You Wish You Had Mites Like This Hissing Cockroach | Deep Look


Is there anything more lowly than the lowly
cockroach? Uh, yeah there is. That’s a cockroach mite. It lives its entire life on this cockroach. But these hitchhikers are doing a lot more
good than you might think. The mites are only on one type of cockroach – these
guys – Madagascar hissing cockroaches… …which are known for their hiss, of course. They do that when disturbed or looking for
a mate. They only live in the Madagascar rainforest
on an island off the coast of Africa. And they’re bigger than the cockroaches
you might find in your kitchen, like these brown-banded roaches. These pests will eat anything: food scraps,
poop, trash – you name it. As a result, they can spread disease or trigger
allergies. Hissing cockroaches are detritivores – they
mainly eat decaying leaves, tidying up the forest floor. They can even be kept as pets, because they’re
more docile than their common cousins. And most importantly, they’re a lot cleaner
… thanks to a permanent population of tiny housekeepers. Ok, yeah, it looks pretty bad. The mites crowd together in the crevices – places
where the cockroach can’t brush them off. They get their meals near the cockroach’s
head, gobbling up the food bits and saliva that the roach leaves behind. When they get thirsty, they head to the spiracles:
the openings the roach uses to breathe. The mites get water vapor from them. The roach also has one special hissing spiracle
for that signature sound. The mites live on a single roach, unless they
get passed on from roach parent to roach baby. They’re doing these cockroaches a favor. By cleaning up the old food and debris, the
mites help keep them free of mold and pathogens … potentially extending the roaches’ lives. Really, both a hissing cockroach and its mites
have the same important job: keeping the world a little bit neater. Not so lowly, after all. Looking for more wild science adventures? Journey to Earth’s most remote laboratory
in Antarctic Extremes, a harsh, thrilling and hilarious new show from NOVA and PBS Digital
Studios. Hosts Caitlin Saks and Arlo Pérez reveal
a world where science and survival meet. Find the show on Terra, PBS Digital Studios’
new science channel. Link is in the description.

Are There Dead Wasps In Figs? | Gross Science


Figs are one of my favorite foods. They’re sweet and floral, and there’s something
about the texture that I find so delightful—the outside is soft, but the seeds in the middle
give you this totally satisfying crunch. But it turns out that many species of figs
contain the bodies of dead wasps. I’m Anna and this is Gross Science. Figs aren’t exactly your typical fruit. You can think of them as packages that contain
all of the fig tree’s flowers within them. But if the flowers are trapped inside the
fig how do they get pollinated? Well, that’s where fig wasps come in. In most species, pregnant female fig wasps
carrying pollen are attracted to young figs. They enter through a tiny opening at the fig’s
bottom that’s highly selective—it usually only lets in the exact species of wasps that
pollinate it. But, even the pollinators have a hard time
getting in. Most lose their wings and antennae in the
process. The wasp’s goal is to find a home for her
babies. And the perfect home is inside the fig’s
female flowers—those are the ones that would produce seeds if they were fertilized. So, the mama wasp drops a fertilized egg inside
as many of the female flowers as she can—sometimes, up to a few hundred. But she can’t get to all of them. Along the way, she winds up fertilizing the
rest of the flowers with the fig pollen she’s carrying, and those flowers begin developing
seeds. Once the wasp is finished laying eggs, she
usually dies inside the fig. Each baby wasp begins to grow, encased in
a protective structure that the plant forms called a gall. The male wasps mature first. When they emerge, they find the galls of the
female wasps, many of whom are their sisters, poke inside, and impregnate them before they’ve
even hatched! Then, the males die inside the fig, but not
before boring tiny holes through the fig’s skin. When the females do emerge, the fig has just
started producing pollen. The female wasps pick up some of that pollen
before making their way through the holes their brothers drilled, and go off to find
a new fig to start the cycle again. But the story’s not over. At this point, our fig’s seeds are finally
mature and ready to be planted. And that happens when the ripe fig is eaten
by animals, which poop out the seeds, spreading fig plants far and wide. Of course, humans eat figs, too. So, when you bite into a fig are you actually
eating the bodies of dead wasps? Well, if you’re getting your figs from the
supermarket, then most likely not. See, humans and figs have a really long history—we’ve
probably been domesticating them for over 11,000 years. So, while there are over 750 species in the
world, most of the figs we eat are a species called the “common fig,” which humans
have had a huge hand in creating. In fact, some common figs are seedless and
don’t require pollination at all. Other varieties of common fig do need to be
pollinated, but have separate male and female trees, and we only eat fruits from the female
ones. I’ll put a link in the description to a
great explanation of how common fig pollination happens, but long story short, female wasps
can only manage to lay eggs in the the figs from male trees, not female ones. But they can’t tell the difference between
the two types of trees. So, if a wasp does enter a female fruit, she’ll
pollinate it, and either manage to escape or die inside the fig. And then that fig might make it to your table. Frankly, one wasp here and there isn’t enough
to deter me from eating these things. But if you’re still feeling squeamish, just
think about it this way: by eating that fig, you’re benefitting from a complex and in my
view, beautiful partnership—or, what’s called a “mutualism”— between two very
different species. One that’s been delicately crafted by around
90 million years of evolution. And that certainly whets my appetite—at
least for curiosity, if not for dinner. MMMM! But also ew.

Why do figs have a dead wasp inside?

Why do figs have a dead wasp inside?


Figs are full of fibre, a great source of
vitamins, and packed with nutrients. They also contain digested wasp bodies, thanks
to an incredible, mutually dependent relationship between figs and fig wasps, which has evolved
over millions of years and is vital to the survival of both. Each species of wasp targets a specific species
of fig, and the relationship is based upon the fact that female wasps need a safe place
to lay eggs, and fig trees needs to be pollinated to reproduce. The whole process is possible thanks to fig’s
biology. A fig is technically a multiple fruit having
male and female flowers inside them. The female flowers receive the pollen that
is brought inside the fig, by the fig wasp, and then produce seeds for the plant, enabling
it to reproduce. The male flowers produce pollen, which is
then picked up by the female wasp hatchlings as they leave. Let us explore this relationship:
A female fig wasp laden with pollen enters the inside of an unripe fig for laying her
eggs, via an opening called the ostiole. The process of entering the fruit tears the
female’s wings off. Once inside, the female wasp starts laying
eggs thereby depositing pollen from another fig. The fig is now fertilised and starts to mature. However, since the female’s wings are torn
apart, she is unable to leave again, and dies inside the fig soon after. Flower ovaries that contain wasp larvae form
enclosing gall like structure. The pollinated flowers without larvae produce
seeds for the fig plant. Wasp eggs develop as the fig matures, and
the males hatch first. While still inside the fig, they travel in
search of female wasp and fertilize them while the females are still inside their gall. Without ever leaving the inside of fig, these
wingless male wasps dig escape tunnels for their mates and die. The female hatchlings exit through the tunnels,
carrying the fig’s pollen from male flowers. They then take to the skies and find another
fig plant to enter and lay eggs in. It’s like the pollen is the currency, the
fig is the private maternity ward, and the wasp is the paying guest. You may be worrying that all this wasp death
means you are munching on dead insect bodies as you eat a fig, but actually the remains
are quickly broken down by enzymes within the fruit. The crunchy bits are just seeds!

Beach Ants

Beach Ants


Ever wonder if there are ants at the beach? Do ants take tropical beach vacation getaways
like humans do? The answer will surprise you. This week, I had the opportunity to spend
my Christmas on some secluded but tiny tropical islands, and my main goal was to find out
what the ants on secluded beach islands were like, how they lived, or heck, find out if
there even were ants on secluded beach islands at all! AC Family, let’s make a quick escape from
the on-going tales of our antiverse in my ant room in Manila, Philippines and travel
thousands of miles westward to a gorgeous tropical country called Maldives, tucked far
away out into the Indian Ocean, and find out what beach ant colonies are like, in this
episode of the AntsCanada ant channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Tired of nature channels not showing nature
shows. Just watch this channel. Enjoy! The Republic of Maldives is a South Asian
country composed of over 1,000 coral islands out in the Indian Ocean, situated in the Arabian
Sea near the country of Sri Lanka. Its crystal clear waters, amazing wild life,
and luxurious beach resorts have made it a growing tourist spot for beach enthusiasts
around the world. I knew nothing about the place before coming
here, other than the fact that a few celebrities I follow online have vacationed here and posted
some pretty neat photos of the place. But when I arrived I was shocked to see not
only how beautiful it was, but also how rich the Maldivian wildlife was, both in the sea
and on land. Allegedly friendly reef sharks and some really
interesting marine fish swam all around us just outside our rooms, we interacted with
wild stingrays, which I had no idea was a safe thing to do, massive fruit bats flew
from tree to tree, huge solitary bees buzzed around, shore birds and herons hung out at
our pools, and super cute agamid lizards scurried about waiting for insects to pick off, and
oh, the plant life – man, that tropical, beach plant life though! But with such a lush and thriving ecosystem
on these secluded islands, I was sure there had to be ants here somewhere! So I asked the locals about where I might
be able to find ants and what type of ants existed in Maldives. Of course, if you’re not an ant nerd like
me, most ants might look the same, so the general consensus was that there were pretty
much only three types of ants in Maldives. They were described as follows: The first
type were described as being big and black, and that to me screamed Camponotus, i.e. carpenter
ants. Ooohh Maldivian carpenter ants! Super exciting. Let’s hope we see some today! The second were described as some small red
ones. That sounded like a fire ant species, perhaps
like our Fire Nation? We’ll find out! And finally some harmless black ones that
come in swarms, and of course, that to me sounded like black crazy ants! To think, our Dark Knights have a Maldivian
counterpart? So cool! So according to local sources, there were
these three ants and that was it. Now although Maldives was pretty geographically
secluded and each island was super small, I still found it hard to accept that there
were only three species of ants on these Maldivian islands, so it was time to find out! I booked some tours to go Maldives island
hopping and broke away from my tour group to shoot some ants! By the way, AC Family, if you’re excited about
today’s episode, please hit that ‘LIKE’ button and let me know. Alright so wandering off the tourist path
a little bit, I instantly came across this open sandy area with sparse vegetation, and
it was full of little pits. Ant holes! Check it out AC Family, it looks like we’ve
found our quote-unquote small, red ants! But looking closer at them, you could tell
right away that these red ants were NOT fire ants. These ants looked different from our Fire
Nation, but they were just as energetic! I loved watching them run about constructing
their holes and small ant hills. Have a look! Now one thing you might notice about the ant
hills of these ants is that they aren’t really huge nor too conspicuous. I feel when you live on a beach where you
don’t have a whole lot of plant coverage, you don’t want to make your fortress too obvious
and announce to predators that “Hey, this is where we live.” Now I couldn’t even pin a genus on these girls
to identify them, until I spotted from the corner of my eye this! A Supermajor! The supermajors were super shy and weren’t
plentiful. Now these ants weren’t our Titans, Asian Marauder
ants, but were probably a smaller and similar species belonging to the genus Pheidole. Red ant mystery solved! Let’s move on! My friend who was ant-hunting with me, called
me over saying “Hey, I found a huge black ant!” Yes, perhaps it was our native Camponotus! When I finally saw it, I was shocked and filmed
it with my eyes and mouth wide open the whole time. AC Family, check it out and see if you can
tell why! Do you see something funny about this big
black ant? Well, AC Family, this actually is not an ant. Believe it or not, this here is a spider! A jumping spider, to be exact, probably belonging
to the genus Myrmarachne. This spider was an ant mimic! Don’t believe me? That right there is its web den! Not only is its body shaped like that of an
ant, but it also moves its front legs in the same way an ant moves its antennae! Isn’t that just amazing, AC Family? Now you might be asking, why would a spider
want to mimic an ant? What evolutionary purpose? Well, there could be several reasons. First, many animals actually dislike or fear
ants, having learned to stay away from them due to their bites or their foul taste. A predator may choose to eat this jumping
spider before this apparent ant. Second, this spider may actually look like
her favourite prey, and so looking like an ant may help her get close enough to pounce. Whatever it is, these ant-mimicking spiders
of which there are hundreds of described species are super cool! Don’t you think? Ok, so this wasn’t our big, black carpenter
ant! Let’s move on! Plus, we still needed to find some wild Dark
Knights, Maldives chapter! Speaking of which, AC Family want to hear
something cool? Alright, so it made total sense that the Dark
Knights, commonly known as black crazy ants would be found here in Maldives. If you were ever wondering if ants take tropical
beach vacation getaways the answer is yes, they do, only they end up staying at these
tropical destinations, and black crazy ants happen to be the ultimate world vacationers. You see at one point these Maldivian islands
had their native set of ants species like the Pheidole ants, but as soon as the islands
began to develop and later turn into a tourist destination, it opened its borders to immigrant
ants. With human tourists, come the need for the
importation of supplies, including food items, building materials, decorative plants and
trees, and pretty much everything and anything that people can’t readily acquire on these
tiny islands. During a chat with the general manager of
the resort I was staying at, I was surprised to know that twice a week, huge barges of
supplies are shipped into the island to stock the resort with everything they need. And of course, with these supplies, can come
tiny ant vacationers traveling for free. All it takes is one pregnant queen ant, or
even whole colonies inhabiting any of the goods coming in, for a colony of immigrant
ants to establish themselves on a small island. They can even be hiding in something as simple
as a garbage can on a boat. And low and behold, near a school in one of
the local communities, I saw some naturalized Maldivian citizens of Dark Knights. As was described to me by the locals they
moved in huge swarms with such vigor and power! Having whole armies of immigrant ants like
these black crazy ants move in to a new place can be problematic for the local ecosystem
especially for a small island, because they can displace, kill, or out-compete native
ants, which already have stable relationships with the plants and animals around them. Imagine if these black crazy ants wipe out
a native species of ant that a certain species of plant depends on to disperse its seeds
or pollinate to bear fruit? Or what if these black crazy ants have a taste
for creatures that native ants typically leave alone? Black Crazy Ants, though we love our Dark
Knights, actually pose dangers to ecosystems especially on small islands around the world,
because of the fact that they are such avid world travelers. And so are these ants, ghost ants! Tapinoma melanocephalum. These tiny bundles of energy are called ghost
ants because of their semi-transparent gasters which make them look like floating heads. Ghost ants are also notorious world travelers
having established themselves in subtropical and tropical regions around the world. I spotted them forming a massive trail running
up and down this tree and towards the beach! And here is exactly what I was talking about! AC Family, look! It looks like these ghost ants have stolen
the bounty of some larger Maldivian native ant, and have formic acid sprayed it to immobilization. I watched as it kicked and struggled in pain,
as the ghost ants feasted on what was supposed to be a meal for the native ant’s colony. Scenes like this are heart-breaking, but it’s
part of the natural world where the survival of the fittest rule reigns supreme. So what are people doing now to try to stop
ant tourism? Surely, for islands like Maldives, human tourism
is an important industry, bringing the nation a steady amount of income, but how do we protect
the native ecosystems from falling apart due to invasive, tourist ants to these small islands
like those of Maldives. So, to deal with that, prior to landing in
Maldives, I was surprised to see that the Maldivian government required all planes coming
in to be sprayed with a pesticide. If you find it weird that they would do that,
check out this huge spider that flew with me sandwiched between the two panes of glass
making up my plane window. The flight staff told me, they had watched
that spider grow, which means, beyond the mystery of how it got in there in the first
place, it was actually feeding on a regular supply of insects! Fact is, insects can be anywhere and travel
thousands of miles with people more often than one would think. Also, thankfully, most countries are strict
with what fauna enter and leave its borders. Our GAN Project, which has supplied thousands
of ant keepers with ants for their ant farms also aims at reducing the black market trade
of ant colonies as pets to private owners, to help stop the migration of foreign ants
to new places, by connecting local ant keepers. But no other sight spoke the message of the
need for preservation of native ants and ecosystems as clearly and beautifully as this next scene
you are about to see, AC Family. At the base of one of the trees, near the
ocean, I spotted something totally magical! It was a huge, black ant! We found our native Camponotus ant. Wow! Look at how gorgeous it was! But then I noticed something even cooler! It was attending to some small tiny pink creatures,
and that’s when I realized, AC Family, that OMG, this carpenter ant was milking a mealy
bug. What we are witnessing here was a carpenter
ant milking an ant cow! You see the mealy bugs feed from the juices
within this tree root and if you look carefully, you will see the ant gently stroking the mealy
bug with its antennae. This stroking eventually causes the mealy
big to release a sweet secretion called honeydew, a bi-product, which the ant drinks up cum
gusto! I have never been able to film this beautiful
act of symbiosis this close. You can almost see the small appendage of
the mealy bug running through the ants’ mouth parts. Is that like an ant cow teat? I watched for a long time as the carpenter
ant milked the mealy bug then left to visit other mealy bug sites that it knew, including
this one which was a mealy bug with baby mealy bug calves around her! Isn’t this all just unbelievable. An ant farmer with her ant cows, AC Family. In order to preserve these beautiful and important
moments of nature, as has been the common message these days, we humans do need to be
mindful of our activities as key players in the natural world. The final ants I saw as I left Maldives a
few days ago, were some native black ants of which I didn’t know the species, relocating
a dead Maldivian native carpenter ant to an area not blocking one of their foraging trails. They were cleaning up! This made me think, hey if tiny ants can work
together at cleaning up a mess that isn’t theirs, why do we people have such problems
working together to clean up our own? It’s ant love forever. Yes! AC Family, thanks for watching another week
of ant discovery! Hope you guys are enjoying your holidays! What types of ants have you guys seen while
on vacation? Let me know in the comments! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would just like to watch a super cool video of ants and other creatures
I shot in the wilderness and oceans of Maldives! And before we proceed to the AC Question of
the Week, in case you haven’t heard yet, our annual Christmas Sale at AntsCanada.com is
still in full effect but there are only two days left! This year we have a great sale on our brand
new Hybrid Nest 2.0 and our All You Need Formica Hybrid Nest Gear Pack! So if you’ve always wanted to get into ant
keeping, I have left links in the description box to these sale items so you can pick one
up for yourself or someone you love. We ship worldwide, but this sale ends this
weekend, so do place your order in, and we also have gift cards in case you would like
to get your special loved one an ant setup but are not sure what they would like. I would love for you guys to keep ants with
me and discover these amazing creatures that live in your neighbourood! Alright, and now it’s time for the AC Question
of the week! Last week we asked: Which of our ant colonies
was the first to receive their Christmas gift? Now this was a trick question because a lot
of you answered the Fire Nation which indeed was the first recipient of their Christmas
gift in the video, but congratulations to MobileChampion 21 who correctly answered: The Golden Empire It was mentioned in the video that the Gold
Play Button was considered the Golden Empire’s early Christmas gift, hence they technically
were the first. Congratulations MobileChampion 21, you just
won a free ebook handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: Name any of the two species of
ants in this video that are not native to Maldives Islands. Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free ebook handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

The Smart Way Warthogs Keep Insects at Bay

The Smart Way Warthogs Keep Insects at Bay


NARRATOR: Meet the warthog. They love to roll
around in the mud. Known as wallowing,
it keeps their skin free from ticks and parasites. A mud bath might look messy. But pigs are actually
meticulously clean animals. The wallow also helps them cool
off in the heat of the day. But in the very hottest
months on the savanna, these warthogs face a dilemma. The intense African sun
dries out all the mud, leaving them exposed
to swarms of insects. It’s insufferable, even
with their tough hide. But a handful of smart warthogs
have figured out a solution. They enlist a helping hand– banded mongooses. They’re voracious insect eaters,
spending most of their day on the hunt for food. They patrol the savanna in
gangs of over 20 strong. And with so many mouths
to feed, mongooses need to find a lot of insects. As an insect magnet,
perhaps a warthog could provide a decent snack. Only, its long legs make this
dining table a little too high for a mongoose. So some clever warthogs
have learned to lie down when the gang is around. It sends a very clear message– the mongoose spa is
open for business. Now in range, the mongooses
clean the ticks and lice from all those hard-to-reach places. Pure bliss. It’s the perfect partnership. The warthogs are kept healthy. The mongooses get a
meal, eating their fill without nipping their patrons. Mutually beneficial
relationships like theirs are almost
unheard of between mammals. It’s a brilliant solution
for a nagging problem, one that hints pigs might well
be smarter than we realize.

My Pet Ants Discovered Agriculture

My Pet Ants Discovered Agriculture


OMG! I can’t believe it! I think the world is pretty familiar that
ants are very intelligent and resourceful creatures, but this week, I believe to have
filmed for the very first time on this open-concept floating island ant farm, I’ve created for
my cute Pheidole ant colony, what has to be the ultimate demonstration of ant ingenuity
and imagination! Guys, I’m beside myself. My ants have officially discovered agriculture! Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
BELL ICON! Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! Welcome to Avista, the floating banyon bonsai
island kingdom, to my pet Pheidole ant colony, commonly known as Big-headed ants due to the
colony’s huge majors born with massive heads, and coincidingly, in a past video you guys
voted on a name for them, and “The Bobbleheads” came out on top. So, these ants from here on in shall be called
the Bobbleheads! But AC Family, this week, I seriously couldn’t
believe my eyes, when pretty much out of nowhere, the Bobbleheads started farming! I can’t wait to show you! Now if you’re new to the channel, the Bobbleheads
here, are a new super colony of Pheidole ants, possessing a whopping four queens, hidden
deep within the fortified royal chambers in the rich soils of Avista. Now I have got to say, the colony has been
eating a lot over the past few weeks! This made perfect sense because with four
egg-laying queens, each pumping out eggs, the ants needed all the nourishment they could
get, to feed their explosive ant population. Here was last night’s meal, half a cockroach,
where the remaining scraps of meat were being worked on by a few workers, as well as their
bustling detritivorous friends, Springtails, whom we call the Springcleaners. The Springcleaners have been excellent at
scavenging what leftovers the Bobbleheads couldn’t get at or chose to leave behind. But as I was watching the ants and Springcleaners
dealing with this roach carcass, I began to notice some of the Bobbleheads strangely interested
in something above, climbing the Great Tree of Wisdom. How peculiar, peculiar because I’ve always
known the ants to be ground-dwellers, rarely ever climbing to the tree tops. AC Family, Have a look! And that’s when I saw it. The Bobbleheads were farming mealybugs! OMG! I could not believe it! Alright so if you’re new to ants, and are
wondering why this is huge, is because ants have been well-documented to, at times, tend
what are commonly called “ant cows”. Essentially, plant insects like aphids or
mealybugs which live in colonies parasitically on plants, sucking the plant sap, and producing
as a bi-product, this sweet secretion called honeydew! And, to some species of ants this honeydew
is the nectar from the gods! They love the stuff, and stroke the ant cows
to stimulate them to produce more of it, kind of like milking them in a way! In fact, many ants even go as far as protecting,
relocating, and otherwise helping these ant cows proliferate, so they can continue to
collect this cherished honeydew. This incredible symbiosis between ants and
ant cows, can actually be traced back in fossils of Dominican Amber of Acropyga ants and mealybugs
from some 20-15 million years ago in the Miocene Epoch. And guys, the Bobbleheads have officially
engaged in this ancient pact with their own colony of mealybugs, here on Avista. Isn’t this incredible?! Look at them! What a surreal opportunity! Alright, so I immediately had so many questions. How on earth did the mealybugs get here? Were the ants full out herding the mealybugs,
i.e. physically transporting or guiding them around to new areas of the tree? Were they protecting these mealybugs aggressively? How many mealybugs were there? How fast were they breeding? And finally, I was wondering if by some miracle
I might be able to actually film the ants collecting the honeydew from these mealybugs! So about my first question, where did the
mealybugs come from? Upon researching mealybugs, apparently these
oval fuzzy-looking individuals are adult females and young, but the adult males look totally
different from these and have wings, looking sorta like small gnats. These adult males fly and mate with females
of mealybug colonies on other plants. Young mealybugs, who by the way are actually
called “crawlers”, and adult females, simply move by crawling to new plants if needed,
like if their host plant dies or if they simply want to try out a new plant. I highly believe a couple pregnant mealybugs
must have come with the bonsai tree or laid eggs on it. Shrubs and trees tend to be a mealybug favourite,
and our Great Tree of Wisdom here happens to be an ideal, thriving and healthy host
tree. I mean, look at this, over the past few weeks
since Avista was created, this Japanese bonsaied banyon tree grew a whole new team of leaves,
blooming from its twining branches. I was actually initially concerned that keeping
a tree indoors might not be possible due to light limitations, but the Tree of Wisdom
here has proven me wrong. I’ve been watering it well, giving it as much
light as I could, and I can actually see that its roots have begun to extend into the foundational
pillar pots below. For sure, Avista’s very healthy and growing
Great Tree of Wisdom, was providing this small colony of mealybugs a lot of delicious tree
sap, thereby providing our Bobbleheads with a valuable source of sweet honeydew. The next morning after the mealybug discovery
I revisted Avista to look again, and to my surprise, I found another grouping of mealybugs
just below the place I spotted the others the night before. It seems there were multiple herds of ant
cows on this tree, all tended by the ants, and you could actually see the honeydew collected
in their social stomachs through their semi-transparent bodies against the light. How cool! AC Family, I really hoped we could film the
mealybugs excreting it and the ants drinking it! Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Up in the tree at the original spot, the ants
were indeed up early, still collecting honeydew, and it looks like there was a group of mealybugs
living on an opposing twig, that I hadn’t noticed before. Right off the bat, I could see that there
were more mealybugs here now, at this first spot, than there were the night before, so
either the mealybugs breed impossibly fast, or more likely, the mealybugs were being brought
around the tree and planted into place by the ants, or the mealybugs were simply walking
freely around the tree, stationing themselves around as desired. I was determined to find out. But meanwhile, at ground level, the Bobbleheads
were busy with breakfast, a superworm which they desperately were trying to fit into one
of their holes. And look at that major being oh so helpful,
supporting that superworm, while the ants tried to figure out how they were going to
fit it all, through the nest entrance. Now you may notice some of the ants, this
major included, carry mites which look like big sores on their body. I cringe at the sight of them and I find it
very uncomfortable to look at! You may have noticed some on the ants from
last night. But, I discussed in a previous video that
these mites were likely at a harmless mite life stage, mouthless and anus-less phoretic
mites, not a lethal parasitic kind, who are simply clinging on to the ants in hopes to
find an ideal environment before transforming into their next life stage and falling off. These ants have had them since their founding
test tube rearing days, and would have never become the big and booming colony they are
now, had these body mites been the vampiric blood-sucking kind. I hope they eventually fall off our Bobbleheads,
and go on to eat their regular diet of decaying organic matter. Speaking of which, AC Family, this roach carcass
needs to be removed. As always, I’m the colony’s garbage man! Let me discreetly slip in with my tweezers
and yoink! Woops, dropping it to allow some stray Bobbleheads
to deboard, and removed! Oops, one more ant to return to the colony. Every single worker counts, right? And then AC Family, I spotted something pretty
amazing! Some ants were seizing a maggot, presumably
just captured from their decaying garbage. This was interesting, because before the ants
never bothered these clean-up Avistan-born fly larvae, as they helped with cleaning up
their garbage. Gnats visiting Avista would lay eggs on carcass
leftovers, and the hatching maggots would eat the ant garbage, to develop into adult
gnats, where they would then fly off from their Avistan birthplace. But now, it looks like the ants have changed
their mind, and have learned that the maggots were a valuable source of nourishment, as
well. How neat! The ants’ garbage attracts food sources to
the island for them to catch and eat! Their garbage was bait for prey! Hmmm… I suppose, in this sense, you could also look
at this entire island of Avista here, as a single superorganism, which eats outside insects,
produces waste, and drinks water. Mind-blowing stuff! Alright, and now that I mentioned it, it’s
time for us to assume the role of “rain cloud”, and provide some water to the inhabitants
of Avista. I always use room-temperature bottled water,
when offering my ants their H2O, as I am always super paranoid that chlorine and other such
chemicals from tap water could harm the ants. Now watch what happens every time it rains
on Avista. At the onset of water entering the nest, the
Bobbleheads immediately mobilize and start to bring the brood kept in the most shallow
chambers out of the nest to drier areas. Eggs, larvae, and pupae from these shallower
nest areas are all carried outside where it is dry. The queens and young located deeper in the
nest, are brought deeper into their underground fortress where it is dry. If these ever fill up with water, the entire
colony would be flooded out and surface, but they rarely do this, because truth is, having
the young and queens outside in the open like this, is very risky, as it makes them vulnerable
to predators and the elements, so the ants quickly decide on a plan of action, and this
time decide on a back up space somewhere over this rock boulder. The ants act quickly to transport all the
young to this drier holding space. I find it so amazing how ants can collectively
make very quick, critical decisions, and execute these plans with great speed. What makes it all even more crazy, is they
communicate their plans entirely through pheromones, biochemicals which make up their whole ant
language. Amazing to think that amidst all the confusion
and franticness of the rain, it only took one ant to release pheromones, indicating
it knew a safe dry place to move the brood, before all other ants decided to join in on
this ant’s proposed campaign, and start this mass movement of the brood. I don’t know about you, but had this been
a group of humans in this situation, only capable of simple audible communication like
yelling at each other, I doubt they would have been able to act as swiftly and in sync. Now in case you were concerned about the ants
having to always deal with these frequent watering events, the important thing to keep
in mind is that water is vital to the well-being of the ants, and the entire system here on
Avista. The ants and all inhabitants need to drink,
the moisture helps hold soil together to support the tunnels and chambers of the Bobbleheads’
nest, and the colony’s young require the humidity. The water also feeds the tree, of course,
which we now know goes on to provide sustenance to these newly discovered mealybugs, which
feed our ants. The water makes its way down into Avista’s
soil-filled foundational pillars, into which I do see the ants have begun to burrow, as
well as Springcleaners. And somewhere within the nest, the ants have
a designated bathroom area or two where they poop, and recent research supports that plants
are fertilized by ant poop, so I’m sure the Great Tree of Wisdom is happy the ants are
around providing some fresh nourishing ant poop all the time. The tree’s roots eat this ant poop with the
help of water. So, AC Family as you can see, water is vital
and ties all of Avista’s organisms together. What is kept completely dry though, is the
ivory rock border of the island, as well as the glass floor. This is purposely done as it was supposed
to discourage the ants from frequenting these dry, dead spaces. And oh look, the ants have decided to start
moving the brood back into the nest from their temporary brood cache. I guess, all nest areas are clear of water
now, and it’s back to regular programming. I just love how busy and invested these ants
are all the time, at ensuring the good of the colony. Aren’t they just the cutest, AC Family? By the way, providing food, taking out the
trash, and watering, aren’t the only chores I have to do to maintain Avista. I also take the time to readjust the wire
braces to ensure the banyon tree grows into an ideal shape and within a desired space
as the tree grows. There! Much better! Alright, AC Family, now back to the ant cows! I checked the mealybug herds after repositioning
the branches, and turns out they were still stationed in place, but the ants had been
spooked and abandoned their cows. I guess in their minds, my giant hands weren’t
worth sticking around, to defend their honeydew sources. But I waited, and it wasn’t long before the
ant cow-tending ants came climbing back up the tree, to return to their stations, to
continue milking their livestock. They weren’t going to let a pair of flimsy
giant hands keep them from their God-given nectar! The ants checked each herd carefully. Now AC Family, are you ready for this? The moment we all were waiting for! What I filmed next was truly an utter dream
come true! Yup, you guess it! I finally got to film the ants collecting
honeydew from their mealybugs. Check this out! At first, I thought I caught a mealybug excreting
honeydew here, and the ant came to collect it, but I didn’t quite get a good view of
it. I switched my camera angle, and then, I thought
I saw an ant with a droplet of liquid in its mouth. I believe I may have just missed the process! And then I noticed this mealybug here kind
of lifting its back end and producing a drop that… Ooop! Shot out before the ant could find it! Wow! Did you just see that?! It seems the ants needed a bit of luck and
some attentive antennae if they were to collect this yummy mealybug bi-product, which the
mealybugs clearly weren’t willing to keep around. I also noticed a mealybug from an opposing
branch shooting out some honeydew. And guys, what’s real crazy about all this,
all this action is happening on such a tiny scale, I was unable to see what was actually
going on through my camera display, until I could review the video files and zoom in
during editing of this 4K footage! It just looked to me like some ants hovering
uneventfully over some mealybugs. It’s amazing how much we can miss with the
naked eye just because we’re so big! Anyway, another mealybug is lifting it’s butt,
go get it ant! And oh, it shot out a moment too soon! Another missed opportunity! Based on this hit or miss method, now I wondered
if the ants were actually “milking” the mealybugs as research had formerly suggested, and not
just simply trying to feel and smell which mealybugs were basically going to blow. And finally, AC Family, after patiently waiting
and filming, one of the mealybugs produced a drop of honeydew and success! The ant stopped to drink the tasty liquid
treat! One insect’s bi-product is another insect’s
food! We did it! We got to see it! That was just amazing, right?! So, after drinking enough honeydew to fill
their social stomachs, the fully filled ants made their way down the tree and into their
nest to share their collected honeydew with the rest of the colony, through mouth to mouth
transfer, a process called trophallaxis. It was just amazing to think that the ants
were acquiring nourishment from an additional food source, and who would have ever thought
the ants would wander into the trees and have the idea of drinking this honeydew squirting
out of these mealybugs’ butts?! Nobody taught them this! They just discovered it on their own! They discovered farming! I continued to film the ants well into the
night, and it seemed the honeydew collection operations did not stop. The night shift workers were out still collecting,
and here is more one-of-a-kind, mind-blowing footage, of this intimate honeydew feeding
behaviour of these ants! Check them out! One even full out took a droplet of honeydew
home! The ants continued to miss a few times, however,
often coming really close! But check this out AC Family, watch this mealybug
shooting a drop of honeydew which hit the opposing twig, and look, the ants did not
pass up the opportunity to drink it up. How neat! I guess this was another effective tactic
for honeydew collection. 5 second rule! Perhaps these projectile honeydew droplets
weren’t as good as drinking it fresh from the mealybugs’ body? Who knows? And hey, will you lookey here! It’s a mealybug actually walking! OK, so I guess this solves the mystery of
whether or not the ants were responsible at choosing where the mealybugs were stationed. It seems the mealybugs choose, where to hang
out and drink the tree sap, and the ants just follow. AC Family, these ant cows are free range! Alright! But having all this honeydew-producing, free-range
livestock around, does also make it easy for moochers to take advantage. It looks like we have a visitor. Now, I wondered if this was a male mealybug,
or a legit gnat attempting to drink up the honeydew. I guessed the latter, based on photos. I watched it attempt to inch closer to the
mealybugs. Were the ants going to defend their ant cows
from this wolf-like, stealthy gnat? The gnat approached the mealybug herd. And bam! The ant scared it away, and the gnat was gone! And so AC Family, there you have it! Our Bobbleheads have figured out how to farm
food produced from another organism! And through all of this, I learned that it’s
actually not as simple and straight forward as ants just easily milking some ant cows,
as I initially imagined. It’s actually quite an involved process of
technique and tactics. But the whole idea that ants manage to pull
off such an intrinsically human activity like agriculture is quite mind-blowing to me, or
perhaps it isn’t the ants, that are pulling off an intrinsically human activity, but us
that are pulling off an intrinsically ant activity. They after all farmed first, geological timescale-ly
speaking! Overall, I love being able to witness the
interesting evolution of the floating island of Avista. I can’t help but feel like we’re celestial
beings, creators of these worlds, witnessing the development and evolution of a planet,
and its population of inhabitants. I wonder what’s next for these ants. I do hope these ants can work out some kind
of sustainable farming solution, though, because if these mealybugs completely take over this
bonsai tree and kill it, who knows what that would mean for the entire island of Avista? I’ll just assume the ants have it all figured
out, since they’ve lasted for millions of years longer than we have, doing it. Speaking of which, I wonder how good of a
job we’re doing with our plans of sustainable farming, on our floating island. AC Family, what do you think? Did you enjoy this week’s episode? I truly love how the Bobbleheads and Avista
are developing, and other than a phoretic mite problem, I foresee that the ants are
well on their way to success, and when they outgrow this floating island of Avista here,
I plan on connecting another floating island using a bridge, until the Bobblehead’s ant
kingdom of Avista, is an impressive archipelago of multiple connected floating islands. Wouldn’t that be just so cool?! I’ll continue to update you guys, so be sure
to hit that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL icon now, so you don’t miss out on this continuing
ant story, and hit the LIKE button every single time, including now. And if you’re new to the channel and want
to catch up on all your AntsCanada Lore, feel free to binge watch this complete story line
playlist here, which traces the origins of all the ant colonies of the ant room, so you
can follow their stories and better appreciate how these ant kingdoms came to be, and why
we love them so much! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would just like to watch some extended play footage of the ants drinking
honeydew. There is so much that I think you guys can
catch from the footage, that I may have missed, so do check it out! And before we proceed to the AC Question of
the Week, I’d like to plug my daily vlogging channel, daily vlogs of my travels around
the world, which often includes a lot of nature stuff so do check it out! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: Why was the death of the Guppy Gang
actually beneficial to the Selva de Fuego and its inhabitants? Congratulations to Shiny Piplup who correctly
answered: They were pleasing to the eye but weren’t
doing their intended job of controlling the ant
population, and causing a lot of excess waste. Congratulations Shiny Piplup! You just won a free e-book handbook from our
shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: Name one neat fact you learned
about mealybugs in this video. Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and
SUBSCRIBE if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

Myrmecophiles: beetles living in an ant nest!

Myrmecophiles: beetles living in an ant nest!


An ant colony is an island. An ecosystem insulated from the world and full of resources. Some organisms have evolved to exploit these systems. These insects that live their lives inside of an ant nest are known as myrmecophiles. Many myrmecophilic species are beetles, and most are rarely observed. Some of the most advanced are rove beetles in the subfamily Aleocharinae, in the tribe Lomechusini. The three rove beetle genera in the sub-tribe Lomechusina have been studied in detail for more than a century. While out doing fieldwork last month I collected this colony of carpenter ants. it has for these beetles living in it. Now, the u.s. species are less well studied in comparison to European ones but a lot of the biology and behaviors is sort of shared across the group. The really cool thing about these beetles is how they’ve completely integrated themselves as members of the colony. They enter into an ant nest by using a series of glands to chemically persuade the ants to adopt them. When first encountering an ant a beetle meets any aggression with an upturned tip of its abdomen. This is the location of what’s known as the appeasement gland complex. The secretions from this gland seem irresistible to the ants who busily lick away while the beetle reaches back and taps the ant with its antennae. After this, the beetles grant the ants access to the sides of their abdomen which are lined with tufts of hair emerging from the set of glands that are known as the adoption glands. The ants lick the secretions from these glands and they grab the beetles by these tufts of hair and transport them into and around their nests. Once they’re inside of the nest the beetles take advantage of the ants’ method of food sharing, mouth-to-mouth regurgitation, also known as trophallaxis. The beetles mouth parts are thought to be specialized for stimulating food sharing. They coax ants to feed them like the would their own larvae or nestmate adults. Unlike the ants the beetles don’t share any food back, their existence in the nest is completely parasitic and predatory. When I look at these beetles i’m amazed at how they interact and behave with the ants. I think they’re an incredible reminder about how intricate and specialized organisms can be. If you’re interested in reading more about these beetles check out the two articles linked in the description below

My Giant Ant Terrarium  Evolved Life

My Giant Ant Terrarium Evolved Life


There’s something about ant keeping that really
feels like having a God’s eye perspective. An ant keeper has the unique opportunity to
watch and nurture a contained world from its humble beginnings, and grow that world into
something magnificent, fruitful, and abundant over time. This has been my experience as keeper of the
Hacienda Del Dorado, the home of our Golden Empire, our epic colony of Yellow Crazy Ants,
and my, has this world evolved! Today we take a look at what was once just
a terrarium for an ant colony and see how it has completely progressed into a crazy
new world of various creatures and vegetation, previously unseen, which have all become amazingly
interdependent on one another. You will be shocked to meet some of our new
inhabitants! We will also watch what happens when we create
a mini storm inside this world. How will they deal with this natural event? And finally, I have some exciting news about
the Golden Empire, so keep on watching until the end! AC Family, let’s revisit these lush Golden
Empire territories as we explore the Hacienda Del Dorado like we’ve never seen it before,
in this episode of the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family! Enjoy! Remember what it looked like when we first
constructed the Hacienda Del Dorado, this 75 gallon terrarium designed to house our
Golden Empire? It was pristine, aesthetically pleasing to
the human eye, and orderly. Well, almost 2 and a half months later this
pristine ant estate, has developed quite interestingly into a lush, untamed world of thriving plants
and animals. Let’s take a look at the Hacienda Del Dorado
today. First, the plants that were planted have all
grown and changed. The Airplants are still in tact but have shifted
positions slightly. The bonzai trees have killed off some branches,
perhaps due to the growing aphid colonies that have seemed to spring out of nowhere. I plan on planting new bonzai trees if these
bonzai trees ever come close to completely dying out. The ants still don’t seem to be farming and
milking the aphids but as seen in a previous video, the ants have learned to lick the leaves
of the sweet honeydew the aphids excrete and leave behind. This makes the aphids and the ants allies,
as the aphids produce food for the ants, and the ants provide the aphids with protection
from their predators. What predators you ask? Well, take a look here. This ant is carrying the carcass of a lady
beetle. Surprisingly, every now and then I will find
lady beetles like this inside the Hacienda Del Dorado, which I assume try to grab some
of the Golden Empire’s livestock like prowling hungry wolves. I don’t know how they get in, but they are
no match for our Golden Empire who protect their livestock aggressively. And I was thinking: Shall we name this aphid
colony that the Golden Empire protect and cherish? Leave your name suggestions for these aphid
allies in the comments section! Our ficus plant has grown so much and has
completely taken over the back and center of the Hacienda Del Dorado, creating a dense
forest blanketing all driftwood, rocks and decorations in its vicinity. I love the colours of the leaves and the way
in which the vines crawl over everything! The ficus forest creates an awesome shelter
for the Golden Empire. But as far as plants go, I think the most
successful plant in the Hacienda Del Dorado is our blue fern. As mentioned in a previous video, ferns generally
are amazing terrarium plants because they easily thrive under a variety of conditions,
especially in terrariums. This blue fern has crept its fingers and tendrils
to unoccupied areas of the Hacienda Del Dorado, growing happily in soils which are unfavourable
for most other plants. But let’s meet our very first new comer! This mysterious plant here, an apro plant,
has sprouted seemingly out of nowhere. On the night of the Hacienda Del Dorado’s
creation, I originally tried to insert an apro plant but later decided the plant created
too much vegetation density in the setup, so I ended up removing it from the estate. In doing so, however, a few little twigs must
have fallen off, and these little twigs went on to grow into a forest of their own, which
now tower high along the back and eastern part of the Hacienda Del Dorado. And also, this thriving Apro forest is so
fast growing, I need to cut it back every 7 days to keep it from growing up past the
baby powder barrier, which poses an escape hazzard if the Golden Empire ever decides
to use it as a bridge out of the Haceinda Del Dorado. I feel it adds a cool dimension to the Hacienda
Del Dorado, and the Golden Empire seems to like it, so I welcome the Apro Forest’s sudden
appearance. Now AC Family, are you ready to see something
really cool? Let’s have a look at some other welcome and
interesting newcomers to these barbaric lands! If we take a look at the Golden Empire’s garbage
site, which as you can see is littered still with Fire Nation alates which still manage
to get trapped into the Hacienda Del Dorado, you will notice tiny little creatures. These creatures are called Springtails, organisms
belonging to the subclass Collembola, which are not considered insects but they are hexapods. But what is amazing is that these springtails
work together with the Golden Empire cooperatively. The Golden Empire provides the Springtails
with garbage which decays and provides food for the Springtails. Additionally, Various molds and fungi grow
on the Golden Empire’s garbage which the Springtails also love. In return, the Springtails act as the Golden
Empire’s clean up crews, eating up all the bad stuff that can endanger the ant colony. These springtails move freely above and below
the soil, eating all that decaying and molding material. I have no idea where these springtails came
from, but I am assuming their ancestors came with some of the soil or the decor that was
used for the Hacienda Del Dorado. I love that these Springtails are here! Shall we name them, too AC Family? Leave your suggestions in the comments section
for a name for this clean up crew! It is amazing what other creatures seem to
appear inside this contained community. I have also seen a spider and a miniature
forest cricket wandering these untamed lands, seemingly living among the Golden Empire. I wasn’t quick enough to grab my camera to
film them, but it is amazing to think that the Golden Empire is living among other animals. Again, I don’t know how these extra animals
got into the Hacienda Del Dorado in the first place, but I am assuming they either entered
with the decor, soil, or simply managed to get into my condo and enter through the terrarium
roof. For those of you wanting to try something
similar at home, I feel a great part of the success of our terrarium here is attributed
to the lighting. Aside from the artificial incadescent and
flourescent lighting, all the plants get full sunlight for a few hours every morning. So, if you are thinking of creating your own
thriving community of animals and plants, make sure your lighting is ample. If your plants thrive, the rest of your community
will also thrive. Before we continue, what other creatures do
you think we should add to this thriving community? I have created a poll here with some suggested
organisms that I think would benefit the Hacienda Del Dorado. AC Council, please take a few moments to click
and vote and I’ll try my best to find some to add to this community. So moving on to perhaps the most impressive
element of these worlds, our Golden Empire who is constantly changing the shape and landscape
of the Hacienda Del Dorado. Every few days they are redesigning their
underground castles, creating the most impressive ant hills, as they excavate their tunnels
grain by grain. Have a look at them working. They’re so busy all the time, around the clock. All is pristine and seemingly perfect, problem-free,
and partnerships working well. But now it’s time to shake things up a little,
AC Family. Whenever it rains here in the Philippines
where I live, I make sure to create a storm in the Hacienda Del Dorado, and tonight, the
Hacienda Del Dorado is due for their next tempest! Time to make it rain! Watch what happens. The falling water completely washes away the
surface work of the ants, tunnels and ant hills collapse. All the ants’ work washed away with the storm. The Golden Empire acts quickly, and instinctively
starts relocating the young to drier areas. Workers dash in various direction attempting
to coordinate the colony’s next moves. It looks like chaos has broken loose. If you’re watching this feeling bad for these
ants, don’t worry. The Golden Empire is perfectly adapted to
deal with rains, as ants have been dealing with rains for millions of years. In just a few short hours, the ants rebuild
their structures, and what’s surprising is due to the new moisture, the tunnels are stronger
and the ant hills can be built higher. The Golden Empire benefits from these regular
storms, because the young need that humidity underground. The water also forms droplets on the leaves
of the plants which the ants drink safely. All the native vegetation in the Hacienda
Del Dorado drink this water and thereby offer greater humidity within the terrarium due
to transpiration. The plants then grow on to create more shelter
for the colony, as well as feed the aphids which in turn feed the ants, and help feed
the molds and fungi which feed the springtails, which clean up after the ants. Without these regular storms, the entire Hacienda
Del Dorado would falter and become a wasteland. I notice that after these periodic storms,
the ants seem to have much more vigor in their day to day activities. Water brings life to the Hacienda Del Dorado
in so many ways. AC Family, and now I have some exciting news
to share with you. Let’s feed the Golden Empire a cockroach and
see if you notice anything. Dropping the cockroach here among the ferns. It isn’t long before some workers find it
and tell the rest of the colony. And before long, the cockroach is covered
in a blanket of Golden Empire ants. Now as they carry our cockroach offering away,
do you guys notice anything? Look closely. Well, in case you haven’t caught it yet, it
is with great joy that I announce that our Golden Empire is officially free of mites. For those who might be new to the channel,
it has been over 3 and a half months since our Golden Empire has been dealing with a
terrible mite infestation! We first spotted these body mites on January
1st of this year and learned from some mite experts that the mites weren’t blood-sucking
the ants, but were in a phoretic life stage where they were hitching rides on our ants
but were still posing a danger to the colony. We tried lemon therapy, moved them into this
more natural setup, and also added healthy members to their colony. I am not sure what it was that finally got
rid of the mites, but it seems the phoretic mites found the conditions favourable enough
to proceed to their next life stage and detach themselves from our ants to live their normal
lives eating the ants’ garbage! Isn’t that amazing news, AC Fam? I think so! So, although the Hacienda Del Dorado, our
ant terrarium here isn’t as nice-looking as it used to be, I actually don’t mind at all,
because the entire community has seemed to take on a cool life of its own. And it got me thinking, what is more important
in the end? A design that works naturally, organically,
and in perfect harmony between all members inhabiting a given land, or a design that
we humans see as fit, where our needs are the priority and not so much other life around
us? Which design do you think will stand the test
of geological time? AC Family, this is AntsCanada signing out. It’s ant love forever. Woah! Mind-blown yet, guys? Thanks for watching another ant video. It truly means a lot to me! For you AC Inner Colony members I have placed
a hidden cookie for you here, if you would just like to watch extended play footage of
the Hacienda Del Dorado today to some relaxing music and nature sounds. Enjoy the ant watching, guys! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: What is the name of an ant’s waist segment? Congratulations to EVroolz 1 who correctly
answered the Petiole. Congratulations EVroolz 1 you just won a free
ant t-shirt from our shop! For this week’s AC Question of the week, we
ask: Explain how any two living things, either
plants or animals, benefit each other within the Hacienda Del Dorado. Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win, a free AC Test Tube portal from our shop! Perfect for those of you with starting ant
colonies for transferring your colonies to new test tubes, or providing your new colonies
with a mini outworld. Hope you can SUBSCRIBE to the channel and
join our awesome AC family, as we upload a new ant video every Saturday at 8AM EST. We marvel at the lives of ants every week,
learn cool things, and just enjoy ant keeping together! Please LIKE, COMMENT, and SHARE this video
if you enjoyed it. It’s ant love forever!

Ant Apocalypse Stopped by a Rhino Beetle

Ant Apocalypse Stopped by a Rhino Beetle


You’ll never believe what actually goes on
in the soil. We humans, as giants, completely miss all
the events, the plot twists, the drama, the miracles, the battles, triumphs, and defeats
that occur every day, deep within the the very earth, that sustains us and is teaming
with life. Take this micro-village of springtails for
instance, which you guys have named the Spring Cleaners, the cleanup crew of the microworld,
busy eating up all the organic bits left behind by other lifeforms of the land, or this baby
millipede which eats up decaying vegetable matter, but don’t get too close; he uses cyanide
as a weapon, and that baby earthworm, feeding on vegetation above ground, a solo detritivorous
mite perhaps searching a mate. For a moment, try to forget your big size
and throw all scale out the window, and imagine this terrestrial world, as a giant forest. It’s called the Hacienda Del Dorado, home
to countless communities of creatures and plants. Those gnats you see there, they’re the vultures
of the land perusing the tree tops. But AC Family, something terrible has happened
to the original rulers of this gorgeous territory. You’re about to see what in a moment. I was admiring this lush kingdom one day,
when my eyes caught focus of this. An ant, of the supercolony, we know on this
channel, as the Golden Empire. She’s alone, and oddly she carries a message
for us. Look! It appears she’s struggling to grapple with
something that is locked onto one of her legs, something red, and clearly causing her much
discomfort. She tries desperately to remove it from her
appendage, to no avail. Guys, turns out, this ant, is one of a few
remaining survivors of what I discovered was a mass holocaust. It’s every ant keeper’s nightmare. This week to my utter horror, I learned that
out of nowhere, an apocalypse has come for our cherished Golden Empire, and worse, there
was nothing I could do to stop it. But, it may surprise you, that there was one
unlikely hero in this entire story, who possibly could. AC Family, you will not believe how a humble
rhino beetle rose to the occasion this week, to become the possible saviour of an entire
Ant Empire, during this ant apocalypse. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel and hit the
BELL ICON. Welcome to the AC Family! Enjoy. AC Family, I was legit crying this week, when
I saw this. Imagine an ant colony who you watched grow
over the years, an OG supercolony on this channel, within our world of Ant Kingdoms
in the Antiverse, suddenly amidst a mass extinction event. If you’ve been following this channel for
awhile, you have followed the epicness that the Golden Empire, our multi-queen supercolony
of yellow crazy ants, has experienced. From surviving a mite plague, to outsmarting
carnivorous pitcher plants, to keeping an array of pet beast, to even being elected
as the lucky colony to inhabit a Youtube Gold Play Button, these ants were definitely a
triumphant empire and favourite in the Antiverse. But I’m afraid to announce, that the Golden
Empire is officially seeing their end of days. I’ll explain everything, but we need to start
from the beginning. A member of the Golden Empire is wandering
the premise, assumingly in search of some food. She waves her antennae around smelling her
surroundings and the air for the scent of any new roaches that may have dropped from
the skies. There are in fact, several roach carcasses
around her, but for some reason, they’re unfit for her tastes. I watched as she inspected each roach piece
and moved on. In fact, I’ve been placing roaches into the
lands as I always have for years, but I noticed more and more, the ants weren’t eating them. Of course, the Spring Cleaners were loving
this abundance of food, and so were the earthworms which were coming up to the surface to have
a nibble! It was great that the creatures of the soil
were benefiting from all this extra food, but while this abundance in food was great
news for the soil creatures, it pointed out to me that something was indeed very wrong
in this biological food chain. Little did I know something from the soils
were killing the most important creatures of this entire biological kingdom, and it
was killing them, one ant at a time. When I began to notice the ants weren’t eating
as much, and less and less ants were seen foraging above ground, I started to get very
suspicious that something was up. Now, if you saw our last video on this ant
colony, you’ll know they disappeared on us once before, but after watering their lands,
we discovered that they were all just esthivating underground keeping moist during a dry spell. But this seemed different now. The soils were moist, and usually the lands
would be covered in foraging ants at this hour in the night. I only could see one ant now up in the leaves. I decided to prod around and try to agitate
the vegetation and create vibrations in hopes to set the Gold Empire into defense protocol,
so they would come pouring out of their nest entrances to fight me with their formic acid
sprays. I finally decided to dig into the soil a little,
and finally got a small squadron of ants to come out, but AC Family, check out how few
of them there were that emerged. Something very strange was happening, and
I did not expect, what I was about to soon discover. The next morning, I placed food into the territories
as I usually do, but as has been the case these past few weeks, no ants came to feed. Only soil creatures. I tried watering the lands again, to try to
get the Golden Empire to surface like they did before, but again, only the soil creatures
came to surface rejoicing in the moisture. OK, it was time to pull out the checklist
of possibilities as to what in “Thanos: Infinity War” was going on here. AC Family, are you ready for this? I had to see if the ants had possibly escaped? Now as you may or may not know, the Hacienda
Del Droado, like many of my ant farms, is an open top terrarium, which means it lacks
a cover. Ant keepers do this to ensure the ant territories
get proper ventilation, to decrease mold-growth, and access the ant farm easily. A baby powder barrier is applied vertically
and horizontally upside down, to keep the ants inside. This design in particular was made to create
the illusion of a barrier-less ant setup, with its landmarks rising up out of the top
of the tank, but though it looks like there is lots of places the ants could escape and
crawl out, they actually technically can’t as nothing is touching a point of access to
the outside and the ants can’t jump very far. The only place, the ants might be able to
escape was through this chord which powers the water pump and filter, but even that is
covered in baby powder and secured with a baby-powdered stopper keeping the ants from
proceeding up the chord. Ants making it that far fall onto this powdered
platform which is also secured with powdered walls to keep them from climbing further. Ants on this platform end up jumping back
into the Hacienda Del Dorado below. But could they have possibly found a breech
in the barrier that was keeping them in and moved out of my window one night while I was
sleeping? With their sheer numbers and nomadic tendencies,
this was definitely a possibility! But then I noticed some movement below. Alright! It seems the rains had caused some ants to
emerge to feed from my roach. At last! There clearly wasn’t as much ants as there
used to be, but it was nice to see at least some ants coming out to eat. And AC Family, that’s when I saw it. Look! This ant carried a something on its leg and
it was impeding its movement. A mite. Back when this colony had mites before, it
never affected their movement and general life processes. The mites they dealt with before were likely
phoretic mites, harmless hitchhikers wanting delivery to greener pastures. In fact, the reason this whole Hacienda Del
Dorado terrarium was created was to help those phoretic mites fall off, and it worked in
the end. But this time, things were different. And if you look carefully, although the ants
are hanging around this roach, it doesn’t seem like they have that same healthy appetite
to dive in and feast like they usually do. These mites were definitely affecting our
ants in a very negative way. AC Family, I’m afraid to announce that the
Golden Empire has been struck for the very first time, with every ant-keeper’s fear – parasitic,
blood-sucking mites. Some of the ants appeared mite-free, but many
of them carried the mite killers. Now, this is bad because every ant keeper
knows that once you find these blood-sucking mites on your ants, it is a death sentence,
and the killings happen quick. My heart sank, when the reality of situation
began to sink in. We found our answer and there was nothing
we could do to stop it. What we were witnessing here, AC Family, was
the extermination and final days of the Golden Empire. As weird as it sounds, I began to cry for
the ants. It was time to say goodbye to the supercolony
we grew to love, over the years. My house keeper and I began to take apart
the Hacienda Del Dorado, starting with the Golden Springs, which ironically were installed
as a population regulator. As I began to clean up the lands, again, with
little to no ants in sight, I started to wonder what I was going to do with the Hacienda Del
Dorado. Was I going to just throw the entire terrarium
away? Based on 98,000 of you who voted in a community
tab poll, most of you felt the Jawbreakers, our booming colony of trap-jaw ants, deserved
to inherit the Hacienda Del Dorado seeing as they were doing so well in their little
kingdom, and were ready to expand. But after discovering the mites, I knew I
couldn’t do this, because that would be like throwing humans into a zombie pit. The parasitic mites would then go on to annihilate
the Jawbreakers. But as I was digging around, something pretty
incredible happened. Check this out! I hit a vein! A gold vein. I must have hit some chamber where a lot of
Golden Empire were hiding out. It seems a lot of the ants were still brooding
in hidden chambers within the soil. It was nice to see this many ants congregating
in a single place. Though some of the ants had mites attached
to them, it looked like many of the ants were still quite mobile, energetic, and otherwise
seemingly healthy. I moved the soil around and scanned the premises. I needed to see if I could locate any of the
8 queens. Do you see any? I continued to move more soil around and sure
enough, a queen! There she is sprinting away! I continued looking, and to my delight, guys,
look! Another queen dashing away! I stopped for a moment to take a look at this
queen. Thankfully, she was mite-free. Amazing to think that her eggs helped fuel
the Golden Empire, along with her other 7 fellow queens, for years. Her workers each only lived for a couple months,
but queens like her can live as long as a few decades, and it was her steadfast role
as egg-layer over time, that lead to the Golden Empire being one of the most successful and
glorious ant colonies I’ve ever owned in my life. It was heart-warming to see one of her workers
coming to her side to tend to her. Soon another worker came to join the royal
entourage. And then a third. The sight was so moving for me, and suddenly
made me realize why I had fallen in love with the world of ants in the first place. These worker ants, who’d been through a lot,
were comforting their queen amidst crisis befalling their empire. It looked like these worker ants were among
the clean, mite-free group of the survivors, but although their days were numbered, their
home torn up, and hope for survival minimal, they weren’t going to give up. They were the Golden Empire, conqueror of
challenges. Now it was recently discovered that an entire
ant colony harbours collective memories that its individual members can’t possibly store
in their individual brains. I bet now, the colony was tapping into their
history to find ways to survive this mite plague. These ants were determined to fight for life
until the very end, like gladiators championing their Empire’s legacy… And that, AC Family, is when it hit me. Gladiators. OMG! About what I said earlier about there being
nothing we could do to stop the death of the Golden Empire at the hands of the mites…
well, that isn’t entirely true. For those of you who are new to the channel,
meet our rhino beetles. Three males of a fleet of 7 rhino beetle gladiators,
who are slated to compete in an Olympic tournament called the Rhino Beetle Games. Their names are Apollo, Dionysus, and Poseidon. Now upon welcoming them to the world as fully
formed adult beetles, we did notice they carried on their bodies, small gangs of mites. At first, I thought these were maybe bad mites,
but turns out, one of you guys pointed out that they are actually Hypoaspis mites, which
are predatory mites which live in symbiosis on the beetles, feeding on small soil creatures
and more importantly, bad parasitic mites that may want to feed on the beetles’ blood! In fact, Hypoaspis mites are often used by
gardeners to eat undesirable pest insects. So, AC Family, know where I’m going with this? So call me crazy, but what if we could somehow
collect a few of these Hypoaspis mites from our rhino beetles, propagate them, and then
release them into the Hacienda Del Dorado, where the Golden Empire are congregating,
to eat the parasitic mites that are feeding from the blood of our Golden Empire! The idea was insane, but by principle, it
could work right? AC Family, it was time for an important experiment. First, I prepared a water test tube. This test tube was a standard ant test tube
setup with cotton creating a water reservoir which would provide humidity. This setup was going to house a few of our
test subjects for a little while. Now it was time to go into the Hacienda Del
Dorado to collect our subjects. With our test tube, I went in, and collected
three ants. Two of the ants were infected with parasitic
mites and one was mite-free. I’ll explain why the third ant had to be mite-free
in a second. I also went in to collect three more ants
placed in a second test tube setup, again two infected ants and 1 non-infected ant,
so that we had a control group. Hello, Gr. 9 lesson on the scientific method! If this all works out, these six worker ants
were going to be heroes in the history of the Golden Empire. Alright, so now that we had our test subjects,
we now needed the help of one of our beetles, and I knew just who I was going to choose
to partake in this critical experiment. If you look to the left, you’ll see the living
chamber of Apollo, who is buried somewhere in here. Of the three available beetles, I chose Apollo,
because fittingly, he was named after the Greek god of medicine and healing, and also
of plagues, so it was only appropriate to choose him. He was not going to be happy at me pulling
him out, but the fate of our Golden Empire relies on it! I filled up a small dish of water and got
two q-tips. The plan was to go in, get Apollo out, and
try to collect a few Hypoaspis mites from his body. I started to dig, and carefully moved the
soil around until I heard his voice, well stridulation. There he was! As expected, he was very upset at my intrusion. Behold, our mighty gladiator Apollo, small
horns beautiful colour. And now, the possible saviour to deliver the
Golden Empire from doom. I carefully tried to look around Apollo’s
body for mites. I didn’t need a tonne of mites, just a couple
for our experiment. Turning him upside down, I saw them, and quickly
ran the swab to collect. Got it! I picked up one of the test tubes, and carefully
introduced the Hypoaspis mite inside with the ants. The mite instantly bolted into the test tube! This entire process made my heart race a million
miles a minute! I went back to Apollo and swabbed again one
last time, and placed the second mite into the same test tube. The test tube now had two Hypoaspis mites. I placed two inside so that if they were male
and female they could hopefully breed, but we didn’t really need to measure breeding. We just needed to see if the Hypoaspis mites
would feed from the blood-sucking parasitic mites on the ants. Also, the reason I included a mite-free ant
in the mix was to see if the two Hypoaspis mites would feed on the parasitic mites enough
to keep the parasitic mites from breeding and infecting other ants. If the group with the Hypoaspis mites suddenly
end up with the parasitic mites all gone, we know that the Hypoaspis mites would be
an effective biological agent to eradicate the parasitic blood-sucking mites killing
the Golden Empire. I then marked the test tube that contained
the Hypoaspis mites with black tape, and left our control group tapeless. By the end of this experiment having the two
test tubes to compare, will make it easier for us to understand the results. I took both test tubes, inserted a drop of
honey onto the cotton in each, and placed them into a dark drawer, to simulate the soil
conditions underground. And all there was left to do now was pray
to God, that the results of this experiment were favourable. Apollo, completely upset and shaken up, dove
straight into his soils to get away from us. Thank you Apollo, you’ve been a greater help
than you’ll ever understand. Guys, as giants, perhaps we may not see everything
that happens in the soil, but this time, we were going to try to learn enough, to at least
bring salvation to an entire Empire of gold, fighting for the continuation of their throne,
as rulers of the ever-evolving Hacienda Del Dorado. I was going to wait with baited breath for
the results. Alright, AC Family, it’s do or die now! It’s been a crazy week, but I’ll be sure to
let you know the results of our experiment to save the Golden Empire. Let’s hope the Hypoaspis mites prove effective
at eating the parasitic mites on our ants. At this point, it’s our only hope. So guys, be sure to smash that subscribe button
and bell icon now, so you get notified at every single upload and follow this continuing
story, and hit the like button every single time, including now. If you’re new to the channel, and want to
catch up on all your AntsCanada Lore, feel free to binge watch this complete story line
playlist here, which traces the origins of all the ant colonies of the ant room, so you
can follow their stories and better appreciate how these ant kingdoms came to be, and why
we love them so much! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would like to explore the new Hacienda Del Dorado! I’ve had to remodel, completely removing the
Golden Springs seeing as we no longer need a population limiter anymore, so go check
out what the Hacienda Del Dorado looks like now! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: Why are the Hypoaspis mites we see
on the beetles a good thing? Congratulations to GAMER X who correctly answered: The mites are beneficial because they eat
small insects such as parasitic mites that suck blood from the beetles. Congratulations, GAMER X, you just won a free
e-book handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: Why did I choose Apollo to
participate in our experiment? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and
SUBSCRIBE if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

Endosymbiotic Theory

Endosymbiotic Theory


Captions are on! Click CC to turn off. Follow us on Twitter (@AmoebaSisters) and Facebook. There are a lot of amazing theories in science. General theory of Relativity …Atomic theory…The
cell theory. And one thing we want to point out about a
scientific theory is that it’s a lot different from how you might use the word ‘theory’
in your daily life. A scientific theory is not an educated guess. A scientific theory is an explanation of a
scientific event supported by scientific evidence—it must be testable and tested over and over
and over again. And while theories can be changed or disproven,
you do want to realize there are a lot of facts behind them. One of our favorite theories of all time—is
the endosymbiotic theory. We love it, because we just find the events
in this theory to be amazing. The theory gives an explanation for how eukaryote
cells could have evolved from prokaryotic cells that lived in symbiosis. Prokaryote symbiosis meaning—these organisms
lived together. So just a recap from our intro to cells video:
when you think of prokaryote, think of ‘pro’ rhyming with NO. No nucleus. No membrane-bound organelles. Eukaryotes on the other hand—remember “eu”
rhymes with “do” and they DO have a nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles. Both prokaryotes and eukaryotes ARE cells
though—and therefore they do have a few things in common that all cells have including
a cell membrane, cytoplasm, ribosomes, and genetic material. But just look at these two cell types and
you will see that one is WAY more simple. So what explanation does the endosymbiotic
theory provide for how eukaryote cells could have evolved from prokaryote cells? A long, long time ago…seriously, a long
time—over 2 billion years ago. There were prokaryotes. Much like there are today. They had been around for a long time. Just as there are in many organisms, there
was variety in prokaryotes. Some of these prokaryotes had photosynthetic
abilities, which means, they could make their food using sunlight energy. These were photosynthetic bacteria. Some of these prokaryotes were bacteria that
had the ability to use oxygen to produce ATP energy. And some of those prokaryotes were larger
and could consume others. Engulfing them. So obviously, they had to be larger. The endosymbiotic theory is that some of these
large prokaryote cells engulfed some of these small bacteria—but instead of those small
bacteria getting digested, some of them remained intact within the large prokaryote and actually
began to live as symbionts. That means, they lived together! For some of these cases, the larger prokaryote
had engulfed the small bacteria that used oxygen to produce energy. This is believed to be the ancestor heterotroph
eukaryote cell. Eventually SOME of these cells then engulfed
the small bacteria that could do photosynthesis in addition and there was more living as symbionts. This is believed to be the ancestor autotrophic
eukaryote. Now it’s time to do a little reveal. We consider the bacteria that used oxygen
to produce their own energy to have evolved into what is now mitochondria. And the bacteria that use sunlight energy
to produce their own food? We consider those to have evolved into what
are now chloroplasts. It is likely that these ancient eukaryotes
had an advantage in their endosymbiosis. It is also likely that the mitochondria developed
first before chloroplasts, because if you remember from our intro to cells video, all
eukaryote cells have mitochondria. It’s just that eukaryote cells that can
do photosynthesis can have both mitochondria and chloroplasts. Now if you remember our beginning about theories,
you may be wondering, where are the facts for this? We’ll give you a few of the facts. First, mitochondria and chloroplasts have
their OWN DNA! Yes! Separate DNA from what is found in the nucleus. Not to mention that their DNA is arranged
in a similar way to prokaryote DNA—specifically, bacterial DNA. The size of mitochondria and chloroplasts
tends to be similar to the size of bacteria and when mitochondria and chloroplasts divide—which
they can divide all on their own, independently—they divide in a way that is similar to how bacteria
divide. So the endosymbiotic theory provides an explanation
for how modern eukaryotes evolved from prokaryotes. There’s obviously more questions you may
want to explore—for example, what about some of the other structures and organelles
in eukaryotes? Keep exploring—secondary endosymbiosis is
a great place to start. One last thing we want to make sure to emphasize. Endosymbiosis isn’t just reserved for a
theory that explains a past event in ancient history. Endosymbiosis is actually happening today
with many other kinds of organisms. One of our favorite examples? The termite! Termites can have prokaryotes that live in
their gut and help them digest wood. And without them? Let’s just say digesting wood won’t happen
so well… Well that’s it for the Amoeba Sisters and
we remind you to stay curious!