Ants vs Giant Millipedes

Ants vs Giant Millipedes


Greetings, AC Family. On this channel, we delve into the awesome
and often shocking world of ants. But today’s video is just one of those videos
that can be summed up in a four letter word – EPIC! AC Family, today I made the decision to take
my chances and see what would happen if we added giant tropical millipedes into the Hacienda
Del Dorado, the estate of our Golden Empire. The result which you will witness in this
video, will hands down shock you! You won’t want to miss all the epic invertebrate
action ahead, so trust me on this, keep on watching until the end! AC Fam, let’s gather round the Golden Estate,
and find out what happens when we add some giants into our Golden Empire ant territory,
in this week’s episode of the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please Subscribe to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family, Enjoy! So, let’s begin with WHY I had to add these
giant millipedes into the Hacienda Del Dorado. If you have a look at these ant territories
you will see that the plant growth is unbridled, uncontrolled. The plants are thriving and it is starting
to get a bit crowded. Thriving plant life is good, because it adds
structure below the soil, which is perfect for the ants’ tunnels, and also adds landscape
and humidity above ground. The only drawback is I have to regularly trim
the plants because some of them will go on to grow past the ant barrier and hence offer
a bridge of escape for the ants. In last week’s video, you may have seen that
I was cutting these apro plants. Now the thing is, these plant trimmings take
a long time to decompose. They simply lay on the ground and decompose
naturally, which can take weeks or months. Of course, it helps that the Hacienda Del
Dorado is also home to colonies of miniature creatures like isopods and springtails, which
by the way thanks to a vote by you the AC Family, are officially called the “Spring
Cleaners”. But still, even with the Spring Cleaners,
the plant matter took long to decompose. As you can see here, at the site of last week’s
plant cuttings, the decaying plants are still there. And so, I felt this terrarium community required
much larger helpers, chosen specifically to feed on the decaying plant trimmings and speed
up the decomposition process. Introducing our chosen ones, Orthomorpha coarctata,
tropical millipedes native to South East Asia. They belong to a family of flat backed millipedes
called Paradoxosomatidae, and boy do they look interesting! I caught these millipedes during a recent
stay in the Philippine jungle. They were everywhere and were clearly a very
important decomposer of plant detritus. Here we have 6 very active millipedes and
most of them were captured as mating pairs. I find these millipedes to be extremely promiscuous,
always mating at every opportunity and with various partners. The fact that the millipedes were breeding
was perfect because I knew that I not only had both males and females, but that I could
expect them to multiply and proliferate inside the Hacienda Del Dorado. Now the name Millipede means “thousand legs”,
but millipedes have much less, but still, watching them move is truly a marvel. Check out those legs moving in waves. They can even move backwards! Now AC Family, let’s take a look at the risks
involved with introducing creatures like these into the Hacienda Del Dorado. Of course, there was no telling how the ants
of the Golden Empire were going to react to our new multi-legged guests. In the past we have found that anything large
found in their territory, would be perceived as a threat and/or dinner. So, there was the obvious risk that the Golden
Empire would completely devour these millipedes. However, here’s why I felt the millipedes
had a good chance at withstanding the ants. First, the millipedes impenetrable exoskeleton. I find these millipedes to have some of the
hardest, most solid exoskeletons around, and when I say solid, I mean solid, for their
size anyway. I once fed a dead one of these millipedes
to the Fire Nation, our red tropical fire ants, and not even they could cut it open
until it naturally decayed and by the then, the good stuff had all dried up. So, I expected that both the mandibles and
formic acid of our yellow crazy ants would not have been able to get past the millipedes’
thick armour. Also, speaking of acid spray, these millipedes
have other tricks up their sleeves. They possess glands which allow them to actually
expel a defensive dark brown fluid containing hydrochloric acid. Take a look at these snap cap vials which
I used to contain the millipedes on the way back to my place. You can clearly see the dried up blobs of
defensive fluid. It is enough to make animals sick, creatures
die, and even bring about a bad reaction in humans. In fact, after shooting this video one of
my eyes got super irritated for a few hours due to the defensive fluids. I knew, that these giant invertebrates were
not defenseless weaklings, and in my mind, if any larger creature were to survive the
thousands of ants of the Golden Empire, it would be these guys. So AC Family, the time has come. Time to add the millipedes. If we can successfully pull this off, we will
have a new crew, essential to the health of this entire biological community that is the
Hacienda Del Dorado. The Golden Empire was going out their usual
evening activities. They were busy building and fortifying their
tunnels, diligently. Here you can see ants feasting on honey, and
don’t worry about those ants that look like they are drowned. They’re not. They’re just stuck and when all this honey
is sucked up by tomorrow, they will be freed. I also made sure to feed the Golden Empire
some extra cockroaches just to make sure they were well-fed prior to this epic introduction. So my plan, was to introduce one millipede
first and see how the ants would react, and gauge whether or not it was worth adding the
others. Here we go AC Family, time to add our first
millipede. Here we go 1-2-3. The millipede is now inside the Hacienda Del
Dorado. Instantly, ants are all over it. It isn’t long before the millipede is swarmed
by the Golden Empire. Strangely, it seemed as if the millipede was
calm and unaffected by the swarming ants. It was hard to tell if the millipede how the
millipede was feeling. The millipede began to move and made its way
to towards the foliage, with ants still hustling about doing their best to subdue the massive
creature. The struggle continued…. and then the millipede
disappeared into the foliage. It was hard to tell if the millipede was injured
or not. It was evident that the Golden Empire was
restless and were fully aware of their new visitor. I decided to take our chances. It was time to add more millipedes, this time
a breeding pair. Instantly, the pair split up when they were
met with a swarm of aggressive ants. The male went on to flee towards the plants,
while the female decided to take a dangerous move. She proceeded to enter one of the ant’s nest
entrances. Let’s watch what happens. The female realizing she had made a huge mistake
immediately scrambled as best she could to climb out of the ant’s den, but even with
so many legs, she kept slipping off the loose soil of the tunnel walls, and kept sliding
back into the ant hole, met with swarms of aggressive ants. The male, too was doing his best to seek refuge
from the angry ants. The scene was heart-stopping! She attempts to climb out again. No good. She slips right back in. The male continues to look for a place to
flee to. The Golden Empire is angry as ever, trying
their best to bite, subdue, and formic acid spray the millipedes. Will this be the end? The female tries again. She’s almost out. Oh no! She slides back in again. Things were not looking good for this female. The male still seemed mobile and in a strange
way, ok. The female attempts another escape. Yes, she’s out. She began to wander a bit and then strangely
headed back for the hole she just came out of. No, don’t go in there again! The female moved towards to the plants for
refuge. I realized that perhaps the millipedes were
at a disadvantage because they had no plant cover to escape to, and also I was placing
them directly near the ants’ nest entrances. So, I decided to release the final 3 millipedes
in the dense plant foliage, so that they would have a better chance at escaping the initial
barrage of ants, perhaps even escape into the shrubbery unnoticed. I released the millipedes. And as expected, very few ants were made aware
of their presence, and they managed to escape, unscathed. That was it! They needed to be released near cover and
away from the ants. I looked back at the mating pair that were
still being attacked by the Golden Empire. The female had disappeared around a corner
out of sight. I had no idea if she was going to survive. When I looked at the male, my heart sank. Sadly, he hadn’t made it. It looked as though the Golden Empire’s acid
sprays had been too much for the millipede. The millipede’s lifeless body lay motionless
in the soil, as ants proceeded to continue biting and spraying him with formic acid. The dying millipede began to curl up into
a ball. He then fell into an ant hole, to be attacked
further by the Golden Empire. I felt so bad about this. This was all my fault. Watching this millipede die was truly heart-wrenching. My guess was the other millipedes were also
suffering a similar fate in some other sad corner of the Hacienda Del Dorado. Adding these millipedes was one very big miscalculation
and a mistake. Usually, when filming these nature videos,
I make it a point to not interfere and to simply allow nature to take its course, but
I did that once, and it cost the lives of dozens of newborns. I did what I usually never do. I went in to rescue the dying millipede from
the ravaging ants. What I saw next, shocked me to the very core. The millipede was not dead, but was actually
very much so alive and moving. It seemed as though the ants’ acid sprays
and bites were indeed no match for the millipede’s tough exoskeleton. I was right! The millipede was alive, but it seemed it
was just playing dead, until the ants would leave him alone! What a clever boy! This brought so much hope! My guess was that each one of the millipedes
I placed inside were able to get away from the ants by taking refuge in the thick plant
cover or simply were able to fool the ants by playing dead until they left it alone. I won’t know for sure until I see the millipedes
again after tonight, but I will surely update you if I do. My guess, is each one of those millipedes
are still alive and they will go on to feed on our decaying plant matter in the Hacienda
Del Dorado. Let’s hope they continue to breed and multiply. And so, ends another epic day, AC Family,
in the untamed and exotic world we call the Hacienda Del Dorado, a biological community
of which just got bigger. Tonight I learned a valuable lesson: it seems
as though you can take the wildlife out of the wild, but you can’t take the wild out
of the wildlife. Thanks for watching, AC Fam. This is AntsCanada signing out. It’s ant love forever. —- Woah, talk about plot twist! Were you guys afraid and sad for the Millipedes,
too? It looks like they’ll survive, but we’ll see. Let’s keep our fingers crossed! Ac Inner Colony, I’ve placed a hidden video
here if you’d just like to watch more long form footage of the ant-millipede battle without
all the narration. And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week. Last week, we asked: Name one of the three beneficial
creatures that live with the ants in the Hacienda Del Dorado. Congratulations to Wolfee03 who correctly
answered: Springtails. We also accepted aphids and isopods. Congratulations Wilfee03 you just won a free
AC test tube portal from our shop! For this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What type of acid can be found in
the defensive fluids of the millipedes in this video? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win a free ant t-shirt from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to this channel, as
we release a brand new video every single Saturday at 8AM EST. Also it would mean a lot to me if you could
hit the LIKE button, SHARE, and leave me a comment! It’s ant love forever!