MY GROWING ARMY OF FIRE ANTS | GETTING BIGGER & MORE COMPLEX


Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Ember Empress,
the royal queen fire ant of this 7 week old fire ant colony, we call the Phoenix Empire. Can you imagine that just a few weeks ago
our Phoenix Empire consisted of just a solo queen empress with a clutch of eggs in a test
tube, but today, we’ve fostered a growing army, silently getting bigger and stronger
with every week, in an ever expanding ant kingdom! And so today, we take a closer look at just
how big and complex the Phoenix Empire has become on a special guided tour through their
incredible and evolving living quarters. Welcome to the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! It’s amazing how far these ants have come,
and at the very end of the video, the final stop to this tour of the fire ant kingdom,
is something you guys probably might have never seen before, so keep on watching until
the end to catch that. This here is the Phoenix Empire’s grand
castle. By the way, I wanted to give an official name
to this entire connected kingdom here of the Phoenix Empire, so guys, please take a moment
to vote in this ipoll here, to give our Phoenix Empire’s grand territories an official name! I trust you guys will make it a great one! Thank you, AC Council for your input! It’s sunrise now and the Phoenix Empire
nest is bustling with activity, workers going about their various routine tasks. For those of you who’ve been following them
these past few weeks, can you believe how many ants there are now! And have a look at that brood pile! Our Ember Empress, their cherished queen,
has been quite busy laying eggs, as you can see here! That’s one awesome mass of fire ant eggs! What you’re looking at here is the future
generation of fire ants. The brood pile is totally tripping me out
and is just massive right now, compared to last week, and as we saw in a previous video,
like pre-school, the Phoenix Empire is mindful to organize all the young by age group, so
they’re easier to care for. Eggs, larvae, and pupae are carefully grouped
together. The workers lick the brood clean with their
antibiotic saliva to keep mold from growing on their exposed, vulnerable bodies! Check out this dark pupa here which is just
about ready to emerge as an adult ant, a process called eclosing. She’s even starting to wiggle her feet! How cute! Once eclosed, new workers start off yellowish
in colour, then darken to the signature red and black after a couple of days. The Phoenix Empire youth looks promising! Now have you ever wondered if and how ants
sleep? Well, yes, they do, but their sleep consists
of hundreds of short, random power naps within the 24 hr cycle, like these two napping ants
here, but they wake up after a few minutes to commence working. Work just never ends! Amazing right? Oh! Rising to greet us now is our Ember Empress,
awakening to switch her resting position, and oh my gosh! Look at her butt! Compared to the last time we saw her, look
at how much her gaster has grown, enough to even give Kim Kardashian a run for her money! OK, I’ll stop. AC Family, I was just so happy to see this,
because it’s known as physogastrism, where the queen’s ovaries are producing such a
crazy amount of eggs, that it is blowing her gaster up like a balloon! Did you guys even know that ants have ovaries? Her gaster, will still grow to twice or even
three times this size in the coming weeks, as she becomes a total egg-producing factory! Let’s wish her luck on that! It’s important that our Ember Empress here
gets her rest and eats a lot in order to produce eggs. Soon she will have her own dedicated entourage
of workers that specialize only at massaging her, feeding her, plucking her newly laid
eggs from her gaster, and keeping her covered and protected. But for now, she buries herself deep into
a pile of her own brood and awaits her next egg-laying contractions. Man, I just love watching the Phoenix Empire
in their nest, how about you? It’s somehow relaxing, and I could do it
for hours. But, as interesting as these nest activities
are, so too is the action happening outside the nest. Attached to their setup is a great place,
you guys have officially named the Fireforest, and it is here where I’ll be serving their
breakfast! On today’s menu, the ants will be feasting
on a freshly chopped up superworm on a bed of leaf, and it also happens to be the biggest
meal they’ve ever had. Let’s watch! The Phoenix Empire sends out one of the workers
to venture out into the Fire Forest. She smells something interesting and new within
the territories. She wanders out onto Fire Forest grounds and
uses her antennae to smell around and locate what she’s looking for. It wasn’t long before she finally discovered
our culinary preparations, gives it a sniff, and runs back to the nest leaving a pheromonal
trail to inform the rest of the colony of the gourmet superworm steaks she found, and
call for back up to help with consumption. A few minutes later, the ants feast, fill
up their social stomachs and are back at the nest feeding the rest of the colony via trophallaxis,
regurgitating the pre-digested superworm meat into each other’s mouths, including the
larvae, and the queen. But meat isn’t all they eat! Some workers periodically visit the special
test tube which holds their sweet brown sugar-water supply we first provided them last week, and
they too bring their sugar water collections back to the nest! Now, guys this is something new that I’m
sure you’ll love! Check this out! Look at how filled up and stretched some of
the worker’s gasters are, as they each carry large quantities of food in their bodies! Interestingly enough, these specialized fattened
up workers, who have taken up the role of living food transporters, are known as the
repletes. They’re basically walking ant fridges, I
suppose, and are new to the Phoenix Empire. I’ve been waiting for the repletes to appear! The repletes differ from other worker ants
because they do nothing but stay at home and store the colony’s food, saved in their
sterile social stomachs and regurgitate the contents to feed the other colony members,
as needed. They’re larger bodies makes it too risky
for them to leave the nest as they become easier targets for predators, so they just
stay at home and are fattened up by workers ants returning from a meal outside. If I were a member of the Phoenix Empire,
I think this job description suits me best! Haha! The workers make sure these repletes are amply
fed so they can ensure the colony has a constant uninterrupted supply of food, so colony growth
rate isn’t slowed down during periods when food becomes harder to find. But guys, repletes aren’t all! Some of these fattened up workers are known
as aquapletes! Workers that only store the colony’s water! And, check this out! The colony has been extra diligent at collecting
water from their water station, as evidenced by the bubbles in their water test tube, and
stuffing some of the workers, those choosing to be aquapletes, with this fresh water, because
the colony is currently undergoing somewhat of a water shortage crisis. The colony’s water supply is running low. Soon their cotton wall which used to provide
the colony with their water and humidity will run completely dry. But don’t worry, once it does, the colony
will pick up and move into their full water test tube. It won’t be much longer before one of these
ants comes up with the brilliant idea to make their full water test tube neighbouring their
nest, their new nest. We’ll find them all, brood, workers, and
the queen nesting in the new test tube one day soon! Another thing you might notice is some of
the ants have decided to interior decorate! They’ve carried grains of sand into their
test tube portal and even into the entrance of their nest test tube! It’s interesting to see that as the colony
grows, their activities become more and more diverse and interesting! But guys, as promised at the start of this
video, now it’s time to show you the final location of the Phoenix Empire’s kingdom,
which I discovered held a secret that moved me inside. Behold the Phoenix Empire’s garbage and
bathroom area within their test tube portal. Upon closer inspection, what I saw surprised
me then made me sad. Do you see it? It’s a dead worker. Turns out, this location in the test tube
portal is not only the colony’s designated toilet and garbage site, but it is also the
new Phoenix Empire graveyard. No need to worry, though. The death of this ant is normal and I was
expecting it, some point soon. You see, though the queen ant lives for several
years, worker ants only live for a few weeks, and it seems our oldest ants, the nanitics,
are now reaching the end of their lives and dying off. This nanitic, as a true first born, did not
have the benefit of being raised off the substantial mealworms and sugar water that the Phoenix
Empire enjoys today, because it was raised off the queen’s muscle tissues back when
the colony first began. As a result, these nanitics are smaller, physically
disadvantaged, and shorter lived. But as sad as it was to see that the nanitics
were dying now, you know what? I also felt a deep gratitude for the important
work it did while it was alive, during the Phoenix Empire’s most critical stage. Imagine that this dead ant here, was one of
the Phoenix Empire’s pioneers. This ant had to do all the jobs in order to
secure the Phoenix Empire’s future success. It had to be the queen’s caretaker, a forager,
a replete, an aquaplete, an interior designer, and caregiver of the young. Without the great work it served during its
lifetime, the Phoenix Empire would not be the fully functioning, optimistic fire ant
colony it is now. The nanitics in my mind are heroes. RIP little one! Thank you for your service. As I watched our new Phoenix Empire this week,
active, fruitful, and complex as ever, I realized that when you remove scale, societies of living
creatures often have many similarities. There’s order, systems in place to ensure
survival, denomination of jobs and key roles within its members, and pioneers making way
for those on the leading edge of the future. Ants and people aren’t so different after
all. I appreciate that you guys have all become
part of this fire ant colony’s journey, helping me make decisions and raise them. I can’t explain it but I love them so much
and understand that many of you happen to feel the same. It’s pretty cool! I’ll be sure to keep filming our Phoenix
Empire here closely, as they continue to grow in size and social complexity, so we can discover
more and more about them, and ultimately ourselves. Thank you for watching and supporting the
ants! I’ll see you guys again next week! It’s ant love forever! AC Family, our Phoenix Empire is evolving
so much, wouldn’t you say? A lot is in store ahead so if you haven’t
yet, SMASH that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON now and hit ALL so you get notified at
every upload, because I believe notifications seem to be broken but the Youtube support
team is on it. Also don’t forget to hit the LIKE button
every single time including now. It would really mean a lot to me. Thank you, guys! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would like see the absolutely shocking and awesome discovery I made this
week in the Ant Room! Someone laid eggs! Go see who! Just a quick announcement: if you’ve wanted
to get into ant keeping, use the coupon code “antloveforever” to get 10% off all ant
farms and equipment at AntsCanada.com! Promo ends March 1st so get your ant keeping
gear at AntsCanada.com now. And now it’s time for the AC Question of
the Week. Last week, we asked: Why did the ant park need to be
minimally decorated and kept dry? Congratulations to Jacia Bruns who answered: It was to make sure the Phoenix Empire
wouldn’t nest in the ant park. Congratulations Jacia, you just won a free
Ultimate Ant Keeping handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week we
ask: Name one thing you love about
the Phoenix Empire’s way of life. Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free ebook handbook from our shop! Hope you could subscribe to our 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!

FIRE ANTS REACT TO THEIR NEW “ANT PARK”


Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Phoenix Empire,
this 6 week old fire ant colony, that is destined to become a great fire ant kingdom of ant
power and might! The queen’s brood has been exploding in
numbers, and the demand for food, resources, and space increases more and more with every
new adult fire ant worker, maturing to join the growing army. But today, the ants are in for a special treat,
as we connect the colony to the biggest space they’ve ever seen, this brand new ‘Ant
Park’ complete with a delicious picnic waiting for them! Welcome to the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! Behold, the Phoenix Empire’s newest premium
real estate: an Ant Park! You’ll really get a kick out of their interesting
reaction and picnic within this Ant Park, as well as something truly incredible, I filmed
back at the nest afterward, so keep on watching until the end. So this grand ant park will officially be
the biggest space, the Phoenix Empire will have ever accessed. So far the colony has only known the space
of their founding test tube, and just last week, their small feeding chamber and water
test tube. They don’t know it yet, but their fire ant
territory is about to get a whole lot larger! Now, I created the park using a simple kitchenware
container, decorated with sand, stones, sticks, and dry moss. I had to decorate minimally and keep everything
dry, so that the ants won’t try to move in here when we connect them, and just so
you know, something really funny is coming in a bit about that. But now, AC Family, I need your help: What
should we name this Ant Park? Please take the time to vote here on an official
park name. I trust you’ll make it a good one! Thank you, AC Council for your input! Now before we officially open this Ant Park
for business, let’s have a look into the Phoenix Empire’s nest, shall we? Behold the queen, we’ve named the Ember
Empress, sitting majestically over her massive bed of brood. We can see eggs, young larvae, and some pupae. Check out that young light-coloured worker
lovingly licking the larvae with her antibiotic saliva, to keep them all free of mold and
germs. Just adorable! But this incredibly is only one section of
the colony’s brood pile! Here’s another section with pupae and pupating
larvae, and yet another section with intermediate and mature larvae. This clearly is one massive brood pile! And if you compare the size of the queen’s
gaster now, to her gaster size just two weeks ago, you’ll see that a tonne more eggs are
about to be born soon! The Phoenix Empire is doing so well! But here’s the thing: With more and more
mouths to feed, they’ve not only had to eat a lot, but of course, they’ve also been
generating a lot of waste. Within the colony’s test tube portal, the
colony’s garbage pile and toilet area have been getting quite full. In nature, soil creatures and the elements
would clean this up, but in this case, the ants depend on me. Let’s clean up their mess! Wiping their garbage pile up! Ooooh look at that ant midden! Kinda looks like ear wax! Now to clean up their toilet area. Yummy! Ant feces. Cleaning up after the ants made me realize
that it was time for the ants to have a new, larger space so that the area where they eat
would not have to be the same area they poop and dump their garbage. Plus, I felt the fire ants were ready for
a larger space now, one where they could get out and satisfy their innate need to forage. This new ant park would offer the perfect
solution and contribute to the Phoenix Empire’s overall well-being. It’s time to give the colony their new park! Oooh how exciting! Let’s do this! Here was the tube that would offer a bridge
to the park that would connect to the test tube portal. Here I’ve prepared a freshly chopped up
mealworm on a bed of leaf, so they could enjoy a picnic in their new park. The colony was already sending out foragers
into the test tube portal, so I knew they were hungry! I placed the delicious meal inside. And now to connect the ant park tube to the
test tube portal! Here we go! Carefully removing the plug and inserting
the tube inside. And voila! Ant Park connected. Hope you like your new park, Phoenix Empire! Let’s watch! It wasn’t long before some brave ants began
to wander into the tube, ever curiously, and stepped onto the uncharted grounds of their
new ant park. And that’s when joy took over their bodies. The ants immediately set off to explore, and
in a rush they wandered every corner of the ant park they could! They inspected the sands, climbed the branches
and moss, scaled the walls, crawled around the rocks, and meticulously mapped out this
new, vast land of epic proportions! Never had they explored such an open space! What a discovery! After a bit of exploring, some ants ran back
through the tube filling the area with pheromones along the way to signal for other colony members
to come check out the newly discovered lands. This ant didn’t even bother going all the
way back to the nest. It had to get back to the ant park asap! The colony back in the test tube would smell
its “COME HITHER” pheromones eventually! And indeed, it was clear that inside the nest,
news had reached the colony of the ant park, and more workers set off to investigate the
rumors of the new exciting lands just beyond. I watched as more and more workers emerged
and frolicked about. Strangely, our picnic preparations were ignored
during this park opening celebration. I think the ants were more preoccupied with
exploring the new space, to notice or even care about food right now. And remember what I said about making the
park an undesirable environment for nesting? Well, check out this bold ant, eagerly trying
to dig a tunnel! Do you think, the ants like this new space
or what? Haha! Sure enough, eventually, one inquisitive ant
came to discover that on this random leaf in the middle of the park, lay a butchered
mealworm buffet for a hungry Empire! It began to feast on the mealworm meat, and
while it did, along came a second ant, who would go on to help spread the pheromones
to inform the other ants that ‘Hey, forget the park! There’s actual food here!” It wasn’t long before word spread to the
entire colony and ants were all over the mealworm meat chowing down. Soon this ant picnic was the new talk of the
Empire. Feast well, my beloved ants! Feast! It was just so satisfying to watch the ants
gathering to eat as a pack, as well as traveling back to the nest to reinforce the pheromone
trail to the mealworm picnic buffet on a leaf. In fact, the new ant park and picnic caused
such a stir, that back at the nest, I noticed only a few workers had chosen to remain at
home with the queen. Surely some rules were being broken here! Haha! I don’t blame them, though! This was an awesome day for our Phoenix Empire! An hour later, I took a peek into the nest
and saw something truly amazing! Pieces of the mealworm had been brought back
to the nest for further consumption. The usual worker to worker trophallaxis, was
also happening, as they distributed the mealworm meat to home-bound workers who couldn’t
leave the nest. But what I found the most amazing was something
I noticed during trophallaxis occurring between worker ants and the larvae! Check this out, AC Family! Here you’ll see workers feeding the larvae,
as they regurgitate blobs of predigested mealworm meat. But check out this one worker that began to
dig deep into the brood pile to pick out a seemingly random young larva, and proceeded
to feed it. It was at this moment that something truly
incredible dawned on me. To think, that with all the larvae around,
the worker traveled deep into the pile to pick out this larva in particular to feed. This blew my mind because it was evidence
that the ants had some sort of system going on, that ensured all larvae were eating. I suspect that the larvae release a pheromone
indicating when they’re hungry, and the workers somehow are able to detect the larvae
that need food the most, who may not necessarily be at the most accessible places of the brood
pile. In ant society, no child is left unfed, even
if you happen to be at the bottom of the pile. After the ant finished feeding the larva,
I watched as it proceeded deeper into the pile to feed another hidden larva tucked away
within the pile. It was a beautiful thought to consider that
in the ant world, no larva is ever left forgotten or neglected, and that the only time the young
do go hungry is when the entire colony can’t find food and the whole colony goes hungry. The ants rise and fall together as a family. What’s even more amazing is imagining what
it would be like when the colony reaches hundreds, thousands, or even millions of larvae, not
even taking into account the additional maintenance the eggs, larvae, and pupae require on top
of feeding duties. It’s mind-blowing, the degree of organization
and systemisation ants require to ensure all colony needs are met every single day. AC Family, after today’s epic events, it
was super satisfying to see the ants doing what they’re designed to do naturally. In the days following the colony continued
to travel back forth between their ant park and the nest, in search of food. I’ll be placing their meat in here from
now on. As an additional gift, I prepared a test tube
full of brown sugar water and attached it to their test tube portal, so our workers
could drink it at any time, and acquire the energy needed to power their great work! I think we did good, guys. The Phoenix Empire would all rest with full
bellies for another week. I truly appreciate that a lot of you guys
seem to enjoy following the evolution and progress of this fire ant colony. They’re well on the road to success now. I believe they’ve surpassed the hardest
part of laying down the foundation to a fully functioning ant colony. Not every ant colony survives this initial
founding stage, but thankfully our Phoenix Empire here is one of the lucky ones! I expect in just a few weeks more, the Phoenix
Empire will have hundreds or even thousands of workers. They’ll soon start to grow large enough
to live with allies like springtails and isopods that would eat up their waste, big enough
to eventually move into a formicarium and outworlds, ferocious enough to consume large
prey, and soon explode in numbers so much, that they’ll need to be housed in a full
blown terrarium! But I’m in no rush, because for now, I’m
just treasuring all these intimate moments with the Phoenix Empire, particularly with
the Ember Empress, because the thing I noticed while keeping their predecessors, the Fire
Nation, was the bigger the colony got, the less and less I saw the queen, and once they
finally moved into a terrarium, I never ever saw her again even to the day she died privately
in the darkness of her nest. So I’ve resolved to enjoy these precious
moments with our Phoenix Empire queen, while we still can. And through it all, I’ll continue filming
the Phoenix Empire’s epic journey to becoming the greatest ant colony of the Antiverse. From the bottom of my heart, guys, thank you
for watching and supporting the ants! It’s ant love forever! AC Family, our Phoenix Empire is doing so
well, wouldn’t you say? So much is in store ahead so if you haven’t
yet, SMASH that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON now and hit ALL so you get notified at
every upload, because I believe notifications seem to be broken but the Youtube support
team is on it. Also don’t forget to hit the LIKE button
every single time including now. It would really mean a lot to me. Thank you, guys! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would like to watch extended play footage of the Phoenix Empire exploring
their new ant park as well as a certain creature that mysteriously somehow managed to infiltrate
and enter the ant park! See if you can spot it! Just a quick announcement: if you’ve wanted
to get into ant keeping, we’re having our 10th year anniversary sale at AntsCanada.com! Just use the coupon code “antloveforever”
to get 10% off all AC ant farms and equipment at the store! Thanks so much for the ten years of support,
guys! And now it’s time for the AC Question of
the Week. Last week, we asked: What do you look forward to the most
in the Phoenix Empire’s future? Congratulations to Bruce Hendershott who answered: I’m most looking forward to the
emergence of the supermajors. Congratulations Bruce, you just won a free
Ultimate Ant Keeping handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week we
ask: Why did the ant park need to be
minimally decorated and kept dry? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! Hope you could subscribe to our 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!

Mysteries in Madagascar | The Ant Explorer

Mysteries in Madagascar | The Ant Explorer


The forests of Madagascar are known for their amazing diversity of life. Here in Ankarafantsika National Park, you might expect the lemurs and chameleons to rule the trees. But actually some of the most amazing ant species on earth are found in this dry forest. And on this adventure we’re following them into the canopy. I’m Miles Maxcer, myrmecological detective, biologist, and adventurer I’ve been keeping ants for over a decade, and seeking out intriguing insects for even longer Check this out Follow me as we discover the hidden secrets of the undergrowth I’m here in Madagascar as part of a research expedition being led by Dr. Bonnie Blaimer from North Carolina State University And Dr. Brian Fisher from the California Academy of Sciences. We’re surveying this dry forest for the ant species that are found here. Dr. Blaimer is leading our arboreal collection project and she taught me that you have to use different tactics to find ants up here in the trees than you can use down on the ground. Earlier we were using sardine baits to try and capture foragers that were going up and down the trees. Now I’m heading up farther into the canopy to find what ants are actually living up here. It’s so awesome to be here in Madagascar surveying the canopy ants. There’s never been research done in this area of what kind of ants actually live up in the trees in this dry forest. This has got to be the craziest thing I’ve ever done to find ants. So one of the best ways to find ants up here is actually just to take a moment and pause and watch the branches. You’ll see the foraging ants walking around. What I’ve actually done here is I sat and watched for a little bit and I think I found a nest of Tetraponera. Now, Tetraponera are an amazing pseudomyrmicine ant found here in the tropics. Many ants live in twig nests up here in these trees. So what I’m going to do is send this twig down so we can get some closer shots of the amazing ants that are living inside. Tetraponera are commonly known as slender ants. Their streamlined bodies are perfectly adapted to life in the trees here they nest in twigs or cavities that special plants create for them. These plants are called myrmecophytes and they have a mutualistic relationship with ants. Inside the cavities the ants tend their growing brood. As I was making my descent down I noticed that there was a line of black ants moving along this part of the tree These are Paratrechina longnicornis. They’re not actually native to Madagascar, but they’re almost omnipresent in this dry forest They’ve been carrying brood items for some time and I even saw that they were carrying a termite. So we learned that the ants up here in the trees even predate on animals like termites which might even be up here as well. Today we explored the canopy, tomorrow morning we’re going to check out the understory and the soil to see more of Madagascar’s unique ants. This morning I’m working with a team of biologists to survey the ant diversity here in a patch of dry forest. We’re taking a look at the ants in the soil and then also the arboreal ants living in the lower areas of the understory of this forest. But first, we’re going to take a look at this massive Aphaenogaster ant colony. As we observe the nest, an unlucky beetle larva stumbles by. This provides the voracious foragers an opportunity to demonstrate their wicked powers of predation. In a matter of minutes the workers have incapacitated the larvae, dragging it over a meter back to the nest entrance! A single ant could never have taken down such formidable prey, but by working together they overpower their target and bring it to a swift end in the nest. These are some of the largest ants here in this area of Madagascar. You can imagine that there’s probably over a thousand workers and lots of brood deep in the colony. Dr. Brian Fisher actually measured a colony once, and the hole went down an entire three meters and then the colony branches off into tunnels and chambers down below. That single grub certainly won’t be enough to feed them all, but a couple of grubs like that and some other scavenging throughout the day and we can pretty easily see how these ants can survive even in a dry forest ecosystem just like this. Breaking twigs can be a great way to find ants that are arboreal and semi-arboreal. So instead of looking on the ground and flipping over rocks and looking under logs we actually find ants that nest inside twigs and in small cavities associated with trees. There’s an art to finding twig-nesting ants. What I do is I go through the forest and I look for dead twigs that might be resting in trees or vines, and then if they look hollow I break them apart and then hopefully inside the cavities there are ants. Here I’ve opened up a beautiful Crematogaster colony. So just as I was saying, they hollow out the twigs that they find here in the forest and they usually prefer the ones that are suspended above the forest floor But that are still kind of dead twigs twisted up in the branches Inside this colony I can see that they’ve got a large number of larvae. The Crematogaster are trying to kind of sting me, but they have a different sort of stinging mechanism than most ants do While most ants might kind of lodge their stinger in your hand or the fold of skin, what Crematogaster do is they make a small incision with their jaws and they actually dab the wound with venom at the end of kind of their stinger organ Unlike ants that live in the soil or under rocks, these ants actually put all their brood right along the chambers inside of the twigs and then they bring the prey items back down and line it up and they feed the larvae that way. The Queen is usually in one of the twigs, generally in one of the larger sections of the twig nest. Some species also have satellite nests where there will be multiple twigs in one area that the ants actually are inside, but they may have the queen only in one of them and then they transfer the brood and their workers over to the other nests over time. This part of our team led by Dr. Brian Fisher is currently going through a soil section here in the dry forest. And what they’ve done is they’ve dug a pit down into the soil and now they’re shaving away the sides of the pit with the shovel and some trowels, and they’re searching for ants. This is a great way to find soil nesting ants — army ants, cryptic ants that you’re not going to find here above the surface. But they’ll be down deeper in the soil where there’s moisture and alternative food sources. While digging, the team uncovers one of the most unique ants on earth. Snap-jaw ants in the genus Mystrium. The daylight is fading. So I head back to the field shelter to observe these stunning specimens under the microscope. The genus Mystrium are known for having the fastest mechanical action of any living thing that we know about. My friend Dr. Adrian Smith found that the snap of its jaws is actually the fastest action any animal can produce. This is the ultimate snap-jaw ant and it uses these specialized jaws to capture these amazing blue centipedes that are found here in Madagascar. They are also known as Dracula ants — their sinister ways are exposed inside of the colony where they actually cut open their own larvae and drink the hemolymph or blood. This doesn’t actually appear to harm the larvae and it seems to be one of the primary sources of nutrition for the adult ants. Another of Mystrium’s mysteries is that there’s actually an even split in the nest of workers and queens. The workers are actually larger and black whereas the 1ueens are smaller and red. There’s only one reproducing queen in a single colony. And when a colony of Mystrium actually gets too large, they split into two and one of the other queens becomes a reproductive as well. This is a process known as “budding”. Now that the sun has set, I’m going to prepare for a night walk. Who knows what kinds of amazing wildlife we might find at night here in the dry forests of Madagascar. Looking at night here in the dry forest is one of the best times to try and find chameleons because as your light goes across them they sort of reflect back I came across this Apheanogaster nest earlier today It’s pretty interesting to see that they are still active at night even though the temperatures have dropped significantly. On your own explorations you might notice that some ants are only active during the day or during the night. Animals that are active during the day are called diurnal whereas animals active at night are called nocturnal. It’s pretty interesting to see that these ants seem to be always active here in Ankarafantsika National Park. Few places on earth offer such unique biodiversity and opportunity for adventure as Madagascar. By joining the lemurs in the forest canopy we found aggressive Tetraponera and we learned more about the invasive black crazy ants. By digging alongside the chameleons we found the world record-holding Snap-jaw ants. I can’t wait to return to the island, and until then thanks for watching this episode of The Ant Explorer.

Hogyan nevelj hangyakolóniát? – 1. rész


AntsHungary presents: How to raise an ant colony? the ant colony’s raising starts with a test tube. fill the clean test tube with some water theen put a piece of wool in it not too tight and not too loosely pull down the wool with a hooked wire expressly. only until the water level not along! than put the ant queen in this test tube. this test tube will guarantee the humidity for a long time the end of the test tube also close with a piece of wool it let through the air so gives the optimal breeze for the hatching test tube. the queen feels safe herself in this tight, closed test tube and the humidity imitate the underground conditions most of the claustral ant species don’t claim feeding at the first time, but we recommend to feeding every species from the beginning, to helps their successfull colony founding. most species needs to feed with honey and insects only some harvester species deflect from it. put a small honey at the side of the test tube with a hooked wire put only a few from it, less than a drop. we should think how big our ant, and how big her stomach possibly if we think this, we won’t make that mistake to give too much honey them and they stick in it. recommend to cut half the insects for the ants they will easily access to the soft parts in it. then put the test tube in warm, dark, calm and vibration-free place when the queen can laying eggs leisurely. can guarantee the darkness if package the test tube in a piece of cellophane. some days later the queen is laying down her first eggs. this time we don’t have much work, just to take care for the feeding and keep the test tube clean. give them half-cutted insect pieces 2 times a week and 1 or 2 days later clear off them before they deteriorate after a few weeks the eggs develop.. …first for larva, ..after for puppae. larvae eats protein already, so this time important the feeding regularly. first workers will hatch from the puppae. with the small and mediom sized ants it needs 4-6 weeks from egg to worker but with some big sized spices this time could be 2 and half months even. If the test tube became dirty during the hatching we have to move the queen and the brood into a new, clean test tube. it’s much easier now, than when have workers if the surface of the cotton covered by mould, or the water discoloured, it could be a dangerous habitat for the ants, so have to move them for a new tube. we need the following tools for the transfer: first top up the new test tube with the earlier mentioned method, then put the queen into the new one. finally have to move the brood carefully. need a small drop of water. watering a bit the hair of the brush, so the brood will stick to it and we can move them carefully to the new test tube. the brush has soft hairs wich don’t damage the brood. try to move all of the eggs. don’t have to put them for the same place, the queen will put them to a heap. 🐜 Subscribe! 🐜 – and check the next episode. 🙂

MY FIRE ANTS SET UP SOME NEW “HOUSE RULES” | The Phoenix Empire Laws

MY FIRE ANTS SET UP SOME NEW “HOUSE RULES” | The Phoenix Empire Laws


They’ve got new rules, they count ‘em! Behold the Phoenix Empire, a young fire ant
colony that is growing bigger in numbers by the day. It’s amazing to think that just a few weeks
ago, this fruitful fire ant colony started with just one pregnant queen ant and her eggs. Now, she’s got her own growing army of workers,
masses of babies, and more on the way. But as more fire ant members join this multiplying
army, new rules and colony laws must be set in place if they’re to succeed at becoming
a mighty fire ant colony. These new Phoenix Empire rules which all members
must follow, will truly blow your mind! Welcome to the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
BELL icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! If there’s something ant keeping has taught
me, it’s that ants are so much like humans, it’s staggering. Before us here, lies the simple setup, in
which an intricate city of fire ants is slowly taking shape. You guys will trip out at some of the rules
they’ve begun to establish, so keep on watching until the end to find out what the Phoenix
Empire’s new quote-unquote colony rules are. But first, here is the Phoenix Empire’s
gorgeous, royal queen, whose name is now officially the ‘Ember Empress’, thanks to you guys
who voted for her official name in last week’s video. Now, I can’t figure out if it should be
“Empress Ember” or the “Ember Empress”. Can you guys take a quick moment to vote here
to help decide on her official name? Thank you AC Council for your input. She’s an awesome queen, and has been quite
busy. Have a look. This here is just one section of her impressive
brood pile. You can see eggs, larvae, and pupae. And here is the queen’s newest clutch of
eggs! If you look carefully, you’ll notice that
some of the eggs have already hatched into tiny larvae. Congrats, our Empress! You’re doing great! Now this might be random, but a lot of you
have been asking about the three bumps on Empress Ember’s head, some of you guys even
fearing they were mites. No need to worry, though! Those are actually eyes called ocelli, useful
to the queen during her past nuptial flight, the great night our Empress here left her
mother colony and mated with males from other colonies. Flying and seeking out potential males all
while also trying not to be eaten by predators, requires good vision so having these extra
eyes on top of her head is super useful. They’re kind of like a fire ant crown now,
and those wing scars you see on her thorax, like her royal stripes, earned the moment
she broke off her wings after insemination, marking the start of her journey as queen! Now, with the queen constantly laying eggs,
and all these new babies popping up demanding attention and care, the workers have been
extremely diligent at helping raise their growing siblings, which brings me to the Phoenix
Empire’s first set of rules. Phoenix Empire Rule #1: Arrange the kids according
to age! Like pre-school, you may notice that the workers
have started to pay closer attention to arranging the brood according to life stage and age. All the eggs are bunched together, and stray
eggs eventually get picked up and placed in the egg pile. Same goes for larvae and pupae. As the colony continues to grow and these
brood piles get even larger and larger, segregating the young according to age becomes more and
more important, and here’s why. Each life stage, requires a specific care
regimen and environment. For instance, eggs need to be bunched together
so they better retain moisture collectively plus they’re easier to transport in packages,
in case of an emergency like during an ant-eater tongue intrusion or something. The larvae need to be constantly fed, and
as they shed their skin multiple times as they mature, the workers need to eat the larvae’s
shed skin, as you can see here, in order that it doesn’t just lay around and grow fungus. Speaking of fungus by the way, eggs and larvae
need to be constantly licked clean by the workers, as ant saliva contains an anti-biotic
and anti-fungal which keeps all brood from harmful fungus or microbes. Finally, pupae and pupating larvae are placed
in the warmest portions of the nest in order that they develop as quickly as possible so
they can become adult worker ants faster, and help out! So as you can see, the Phoenix Empire here
is getting really systematic with how they do things, but fire ant youth management isn’t
all. Check out what else the Phoenix Empire had
been secretly planning! So this brood explosion has been the result
of all the food I’ve been providing the colony this week. Peeking into their food chamber, this AC Test
Tube Portal from our ant shop at AntsCanada.com has been fully stocked with goodies. Have a look! Here you’ll see, a hollowed out superworm
piece. And behind it some sweet mango-flavoured jelly. And much like we saw last week, evidence of
these foods can be seen through the larvae’s semi-transparent skin. But with all the eating this colony has been
doing as of late, it made me wonder what the colony was doing with all their waste. Their test tube appeared clean and sterile
as ever. What was the Phoenix Empire doing with their
leftover scraps, I wondered, and where were they going to the bathroom? AC Family, Rule #2: All members of the Phoenix
Empire are to do their business and eliminate at the designated colony bathroom. Behold, the Phoenix Empire’s official toilet. Sounds weird but isn’t that awesome? They’ve chosen a spot right behind the jelly
to poo. If you’ve never seen ant droppings before,
they look like this. Like bird poop, they have a whitish liquid
part and some solid pieces. And what’s totally amazing is they’ve
strategically set up their toilet area at a spot furthest from the colony. It’s a smart toilet location. The poop dries up and isn’t anywhere near
the delicate young and colony’s living quarters. It could just decompose naturally in the corner. I’m not too sure where the queen poops though,
because I couldn’t see any droppings in the test tube and I assume it was too dangerous
for the Phoenix Empire to allow Empress Ember to wander out in to the open, so my guess
is the workers simply carry her royal droppings to dump into the toilet area. It also would make sense that her droppings
would be minimal, as I’m sure most of the material she eats goes towards all the eggs
she’s producing. But guys, bathroom rules weren’t all that
surprised me. Looking around the test tube portal look at
what else I found! Rule #3: All colony garbage is to be dumped
at this place. Beneath the cup of jelly, I was thrilled to
discover the colony’s garbage. Little bits of uneaten superworm and mealworm
leftovers, as well as the meconia or fecal pellets of the larvae, were all stashed here. It’s interesting that they chose to place
their garbage underneath the jelly cup, because it showed that the Phoenix Empire understood
the need to bury their garbage. In nature, burying the colony’s garbage
helps break it down faster, as it becomes more accessible to soil creatures and beneficial
microbes which feast on this ant midden. Cool right? Now there was one last rule the Phoenix Empire
was following, which I found to be the most interesting! I noticed the colony’s water portion in
their test tube was running out, so I connected a new fresh test tube setup to the test tube
portal. Upon discovery, the Phoenix Empire got really
excited and began sending out workers to inspect the new water source and maybe, just maybe,
their future new nest location once their current test tube dries out. But it was at this time, that I noticed the
Phoenix Empire had began to practice something biologists already know ants commonly do. Rule #4: Only the oldest ants are allowed
to leave the nest at any time! Notice how all the workers entering the new
test tube here are dark in colour? Only the colony elders can venture out into
the world outside the nest, while all new young workers are stay-at-home caregivers
and house chore workers! It’s a smart colony rule because this way,
inexperienced or unhardened young worker ants don’t end up getting injured and/or dying
in the dangerous outside world, and those that do risk their lives to gather resources
outside the protection of the nest, are the hardiest, strongest, and most experienced
of the bunch, and if they were to die, at least the young ones within the nest have
the longest lives still to live, and can hold up the fort until the next generation of workers
arrive, and they themselves become old enough to be foragers. Isn’t it amazing how systematic they are
now? I think we’ll start seeing this more and
more, where the bigger the colony gets, the more organized and structured they need to
be. It makes sense. Whether it be ants or people, it seems the
more complex the society, the more complex the rules. It’s this organization that will ensure
colony success. Biologists aren’t sure how the ants know
what rules to establish, or when, but perhaps its a mixture of instinct and collective decisions
made by members of the colony at the right times of colony development. In the coming days, I look forward to introducing
some allies into the Phoenix Empire’s setup: namely, springtails from our AC Nucleus, our
soil creature breeding facility. The springtails will gobble up the ants’
garbage and bathroom deposits! I won’t do it just yet, though as I don’t
want the springtails to compete with the fire ants for food I place inside. I’ll wait for the colony to get bigger and
more aggressive, before I start playing God and introducing other organisms in the mix. I also can’t wait for the majors and supermajors
to arrive, specialized larger workers with massive heads and brute jaw force for cutting
things up and colony protection! They come much later. I can’t wait for the Phoenix Empire to receive
their first official ant farm, outworld, and eventually full blown terrarium. I also can’t wait for the day this colony
becomes big enough to feed some real meat to! Haha! But one step at a time, and AC Family, I must
say, I love that you all are following the development of this very humble fire ant colony
with me, every step of the way, on their journey to becoming the most powerful ant kingdom
of our Antiverse. I’ll continue to film their evolution closely. It’s all very inspiring for me to see, in
a world where ants, especially fire ants, are generally hated and tagged as gross, killed
and exterminated as pests, that at least in this unsuspecting corner of Youtube, ant love
thrives and grows with the power of a Phoenix. Thank you for watching. It’s ant love forever! AC Family, our fire ants are on their way
up, and it’s great you all are part of this journey! So much is in store ahead so if you haven’t
yet, SMASH that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON now and hit ALL so you get notified at
every upload, because sometimes Youtube breaks and doesn’t send out notifications, but
crossing fingers things will be fixed. Also, don’t forget to hit the LIKE button
every single time including now. It would really mean a lot to me. Thank you, guys! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would like to watch some extended play footage of the Phoenix Empire
discovering their new water test tube as well as the colony going about their daily activities
in their nest. And now it’s time for the AC Question of
the Week. Last week, we asked: Why does an ant colony need protein? Congratulations to Ruby Raven Gachalife who
correctly answered: Protein helps the larvae grow
and the queen to lay more eggs. Congratulations Ruby, you just won a free
Ultimate Ant Keeping handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week we
ask: What do you look forward to most
in the Phoenix Empire’s future? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! Hope you could subscribe to our 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!

Élet 5 centiméteren! – Temnothoraxok gondozása FormiKIT micro hangyafarmban


If you don’t know Temnothorax species, you should know they are tiny species and found small colonies. They can live lifelong in the FormiKIT micro formicarium. Here can see the queen. The moister spoinge is a bit dirty in this formicarium, i should replace it to a new one. But how can we do this, to avoid their escape? Check this, here is the first trick! We will replace the sponge and the colony will stay in the formicarium during. The FormiKIT Micro include 6 screws we will get out 5 from these. We will leave only the roofing’s screw. The formicarium won’t come aparts, but we can slide carefully the nest’s top layer. Take out the old sponge, and put the new one into. Then slip back the top layer. We have some deserters of course. Don’t afraid, just put them back with a brush. Finally close and assemble the formicarium. You can see the new sponge is much cleaner! This sponge is really thin, as can see before. This is important. Don’t forget: it can store only a few water, so really important to moister it regularly, at least 1-2 times a week. Temnothorax species don’t need high humidity, but they also drink sometimes. Put a piece of tape on the moister hole, to slow down the evaporating. I raised up them a bit. They are trying to hide in the pole and guarding the queen. We can clean up the dirty arena with a humid cotton wool. I show you a mature colony too. The winged male ants this year appeared in this colony. You can see they have massive brood. This is how looks a mature colony in the Temnothorax species. But they are still no more than 5 centimeter. I show you the 2nd trick with this colony. Need a small piece of wool, and a hooked tweezer. When all ants in the nest-part, close the entrance with the wool. Take out the 4 screws from the arena. If you take apart the arena like this you can wiping and cleaning it, just how you want. Don’t have to worry about the escapes during the cleaning. The two screws still keeps in gross the nest-part. If we finished with the cleaning assemble it again and give food for the ants. You can see a new-born worker in this scene. They has this bright color after born, during the first day. She looks just like a “ghost-ant” 🙂 This colony get honey, … …cockroach pieces, … …and shattered nut pieces for food. It seems they like the cockroach mostly now. You can put the formicarium in different ways, but don’t forget: the water in the sponge will always goes downwards. Thanks for watching! You can find the own-designed FormiKIT Micro formicarium on our ant-site! If you enjoyed, don’t forget to subscribe to the AntsHungary’s YouTube channel! 🙂

FIRE ANTS REACT TO THEIR FIRST MEALWORM | ‘NEWBIE’ FIRE ANTS

FIRE ANTS REACT TO THEIR FIRST MEALWORM | ‘NEWBIE’ FIRE ANTS


Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Phoenix Empire,
this 4 week old fire ant colony. Sure, they don’t look like much of an Empire at the
moment, but believe you me, these pioneering fire ants are set to become a great ant kingdom
of immense power and conquest! But in order to get there, the Phoenix Empire here will
need to be resourceful, work together, care for one another, and most of all, collect
all the right foods to nourish the queen and the growing colony! And so today, our fire ants are in for a treat,
as they discover for the very first time, what meat tastes like! Welcome to the AntsCanada
Ant Channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to the channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! They don’t know it yet, but today is a very
big day for these fire ants. They’re going to get a taste of meat, and even make their
first contact with live prey. Their reaction may surprise you so keep on watching until
the end. Within this test tube we have our humble team:
We have the pioneering generation of fire ant workers, known as the nanitics. The nanitics
work fastidiously, licking clean and organizing all the brood: eggs, larvae, and pupae. And
of course, giving birth to all these ants is the great and mighty queen, the sole egg-layer
of the colony. By the way, guys, our Queen here awaits for
us to name her. Please take the time to vote here for her official name, and I trust you
will make it a good one! Thank you, AC Council for your input. Now guys, look at how amazing this queen is.
Even with workers all around her, she still takes it upon herself to do her part, at helping
raise the young. Here she feeds this larva through trophallaxis, regurgitating what’s
left of her self-made soup, manufactured from her own body tissues. It’s kinda like ant
breast milk, but she’s definitely running dry on it now, as it pretty much substantiated
this entire colony into being. But I find it awesome that the queen is still working
even though she doesn’t have to. Another cool thing! See those little black
rock-like things on the cotton? Those are called meconia. They’re fecal pellets, excreted
by the larvae. So get this! Ant larvae don’t poop for their entire lives, except right
before they become a pupa. From birth, a larva’s food waste collects inside the larva’s body
creating a pellet, a meconium, which is excreted right before pupation, as a neat, compact,
slow-to-mold packet of poop. Can you imagine only pooing once as a kid right before teenagehood,
and it being so compact that it’s rock hard? Welcome to ant infancy, or should I say inf-ANT-cy!
Haha! Ok, moving on… Now the Phoenix Empire here is on a very important
mission at this stage. Their goal: to grow the colony as big as possible, as quickly
as possible! In nature, only the largest and fastest-growing fire ant colonies survive,
and to do that, they’ll need some serious food collection! Last week, we gave them their very first taste
of sweet honey, which the workers gobbled up and distributed to the entire colony through
trophallaxis. It was a beautiful moment to witness. Since then, I’ve been feeding the
colony bits of sweet jelly, which you can actually see through the semi-transparent
bodies of the larvae. Now although these sugary foods provide the
colony with all the essential energy needed to work hard towards their goals, what these
ants are really looking for now is meat! Protein will be the real game changer, and
help the colony truly explode in population. Protein helps the queen produce more eggs,
and helps the larvae grow much faster. And so AC Family, it’s time to give the ants
what they’re looking for. Let’s give them some prey! Behold! What you see here is what will be
the newest addition to their living space. It’s an AC Test Tube Portal from our shop
at AntsCanada.com, a very useful piece of equipment for feeding young ant colonies like
the Phoenix Empire. Though it looks complicated, it’s basically the Phoenix Empire’s new
feeding pit! I’ll need to plug up three of the four holes. And this last hole will
accommodate this test tube adapter with a tiny hole to act as the colony’s new nest
entrance. Don’t worry! You’ll understand once we’ve connected the ants to the setup. And now it’s time to move in their dinner!
This baby mealworm. It’s been pre-crushed to make consumption easier for the ants, and
hang on, all you guys wanting to see the bloodbath of a live mealworm feeding, don’t worry.
You’ll see what the fire ants do to a living mealworm in a little bit. So pre-crushing and splitting the mealworm
so its guts spill out increases the chances of the nanitics getting the goods. It isn’t
recommended feeding a prey item that might injure the nanitics, because at this crucial
point every worker matters and any ants killed during battle hurts the chances of colony
success. OK, so let’s unleash the ants! The plan
was to remove the cotton blocker from the colony’s test tube and attach the test tube
end to this test tube adapter. I did this as quickly and carefully as I could. Done!
Let’s watch! It took a few seconds before curious nanitics
began to wander out onto the bridge of the adapter and finally into the great feeding
chamber. The mealworm lay fresh in its juices. I am certain the ants could smell it. One brave ant steps onto the floor and makes
its way to the mealworm. Oop! The ant smells the carcass and at first shies away, but soon
starts to dine. Excited, it makes its way back to the colony leaving a pheromonal trail,
leading the other ants to the mealworm booty! It wasn’t long before word spread to the
entire colony and ants were all over the mealworm chowing down on the delicious mealworm guts. Back in the test tube, the queen and workers
were getting excited. I’m sure the queen was eager to have her first taste of that
tender mealworm meat! The workers eventually attempted to carry
back the entire mealworm to the nest, but they had problems manoeuvering the mealworm
so they eventually decided to just leave it there and dine on location. Hey, cut them
some slack. They’re noobs! Minutes later, the colony had all returned
to the nest and were busy distributing all the meat they’d consumed, regurgitating
it up for the larvae to eat, which I’m sure they loved! I mean, have a look at this larva
which continued to swallow well after the worker had fed it! And of course, our royal highness too was
fed by her loving workers. And just like that, the colony had consumed their very first protein
meal, which will offer the colony the building blocks they need to explode in population. Several days after this meal, the colony was
nursing a brand new bigger pile of brood: there were more eggs, larvae, and pupae now
thanks to the mealworm meat. More workers had been born. It was awesome to see the colony
so fruitful and prolific! Now if you’re wondering how the Phoenix
Empire would react to a living mealworm, yes, I tried it, but I knew exactly what would
happen. The workers cowered away. They were terrified of it and wanted nothing to do with
the moving mealworm. Again, these are noobs, and I don’t think the aggression so typical
of regular fire ants has kicked in at this point. I feel once the Phoenix Empire grows
in numbers, and this new generation of fire ants, which will be larger and more strongly
built due to being better nourished, will start to outnumber and replace the frail and
timid nanitics, we’ll start to see that savage fire ant aggression we all know and
love… or hate! I truly appreciate that a lot of you guys
seem to enjoy watching the evolution and progress of this fire ant colony from its genesis,
its humble beginnings. I really care about these ants, even if they’re not much at
the moment. Regardless, it’s great that we can watch together as this young fire ant
colony rises to become the mighty empire we know they’re going to be one day soon. And until then, I’ll be sure to film the
entire fire ant journey, and with your help, usher the Phoenix Empire to become the greatest
ant colony in the Antiverse. Thank you for watching! It’s ant love forever! AC Family, isn’t the Phoenix Empire awesome?
I think I laughed when I saw that the nanitics wouldn’t dare touch the living mealworm.
But knowing fire ants, that behaviour’s going to change real quick! So much is in
store ahead so if you haven’t yet, SMASH that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON now and
hit ALL so you get notified at every upload, because I believe notifications seem to be
broken but the Youtube support team is on it. Also don’t forget to hit the LIKE button
every single time including now. It would really mean a lot to me. Thank you, guys! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would like to watch some extended play footage of the Phoenix Empire
chowing down on their mealworm meat. And now it’s time for the AC Question of
the Week. Last week, we asked: What is the name of the process of mouth-to-mouth
food transfer in eusocial insects? Congratulations to Atlas Blue who correctly
answered: Trophallaxis Congratulations Atlas, you just won a free
Ultimate Ant Keeping handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week we
ask: Why does an ant colony need protein? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free ebook handbook from our shop! Hope you could subscribe to our 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!

STARTING A NEW FIRE ANT COLONY | REBIRTH OF THE FIRE ANTS

STARTING A NEW FIRE ANT COLONY | REBIRTH OF THE FIRE ANTS


Last week, we said goodbye to one of the OG
ant colonies of this channel. It was with great sadness that we discovered
that the Fire Nation, my five year old fire ant colony, had died out. But with great endings come new beginnings,
and I can’t wait to introduce to you the heirs to the Fire Nation’s throne. AC Family, today we meet our brand new fire
ant queen and her first pioneering generation of fire ant workers. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
BELL ICON. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! Behold! The great successors of the Fire Nation. What you’re seeing here is a new fire ant
queen with her first generation of worker ants. These ants are about to receive something
truly special, so do keep on watching until the end to witness something magical this
colony is about to receive. Now in this test tube setup, we have the queen,
so gorgeous. We also have the first set of workers, which
are known as nanitics. You can also see eggs, larvae, and pupae. Check out that light coloured worker ant which
recently eclosed from its pupal stage. In a few days, it will be moving around like
the other workers, and its exoskeleton properly hardened. I find this fledgling fire ant colony to be
so cute, and I feel they’ll quickly rise in numbers to take their place as the mighty
fire ant colony of our Antiverse. Now, I was thinking. What should we name this colony? Should we call them Fire Nation 2.0 or the
Neo Fire Nation, or perhaps the Phoenix Nation, as was popularly suggested in last week’s
video. Let me know what you think we should name
this great fire ant colony in the making in this ipoll here. Thank you, AC Council for your input. You’ll notice the queen lays super still. She’s actually resting and preserving her
energy, and for good reason. She’s currently not in her best form at
the moment. You see, the queen hasn’t eaten a real,
full meal in weeks and has gone through quite a lot over the past month. So get this, after a queen mates during her
nuptial flight, she breaks off her wings, and goes off to seal herself within a chamber
in the soil, known as a claustral cell. In this claustral cell, the queen does not
eat and subsists entirely off energy stores in her back muscles which previously powered
her wings for flight. She lays eggs and once these eggs hatch into
larvae, she feeds the larvae a self-made nutritious soup, again created from her back muscle stores,
which she regurgitates up for the larvae to eat. The larvae grow, develop into pupae, then
eclose into adult worker ants. So, this queen here is starving. She literally raised these workers and larvae
off her own body tissues this whole time. Sound pretty crazy but it what she’s built
to do. It’s important she doesn’t move around
too much, though. She must preserve her energy at all costs
if she wants to survive to perpetuate the colony. The success of the entire colony now lies
in the hands of the nanitics. The most important first task of these workers
is to wander out into the world, and bring back some food so the queen can finally eat
after all these weeks of fasting, and AC Family, guess what: We’re about to make that moment
happen now. Let’s feed them! AC Family, I can’t wait for us to see this! Using a toothpick I placed a tiny drop of
honey into their test tube setup. Now let’s watch! Instantly a couple ants discovered the honey. Then a third came along to drink. Then a fourth… a fifth… and a sixth came
to drink. A seventh ant came along and an eighth. It was awesome to see that the honey was such
a hit! You also have to remember that these ants
have only known the self-made regurgitated soup from their mother, the queen. I imagine, as great as that must taste, this
honey must truly be blowing their minds right now! Wouldn’t you think? The queen began showing signs of excitement. I think she had been informed that her nanitics
had found something tasty just beyond. A few minutes later, workers with full social
stomachs came back to regurgitate the goods. At first, I saw the workers were feeding other
workers. This process of regurgitation and mouth to
mouth feeding is called trophallaxis, something all eusocial insects like bees and termites
do to distribute food among members of a colony. Then I noticed a worker feeding a larva. I bet that larvae was loving the honey. When the worker was done feeding it, you could
actually see the honey in the larva’s stomach through its semi-transparent body. How neat right? And then finally, a worker moved in to give
their starving queen mother her very first meal in weeks. Just awesome! More and more workers continued to feed their
queen via trophallaxis. She accepted their offerings graciously. For me, watching a queen and nanitics of a
starting ant colony receive their very first meal is truly one of the most beautiful things
to witness in the hobby, one of those ant keeping joys. Over the next few days, I will continue to
offer our fledgling fire ant colony here various small meals, like a cricket leg or a mealworm
head. The days of fasting and subsisting on the
queen’s own body tissues are now over, as the workers will be the ones feeding the queen
and brood from now on. With the queen properly nourished and a growing
army of worker ants caring for her and her future brood, she no longer needs to do anything
else but perform her primary duty of laying eggs. I think it’s super cool for us to be able
to start this awesome new journey with this new fire ant colony of ours. I think it’s extra cool because it’s been
years since we’ve been able to start an ant colony from scratch like this on the channel,
and I think it would be great for us to watch how a massive fire ant colony of the likes
of our late Fire Nation, emerges from such humble beginnings. Given ample food and resources, this species
literally explodes in population, so I anticipate that this colony will need to move out of
here in a week or two. I plan on moving them first into a Hybrid
Nest, and then once they outgrow that, move them into a terrarium perhaps. But here’s the thing about moving them into
the Selva de Fuego, the old home of our Fire Nation. A lot of you spotted that the supermajor in
last week’s episode had a blood sucking mite on it! It freaked me out because it meant that mites
could have been responsible for wiping out the Fire Nation, and not old age of the queen. But, it could also be possible that the blood
sucking mites came after the queen had died and the population started to dwindle and
weaken. Whatever the case, I’m not going to take
risks, and I have decided that I am going to have to ditch the Selva de Fuego and create
an entirely new vivarium from scratch. I still have a few months to plan before this
colony will be big enough to move in a terrarium anyway. Though the past few weeks have been quite
rough, this new fire ant colony brings me new hope. Though they don’t seem like it yet, this
cute ant colony will soon rise to become the savage, aggressive, and powerful fire ant
kingdom we once knew in the Fire Nation, and until then I’ll continue to nurture them
and film their evolution, every step of the way. Thank you for watching. It’s ant love forever. AC Family, are you as excited as I am about
this new fire ant colony? I look forward to building new memories together
with them and learning about them. I wonder if they have a different personality
than the Fire Nation. So much is in store ahead so if you haven’t
yet, SMASH that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON now and hit ALL so you get notified at
every upload, because I believe notifications seem to be broken but the Youtube support
team is on it. Also don’t forget to hit the LIKE button
every single time including now. It would really mean a lot to me. Thank you, guys! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would like to watch some extended play footage of our new young fire
ant colony. And now it’s time for the AC Question of
the Week. Last week, we asked: Which was your favourite memory of the Fire
Nation? Congratulations to Patrick Tierney who answered: My favorite moment in the Fire Nation’s
history was when they were escaping their enclosures. Congratulations Patrick, you just won a free
Ultimate Ant Keeping handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week we
ask: What is the name of the process of mouth-to-mouth
food transfer in eusocial insects? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! Hope you could subscribe to our 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!

Group recruitment in golden tail sugar ant

Group recruitment in golden tail sugar ant


Hey I have finally been able to take a video
of my favorite behavior of one of my favorite ant species that you can find here in Australia
in Sydney its name is Camponotus aeneopilosus also known as the Golden tail sugar ant. And you can see on this video that there is
one first ant a small one that is leading a group of workers, so if you count there
are about seven workers only following that first ant the ant leading that group is called
a scout. It forages quite randomely around the nest
and as soon as it finds something it comes back straight to the nest, start bumping into
other workers, and when it feels that other workers are motivated to join her on a new
trip to the food source it stats running away from the nest leaving a very light pheromone
trail that does not last long behind, and the other workers try to follow that scout
using visual informations, so by looking at this ant and using of course the light pheromone
trails that the first worker leaves behind. This behavior is very interesting and it allows
these ants to recruit other foragers very very quickly which is of course very useful
when the resources are scarce. Another advantage of this technique of recruitment
is that by not leaving strong pheromone trails behind them, the other ants cannot use the
trails left by this species to find the same food source. Of course it sometimes happens that the leader
loose a few workers on the way, but they are able to go to the food source very quickly
and that is the essential part for the colony, so it is not such a big loss. In that case, the food source was not very
glamorous, sorry about that, it was hum… bird droppings. It is a quite common food source for ants. As you can see on this video the Camponotus
were not the first one on that food source and you can see the small black ants that
are everywhere here. They are probably Iridomyrmex or Tapinoma
ants. They are very very efficient foragers, which
also explains why it is important for ants like Camponotus to find ways to recruit other
workers very quickly. Thank you for watching I hope you enjoyed
this video.

MY GREATEST ANT COLONY DIED | RIP FIRE NATION

MY GREATEST ANT COLONY DIED | RIP FIRE NATION


Last week, during our full ant room tour update
video, we fed my biggest ant colony in the Ant Room, our OG fire ant colony, we call
the Fire Nation, some sweet jelly and an entire cockroach. This was actually the first time I offered
them food on this open rock platform in quite awhile, just so we could see them for filming. Ordinarily, I’d drop their food directly
into the thick vegetation around their mothernest where the ants would finish off their meals
in private. But this feeding would be different, and it
wasn’t long before I noticed something quite strange. This was what the feeding site looked like
several hours later. Usually, the fire ants would be swarming all
over this food, but here as you can see, there were only a few ants. Where did all my fire ants go? And what I saw a few hours after that, brought
a sick feeling to the pit of my stomach. There! Did you see it? Wild feral black crazy ants and ghost ants
were inside the Fire Nation’s territory. This never happens! The territorial pheromones of the fire ants
were enough to scare all feral ants in my home from coming anywhere near this tank. Now, they were seen inside! Something was terribly wrong. What happened to the Fire Nation? Where was my most beloved and biggest pet
ant colony of my entire collection? There was only one way to find out. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
BELL ICON. Welcome to the AC Family! Enjoy! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! Ghost ants and black crazy ants entering the
Selva de Fuego, the Fire Nation’s massive paludarium kingdom. I even spotted one black crazy ant making
away with a dead fire ant worker! What had happened here? Well, I got to the bottom of it all and I
explain what I believe happened so keep on watching until the end. I couldn’t believe that just a few months
ago the colony looked like this. Millions of ants, swarming above ground, in
celebration of their annual nuptial flight event, where reproductive males and females
hope to mate with those of other fire ant colonies. Of course, seeing as I don’t have any other
fire ant colonies in my room, all the reproductive queen hopefuls and males, ended up not mating
with anyone and dying out within the territories like they do every year at this time. It was shocking to see a colony which I’ve
had for over 4 yrs go from millions to just a few. This fire ant colony was definitely the most
popular ant colony on this channel, and I would say was responsible for taking this
channel and all of us AC Family, where we are toda y. The Fire Nation has accumulated over 153M
views collectively. Their first break out viral video My Fire
Ants Are Planning an Escape currently has over 39 million views. Shortly after, they showed us the savage side
of nature in the video Cockroach Giving Birth While Being Devoured by Fire Ants, which was
featured on Nat Geo and Discovery Channel. Together we watched as the Fire Nation devoured
Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton during US elections season, and showed us the miracle of how they
survive floods by literally creating air chambers using their bodies and by floating on water. They showed us how they amazingly could walk
a tight-rope to get to food across my room. When the channel hit 1 million subscribers,
I tested my luck by placing my honey-covered hand into their nest, at which of course they
riddled me with stings. On Christmas, we gave them a glittering cockroach
christmas tree which they devoured lovingly. Eventually they moved from their formicarium
to this enormous half land – half water simulation of the Amazon River and rainforest which they
dominated and ruled for two very epic years! We marveled at the Fire Nation’s display
of blood and flesh-lust as they tore apart a bird-eating tarantula, a chicken head, a
mouse, a monitor lizard, and even compete with an army of maggots for a decaying turkey
head! They even gave me battle scars on occasion
to remind me that they were an ant colony to be respected. A super organism and force of nature that
wasn’t playing around! We’ve also been lucky to spot, her royal
highness a few times, the Queen of the Fire Nation, whose name is Queen Solis, sole egg-layer
of the colony, birther of this ant army of millions, who once even narrated an episode. There’s no denying that this ant colony,
though the most challenging ants I’ve ever kept, always keeping me on my toes, was also
one of the most amazing collection of animals, I’ve ever had the honour of caring for. And so it was time to get to the bottom of
what had happened to the Fire Nation. It pained my heart to put on my gloves, knowing
that this could possibly be the last time, I’d be arming myself to go into the Selva
de Fuego, the kingdom I had built with my own hands just for them. My heart raced as I stared down at the location
of their mothernest. If the Fire Nation was still alive, they for
sure would be in here somewhere. My mind started to come up with possibilities. Perhaps they had eaten a lot and weren’t
so hungry. But no, that had never happened before ever! AC Family, it was time to get our answers. I went in and removed the driftwood that formed
their mothernest. I looked for fire ants which ordinarily would
be swarming right now as they did the last time I worked in here. And AC Family, what I saw next shocked me
to the core, as the entire life of the Fire Nation flashed before my eyes. Nothing. The Fire Nation was nowhere to be found in
the location of the mothernest. I could see empty chambers which once held
teams of fire ants, brood, and formed the passageways frequented by queen and male alates,
as well as Queen Solis. They were empty now and ghost tunnels. But then a movement caught my eye. It was a lone supermajor crawling around in
the soil. I also spotted a minor worker crawling around
in the empty dirt. The truth made me so sad, but I had to accept
it. AC Family, I’m sorry to say that I believe
the Fire Nation was on its final days. Our Queen Solis, the sole egg layer of the
entire colony must have died and these ants here were the last remaining ants of her final
batch of eggs. I’m so sorry, AC Family. I’ll be honest, I don’t think I ever felt
such sadness over the loss of a colony like I do now. Now that you guys know how epic the entire
four year journey was with this amazing ant colony, you can probably understand why I
cried when I realized I had lost these amazing, amazing creatures. I know, crying over ants. It sounds so weird to new ears but it’s
just one of those things where you need to be there on the whole journey with them to
understand. I felt this was the end of an era for the
entire Antiverse, the end of the most amazing ant colony in the world in my heart. I placed the driftwood piece back in its spot
and left the Selva de Fuego to allow the final workers to live out their final days in peace. The Fire Nation was about five years old,
and though I’ve been saying on this channel that though the workers only live for a couple
months and that ant queens live for up to 30 yrs, I think I failed to clarify that this
was assumed by the ant keeping community seeing as it was recorded in a German laboratory
that a Lasius niger queen lived that long, but the truth of the matter is, there are
thousands of species of ants and we haven’t kept every ant species in captivity long enough
to be able to tell and verify how long the queens of each ant species actually lives. I think the passing of the Fire Nation, assuming
they didn’t die out from some freak disease, has taught us that the queens of Solenopsis
geminata, red tropical fire ants, live for about 5 yrs before passing away. Queen Solis must have died, some time in November. In a typical fire ant queen’s life, during
those five fruitful years she lays millions of ants, spawning hundreds of generations
of workers, creating hundreds of thousands of reproductive ants during nuptial flight
season every year which go on to mate with those of other fire ant colonies and continue
on the species, to complete the circle of life. The Fire Nation’s passing was such a tough
reminder that the Circle of Life is indeed a full circle, and our once booming fire ant
colony was inevitably destined to come to an end and eventually die. Though the passing of the OG ant colony of
the channel was sad, I also realized that we had learned so much from them over the
years, and that they had not lived in vain. Some of the footage and discoveries we made
of their intriguing, secret lives in the soil and water, during the course of the four years
we’ve followed them on this channel, have not been documented by science. By providing the Fire Nation the best possible
care we could give them to live out their best lives, they rewarded us back with such
a wealth of info, discovery, and heart-stopping and adventurous moments, and that to me is
the essence of what ant keeping is all about. I have been contemplating for a long time
about what to do with the Selva de Fuego, now that it was devoid of an ant colony, other
than these feral ants which by the way we need to discourage from being here, so I was
hoping to get your opinions AC Council. Should we get rid of the Selva de Fuego and
rehome all the aquatic life, or move in another of our ant colonies in here like the Golden
Empire or the Titans? Or should I try to find a brand new fledgling
fire ant colony to start all over again from scratch, to be the Fire Nation’s successors,
a Fire Nation 2.0 of sorts. Let me know in this ipoll here. AC Family, this week, I lit a candle on our
behalf to celebrate the life and death of one of the most amazing ant colonies in the
world. Rest in peace to the Fire Nation. Goodbye, my beloved fire ant colony. I’ll miss you greatly. AC Family, it was a tough two weeks for me
when I first noticed the Fire Nation population had dwindled and then later discovered they
had died out, but I suppose it’s all part of the hobby. So much is in store ahead so if you haven’t
yet, SMASH that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON now and hit ALL so you get notified at
every upload, because I believe notifications seem to be broken but the Youtube support
team is on it. Also don’t forget to hit the LIKE button
every single time including now. It would really mean a lot to me. Thank you, guys! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would like to watch some extended play footage of some of my favourite
memories of the Fire Nation. And now it’s time for the AC Question of
the Week. Last week, we asked: Which was your favourite creature featured
in today’s full pet ant tour? Congratulations to Alexander Churchill who
answered: I love Jabba the Hutt, the Surinam Horned
Frog. Congratulations Alexander, you just won a
free Ultimate Ant Keeping handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week we
ask: Which was your favourite memory of the Fire
Nation? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! Hope you could subscribe to our 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!