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!

How to Care for Stick Insects! (Aka Walking Sticks)

How to Care for Stick Insects! (Aka Walking Sticks)


Wait a second that wasn’t Emily in yesterday’s video. What’s going on? April Fool’s guys. This is my sister, Bethany. Bethany helps us out at all of our reptile and exotic pet Expos but I get confused for Emily all the time! So we couldn’t resist playing a little April Fool’s Day joke since today’s video is so close to April Fool’s Day. I think we tricked a few of you. I don’t know. Hopefully. Today though, we wanted to explain ourselves and we’re going to be talking about how to take care of walking sticks. Stick bugs otherwise known as stick insects or walking sticks are a really easy animal or invertebrate to take care of in captivity. There’s actually over 3,000 different species of walking sticks the largest of which is called the “Chan’s mega stick”, which is an awesome name. Yeah And it grows to about 22 inches long with its legs extended. However, most that are kept in captivity are about 3 to 4 inches as adults and like praying mantises the males are actually smaller than the females. We’re pretty sure that the walking stick we have is the Western short horn species, but we’re not positive so if there are any walking stick gurus watching and you see it’s a different species, let us know, but we’re pretty sure this is the Western short-horned walking stick. Let’s start with enclosure setup. The height of the enclosure should be around 3 times the length of the walking stick and the width should be about 2 times their length. And it doesn’t really matter if you use glass or plastic, as long as you have a mesh top so that they can grip on to it when they shed, because they shed hanging upside down. To also assist in shedding they need pretty high humidity so I also recommend not using a completely mesh or screen enclosure because all your humidity is gonna go right through that screen. It’s best to have something with sides made of plastic or glass to hold in that moisture. For substrate we recommend using moss or topsoil or anything that really retains that humidity. We also recommend adding springtails to help keep the enclosure clean by eating leftover food and feces. Decor is as easy as adding sticks and foliage into the enclosure, you can use fake leaves because it seems, although they’re not very smart they are smart enough to differentiate between plastic plants and real plants so in our experience they won’t try to eat plastic or fake foliage. The foliage gives them something extra to grip onto when they’re exploring in their habitat. If you want you can add a water dish but it’s not necessary because they get most of their water from their food. And don’t be surprised if you do have a water dish, you find them with their entire head in the water. You see walking sticks don’t breathe with their mouths instead they have a series of spiracles running down their thorax and their abdomen and those spiracles are just small openings that lead into the trachea which are tubes going into the insects body and oxygen goes through the spiracle enters the tube or the trachea and that’s where the oxygen is diffused into the rest of their body. So actually you can drown or suffocate a walking stick by inserting their thorax and abdomen into the water rather than their face. For that reason if you do offer a water dish it’s good to have marbles or rocks in there, too so that they don’t slip and fall and then drown. For heating you don’t have to worry about adding a heat mat or a heat lamp room temperature is fine. As long as it remains between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Unlike praying mantises the walking sticks are actually herbivorous. So feeding them is really easy. The toughest part is just keeping their food fresh, but they’ll eat a variety of leaves including oak leaves and raspberry leaves. They’ll also eat romaine lettuce If you’re collecting leaves from the outdoors though to feed them with it’s best to make sure you’re collecting from a site that doesn’t use any pesticides and make sure you rinse them off beforehand, too. If you’re feeding oak leaves specifically red oaks tend to taste bitter I’m pretty sure because I know that acorns of red oaks taste bitter compared to white Oaks. So instead you want to feed the leaves of white oaks now to tell them apart you just look at the leaves. Red oaks have sharp points to the end of their leaves kind of like the points of flames which are red, right? That’s how I remember it and white oak leaves have roundes tips to the leaves kind of like the soft billowy snow, just white. That’s how I learned it in college anyway. However, feeding romaine is just as good, they’ll eat that just fine Some people put the leaves at the bottom of the enclosure but we recommend hanging it from the top then it’s more like the trees that they encounter normally what works really well is laying a magnet on top of the screen lid so that you can easily attach lettuce using a metal paperclip. The most important thing is to change the leaves out regularly if they dry up or if they are just old in general they’re not gonna want to eat them and they won’t be as healthy as they were originally. So we recommend about every day if you can to change out the leaves or at least every other day. They’ll stop eating it if it’s bad so you’ll be able to tell based on their activity when it needs to be changed. They only eat the green leafy parts, not the stem or the white face of the leaf so if all you see “romaine”ing from that leaf of romaine you put in there is the white base it’s time to change it out. Walking sticks are considered skeletonizers Which means they eat just the leafy part in between each vein of the leaves so if you see a skeleton of a leaf behind then it’s also another sign to change it out. Like we said earlier they get most of their water from their food. So make sure to mist the leaves daily. It’s actually best to feed them and mist those leaves at night because it’s been found that walking sticks are most active from 9 p.m. To 3 a.m. So they are nocturnal and that’s when they do most of their eating so you want that leaf to be as fresh as possible for when the walking stick is ready to eat it. During the inactive parts of the day walking sticks will often extend their legs forward alongside their antennae to look even more like a stick. You can handle them. However some have defense mechanisms that you might be wary of some may bite and some have a defensive chemical spray that causes a rash or even temporary blindness. Some even regurgitate their last meal to create a bitter liquid that deters animals from eating them. You’re gonna lick it? Try it. No, I’m not gonna lick it! You lick it! I’m not gonna eat it I’m not gonna eat it either We won’t know if it tastes bad unless you lick it Well, I don’t know if this is the liquid. It just kind of bunked its face on me What if the bitter liquid kills me Emily? It won’t kill you. Try it! *giggles* Are you really…? There wasn’t enought Walking sticks are egg-layers some will lay their eggs behind bark and some will just drop them from the branch that they’re sitting in and it will go from branch to ground. They’re eggs though are pretty unique, in that they have kind of a tasty portion of the egg which attracts ants. The ants will pick up the egg bring it into their anthill down in the tunnels they’ll eat the tasty part off of the egg and then they discard the rest of the egg in their waste pile which has the perfect humidity levels for the egg to hatch in and incubate in which can take anywhere from 2 to 12 months for the eggs to hatch. But when the babies come out they simply walk out of the tunnels of the anthill and the ants don’t care, they just let them go. So they bring them in and they like protect the eggs until they hatch. Believe it or not many walking sticks exhibit a behavior called parthenogenesis which means that females can breed without the existence of a male. So basically they’re independent women who don’t need no man. However, if there’s no male involved in the breeding process, then the female can only produce female young. So basically she’s cloning herself. Although if there is a male involved then that’s how she can produce males so there really isn’t a point to have guys around is there. heck no The reason why it takes so long for eggs to hatch is because females will lay the eggs late summer and they will overwinter and hatch in the spring. When the young hatched from their eggs, they look exactly like their adult counterparts except just much smaller. They grow the same way praying mantises and grasshoppers do it’s called simple or incomplete metamorphosis and basically they just shed their skin over and over and they about double in size with each shed. When they first come out they’re considered first instars and when they shed they become second instars and that number just keeps going up until they become adults. If a walking stick loses a leg it’s not a big deal because they can just gain another at their next shed unless they’re an adult in which case they won’t shed anymore. That’s why it’s so important to have high humidity in your walking sticks enclosure is to assist it in shedding They’re most likely to lose legs and antennae if it’s too dry So that’s why misting their entire enclosure every day is essential. Taking care of baby walking-sticks is the same as with adults Basically just feed them regularly, make sure there’s always fresh food in there, mist them regularly so the humidity is high enough for them to shed properly There’s no cleaning involved if you have tropical soil and springtails doing the cleaning work for you So that makes them a really easy pet They’re really interesting quick little critters and you can hold and interact with them. But hopefully today’s video taught you a little bit about walking sticks. Thank you again, Bethany for joining me in today’s April Fool’s Day trick/Walking stick video and thank you to all the patreon supporters of course for backing this channel, and we’ll see you next time What’s the difference between Mantid and mantas? Same thing. This is what their poop looks like High-five He’s crawling up your hair. Yeah Come here, friend! We’re pretty sure that the species we have here is the Western short-horned mantis But if anyone knows differently, like if you’re a mantis- mantis… walking stick. Pretty certain this is the Western short horned man-… mantis… so, like, um- aah… If you want you can add a wourder dish- Wha… You see walking sticks don’t bre- … No that is what I meant to say too… for room teacher- ooh For room teacher aaaaah… Does it cover? I dont really know Maybe it does. We’ll just leave it out. maybe spittbubble-ish Thank you! See that’s why you should be up here Yeah Laughing at us from afar Did I just lick this ones urine?! Okay, so I just licked its vomit. It’s fine. Yeah, that’s fine. Honestly, this isn’t the worst thing that Ive done for you