturday at 8AM EST. And guys we are less than 10K subscribers
away from 1 Million subs. This is crazy! Let me know what you want us to do for our
1 Million Subs video! It’s ant love forever!

My New Awesome Ant Colony

My New Awesome Ant Colony


Oh man! AC Family, this video is full of just SO MUCH! I’ve got some important updates for you on
ants that I haven’t been talking much about lately on this channel, but for good reasons. But, week after week, after week, after week,
after week, you keep on reminding me that you have not forgotten. What happened to that trap-jaw queen ant I
captured last summer that was supposed to hopefully spawn our Jawbreakers II? Find out in today’s episode, as I update you
on some extremely exciting news, but trust me, it’s not what you’re expecting, so keep
on watching until the end! AC Family, hit that LIKE button if you’re
as excited as I am, for an official introduction to some amazing new members to our growing
ant family, in this mind-feeding episode of the AntsCanada ant channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! Last week, was a sad one, as we said goodbye
to our Tomb Raiders, a wild-caught Pharaoh ant colony who borded with us for a few weeks
in a cool, room-sized setup we made for them, but had to sadly release in order to save
them from mites. Taking their setup down was melancholic, as
I was counting on them to thrive, along with our other ant Kingdoms. Their wild, loose counterparts were still
frequenting my ant room, but not as much as before. I anticipate that in won’t be long before
they move out when they find that resources are low and the Tomb Raiders’ pheromones fade. But for months, I’ve been waiting for the
right time to update you on a certain queen ant that I had captured, in hopes to start
up a thriving trap-jaw ant colony. And as mentioned, you guys also never forgot
and asked about it every week. So it’s time to inform you about the news. Inside this drawer, and inside this setup
lies the trap-jaw queen ant captured last year. AC Family, I regret to inform you that she
had died just last week. She laid no eggs and ate insect body parts
every now and then. I guess, she wasn’t fertilized. I am so sorry to disappoint you, AC Family. I really wanted her to found us a trap-jaw
ant colony. Which brings me to something else… there’s
more, AC Family. In the drawer, I also have these. Three test tubes, each with trap-jaw queen
ants. A friend had given them to me a few months
back in hopes that they too would found a colony of trap-jaws for us. Sadly, they too had all died and had not laid
any eggs. Now, I didn’t want to update you on the progress
of these four trap-jaw queen ants until I was absolutely sure they were not going to
found colonies for us. I always feel so bad and that I disappoint
you every time I introduce an ant colony, get your hopes up, only to find that they
die later on down the line. I realize this is a reality show and life
happens, but I always want to be absolutely sure a colony has a fighting chance before
I formally introduce them to you, the AC Family. So all these queens have died, they all still
had their wings in tact, and they didn’t lay any eggs. Chances are, they also weren’t mated prior
to capture. We ant keepers know that catching non-mated
queens is quite common, in fact, in the same video where I introduced the trap-jaw queen
to you, I went hunting in Toronto, Canada for queen ants and caught so many queens. Out of all the queens captured on that day,
turns out, only one queen had survived, laid eggs, and was successfully mated. This Formica fusca queen hibernated with workers
and was put up for sale in the GAN Project in Toronto to find a loving home. So, the success rate of finding mated queen
ants is sometimes tough for ant keepers. It’s why most ant keepers try collecting several
queens in a single season, from different nearby locations, and at different times in
order to hopefully have within the batch a queen that successfully lays fertile eggs
and founds an ant colony. Which brings me to this next surprise, AC
Family. Oh you thought it was done? Of course not, you saw the title, and I’m
sure you guys checked the time stamp to see how much video was left. Back in the ant drawer of surprises, you may
have noticed this test tube here. Pulling it out. Inside it, is another queen ant. A gorgeous, large carpenter ant queen. It is a native Philippine species belonging
to the genus Camponotus. I have had her for months now, and she lays
some eggs, not a lot, and in a scattered manner. These eggs actually hatch into larvae, and
develop into pupae, but for some reason the pupae end up dying. This test tube she’s in now is starting to
mold and water run out, so it’s time to give her a test tube change. Better. Even in fresh test tubes, she seems to only
get as far as raising her eggs to the pupal stage, but adult ants never end up emerging
from the pupae and they die. Again, before today I wasn’t intending on
informing you, AC Family about this queen until I was certain as to whether or not she
would give us a colony of carpenter ants, but hey now you know about her. Let’s give her a drop of honey to drink. Giving food to queens of this type at this
stage isn’t necessary because they sustain themselves on the energy stores of their back
wing muscles, but since she’s been depleting these energy stores through nourishing some
previous babies, I figured she could use that extra boost, but hmm… It looks like she is not interested. I don’t buy that. Let’s give her a little nudge and guide her
to the drop. Oh, as expected, she’s drinking. We got a few tiny drops on her back there
but no worries. She’s lick that off herself later. Wow! Look at her drinking that honey drop! You can actually see the drop expanding and
contracting. This is pretty awesome because to me it shows
that ants actually take gulps when they drink, like we people do! Interesting right? She’ll finish that in no time. Let’s put her away in the dark, and hope she
has better luck at founding her babies to adulthood now that we’ve given her this nourishing
boost! Any of you checking that time stamp again? Now, for those of you with sharp eyes, you
may have also noticed another test tube, wrapped in blue paper. Well, AC Family, here is what I’ve been dying
to show you. Placing the test tube here, and let me say
before opening this that I’m doing my very best best to research the biology of what
lies inside this test tube, because very little is known about their captive care. AC Family, are you ready? I am excited to finally present to you, our
newest addition to our Antiverse. Behold! The ever gorgeous ants known as Polyrhachis. They are just gorgeous! The bodies of these ants are so smooth with
such an interesting shape. They’re stark black coloration and hard edged,
squared spines at certain places of their body make them look
SUPER DUPER COOL! And look at that brood! Wow! I see eggs, larvae, and look some pupae, too. The workers are bustling with energy in this
test tube. They’ve been feasting previously on the leg
of a spider. Look at these workers, they’ve been working
at pulling this cotton out very effectively. These ants are strong and in time can pull
wads of cotton out of any setup, so whatever these ants are housed in cannot contain cotton
blockers! If you’re looking for the queen of this colony,
she is right here. The calmest one of the bunch. Polyrhachis are an extremely diverse genus
found through the Old World. Here in the Philippines there are over 200
different described species of Polyrhachis, which are characterized by their various body
spines. Some of the most gorgerous ants belong to
this genus, like fishhook ants, and various metallic coloured species. Now, I have seen Polyrhachis ants in the wild
many times, but know very little about these specific polyrhachis ants, which were collected
from my area. But you wanna hear something really cool? One thing that I do know, is that their nests
are EPIC! I know some species of Polyrhachis build nests
in soil, but then extend their nests upwards into trees, creating massive nest palaces
made of mud and gathered materials. Some species even create leaf nests like weaver
ants! I don’t know what the nesting habits of these
specific Polyrachis ants are, but I do look forward to finding out! I wonder what they like to eat? Let’s try feeding them a piece of baby cockroach. Hmmm…. Now how to stick this inside without them
getting out. I’ve got to be swift. Here we go, AC Family! The trick is to use the cotton to move the
food into the tube. There we go! Let’s see them feast! Hmm… It looks as though they’re ignoring it. Alright, so roaches aren’t tickling their
fancy at the moment. Let’s try feeding them a drop of honey. What ant would reject some tasty honey, right? Here we go again… opening the test tube,
and oh no! Some ants escaped! Ahhhh! I scooped up the escaped ants quickly with
a cotton ball and put them back in. Ahh something tells me these ants are little
balls of energy which will continually keep me on my toes! Oddly, they seemed to be uninterested in the
honey, too. Hmmm… perhaps they’re full from that spider
leg they ate previously. Ah well… as you can tell, ant keeping often
involves a lot of trial and error to learn about an ants’ likes and needs. Let’s leave this Polyrhachis colony in the
dark for now until we choose a proper home for them. Alright AC Family, you know what’s next! Leave your name suggestions for this new Polyrhachis
colony in the comments section and I will choose my top 5 favourites for us to vote
on in a future poll. Be sure to also LIKE and comment on your favourite
name submissions so I know! And there you have it, AC Family! Our newest ant colony of 2018! I feel this year will be full of new beginnings
and discovery for us and the ants we love. In nature, not all creatures end up making
it on top. Natural selection ensures that only the fittest
and most resourceful survive, and when they do it’s an amazing thing to witness. I am happy to observe the beauty of nature
with you guys. But something is still worrying me. Our Titans, our Asian marauder ants have disappeared
from sight yet again. The last time they disappeared, we happened
to find them in pretty impressive numbers after pulling out some weeds. But since then, their disappearance has been
very unsettling to me. I see wandering black crazy ants inside, but
no Titans. Are the Titans still alive? There was only one way to find out! Alright, AC Family! You guys are the life blood of this channel! It would not exist nor be half as exciting
without your participation and input so be sure to leave your name suggestions and thoughts
in the comments! Aren’t the Polyrhachis ants just awesome? Let’s name them something cool! I also will need some ideas as to what type
of setup to use for them, so leave your setup suggestions in the comments, as well. Lots to look forward to coming up so make
sure you hit that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON so you’re notified every time we upload. Now speaking of being notified, before proceeding
to the hidden video and AC Question of the Week, in case you didn’t see last week’s video
or the week before that, I wanted to quickly notify you about my new daily vlogging channel,
for those who might be curious as to what I work on in between these weekly ant videos. You can find my new daily vlogging channel
by clicking here, but just a warning, it’s a very different form of content from this
channel, but many AC Family have already subscribed, so thank you guys who have. I upload short life vlogs every single day,
which means a lot of nature stuff, too from my travels around the world! Alright, AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden
cookie for you here, if you would just like to spend more time watching additional footage
of our new Polyrhachis colony to the sounds of some relaxing music! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week. Last Week we asked: What is the name of the life stage
where Astigmatid mites attach themselves to the body of insects. Congratulations to Dynamic Dynamite who correctly
answered: The phoretic deutonymph stage. Congratulations Dynamic Dynamite, you just
won a free ebook handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What evidence did we see this
week that show ants take gulps when they drink? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free ebook handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever! Woohoooo new ants!

Teleporting Carpenter Ants

Teleporting Carpenter Ants


But now AC Family, some shocking news! They always say great things come in threes. The Black Dragons of El Dragon, these Diacamma
ants of The Shire, and at the celestial birth of these kingdoms was also born another epic
ant kingdom! AC Family, behold, the Shire’s twin domain
known as, the Grove. That’s right, another ant colony! Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! As ant keepers, it can sometimes be easy to
feel like gods, dieties in complete cosmic control over a universe in which live thousands
or even millions of precious lives under our care. After all, we as the ant keepers actively
control the environments our ants live in, we control their food, we control their life
events, and like omniscient beings managing all aspects of their universe, we set up the
stage to induce them to do what we want them to do, like move into a new home we took the
time to create for them. For the most part, ants can be predictable
doing exactly what we plan for them to do. But as you may have seen many times on this
channel, sometimes it’s when we underestimate the ants, that the ants completely shock us! This is exactly what happened to me with this
ant colony I am about to introduce to you, which managed to disappear without a trace,
and believe me, you will want to keep on watching until the end for the big shocking and amazing
revelation! Our epic ant story begins here, in the Grove,
a tropical forest groundscape I fashioned and designed with care, to be the future home
of our third new ant colony this year. It contained some attractive Peperomia and
Maranta vegetation, with attractive pieces of driftwood, along with a cute miniature
species of tillandsia. A great red rock cliff made a statement at
the center of the Grove. I couldn’t wait to introduce our new ants
into these lush, virgin territories. In last week’s video, I gave you teasers in
our hidden video as to what this special new ant species we’d be introducing to the channel
is, providing you clues in the form of a riddle. So AC Family, very quickly, let’s revisit
the riddle: In the night, you’ll find them hunting,
When it’s cool and moon is out, Once seen in Bornean jungles,
these ants without a doubt… Are likely found where you live,
in holes near hills of dust, They’re hated by the world,
But completely loved by us… These brand new ants are special,
they’re natives, not a tramp, Can you guess what new ants,
shall be setting up their camp? I was delighted to see that a lot of you,
AC Family submitted some very worthy guesses. Let’s see if you got it right! Within this test tube lies our new, fledgling
ant colony waiting to meet you. AC Family, it is with immense pleasure and
excitement that I introduce to you our new precious friends. Behold our brand new… Carpenter ants. Look at how gorgeous they are! So many workers! Here you’ll see workers of various sizes,
and they tend lovingly to healthy brood piles! And that right there, nestled cozily in the
middle of all of them is her royal highness, their queen. Just magnificent! I just love their rusty orange, brown colour. As indicated by the riddle, this particular
species of carpenter ant is mostly nocturnal, which is true for most of the carpenter ants
native my particular region of the world in Southeast Asia. At night, many insects emerge when it’s cooler
which also means better feeding, so these ants are indeed night owls. We actually saw some impressive carpenter
ants in a previous live stream on this channel, of a night time trek through the Borneo jungle
last year. What’s amazing about this particular genus
of ant is that they are found pretty much worldwide. I am certain the majority of you out there
has seen a carpenter ant at some point in your lives. Sadly, many carpenter ant species, as their
name suggests build their nests in wood, making them very notorious house pests, often leaving
their piles of sawdust beneath their nest entrances, as they don’t eat the wood unlike
termites. But for ant keepers, they’re a universal favourite
because they’re large, easy to keep, common, and are even polymorphic, meaning their workers
come in different sizes and shapes! Just take a look at the various sizes of workers
seen in this starting ant colony! We have large majors with bigger heads and
more slender minors with small heads, and pretty soon, we can expect the massive supermajors
to arrive! Oh, I just can’t wait! They are a very diverse and widespread genus,
and are generally not classified as tramp or invasive ants in the areas they are found,
but rather play important biological roles in the ecosystems they belong to. So, AC Family, there you have it. The ants that will be setting camp in the
Grove are our new Camponotus ants, our new carpenter ants. They’ll need a name, too, guys so you know
the drill! Leave your name suggestions for this colony
in the comments and I will choose my top 5 favourites for us to vote on in a future video. Now, I’ve been keeping carpenter ants my whole
life, and I am very familiar with their care, so naturally I was confident these ants here,
were going to be a breeze to care for, but little did I know these ants were about to
give me the surprise of my life. It was time to move them into the Grove. Now these particular carpenter ants whose
queen and starting workers were collected from my area, were found living inside a rotting
bamboo stick, so I tried my best to duplicate this habitat in the Grove, by fixating a hallowed
out bamboo stick right up against the glass, in hopes the carpenter ants would move into
here where we can still see them. My feeling was that this was going to be easy
and the move would be straight forward. The upper portion of the Grove was already
lined with a layer of fluon barrier to keep these carpenter ants inside. AC Family, are you ready to do this? It’s time to move our brand new ants into
their new home. I placed the exposed test tube inside the
Grove, making sure the opening of the test tube was close to the area where I had hoped
the ant colony would move into atop the hallow bamboo, which I covered on the outside with
black paper to make the inside of the bamboo nice and dark. Alright, and now to remove the cotton. Here we go 1… 2… 3… The ants seemed reluctant at first. Come on ladies! Come out. Trust me, you will love it here! Finally, the workers decided to wander out
and step onto Grove territory, and surprisingly directly into the darkness of the hallow bamboo! I couldn’t believe it! This was too easy! I told you, I knew carpenter ants didn’t I?! This started an entire chain reaction, with
the message of a cool new home spreading throughout the colony, and the ants began to pick up
and relocate. Workers carried brood into the bamboo hallow,
and in less than 20 minutes, the entire ant colony had moved in. Checking the test tube, and I was pleased
to discover it had been almost completely evacuated with remaining workers urging stubborn
ants to move in with the rest of them into the bamboo and bringing back remaining leftover
brood. This move was too easy and I already knew
keeping this new carpenter ant colony would be enjoyable. That was until I decided to peek into the
bamboo hallow. You won’t believe what I saw. AC Family, our carpenter ants had vanished. What?! Where did they go? I literally watched them move the entire colony
into the bamboo! I looked around in all possible crevices,
under, and the ends of the bamboo. There was no sign of our new ant colony. Where could they have gone? I tried my best not to panic. They had to be in there somewhere, right? I assumed that eventually, come feeding time,
I would see workers foraging and I could easily just follow them to wherever they were nested. Night fell, and on the first night, I placed
in some of my sweetest, most irresistible honey and a pre-killed baby cockroach. There was no sign of carpenter ants. In fact, despite leaving food out for the
ants every single night, there was no sign of ants anywhere. After 3 days of disappearance, I was really
concerned, then a week went by with no ants seen anywhere, then two weeks. When almost three weeks went by I was losing
hope. Had the ants gone into some kind of remission
due to unsuitable habitat? I was so sure they were going to love the
Grove! Were my food offerings not right? Perhaps the temperature or humidity of their
home? Maybe they were dying out due to unfavourable
conditions I didn’t take into consideration. Could they have escaped? My mind went wild thinking up the most dire
of scenarios, and I was close to completely tearing the Grove apart in hopes to find our
ants. Suddenly, I received flash backs of searching
for our Titans, desperately digging through the Garden of Eden. Should I try going to ground to search for
our new ants? Ultimately, I decided to hold back a little
bit longer. One day, I decided to water the plants of
the Grove as I realized in my complete worry, I had actually forgotten to water the plants
over the past few weeks, and AC Family, will you believe this? As I did it, I realized that some of the water
was draining down a very discreet and diminutive opening in the ground beneath the great rock
cliff at the center of the Grove. There was a hole here! Suddenly, some movement caught my eye. To my utter surprise, behind the rock I saw
our missing carpenter ants, who were now surfacing to avoid the waters entering their nest, which
I now knew was somewhere beneath this great rock cliff! Wow! They were here all along! How did they get here and how did they survive
so long without food? So many questions, but I was totally relieved
that our carpenter ants were actually alive and well all this time! And soon look who else decided to make an
appearance: her royal carpentry highness herself, the queen. Man, these ants even in this state of rained
out nest protocol, were absolutely beautiful to watch. Look at how their exoskeletons just glisten
in the light! It was then that I also noticed that some
of the workers had fully extended gasters, just filled with stored food! Oh, so this was how the colony was surviving
all this time! These ants had repeletes! Special workers designated to be living food
stores for the rest of the colony! The ants must have sent out workers discreetly
on some nights to consume some of the food I left out for them, and deposit the predigested
food into these repletes via regurgitational mouth to mouth transfer, an awesome thing
social insects do called trophallaxis. How clever of them! Now, I make sure to feed them near their nest
opening, and this time, if I’m lucky I actually catch them eating! But the one question that remained unanswered
was how did the ants teleport from the bamboo to their location under the rock? Well, last night, I randomly decided to place
food on top of the bamboo, just to make it not so easy for the ants, to make them work
a bit, and to my surprise, the ants came, but they emerged from within the bamboo! Ah-ha! this told me, that on the night of
their move they must have also begun to excavate a tunnel underground, that they dug eventually
all the way to beneath the central rock cliff! Wow! This means they did all of that within 20
minutes! Before the final workers were evacuated from
their tube on the night of their move, the majority of the colony was already deep in
the soil and far from our view. They completely hacked us, AC Family! Now that is a display of incredible digging
speed, and also a great reminder to me that perhaps my idea of being the Lord of the ants
is not an accurate depiction of our real relationship. My relation to the ants I care for is more
of a partnership, where I provide the ants with the things they need to survive and they
offer us an exclusive peek into the workings of nature, but not on our terms, on theirs. They choose what they want to do, where they
want to go, what they want to eat, and when. I was totally ok with this relationship, and
I reminded myself that as long as I remembered that ant keeping was a partnership, the ants
would continue to satisfy our deepest intrigue for nature voyeurism and curiosity. And speaking of this delicate and important
partnership, it seems one of our biggest ant colonies on this channel has been long deserving
of their own territory upgrade and expansion, and many of you have also shared this sentiment! AC Family, you guys demanded for an update
on the most famous and long-standing ants on this channel: the Fire Nation, our massive
and ravenous fire ant colony. These ants are the OG’s of the AntsCanada
ant channel, and it was time to give them a new home. And so AC Family, I would like to introduce
to you, a great new kingdom where fire and water shall meet! AC Family, behold! The “Selva de Fuego”, the Jungle of Fire! Here we go, AC Family! Things are about to heat up! Our very own Fire Nation is about to move
into a brand new upgraded home, the largest paludarium setup I’ve ever made, and trust
me, you won’t want to miss this huge fire ant episode so hit that subscribe button and
bell icon now to be notified, and hit the LIKE button every single time, including now. AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here if you would just like to watch some super satisfying, extended play footage
of our new Camponotus ants moving in and feeding. Trust me! It’s super relaxing and therapeutic watching
the ants, so go ahead and give it a try! You never know what you might find in these
hidden videos. Wink. Also, I would like to plug my new daily vlogging
channel for those curious about what I do in between these weekly ant videos. Daily vlogs of my travels around the world
and often contains a lot of science and biology! Alright and now it’s time for the AC Question
of the Week! Last week we asked: What makes Diacamma ants
different from Bullet Ants? Congratulations to, well, I don’t know how
to pronounce this username 陈灯强 but here was the post and I have left a response to
it! Anyway correct answer was: Diacamma ants are different
from bullet ants because they are in a different genus and
Diacamma don’t have queens. Congratulations ant lover, you just won a
free e-book handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What does polymorphic mean? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! By the way guys, for those of you in North
America and Europe, the season to find queen ants has officially started! If you wanna keep ants and don’t wanna go
completely high tech, check out the easy to use ant farms and ant-keeping kits we offer
at AntsCanada.com. We’ve been designing and making ant farms
for almost a decade and ship all our products worldwide, with full email customer support
if you ever have any questions. I would love for you guys to keep ants with
me! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

My Dracula Ant Colony – ants that suck blood

My Dracula Ant Colony – ants that suck blood


Mother Nature has a knack for fashioning beasts
beyond our wildest imagination, great and small, cute and scary. But she also has a dark and twisted side. What you’re about see and learn in this video
will surely shock you, because the new beasts that are about to move into this peculiar
contraption are some of the most ancient and almost mythological social animals I’ve ever
introduced on this channel. Ladies and gents, gather round and have a
seat and witness the dark side of the Antiverse. Welcome to the AntsCanada ant channel. Please subscribe to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy. AC Family, let’s get to it. Yes, we’ve got yet another new colony of ants
joining us this week, but I guarantee, these ants are unlike anything you’ve ever seen
before! I quite literally have only heard about these
ants in books, ironically, but when the opportunity to keep a real colony of these oh so fabled
ants came to me, I could not pass up the chance. But what you will learn and witness in this
video is shocking and to the best of my knowledge, has never been documented in science before,
especially not on video! This will also be one of those videos, AC
Family, where we make some new scientific discoveries valuable to ant science! Yes, we the AC Family, once again will be
the first in the world to see and discover some biological and behavioural things about
these incredible and savage ants. So, as always, keep on watching until the
end. What you see before you is a new piece of
ant technology, something we at AntsCanada have been working on, our newest of ant inventions. We call it the Ant Tower. To be able to truly appreciate the beasts
of this video, we would be needing this Ant Tower to film them, which would also become
their home. Yes, it’s an ant farm, but don’t be fooled
by its simplistic design. We’ve souped it up with some awesome ant keeping
engineering! But first, we need to make this empty Ant
Tower more inhabitable for our new beasts, so I added in some soil. And now to create the start of the subterranean
lair in which our beasts shall reside and roost. I plunged a q-tip through the earth and fashioned
them a cavern fit for a monster, no, fit for a family of monsters. Hmmm… Next, I added some faux blades of grass, some
stones, some sphagnum moss, and a twig. Now to add a few drops of water to moisten
the soil, and ah, much better now. I think our beasts will love their new territories,
wouldn’t you say? AC Family, I name this new ant territory The
Blood Tower. Let me show you around! In case you were wondering what this red layer
is all about, our beasts love nesting in darkness and hate the light in areas they retreat to
rest, and like many ants, they also happen to be blind to red light, so this red transparent
layer will fool our beasts into thinking they are cloaked in darkness just as they like
it, but giving us a bit of visibility. I move to the lower levels of the Ant Tower
to inject some life-giving water, which would evaporate and hydrate the beasts’ living quarters
above through tiny microholes in the hydration chamber’s roof. Alright, there. And now AC Family, the time has come to meet
and move in our beasts! The Blood Tower was ready! At the back of the Ant Tower, were three ports. Two entrance ports, one at the back there,
which is plugged up with an AC plug to keep our beasts from escaping, and this second
port through which our beasts will be entering the Blood Tower. That smaller top port is for adding wind if
needed via a fish tank air pump, but we won’t be needing that for this colony. We need the air in this Ant Tower to be misty
and still. So here we go, guys. Let’s unleash our beasts into the newly created
Blood Tower! I fastened their containment test tube to
the back of the Ant Tower, and immediately the beasts spilled out into the territories. AC Family, I am pleased to present to you,
the infamous and frightening Dracula Ants, of the genus Stigmatomma! These beasts are just insane! The colony is now filing in, and take a look
at those crazy mandibles! They’re like two long fangs sticking out of
their face, but each of those mandibles has a row of sharp teeth. Look at them swarming and surveying the Blood
Tower’s grounds, and it looks like they’ve found our cavern! Now let me explain why these Dracula ants
are super unique and oh so dark. Dracula ants are an ancient group of predacious
ants that are actually found worldwide. They get their name not from their long fang-like
mandibles, but from their very unique feeding habits. So AC Family, get this. Dracula ants allegedly are not capable of
consuming solid foods, nor are they capable of trophallaxis, i.e. the transfer food socially
from mouth to mouth, a process common to nearly all social insects. But what’s crazy is that the way adult Dracula
worker ants eat, is they feed solid food to their larvae, and then believe it or not,
proceed to practice a non-lethal version of cannibalism! AC Family, you won’t believe this, but Dracula
ants actually bite and drink the blood of their own larvae! Isn’t that crazy? They create an incision in the skin of the
larvae and drink up the hemolymph, the technical term for insect blood, that bleeds out of
these wounds, and that is how adult Dracula ants feed, and how the species got their name. They are well-known blood-feeders in the ant
world. Isn’t that just crazy! That’s sister adult ants feeding from the
blood of their younger sibling larvae. As for who’s laying the eggs, some species
of Dracula ants have queens but I believe this species to be one that has gamergates,
i.e. a mated dominant worker ant who assumes the role of egg layer, like our Black Panthers. They were moving in the last of the larvae
now. It seems the ants were planning on moving
in the pupae last. The ants were clearly settling into the Blood
Tower, their new home, as planned. I was so happy about this, and look, some
of the stones looked like teeth, which I found to be rather fitting for a Dracula ant home. They were also busy beginning their excavation
and expansion of the tunnel we made for them. Our plans were working out perfectly. Now one thing that concerned me though was
that these ants are known to specialize on preying on centipedes, but only thing is,
I don’t have any centipedes to feed them, and I wasn’t about to go hunting for centipedes
in the jungle every day to feed them either. But one thing I did have, were superworms! I wonder if they would eat them, or rather
bring the superworm to the babies and then suck their blood! Oh, the idea was blood-curdling and exciting! Let’s try it! I opened the food shoot at the top of the
Ant Tower, and placed in a split superworm. The Dracula ants came to inspect the sudden
foreign meat that had fallen from the sky. They looked so careful and curious about it. Personally, I was expecting them to ferociously
pounce on it immediately, but to my surprise, they seemed super cautious around it and lightly
touched the superworm with their antennae to smell it. A few minutes later one ant finally decided
to sting it with her stinger, and later, the ants began to bury the superworm, but seeing
all this, to me it did seem the ants weren’t super thrilled about superworms as a prey
item. Maybe they would have a taste for roaches? I tossed in half a roach nymph and watched. An ant took some baby lunges at, but then
what I saw next completely shocked me. The ant began to feed on the roach. It looked to me like the worker was drinking
the roach’s splattered haemolymph! More ants began to join in drinking the juices
spilling from the roach, and one ant even came to lick the surface of the superworm! Here we were AC Family, witnessing first hand,
evidence that these Dracula ants actually do eat other insects and not just their own
larvae’s blood. It was still unclear whether or not the ants
were eating the gooey guts of the prey, too, but whatever the case, we just made a neat
scientific discovery, AC Family! High five! Mark the date, we saw it first! And just when I thought that was the epitome
of our scientific discoveries, little did I know, we were about to film and witness
yet another new fact about these Dracula ants. AC Family, have a look at this cocoon. This species of ant is the cocoon-spinning
type, which means when the larvae are ready to pupate, they spin these cocoon cases to
protect them through the pupal stage, as they develop into adult ants. But then, I noticed this worker tearing open
a hole in one of the cocoons. And oh my, there was even a developing pupa
inside. The worker continued to tear a larger hole
into the cocoon and it did seem that the pupa wasn’t even fully developed, and then suddenly,
the worker went in to drink from the exposed pupa. When I realized what was happening, my jaw
hit the floor. OMG! AC Family, these Dracula ants were actually
drinking the blood of the pupae, too, and not just their larvae as indicated by past
research! Isn’t that just incredible? AC Family, we made yet another valuable discovery
on the biology of these Dracula ants! Mark the date! We saw it first! Dracula ants also feed from the blood of their
pupae! I watched as several workers came to lap up
and feed from the pupal blood wound. The ants then proceeded to carry this bleeding
cocoon into the nest, where I assume it would continue to nourish its sisters. Just insane! But AC Family, that’s not all. A third discovery! I placed some hard-boiled egg yolk into the
Blood Tower, and to my surprise the ants began to feed from it! What? For sure there was no trace of blood in this
yolk, insect or otherwise, so this suggested then that the ants actually can eat solids! They’ve got the tools to process even solid
food! AC Family, mark the date! We saw it first! I decided to leave the ants alone for a few
hours while they continued to move in the remaining cocoons, and check up on them later. A few hours later, I came back to check on
the Dracula ants, but little did I know, we were in for a mind-blowing sight! The ants seemed to be droning over the roach
and superworm, but upon closer inspection I saw larvae! Wow! The ants had brought the larvae to the surface
to feed on the prey carcasses! Wow! Now we know why the ants were burying the
prey! They had every intention of placing the larvae
around it to feed, and the soil walls acted like blankets to cradle and protect the feeding
young. I was in awe. The larvae were so mobile and very maggot-like
in demeanor. And it did look like the larvae were not just
drinking the gooey, liquidy parts. It seemed the larvae could get at the solid
parts, as well. It made perfect sense that the ants decided
to bring the larvae to the prey item because again these ants can’t transfer food mouth
to mouth via a social stomach like most ordinary ants, so the prey either needed to be dragged
into the nest to the young, or in this case, because there probably wasn’t a lot of space
in their nest which was undergoing construction, the ants had to bring the larvae to the prey. And when one of the larvae was full, an adult
worker came along to pluck it from its place and carry it back into the nest, where it
assumingly would be wounded and its blood drank up by its older sisters. Just incredible, right AC Family? I watched for hours as they one by one removed
the larvae who had had their fill from the roach, to take them into the depths of the
nest to assumingly proceed to feed the workers their freshly nourished blood. I feel the workers of this particular species
of Dracula ant, do eat semi-solid foods, but perhaps their main source of food is blood,
either their own young’s or that of freshly killed insects. The next morning, the Dracula ants had all
settled in. I noticed they had created an ant hill from
their excavations, and had nest openings in several locations. They were starting to wake up now to start
their day. I removed the red film to see if we could
see any of the action inside the nest. Right away I saw some tunnels with cocoons
and workers inside. There was also a tunnel here under these stones,
and a tunnel here under these stones, but these tunnels seemed to all branch out from
the main cavern we created for them before they moved in. As the colony grows, the tunnels and chambers
will be become larger and more defined, so we’ll be able to see the ants better in their
nest. Sadly, in just the three short days I’ve had
them, I wasn’t able to film the adult Dracula ants bleeding and drinking the larvae’s blood,
but what we had seen so far, was, in my mind, already pretty ground-breaking in the world
of myrmecology! I resolved to continue feeding roaches, completely
split open so the workers could feed from their gooey insides and blood. Overall, I find these Dracula ants pretty
remarkable! They’re truly unlike any other ant I’ve ever
kept. And the fact that we made some pretty amazing
ant discoveries today, filled my heart with joy! We’re all myrmecologists on the brink of ant
discovery! We discovered these Dracula ants feed from
the blood of not only their larvae but also that of other insects, as well as their own
pupae. We found that these ants actually can eat
solids, and that the ants are willing to bring their young up to the surface to feed on prey
cradled in beds of soil. I promise to keep a close lens to these Dracula
ants, to see if I can shoot them drinking larval blood, and hopefully catch some more
scientific Dracula ant discoveries! Alright AC Family, you know what’s next! What should we name this epic colony of Dracula
ants? Leave your name suggestions in the comments,
and I will choose my favourites for us to vote on in a future video. I have some epic plans for this Dracula ant
colony, which currently doesn’t take up too much space. The ants have already begun to show signs
of wanting an expansion, so I’m planning on connecting more Ant Towers, and change their
territory name from the Blood Tower to the Blood Castle, perhaps even add a grand Draculean
courtyard designed like a scary forest. What do you guys think? Overall, I loved watching the ants and decided
that these quote unquote beasts, weren’t the blood-thirsty and shadowy monster ants I thought
they would be. They were just unique ants with a unique lifestyle
and feeding bahaviour. Actually, looking at them much more carefully,
I found them to be kinda cute. Watching them move around in an almost stealthy,
slithering manner, and feeding within the Blood Tower was super satisfying. I do plan on showing this video to my myrmecologist
friends to get their take on the neat things we discovered together this week. The week, we discovered that these vampires
were not monsters, but unique and cool friends. Mark the date, AC Family. It’s ant love forever. And now about those termites… Haha! AC Family, did you enjoy today’s episode? Now, I cannot count how many of you have been
asking, no, demanding for an update on the termite pair we caught a few months ago in
our previous video Ants vs. Termites, and well, I’ve finally got an update for you,
so hit that Subscribe button and Bell icon now, so you don’t miss out on the termite
craziness ahead, and hit the like button every single time, including now. And if you’re new to the channel and want
to catch up on all your AntsCanada Lore, feel free to binge watch this complete story line
playlist here, which traces the origins of all the ant colonies of the ant room, so you
can follow their stories and better appreciate how these ant kingdoms came to be, and why
we love them so much! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would just like to watch some extended play footage of the Dracula
ants living in their new home, the Blood Tower! Watching these gorgeous ants is pretty amazing
and super satisfying to watch! And before we proceed to the AC Question of
the Week, I’d like to plug my daily vlogging channel, daily vlogs which have become a full
out bird dad channel, as I am now raising a baby African Grey parrot! If you love birds, I’d love for you to meet
my new cute little bird! She’s a handful, but I love her and I think
you would, too! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: What are the pit organs for
on the lips of some snakes? Congratulations to Dominic the Rat and Animal
Guy who correctly answered: The pit organs on the lips of some snakes
are for sensing heat from prey animals. Congratulations, Dominic, you just won a free
e-book handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What do these Dracula ants have in common
with our Black Panthers, i.e. Diacamma ants? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and
SUBSCRIBE if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

Recreating a Cockroach’s Natural Habitat

Recreating a Cockroach’s Natural Habitat


Over the past few months, our quest to improve
the quality of life for the millions of ants hailing from the different beloved colonies
on this channel, saw extravagant and beautiful makeovers to the worlds in which the ant colonies
live, breathe, and die. But there was still one important colony that
patiently awaited its turn for a home and lifestyle upgrade, and AC Family, this time,
it wasn’t a colony of ants. No, today, we’re going to be setting up the
stage for a very big intrusion. It’s finally time to upgrade the home, of
our ants’ livestock, and if this channel has successfully perked your intrigue for insects
and the creepy crawlies, well, brace yourselves, ’cause things are about to get encroachingly
interesting! Please subscribe to my channel, and hit the
bell icon, welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! Now if you’ve made it this far into the video
and you’re totally put off by roaches but haven’t clicked off yet, don’t leave! Let me say this! If you’ve watched this channel and have found
ants surprisingly interesting, I think it’s amazing that you’ve given ants a chance into
your hearts, but I assure you, if you stay with us for this exclusive and intimate look
at the secret lives of these equally amazing insects, which just like ants, have gotten
such bad reps among people all around the world, you just might shock yourself by coming
to at least appreciate them, or heck, possibly even love them! OK, I hear you. Let’s not push ourselves now right? I completely understand the aversion. I too get squeamish when I see huge roaches
running close by. In Canada, where I grew up most of my life,
cockroaches in the home are a homeowner’s worst nightmare! Roaches have simply become associated with
a mal-kept place, being vectors for disease and bacteria. They are perhaps the world’s most loathed
vermin next to rats. Here in tropical Manila where I currently
live, massive roaches are seen pretty much everywhere and it’s not uncommon to see a
roach the size of a tennis ball running or even flying around! But the cockroach species that you and I see
that infest our human living spaces, only make up less than 1% of all cockroach species
we’ve ever discovered. Of the 4,600 different types of cockroaches
in existence, only 30 of them are domestic pests. This means that over 99% of all cockroach
species live away from human homes and want nothing to do with sharing your apartment
or nibbling on your toothbrush. Just kidding. So today the charming colony of cockroaches
we will be looking at belong to this greater majority of roaches that don’t live in human
homes, well not naturally anyway. These scuttling juggernauts, who live in an
enclosure in my home, are known commonly in the pet trade as Dubia roaches, scientifically
Blaptica dubia. These cockroaches are not domestic pests,
but instead are native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America where they live
in colonies along the rainforest floor, and play an important role as decomposers of decaying
and rotting vegetation. A group or colony of cockroaches by the way
is known as an intrusion. You may have seen a previous video on this
channel where I talked about this intrusion of Dubias, but today’s episode is going to
be a bit different because I felt, in light of all of these ant habitat upgrades and ant
life improvements, the next step was to improve the living space of our roaches, which yes
may just be the ants’ food, but see, all the more reason to give the cockroach colony a
home upgrade, too. The happier and healthier the ants’ prey is,
the better food it is for our ants, kind of like the how free-range and grain-fed livestock,
nourishment and health-wise, is better for us humans. And since we here at AntsCanada love all living
things, why not give the prey animals the best possible paradise of a home they can
live in for the days that they are alive, right? They may as well crossover happy cockroaches. Which brings me to their current living conditions. This intrusion of Dubias have been living
in this plastic critter-crawler for years. Dubias are a very popular prey-insect for
keepers of reptiles, tarantulas, and other insectivorous pets, not only because of their
great nutrient content, but also because they are easy to keep, and will tolerate some of
the most basic living conditions. We’re taught in prey-insect-keeping that Dubias
can survive well in setups kept as dry as possible to minimize mold, maggots, and odour. Moreover, the cockroaches can live on egg
carton and toilet paper rolls, furnishings which are readily available and easiest to
change once they become soiled. We’re taught that the roaches could be gut-loaded
on a steady diet of orange slices for water, perhaps a carrot or other easy-to-obtain water-retaining
veggie, and some dry dog kibble for good measure, to gut-load the insects with a few vitamins. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized,
“Hey, why am I settling for the bare minimum for these cockroaches when I could go epic
and natural, just like we’ve done for our ants?” I mean, these roaches are technically by default,
also pets, so if we could upgrade our roaches’ setup and even upgrade their diet to something
a bit more varied, I bet the resulting happier and healthier cockroaches will be of greater
benefit to the ants, as each cockroach will be more nutrient-rich. Healthier and happier cockroaches may breed
more frequently and more abundantly, produce healthier and more robust offspring, which
therefore means more food for the ants. Now before we get to designing their new epic
setup, I wanted to quickly address feeding ethics. Many of you have expressed concerns that the
cockroaches look alive in these videos when fed to my ants. This is definitely not the case, as I’ve tried
that in the past, and it lead to a horrific sight! I personally prefer to freshly, pre-kill my
roaches before offering them to my ants. I usually split them with scissors at the
neck, or somewhere along the thorax, and/or down the abdomen. The reason the cockroaches still move their
legs even after dispatching them is because of the insect nervous system, which is composed
of masses of nerve cells called ganglia, which run down the center of the body. This is why, they say that even if you cut
the head off a roach, it still survives for a few days. This may not be so true, but without a head,
the roaches indeed can still move due to the ganglia which are still in tact. And the reason why I offer freshly pre-killed
prey, instead of dried insects or already dead insects, is because the ants can consume
wet insect guts much more easily than dried insect guts. It also has better nutrients. Think of fresh beef verses beef jerky! Alright, and now to do we what we love! As creators of worlds, it was time to create
a proper roach kingdom! And here lays our empty shell of field, an
empty tank, the venue from which shall spring forth a new world of natural art, the kingdom
which will be the new habitat of our Dubia roaches. I went straight to work. I had a few goals for this soon to be roach
home. I wanted to offer a territory that best duplicated
their natural habitat, but also offer a venue for the cockroaches to do what they do best,
the role which nature has chosen for them: Enablers of decomposition! You see, people often ask me, why should one
want to keep ants. It’s not like bee keeping where you have a
product like honey that humans could consume? And to that, I say, aside from the inspiration
and education ant-keeping brings, I love that ants can in some cases be used for their decomposition
capabilities. Why keep a vermiculture composter when you
could use ants to further decompose your discarded food scraps like these chicken bones? But even more effective at decomposing organic
waste than ants, are the amazing cockroaches! During an environmental studies course I took
in college, I did a project on how forest roaches could be used to speed up the decomposition
process of organic waste. They would even eat newspaper soaked in fruit
juice. Turns out, forest roaches like these Dubias
can be just as effective if not more effective at breaking down organic trash than worms. So I wanted this roach terrarium to also be
a mini-composter. Let’s coin the term now! A Blattocomposter, from Blattodea the order
of roaches! And then, the new roach territories were done! Behold, the new, soon-to-be home of our Dubia
intrusion. It was an organic playground of soil, driftwood,
and leaf cuttings from my tropical house plants, set to mimic the leaf-litter and groundscape
of a typical jungle floor. I wanted there to be various places for the
roaches to hide, which the winding driftwood certainly offered, but also, I wanted to install
what I call the Dubian Dome. A darkened rock hide with open chambers and
two floors for the roaches to occupy, but one that we could access if we wanted to take
a peek inside. You may notice that the earth towards the
back and side forms a slope. This was perfect, because I wanted to form
a sort of feeding pit for the cockroaches. In this section, I wanted to place all the
roaches food, so that if the roaches wanted to feed, they would need to come out of hiding. Speaking of which, let’s add a few goodies
now before we proceed with the grand release of the Dubias, shall we? Some fish pellets, and slices of apple. Alright, and finally, it’s time to add the
roaches! Here we go AC Family! Releasing the intrusion into these virgin
lands! I carefully shook the cockroaches from the
egg cartons. It was the last time they were going to have
to live on some man-made material used to insulate chicken eggs, and instead inhabit
a more natural setup, a forest floor! I dropped in some two to three hundred cockroaches
of different sizes into the terrarium. They instantly scurried about in attempts
to find some cover. They wedged themselves into crevices within
the driftwood, and a lot of them surprisingly were able to conceal themselves by burrowing
into the soil. I was surprised by this. I never knew these roaches were capable of
burrowing, but then again, of course they could! Soil was what they were meant to live in,
not egg cartons! Some of the roaches immediately began to feed
from our goodies. Look at them just munching away at the apple! What’s neat is, these roaches can acquire
all the hydration they need from the food they eat. I was happy to see that they were settling
in nicely. Although, most of the roaches had disappeared
into the shadows of their new home land, I decided to leave them for a bit, to give them
a chance to warm up and explore the territories in the dark. Now watch what I saw one hour later, flicking
on the lights. Woah! Roaches were everywhere, but the sudden illumination
of the territories startled our nyctophilic friends. Nyctophilia is the preference for dark or
night, and it seems our roaches are ultimate shadow-lovers. It was hilarious to see that some of the roaches
were not so good at hiding, but still quite neat to know the roaches had begun to explore
their new home. But, it was time to see where the bulk of
them were hiding. I looked towards the entrance of the Dubian
Dome. I just knew they had to be in there! Removing the rock cover, and wow! There they were, a big community of them huddling
in the darkened areas of the rock hide. It was amazing to see them all snug in there. Let’s leave them in the dark. But I knew there were still many more roaches
hiding somewhere in these lands, and I had a small inkling as to where. I peeked behind this wall of driftwood and
voila, we found another big gathering of roaches! Roaches of different ages huddled together
in the comfort of each other’s presence behind this great wall of wood. It was great and satisfying to see the Dubias
in a more natural state like this. Some of them felt comfortable enough, poking
their half concealed bodies out from below some leaf cover, to continued to feast on
our apples. I loved watching the different ages coming
together to feed. Look at how cute that little baby roach is! Adorable. I left the colony to allow them to spend their
first night in their new home in peace. Lights off! By morning, I peeked into the habitat. The roaches had all retired into their darkened
spaces, and were out of sight. And AC Family, check this out! All the apples and fish pellets were fully
consumed. Checking the Dubian Dome, and yup! They were in there, enjoying all that cozy
darkness and humidity. Behind the wood wall, more roaches just snoozing
away. I even noticed this, a female cockroach giving
birth to an ootheca. An ootheca is the term for this egg sac, which
this roach is laying now but will after be reabsorbed into her body where the babies
will further develop until she is ready to give birth to them. Dubia birth is certainly an interesting thing. I sat and watched her in amazement, take in
her ootheca to completion. Soon the developed roach nymphs will be ready
to hatch, and she’ll be giving birth to up to 40 tiny white roach babies. And speaking of which, AC Family, I wasn’t
prepared to see what I saw next. A movement on the forest floor caught my eye. Upon further inspection, I was surprised to
discover that it was a nymph caught on its back, seemingly trying to right itself. Oh. How odd. Let’s help it out, AC Family. I used a barbique skewer to help the little
one onto its legs. It managed to eventually get right way up,
but as it began to walk around, I noticed something wasn’t right. The nymph had some kind of deformity on its
back half of its body, and it caused the nymph to struggle as it crawled around. It wasn’t long before it ended up once again
on its back, flailing its legs helplessly in the air. I was extremely saddened when I saw this because
I knew this newborn, still white from birth, was likely not going to make it. Its survival depended on its ability to walk
around, search for food, defend itself from the big boys of the intrusion, and just generally
carry its own within the hustle and bustle of normal cockroach life, but this deformity
meant, it would not be able to do this. Sadly, this nymph would not last the day. It made me wonder if this deformity and birth
defect was the result of roach malnutrition, or perhaps improper humidity from the old
home in the dry and mundane critter-crawler. I wondered if the mother of this little one
was truly healthy during her pregnancy within the old home. I wondered how many roach babies per batch,
born from this intrusion, end up being born with such lethal, debilitating complications. It made me feel so bad for housing my roaches
in such a bare-bones setup for so long. I feared I may have been keeping them in an
unsuitable prison all these years, forcing them to just get by on orange slices, the
random carrot, and cheap dog food. As I watched the little nymph slowly weaken,
I made a promise to myself, to never again allow my prey insects to just get by. From now on, I was going to be committed at
providing my roaches, even if they were technically just ant food, with the best, most fruitful
life possible, before they would go on to provide nourishment to my ant colonies. I continued to develop this roach habitat
into a working Blattocomposter, dumping organic waste like my leftover apple peels and cores,
and even last night’s cold french fries, into the feeding pit for the roaches to feed on. I continued to water this setup to keep the
soils moist, and to support the growth of essential bacteria, molds, fungi, and springtails
to assist at further breaking down the organics I placed inside. Turning on the lights in the middle of the
night, it was assuring to see the roaches doing what they do best, the job nature had
intended, and the very reason they were put here on this Earth. No, not to merely be prey insects for other
animals, nor to nibble on your tooth brush, but rather, to decompose. This ameliorated lifestyle would go on to
benefit my ants in the end. I wonder if the ants will be able to taste
the difference in these roaches from here on in. Whatever the case, it was an important lesson
for me to learn through this entire experience. In being the main provider of nourishment
for the millions of ant lives under my care, I realized how important it was to invest
in farming quality food, and not simply settling with rearing bulk food at minimal parameters,
because after all, you are what you eat, and what your food eats. Alright AC Family, what do you think? Did this video help you appreciate roaches
a little more? Alright! It’s OK if it didn’t. But this new roach kingdom needs a name. Leave your name suggestions for this roach
palace in the comments and I will choose my top 5 favourites for us to vote on in a future
video! But hey, AC Family, listen up, next week I
have a very important update on one of my other ant colonies that you won’t want to
miss, so hit that SUBSCRIBE button and bell icon now so you don’t miss out on this continuing
ant story within our Antiverse, and hit the LIKE button every single time, including now! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would just like to watch extended play footage of our cockroaches having
feast! You won’t want to miss them munching down! Before we continue to AC Question of the week,
I wanted to plug my daily vlogging channel! That’s daily vlogs of my travels around the
world, which often includes lots of nature stuff! Alright and now it’s time for the AC Question
of the Week! In last week’s video, which by the way trended
at #6 in US, AC Family you did that! Thank you! We asked: Which was your favourite Ant World
created in the video and why? This question had no real right answer, but
congratulations to Hannah Fire who answered: My favourite is the Zen Jardim! The muted pinks
contrast appealingly with the dark stems and little
ants, and it is very relaxing to look at. Congratulations, Hannah Fire, you just won
a free AC Outworld 2.0 from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What is the term used to describe
a preference for dark or night? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win a free ebook handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!