When Executioner Wasps Attack

When Executioner Wasps Attack


From their feeding habits to their tissue-damaging
venom, here are 8 stinging facts about the executioner wasp Number 8 It’s native to South and Central
America The executioner wasp is a large, yellow, and
brown insect that can be found in countries ranging from Mexico to northern Argentina. These insects belong to the order hymenoptera,
which also includes other species of wasps, bees, ants and sawflies. They tend to prefer coastal and humid locations
and are prevalent in tropical forests. This species doesn’t seem to be particularly
territorial, as their hives have often been found near other nests housing Polybia and
Mischocyttarus wasps. Since they prefer tropical weather, the females
hibernate during the winter. They become plumper and fuller during autumn,
in order to withstand this period of stillness. The executioner wasp feeds mainly on caterpillars
and nectar, but will prey on other small insects as well. Today’s video was requested by goated2kplayer9990. If you have any other topics you’d like to
learn about subscribe and let us know in the comments section below. Number 7 It can sting more than once Unlike bees, the executioner wasp and all
other similar species, have no fixed limit of times they might sting their prey and perceived
enemies. Bees must carefully choose when to use their
prime defense mechanism as they end up losing both their stingers and a great portion of
their digestive tract. This leads to the bee perishing soon after
the attack. The wasp, however, merely runs out of venom,
and must simply wait for it to be replenished. They’re capable of portioning the venom
they release in each sting, and their poison gland is in charge of renewing it. There’s nothing that prevents them from
continuing to sting once the venom is drained, though. This makes them far more likely to attack
on demand, and makes them especially dangerous, as they can continue to assault their victims
until they no longer feel threatened or annoyed. The executioner wasp is not a particularly
territorial insect, but it won’t hesitate to attack when it believes its hive’s integrity
is in danger. Before we continue with our list, answer this
question. How many queens are usually found in an executioner
wasp’s nest? Is it: a. More than 10
b. Five
c. One
d. None Let us know what you think in the comments
section below and stay tuned to find out the right answer. Number 6 Their nests are often small and underpopulated Though most wasp nests usually house up to
6000 individuals during the peak of summer, executioner wasps prefer to keep their groups
small and tight-knit. These hives tend to be around 3.5 inches in
diameter and accept groups of 4 to 13 individuals. This particular type of wasp is sociable by
nature, and their nests usually include several horizontal cells where their offspring are
kept apart from the rest of the group. The young are also protected from possible
predators and dangers. In urban areas the executioner wasp’s hive
hangs from the edges of roofs in cities and towns, where they can find protection from
the wind and the rain, while also remaining hidden. In the wild, they’ll choose low branches
of spiky trees instead, with a preference for areas close to swamps. Their hives may be small but executioners
are actually the largest among the neotropical wasp species. Even though it owns an incredibly painful
sting, this insect is surprisingly nonaggressive. That is, of course, unless it’s provoked. Number 5 Only female wasps have stingers There are many differences between male and
female wasps. Not only are the males of the species usually
smaller and thinner, but they actually have no stinger at all! If you’re stung by an executioner wasp,
there’s no doubt that a female was the culprit. These significant differences occur because
the female’s anatomy has evolved in accordance to the extra weight and space required to
carry the eggs, making their abdomen larger and more prominent. The reason they carry a stinger while males
don’t, is related to their reproductive system. The ovipositor allows them to deposit the
eggs to be fertilized and in turn, grants them their greatest defense mechanism. Even though a male wasp can’t actually sting
you, sometimes they’ll mimic this act while defending themselves purely out of instinct. Number 4 It has spiky mandibles The executioner wasp has short yet wide jaws
outside their actual mouths, which they rely on for practical use during their daily chores. Working as tongs, these mandibles allow the
wasp to cut pieces of vegetation, grab small objects or even dig sections of their hives
while constructing them. It also works as a terrifying way of seizing
a tiny insect and killing it, usually by decapitation, in order to get a quick meal. In addition to these appendixes, the executioner
wasp also owns large teeth, with the third one usually being considerably larger than
those of other species, making it a terrifying predator for bugs living near their nests. They are notorious for their long lifespans,
managing to survive for 6 to 18 months, which is far more than other wasp species. Number 3 The pain of being stung by one can
last over 24 hours! In 2015, a YouTube personality known as Coyote
Peterson decided to conduct an experiment to test the physical effects that being stung
by different venomous insects had on the human body. He uploaded several videos to his channel,
comparing different stings and the pain they produced. During the fall of 2018, Peterson decided
to get stung by the Executioner wasp, which he claimed would be the last video he uploaded
from this series. Apparently, not only was the sting incredibly
painful, but the discomfort didn’t subside for almost 36 hours! Not only that but he claimed that the residual
effects, though far milder, lasted for another whole week. The YouTuber stated that this particular sting
had been far more severe than the Japanese giant hornet’s and the bullet ant’s attacks,
which are described as two of the most painful stings in the world. He thus dubbed the executioner as the “king
of the sting”. Number 2 Its sting doesn’t appear in the
Schmidt sting pain index Justin Schmidt was an entomologist born in
the late 1940s, who won a Nobel Prize for physiology back in 2015. He created a sting pain index, in which the
distress caused by hymenopteran attacks was analyzed and classified into four distinct
classes. Schmidt claims to have been stung by the majority
of Hymenoptera insects. Pain level one is the mildest and includes
insects like the southern fire ant and most normal beetles. Level four, on the other side of the index,
is reserved for the most critical levels of pain, only for the worst possible stings. The bullet ant and warrior wasp can be found
at this level. In fact, the bullet ant was the only insect
to be given a rating of 4+. At the time Schmidt created his classification,
the executioner wasp hadn’t been discovered yet, and thus it doesn’t have a real position
in the index. Peterson, who we’ve previously mentioned
on this list, claims it was, without a doubt, the worst sting he’d experienced during
his experiments. So, how many queens can usually be found in
an executioner wasp’s nest? The right
answer was c, just one queen per hive! The worker wasps will not tolerate more than
a single monarch, and if several queen wasps are born in a certain colony, the original
one will murder the would-be-usurpers. This is meant to avoid creating confusion
within the hive. Number 1 Its venom can cause tissue necrosis Not only can the executioner’s sting be
excruciatingly painful for those suffering from their attack, but it can also leave behind
permanent scars. Since it’s a relatively small insect, the
effect its venom has on an adult human being won’t be long-lasting, but the marks it
leaves behind may very well be. Not only will it cause inflammation in the
affected area, which can last up to a few days, but it can also tear the tissue surrounding
it, creating small indentations or holes in the skin. This can produce a permanent scar in an adult. If it can inflict this level of damage on
mammalian skin just imagine the harm its venom would cause a small insect! Thanks for watching! Would you rather try to outrun a group of
bees and risk getting caught by all of them, or allow a single executioner wasp to sting
youw on the nose? Let us know in the comments section below!

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.

The Strike of the Monster Ant

The Strike of the Monster Ant


In the known history of life, evolution
has repeatedly taken the jaws of an ant and produced weapons of extreme speed
and devastating power. These trap-jaw ant’s stalk the
undergrowth with their spring-loaded mandibles open and ready to snap on
unsuspecting prey. What’s remarkable is that spring-loaded
trap-jaws have evolved at least five times in ants. But with each independent
evolution the ants use a different anatomical structure to act as a latch,
spring, and trigger. For example ants in the genus Odontomachus lock their
mandibles open while loading an internal spring. Then they use a fast-acting
trigger muscle to unlock their mandibles and release the stored energy. Their jaws
shut in as little as a tenth of a millisecond and reach speeds up to 150
miles per hour. Ants the genus Myrmoteras are rare trap-jaw ants from
Southeast Asia. They’ve evolved their trap jaws independently of other ants,
but very little is known about their biology. The aim of my research was to
generate the first mechanical description of Myrmoteras trap-jaws. To
measure their speed I use a high-speed camera filming at 50,000 frames per
second. I found that their strikes occur in about half a millisecond, which is 700
times faster than the blink of an eye. But relative to Odontomachus strikes Myrmoteras mandibles are only half as fast at about 60 miles per hour.
While filming, I noticed the lobe on the back of their head compressing during
the loading phase prior to a strike. This structure, likely, is acting as a
spring storing elastic energy used to power their fast mandibles.
Next, I made micro CT scans of the ants heads to study their internal anatomy.
The large muscle is composed of slow contracting fibers and is responsible
for loading the spring inside and on the back of the head.
The smaller muscle is composed of fast contracting muscle fibers that can
release the strike. The anatomical structures Myrmoteras use to lock,
load, and release their jaws are completely different from those used by
other trap-jaw ants. Trap-jaw ants like these have redefined what we knew about how
fast animals to be. Evolution has invented spring-loaded
jaws in ants multiple times. And by studying the mechanisms behind these
movements we can better understand the relationship between structure and
function, and how nature has come up with multiple solutions to the same problem

Wood Ants | The Original Slavers, Chemists, Farmers & Architects

Wood Ants | The Original Slavers, Chemists, Farmers & Architects


Hi, my name’s Jordan Dean, and in this episode,
we’re up in North America, taking a brief look into the lives of the extremely abundant…formidable…and surprisingly ingenious… Wood Ants. Wood Ants cover the genus “Formica”. Natively found, almost exclusively, within
the northern hemisphere. With the richness of species fading out towards
the pole and the equator. These ants go by quite a few common names,
the most widely used of which, is the Wood Ant. Which is derived from where they’re usually
found, in and amongst wooded areas. Although, many species of Formica, do quite
well in more open areas too. Like in grasslands… and even arid areas. So you might hear them also referred to, as
“Field Ants”. And yet another name they go by is the “Mound
Ant”, or “Thatching” ant. As many species form a large hill as part
of their nest structure. These hills are comprised of a mix of organic
materials, such as soil, twigs, leaves and pebbles. The ants meticulously search the surrounding
area, gathering up anything they deem suitable. And one piece at a time, they carefully thatch
them into their ever-growing piles. For the forest dwelling species, there’s
virtually no shortage of adequate nesting material lying around in the undergrowth. So here, nests can reach massive proportions,
known get up to 2 meters in height! So what’s the purpose of these monumental
structures? Well, all that organic material works to capture
in thermal energy. Absorbing up heat much more quickly, when
compared to, the more the typical, underground nests, in both direct sunlight and in the
shade. And with the insulative properties of the
materials, combined with some clever architecture, the ants are able to then retain and manage
that heat over time. Essentially building themselves an incubator. So how do they do it exactly? Well, if you look closely, you’ll see all
these little holes scattered across their mounds. These holes lead back, through tunnels and
passages, into the heart of the mounds, acting not only as access points for the ants, but
more importantly, as ventilation shafts. Each one is carefully positioned, so as to
control the flow of humidity and gasses within. Which in turn, controls the internal temperature
of their nests. The ants are constantly at work, shifting
their substrate around, so as to maintain their ideal conditions. Which, once achieved, will drastically increase
the ants’ productivity and speed up the development of their brood. The construction of these mounds are especially
useful in cooler regions, like up in the mountains, where every little bit of extra heat is crucial
for the ants’ survival. The most successful colonies will often place
themselves southern facing, so as to take full advantage of the sun’s heat. And they’ll raise and broaden their nests
as much as they possibly can. Often building upon logs and tree stumps to
give themselves a head start, and to act as a good foundation for their structures. Anything that threatens to block the ants’
precious light cannot be tolerated. So, the ants will actively chew apart the
surrounding vegetation. Slicing through their leaves and stems with
the use of their powerful mandibles. And just to make sure they don’t grow back,
the ants will continually inject the plants with small doses of formic acid, expelled from venom
glands in their abdomens. Wood ants use their formic acid for more immediate
threats too. If their nest is damaged by an intruder, within
seconds, hundreds of ants will swarm out in defence. Biting at them, creating wounds, and proceeding
to fill those wounds up with a spray of their noxious acid. The Ants also use their chemical weaponry
on the offensive too. Folding their abdomens under their bodies,
they proceed to shoot out a stream. Wood ants are mostly scavengers, but have
no problems predating small invertebrates. Overwhelming them with their immense numbers
and aggressive nature. Rivals ants are also dealt with accordingly. This smaller ant here is quickly secured and
sprayed with formic acid… Until it’s no more. Despite Wood Ants’ offensive capabilities,
they’re generally more interested in sweet foods. With a large portion of their energy being
derived from a symbiotic relationship with sap sucking invertebrates, like scaly bugs
and aphids. The base of this flowering plant is home to
a heard of these little bugs. And the wood ants, are their keepers. They sit amongst them, waiting patiently for
them to excrete a rich honeydew, in which, they then consume. Without the presence of the ants, these often
defenseless little bugs, become extremely vulnerable to predators, like this ladybug
here. Ladybugs love nothing more than snacking on
these little guys. But when the ants are around, they become
far from convenient prey. If they get too close, the ants swarm over the would be predators. Defending the heard with their lives. And, as a result, sometimes the ants return
home with more than just a stomach full of honeydew. This particular nest is littered with the
dead of all those ladybugs who ventured, just a little too close to the unwelcoming farmers. Wood Ants don’t always rely on honeydew
for a quick sugar fix, however. Sometimes they’ll feed directly from the
plants themselves. Lapping up the sweet nectar found within many
flowering plants. Unlike their relationship with the sap sucking
bugs, however, in most cases, only the ants stand to benefit from this exchange. The sweet nectar in which these flowers produce,
is intended to attract pollinating insects. Ants, unlike winged insects, like bees, and
butterflies, don’t make for great pollinators. Only carrying the flower’s sticky pollen
over relatively short distances, before falling or being stripped off by the ants, thanks
to their excessive grooming habits. Ants in general, are incredibly hygienic little
animals. And they need to be. Because they nest within environments which
are often warm and humid, and are constantly within close proximity of countless colony
members, it makes their nests an ideal breeding ground for disease. If one ant were to be infested by a harmful
bacteria or fungi, it could quickly spread and spell doom for the entire colony. So, it’s vitally important that the ants,
not only carefully dispose of waste and keep their nest area clean, but keep themselves
clean too. So ants will obsessively groom themselves. They do so by running their forelegs all over
their bodies. These front two legs contain a row of minute,
comb like hairs, making them perfect for scaping off any contaminants, and thus reducing the chances
of epidemics. And for further protection, many ants make
use of their formic acid, spreading tiny amounts over them and their developing brood. Uniquely, Wood Ants, have taken some extra
precautions in cleanliness. Their solution is rather ingenious. What they do, is scale up conifer trees, and
gather fragments of their dried-up sap, known as resin. This resin naturally contains antimicrobial
compounds, which greatly inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi within wounded
trees. So, the Wood Ants carry these fragments back
to their nests and disperse them throughout. And the resin, continues on serving the same
purpose as it once did for the tree, fighting off bacteria and fungi, but instead, it’s
now, working for the ants. Every time an ant walks over the resin, it’s
essentially disinfecting itself. This practice of resin collecting, is unique
among wood ants, and what’s more, is the ants can even enhance the resin’s beneficial
properties. They do so, by treating it with their formic
acid. Studies show that when deadly outbreaks do
occur, colonies which have formic acid treated resin present within their nests, have a much
higher chance of both surviving and recovering from the ordeal. Colonies have been known to collect dozens
of kilos of this sticky stuff, and it’s easy to see why. It really is a perfectly evolved safeguard
for the ants. Improving their colonies’ longevity, and
subsequently their odds in producing reproductives, like this young queen ant here. It’s summer time here in North America,
at that means, it’s time for the Wood Ants to undergo their nuptial flights. This is where all the reproductive ants, known
as alates, fly away from their nests and mate with foreign alates. The males, referred to as drones, have a very
slender to look, resembling more of a wasp than an ant. Their sole purpose in life is simply to mate
with the winged females. After they’ve completed their task, they
die, a short life, but productive life. The female alates, on the other hand, now
becoming known as de-alates or simply, queens, have a long and strenuous road ahead of them. Their goal, is to find a suitable nesting
site, in which they can safely lay and tend to their eggs. At this point, they shed their wings, as they’ll
simply become a liability for when they begin the digging of their underground chambers. Once they’ve settled in to their new homes,
they’ll lay their eggs and simply sit there, in solitude. Waiting for them to develop into workers so
they can form a new colony. But not all Wood Ant queens have such humble
beginnings. Some species are known as social parasites. After their nuptial flights, instead of searching
for a secluded spot and slowly founding a colony from scratch, what these queens do,
is seek out a small colony of another specific Wood Ants species. Once they find the right nest, they infiltrate,
seeking out their queen, and pacifying the workers with alluring pheromones as they go. Once the queen is found, the parasitic queen
slaughters her amongst the confusion. Tearing the unwary queen apart with its powerful
mandibles. Then, she excretes a chemical signature almost
identical to that of the deceased queen. Fooling the workers into believing that she
is, and always has been, their queen. And so, the workers just blissfully continue
on about their business, foraging, tending to the brood, and now ignorantly caring for
a foreign queen. Once the new queen’s offspring begins emerging,
the colony becomes a blend of two different species, working together as one. The parasites… and the slaves. Eventually, as the slaves die off from old
age, leaving only the parasitic queen’s offspring behind. Often, however, when the parasitic workers
have become abundant, they’ll begin raiding other colonies for more slaves. Forcing their way into their nests and capturing
their brood, so as to build up the working force of their colony. So Wood Ants, they really are a sophisticated
bunch. From their intuitive skills in architecture,
constructing nests of remarkable scale and function. To their cunning as farmers, vigilantly tending
to their flocks. To their insightful resourcefulness as chemists,
using their formic acid to, fight off threats, subdue prey, clean their young, and even to
produce antibiotic concoctions, and finally, to their darker side of parasitism, forcefully
infiltrating nests, and deceitfully controlling foreign colonies, as well as raiding them
for slaves. Truly fascinating! So what do you guys think of Wood Ants? Pretty incredible, right? Of all the ants I’ve been out filming, these
guys seemed to give me the most trouble. Getting close-up shots of their nests was
far from easy. They weren’t hesitant about biting anything
that came near. Getting at my camera gear, and occasionally
me too. Their bites, in combination with their formic
acid, is definitely worth avoiding. So, don’t be like me, if you come across
these guys, give them some good distance. Speaking of keeping your distance, I wasn’t
just looking for ants on my trip. North America is home to some pretty incredible
wildlife, and I was fortunate enough to encounter a great deal. Mountain
goats… Big-horned sheep… Elk… Several black bears… And even a grizzly bear! Which I was surprised to learn, love eating
Wood Ants. They’ll sit by their nests and take a swipe
at them, intentionally aggravating the ants. So as they swarm to the surface, the bears
would lick them all up. Once they’d go through the first wave of
ants, they’d swipe the nest again and eat up the second wave of defenders, and so on. Potentially sitting there hours at a time,
swiping and eating. All these animal sightings, in combination
with the stunning landscapes, made my visit a truly magical experience. And it was all made possible by you guys. By watching my videos, subscribing, liking
and all that, you’ve provided me with the funding to get up there in the first place. For that, I’m incredibly grateful. So thank you guys all so much! Well, now I’m back home in Australia, expect
to see more ant DIY tutorials, colony updates, and some more documentaries like this one. Next one’s going to be on, what I now see,
as the Wood Ants of Australia. They’re known as Meat Ants. Also, wanted to thank you guys for the overwhelming
support on our new shop! The next goal for us is to release some, highly
requested, outworlds. And with the recent addition of a laser cutting
machine to our workshop, we’re excited to announce, we’ll soon be adding in a new
range of acrylic nests as well. So lots to come. Stay tuned. As always, thanks for watching this video
and I hope you enjoyed.

9 Extreme Bug Mating Rituals

9 Extreme Bug Mating Rituals


Romance, dance dates, fancy gifts, and chastity
belts… Murderous femme fatales, jealous dudes, extortion,
and mind-control… Game of Thrones may be back on the air, but
there’s another world filled with even more violence, treachery, and plot-twists than
your average Lannister party… The sex lives of insects and spiders. It’s kind of a free-for-all. [INTRO] [1. Praying Mantis ] Perhaps no other insect is more associated
with their bad mating behavior than the female praying mantis, who’s known for her tendency
to decapitate and then devour male suitors. And okay, yeah, the rumors are based in truth.
Kind of. A lot of mantis ladies do this. But mantis sexual cannibalism is actually
less common than you might think — it happens in about 25 percent of matings in the wild.
And it isn’t typically required for successful fertilization. That said, eating your mate comes with a couple
of nice perks. For one, it’s a free meal. Female mantises are bigger than their partners,
and if they’re really hungry, a uh, preoccupied male is an easy target. Generally, a starving
or malnourished female is much more likely to chow down on her date than a well-fed one. Beheading their partner in mid-copulation
may also offer females an advantage that’s a little more macabre. You’d think severing a brain mid-hump would
end the mating, but it turns out that disconnecting the male’s brain and his body actually sparks
more spasms — and more sperm. And though I’m sure any male would prefer
to keep his life and wander off to mate another day, those who do wind up as dinner may keep
females better fed, increasing their chances of passing along their genes. [2. Honey Bee] Scientists still aren’t sure whether some
male mantises deliberately offer themselves up as a snack, but they’re not the only
insects who engage in sexual suicide… In the caste system of a honey bee hive, every
bee knows its role, and male drones aren’t much more than sperm donors. They don’t gather pollen, or help maintain
larvae or the hive’s architecture. They don’t fight off intruders. Really, their only job is to find queens from
other hives, mate with them in mid-flight, and go out in a blaze of glory. See, when a successful drone uncouples from
his queen, his penis and some abdominal tissues are ripped out of him, and, well, he dies. His passion literally rips his guts out. Take
that, poets! Ms. Queen Bee, on the other hand, can potentially
mate with dozens of drones over several mating flights, tucking their sperm away for future
use over the next few years of egg-laying within the safety of her hive. But don’t think unsuccessful drones have
it any better — because come autumn, those freeloaders get kicked out of the hive by
their sisters, and are left to freeze to death. Then there are the more — can we call them
romantic? — bugs. The ones who sing and dance and put on shows, or woo their loves with
special gifts. [3. Fireflies] When it comes to impressive visual displays,
it’s hard to compete with a firefly’s flashy light show. These flying beetles have special light organs
in their abdomens that contain a compound called luciferin, which reacts with incoming
oxygen to create that classic firefly glow. The animals regulate this inflow of oxygen
to create blinking patterns, and each species uses its own individual flash code to attract
mates, almost like a visual morse code. A hopeful male flies around in the dark, blinking
his little heart out, and if his lightshow is good enough to catch a choosy female’s
eye, she’ll start signalling back at him. A flashy display is important, but a hopeful
male also has to bring gifts if he hopes to retain his lady friend’s interest. Researchers from Tufts University recently
found that female Photinus fireflies ultimately selected their mates based on the size of
their so-called nuptial gifts, not their light display. And by “gift,” I mean “packet of sperm.” During copulation, a male passes along a pile
of sperm wrapped up in a nutritious, coil-shaped protein packet called a spermatophore that
increases female fertility by providing her developing oocytes with extra energy. The larger the gift, the more likely she’ll
accept her suitor and make him a father. Researchers haven’t yet figured out how
the female can tell which males can offer them a bigger packet. But to a female firefly, size does matter. [4. Dung Beetle] Other animals woo with simpler gifts, and
nothing wins the fair heart of a lady dung beetle like a nice round ball of poo. Poop is everything to a dung beetle. They
collect it, eat it, and even raise their children in it. There’s a reason why we call them dung beetles. After bumping into each other at, say, a fresh
elephant or cow patty, some dung beetles form a pair bond, rolling their own giant dung
ball off into the sunset together. Once they find a nice soft piece of land,
they’ll bury their precious poo-ball, and start mating, sometimes in tunnels through
the dung itself. The female lays her eggs in smaller brood
balls, which will be a nice snack for her grubs once they hatch. In many species, one or both parents stick
around and continue to care for their offspring as they mature — a rare behavior in the insect
world. Real salt-of-the-Earth, those dung beetles. But not everyone is impressed with poop. Some
ladies prefer more conventional displays, like sweet dance moves. [5. Peacock Spider] At just a few millimeters long, furry Australian
peacock spiders are tiny. But they’ve still got style — I’m talking the wardrobe of
Elton John and the dance skills of Channing Tatum. To attract female attention, a male starts
out by vibrating his abdomen and waving one pair of legs around like he’s directing
traffic. Once he’s got an audience, he pulls out
the big guns, extending his colorful, iridescent abdominal flaps and excitedly flipping them
up behind his head like a peacock’s tail. Then he shimmies around, giddily shaking his
legs in the air, bouncing from side to side, drumming the ground and shaking what his mama
gave him. It’s all very adorable. If the object of his affection is suitably
impressed, she’ll allow him to mate with her. If she isn’t… he’d better pack
up and get out of dodge quick, or he’ll end up as her dinner. [6. Mayfly] For some insect species, like the mayfly,
there is no life at all after mating. After spending a couple of years in freshwater
in their aquatic nymph stage, mayflies finally complete their lifecycle when they hatch into
delicate winged adults. Often entire local populations hatch at the
same time, in a winged frenzy of sometimes millions of insects. One Mississippi River population hatches in
hordes of around 18 trillion animals! This synchronicity lowers the chance of any
one mayfly getting eaten, while the general orgy environment increases their chances of
getting laid… which is literally their sole mission in life. Seriously, they can’t even eat. They don’t
have functional mouthparts or a working digestive system. And once they hatch, the party doesn’t last
long. Most species don’t live as adults for more
than 24 hours, and one species only lasts five minutes — a record in the insect world. No wonder the mayfly is classified under the
order Ephemeroptera [eff-em-er-OP-ti-ruh], from the word ephemeral, or fleeting. Mayflies mate in mid-air, above the water,
and the female then lays her eggs on the water’s surface before collapsing. The dying females provide a smorgasbord for
local fish, the males go off to die on land, and their fertilized eggs sink to the bottom
of the water where they’ll eventually hatch into nymphs, destined to spend only a single,
glorious day in the air. While short-lived insects like mayflies need
to mate fast, other species like to take their sweet time. [7. Soapberry Bug ] Meet the long and colorful soapberry bug. In certain climates, female soapberry bugs
face higher mortality rates than males, which leads to a skewed sex ratio and a whole lot
of dudes competing for relatively few females. Not only that, but like many insect species,
females often mate with a number of males, and it’s usually the sperm of the last male
in the lineup that actually fertilizes her eggs. This means that male soapberry bugs have to
fight to /find/ females — and then fight again to be the last guy on her dance card. One way they do this is by prolonging copulation,
even after insemination is long over. Males can hang on for hours, days, or even
more than a week, withdrawing only long enough for the female to lay eggs. This type of mating guarding can get so intense
that some males will keep clutching their mates even after the females have died. Luckily, matings tend to be a lot quicker
when populations are more balanced since competition isn’t as high. [8. Fruit fly ] On the other hand, if you’re a male Drosophila
melanogaster [meh-luh-no-GAS-ter] fruitfly, it may pay to be the first in line, not the
last. Why? Because their seminal fluid contains
special mind-controlling proteins that affect the female’s behavior. Some of these proteins spark cause egg production,
while others seem to have an almost hypnotic effect, making her less interested in sex
with other males. Presumably both of those things give her mate
a reproductive edge over his competitors. One study out of University of Washington
suggests that the more seminal fluid a female takes in, the greater the influence her mate
has on her reproductive behavior. That seems maybe a little messed up, but when
it comes to skeezy mating tactics, one bug really takes the lowdown prize. [9. Waterstrider] Perhaps you’ve see a long-legged waterstrider,
gliding over the surface of a pond with all the grace of an Olympic skater. Don’t be fooled — when it comes to mating,
the tactics these guys use are harsh. When a male is in the mood to mate, he just
jumps on the nearest female without bothering to court her first. If she’s not into it, she can actually block
her vagina with a hard genital shield — sort of like a chastity belt — and hope he moves
on. If he doesn’t move on, though, she might
be in trouble. He’ll start using his legs to tap out a
specific rhythm on the water, attracting underwater predators like fish and backswimmer bugs. Because those predators attack from below,
a pinned female waterstrider knows she’s the one most likely to get snatched and eaten. So she’ll lower her shield and give in to
stop her mate from tapping. Stay classy, waterstriders. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow,
which was brought to you by our patrons on Patreon. If you want to help support this
show, just go to patreon.com/scishow. And don’t forget to go to youtube.com/scishow
and subscribe!

Meat Ants | The Kickboxing Ants From Down Under

Meat Ants | The Kickboxing Ants From Down Under


Hi guys, my name’s Jordan, and in this video,
it’s another entry in my “Ant Documentary” series. Where I go out with my camera exploring nature,
and documenting the lives of various ant species. Showcasing their unique… Fascinating… and some times, rather quirky characteristics. In this episode, I’m covering another iconic
Australian species. They are, the highly fearsome and dominant,
‘Meat Ants’ Meat Ants, known scientifically as “Iridomyrmex
purpureus”, are endemic to mainland Australia. Mostly found in lightly wooded areas, and
open grasslands, from the coast, to the dry heart of the outback. They’re easily one of Australia’s most
well known ant species, notorious for their extreme aggression and territorial nature,
and their ability to form massive colonies. A single nest can be home to hundreds of thousands. Their common name of “Meat Ant’ comes
about from their highly opportunistic foraging habits. They’ll actively consume almost anything they
find. Including the flesh from dead vertebrates. Their sharp mandibles and strong muscular
heads, allow them to deliver powerful bites, easily shredding through tough flesh, where
other ants may struggle. Like most ants, Meat Ants are omnivores. Meaning they eat both plants and other animals. However, despite their name, and fierce reputation,
these ants primarily consume plant matter. Most of which is collected up above ground
within the surrounding trees and shrubs. Up here, they’ll actively consume nectar
from the plants’ flowers, and also from specialised glands along their stems and leaves,
known as ‘extrafloral nectaries’. These tiny glands slowly excrete a sugary rich
nectar which the Meat Ants find irresistible. They fiercely defend these sites from competitors,
and will hunt down any nearby pests, like this massive caterpillar here, whom given the opportunity, would happily gorge itself on the plants’ fresh leaves. The ants harass the intruder
from all sides… As a last ditch effort, the caterpillar squirts
out a noctous liquid seeking to distract the determined ants and slow their advance. It makes for a swift retreat. A lucky escape. Occasionally, the ants’ presence can deter
much larger animals too. A mouthful of leaves covered in a horde of
angry biting meat ants isn’t very appealing to these Kangaroos here. They’ll likely just search for a meal elsewhere. So the ants and the plants have a symbiotic
relationship. The plants provide regular sustenance for
the ants, and the ants inadvertently act as bodyguards for the plants. But the ants’ presence isn’t always a welcome
sight. As they also share a similar relationship
with some undesirable parasites. Like these leafhoppers here. Leafhoppers love to hang out on the plants’
fresh leaf shoots and stems, extracting and consuming the sugary rich sap within. Periodically, these sap-suckers release excess
waste from their rear ends, known as honeydew. And Meat ants absolutely love this hyperconcentrated
sugar, and will often climb to great heights, amongst the very tops of trees, to find it. Once found, they eagerly lap up the honeydew
and aggressively defend its owner from birds and other bugs which seek to eat them. This protection from the ants, results in
large congregations of these sap-suckers, slowly degrading the plant as its robbed of
vital nutrients. If left unchallenged, surrounding leaves begin
to mottle and wilt, and future growth, deformed and stunted. So the plants have to carefully balance how
much nectar they excrete so as to cater for the ants’ needs. Excrete too much, and they’re throwing away
vital nutrients they need to grow and thrive; excrete too little, and their ant guardians
may turn to the parasites for their sugary fix instead. Sugary carbohydrate rich foods, like nectar
and honeydew, are what fuels the ants’ metabolisms, giving them vital energy to perform their
numerous tasks throughout the day. One of the most important of which, nourishing
their hungry young. Back within the ants’ nests, these little
white pill shaped things reside. These are ant larvae, and their dietary requirements
differ somewhat from the adult ants. They require more protein-rich meals to help them
grow. For Meat Ants, this source of protein usually
come in the form of seeds and insects. Seeds are usually collected from the ground,
fallen from the trees above. Meat ants tend to favour seeds which have
these little stringy caps attached to them. This part of the seed is known as the elaiosome
and is extremely desirable to the ants. They much resemble animal flesh in texture,
with some species even mimicking its scent too. And much like animal flesh, elaiosomes are
packed full of fat and amino acids. Just what the larvae need to thrive. Despite the powerful jaws of the Meat ants,
it’s almost impossible for them to separate this fleshy substance from the seed itself. And so, the entire seed must be meticulously
carried home. As Meat ants often travel long distances from
their nests in search of food, this means they make for excellent seed dispersers. And given they aren’t overly interested
in consuming the seeds themselves, once the larvae have consumed the elaiosomes, the seeds
will usually remain intact within the safe, humid and nutrient rich confines of the ants’
nest. So it’s a win win. The ants get a little meal, and in return,
provide the seed with a perfect environment to germinate and spring to life. But of course, Meat ants don’t just run on
seeds, and do very much live up to their name. From mealworms… To lizards… But rarely do Meat ants tackle live healthy prey,
instead, they prefer to take on the injured and displaced. Using their great numbers to overwhelm and
exhaust them into submission. But sometimes meat ants will risk it all for
a meal. Yellowjackets can make for a challenging foe. Even a crippled one can be deadly. Their huge heads are loaded with powerful
muscle, easily capable of tearing a Meat ant in two. But the Meat ants are fearless, despite many
casualties, they carry on until the bitter end. Finally the battle is over, and the ants can
reap their reward. As you can imagine, Meat ants are very possessive
of food. Anything which tries to interfere are met
with extreme aggression, and usually are intimidated into a quick retreat. Smaller ants, like these closely related rainbow
ants here, can occasionally get the better of them. Taking advantage of any lost or
injured workers. But very few dare take them on under their terms. Sugar ants, are among these few. Just like meat ants, they’re fiercely competitive and are often found nesting within close proximity of them. The two manage to coexist however, due to
an important behavioral difference, they operate during different hours. Meat ants are diurnal, meaning they do most
of their foraging during daylight. Whereas, sugar ants are primarily nocturnal,
foraging under the cover of night, where they’ll use the Meat ants’ own trails to forage… tend to the very same family of leafhoppers… and also attempt to block up their nest entrances with surrounding rocks and twigs in order to hinder their daily activity. Usually the only time the two cross paths
is briefly during dusk and dawn. Inevitably, clashes ensue. These sugar ants here have managed to find
themselves an impressively large wolf spider. Slowly they attempt to carry the carcass back
to their nest. But, a nearby Meat ant colony has a different
idea. Quickly it turns into a game of tug of war. Although, the meat ants are much smaller in
stature, in this case, they make up for it in numbers and sheer determination. Outnumbered, and out muscled, eventually the
sugar ants concede their prize. Occasionally the two rivals, will also infiltrate
each others nests, with the goal of stealing their brood in order to nourish their own. These raids are usually quite short lived,
quickly abandoned once defensive reinforcements arrive. but if met with little resistance, it may only end once one has entirely wiped out the other. Raiding all their brood and killing their
queen. Like most ants, Meat Ants are highly competitive
with other colonies of their same species. But unlike most ants, they’ve evolved a
surprisingly civil way of resolving territorial disputes. When workers from two neighboring Meat Ant
colonies cross paths, they measure up their counterparts, cautiously examining one another
with their antennae, determining whether they are friend or foe. If discovered they are indeed from separate
colonies, they posture up their bodies, extending their legs and raising the tips of their abdomens. A rather odd looking pose known as ‘Stilting’. If the conflict hasn’t resolved at this
point, using their forelegs, the ants begin to kickbox. It’s a test of strength and agility. The battle is quick, lasting only a few seconds. The winner of the bout will retain their stilled
pose, tip-toeing around to proclaim their victory. Whilst the loser lowers their posture, leans
their body away from the victor, and backs off. These bouts usually take place in small groups
along the ants’ foraging trails. Clearly defining where the territorial borders
of two colonies meet. The fighting can last hours as each colony
attempts to push the opposing colony further and further back, to both limit their neighbor’s
range and expand their own. This elaborate act of ritualised fighting
ensures that confrontation over territory rarely results in the death or maiming of
any ants. Encouraging the longevity of both colonies,
and thus, promoting the survival of their species. The combination of meat ants vast numbers,
and constant movement through the undergrowth, often results in a noticeable change in their
surrounding landscape. Over time, incredibly long, conspicuous trails
are formed, branching off to valuable points of interest, like a mature flowering tree
rich in nectar. Some trails can become so distinctive that
you might mistake one to be made by a much larger animal like a rabbit, or even a man
made hiking trail. Just like any trail, they must be regularly
maintained. Any debris and vegetation along the ants’
path are methodically cleared away by passers by. Ensuring a super efficient, easily commutable
highway. Follow these highways back far enough and
you’ll reach the ants’ nest, where the queens and growing young reside. As you can see these nests can be huge, reaching
several meters across. Dozens of entrances scatter their surface,
each linking up to a network of elaborate tunnels and chambers, reaching as deep as
3 meters into the ground. Their mounds are usually quite flat, but what
makes them stand out is the complete lack of vegetation, and the vast layer of gravel
which often veils them. All of which has been methodically gathered
up from the surrounding undergrowth. One granule at a time. Once the gravel mixes in and compacts with
the loose soil beneath, it greatly strengthening their nest structure. Lessening the effects of erosion caused by
harsh sunlight and heavy rainfall. Especially important for meat ants, given
their fondness for nesting in open areas devoid of shade and protection from surrounding trees. The reason Meat Ants choose to nest in such
exposed areas is a simple one. They love the heat. Ants, along with all insects, and many other
animals, like reptiles and most fish, are “cold blooded”, meaning the temperature
of their bodies is entirely dependant upon their surrounding environment. A cold ant colony, means a slow unproductive
ant colony. So being positioned out in the open, where
they can take full advantage of the sun’s warmth, means that meat ants are able to keep
busy and productive all throughout the day. Resulting in an abundance of food being returned
to their nests, nourishing their developing young, and allowing them to support huge populations. Deep below the nests’ surface sits the mother
to them all. As you’d imagine, she’s treated like royalty. Her every need is vigilantly tended to her
by her children. They feed her, keep her clean, raise her young,
and guard her from danger. Her only job is to sit around laying eggs
to ensure the future generations, and her legacy. But it wasn’t always this way. Originally, a queen starts from very humble
beginnings. They’re created by mature colonies and initially
possess two pairs of wings, which, when the time comes, are used to perform their nuptial
flight. On humid spring days, usually following a
rainstorm, dozens of meat ant colonies eagerly send out all of their winged reproductive
ants, and they apprehensively fly off in search of counterparts from foreign colonies. The males, quite distinctive from the females,
with their tiny heads and wasp like bodies, drop to the ground after mating, and die soon
after. Workers will swiftly arrive to collect them
up so they can be fed back to their hungry larvae. Nothing goes to waste. The females, on the other hand, quickly shed
their wings, and then, frantically search for an ideal place to found their colony. Once found, they begin to dig. The recent rains makes the soil quite malleable,
but for a single ant, it’s a difficult task nonetheless. Once their chamber is complete, they seal
off the entrance, lay their first batch of eggs, and patiently tend to them until they
hatch. To keep themselves going, they rely on fat
reserves, and metabolised energy from their, now useless, wing muscles. After weeks of patient caring, her brood
eventually hatch. Bringing rise to a new colony of ants. But most queen ants aren’t so fortunate. Up until this point, they’re extremely vulnerable,
making for a highly nutritious snack for predators, who can easily catch them out in the open, Or even underground too. Birds and echidnas will dig them up out of their newly constructed chambers. And often other ants will target them too. In her frantic search of a place to nest, this queen
blundered across a dense trail of hungry rainbow ants, and was quickly overpowered. But meat ants have adopted some helpful strategies
to increase their odds of success. Occasionally, when a queen lands nearby a closely
related colony, surrounding worker ants recognise their unique scent, and so, they adopt the newly
mated queens as one of their own. Eagerly leading them back to the safety of
their nest, perhaps even the same nest they originated from. To the workers, the safety of these young
queens is of paramount importance, they desperately work at getting them underground and out of
sight as soon as possible. Consequently, if the queens are discovered
a little further from the nest and the distance is deemed too far and perilous to travel,
the workers may even help the queens dig out a new chamber. Afterward, the workers often stick around, or come
to and from their main nest to help the young queen raise up her brood. Essentially, this new queen and nest, act
as a satellite for the colony, greatly expanding their territory and accelerating their growth. Some Meat Ant colonies may control dozens
of these satellite nests, all home to at least one queen. And each linking up with well-worn trails spanning hundreds of meters. Allowing the colony to command vast amounts
of land and resources, and reach massive proportions, millions of ants strong… So that’s Meat Ants, they really are a fascinating
species. From their colossal nests and highways… To their cooperative means of founding colonies… To their fierce ability to overwhelm their victims. To their civilised means of solving
territorial disputes… It’s really no surprise
they’re such a dominant force here in Australia. And such an important force they are too. From their role as seed dispersers… To protecting plants from pests… To cycling immense amounts of soil… and decomposing dead invertebrates
and vertebrates alike. They’re even known to go after the highly
invasive, cane toads which have devastated many ecosystems here in Australia, as Meat
Ants are completely immune to their usually deadly toxins, and have developed a fond taste
for their eggs. During my time filming these guys, they very
much reminded me of North American wood ants. Which I’ve also made a documentary on in the past. Just like wood ants, they were also really
difficult to film, especially around their nest or while they were tending to leafhoppers
and aphids. It only takes a slight vibration or a tiny
outtake of breath, and then one worker completely freaks out, quickly alert hundreds around
to do the same, and all of a sudden, a swarm are over me and my camera. So as much as I enjoyed filming and documenting
these guys, it’ll be nice to observe them from a slightly safer distance from now on. Before I get onto the regular ant farm giveaway,
I just wanted to say a big thanks to my patreon supporters. It’s really so humbling to know people enjoy
my content enough to even consider sponsoring me. I feel incredibly grateful to have such generous
support. So thank you guys so much! And a Special thanks to my top tier supporters… Alright, now onto the regular giveaway, where
you guys get a chance to win some of our specially designed ant farms. In my last video on the spider ants, (quite
a while ago now, I know), I asked, “What do you find most interesting about them?” Personally, what most fascinates me is the
way they hang upside down like bats in a cave. Often gripping a cluster of brood in their
mouths. And although I have developed some theories
as to why they choose to do this. it’s still very much a mystery to me. Attempting to solve that mystery has had me
very much enthralled. So the Winner is “Tassie Ants” who was
most interested by the queens, which don’t have wings and behave rather worker-like. Congratulations you’ve just won yourself one
of our ytong starter kits! And if you remember, I also put my old camera
up for grabs. An Olympus SZ-14. What I shot all of my early videos with. So Congratulations to…”DavesAnts” who
plans on using it to document his ants so he can later look back at the footage and
remember this happy time in his life of caring for and admiring ants! So great to hear! For next video’s giveaway, I’ll be giving
away one of our Acrylic Starter Kits. Which includes one of our founding acrylic
nests, along with a bunch of accessories, as seen here. To enter, simply answer the following, “what
do you find most interesting about Australia’s iconic meat ants? Is it their pretty coloration? Massive colonies and nest structures? Or perhaps the way they kickbox to resolve
conflict? Or maybe it’s something you’ve discovered
on your own? Post your answers in the comment section below. I’ll pick out a single comment and announce
them as the winner in my next video. As always, thanks for watching this video
and I hope you enjoyed.

Get Rid Of Fire Ants – Red Ants – Bulwark Exterminating Texas Ant Control

Get Rid Of Fire Ants – Red Ants – Bulwark Exterminating Texas Ant Control


This is an example of the red imported
fire ant. We’ve place some bait along the side as
you can see they’re engaged in picking it up and carrying it down into their nest they like to set nests up underneath it
in the cracks of sidewalks because the water kinda condenses in the crack and
they’re there for the moisture we’ve been in a drought here in Texas as you
can see they’re extremely aggressive see their attempting to bite my finger
rolling all over me many of them are biting right now as I speak I need to end that
this bait here is derived from a fungus that is found in the soil it affects their entire colony but not
immediately. They will carry it into the colony Until the queen gets a hold of it then
after a day or so the entire colony will die.

7 Unbelievably Hardcore Ants

7 Unbelievably Hardcore Ants


[♪ INTRO] Skull-gathering hunters. Exploding,
toxic defenders. Inflictors of pain. These aren’t characters from a movie:
They’re ants! Normally, we see ants streaming
from cracks in the sidewalk, or coming to forage through our kitchens,
and they’re nothing out of the ordinary. At most, they’re kind of annoying. But some ants are actually amazing, and are a lot cooler and more resourceful
than you might give them credit for. Here are seven of the most extreme species
from around the world. Some people use tapestries and fun knick-knacks
to decorate their homes. But Florida’s skull-collecting ant adorns
its abode with, skulls. Well, more specifically, heads and other dismembered
body parts from other ant species. Which is… a mood, I guess. Scientists discovered this in the 1950s, and
noticed that most of the victims seemed to be trap-jaw ants, which was equally impressive
and alarming, because trap-jaws aren’t easy prey. They’re known for their exceptionally strong
mandibules, which they use to crush their victims and even fling themselves
away from danger. Meanwhile, skull-collecting ants look far
less fearsome. They’re pretty small, and they definitely
don’t have super strong jaws. Researchers were intrigued by how these ants
were adorning their homes with trap-jaw body parts. They weren’t sure if they were actually
killing them, or just inheriting old trap-jaw nests. But recently, they started to figure it out. In November 2018, one researcher published
new findings in the journal of the IUSSI, an organization that studies social insects. By analyzing the chemicals on their bodies
and filming their interactions with trap-jaws, he found that skull-collecting ants chemically
mimic their trap-jaw prey. The difference between their odors is almost
indistinguishable, and that allows the skull collectors to get in close enough to attack. Once they’re in close range, they spray
the trap-jaws with formic acid and paralyze them. Then, they drag their limp bodies back to
their nests, dismember them, and put their exoskeletons on display
like hunting trophies. Researchers aren’t sure why they do this,
but it could be a warning to other ants. And let’s be real: If I were an ant, I wouldn’t
go near that. The Rasberry crazy ant, sometimes called the
tawny crazy ant, originated in South America, but over the last decade, it’s been infiltrating
the U.S. Gulf Coast. These ants are just a few millimeters long,
with long legs and antennas. They’re not known for being aggressive,
and they don’t seem to sting, but they do move around in a really
irregular way when they’re disturbed, which is where their name comes from. It’s not totally clear why they run like
this, but it might be a form of protection. After all, ants scurrying around in a zig-zagging
or looping pattern are harder to smush. Besides their movement, these ants are also
strange because they appear to be drawn to the cooling vents of electrical equipment. So much so that they’ve been known to short out appliances, computers, and even entire chemical plants. Some people believe these insects
are attracted to electricity, but so far, there’s no real
science to support that. Instead, this behavior probably has to do
with chemistry. These ants have been shown to be highly
attracted to each other’s pheromones, or the chemicals their bodies release. So it seems more likely that, when one of
them gets shocked by electrical equipment, probably while looking for a place to nest, they release pheromones that
tell the other ants they’re in danger. Then, thousands of them swarm in the area
to come to the rescue. It’s a much less sci-fi scenario, although
probably no less terrifying for the people who discover a massive ant infestation crawling
around their electronics. They’re not an immediate threat to humans,
but rasberry crazy ants can actually cause major issues for other animals, mainly bees. The ants have been observed destroying hives
and eating bee larvae, which isn’t great when you think about all the other problems
bees are dealing with these days. But at least they’re not stealing body parts. The exploding ant is named after its ability
to explode. At least, in a sense. There are actually a bunch of species that
demonstrate this behavior, but a significant one is called, appropriately, C. explodens. It was identified in a 2018 paper and can
be found throughout Southeast Asia. It may look harmless, with no stinger and
a normal-sized jaw, but don’t be fooled. When some of these exploding ants feel threatened,
you don’t want to be around. First, the ant raises its backside as a warning
to a predator. Then, if the predator is undeterred, the ant,
or a few of them, turns its backside at the predator. They begin to flex as hard as they can until
their abdomens tear open, releasing a bright yellow, sticky toxin that kills the intruder. It sounds kind of horrifying, but it does
protect their colonies. Also, the ants who explode are sterile females,
so this behavior makes a bit more evolutionary sense. If these ants can’t pass along their genes,
at least they’re defending their homes. This research is still pretty recent, and
there are plenty of mysteries surrounding this species, like what that yellow toxin
is made out of, and how the ants optimize their attacks to inflict the most damage. But one thing’s for sure: if an exploding
ant shows you its butt, get outta there. There are over a dozen species in the genus
Polyergus, also called Amazon ants or slave-raiding ants. But they all have similar behavior: They’re
parasites that capture other ant species and put them to work. These ants are spread throughout the world,
but many are found in the U.S. and are known to prey on colonies in the Formica genus. First, an Amazon ant queen will infiltrate
a Formica nest and kill the native queen. But before she can complete her takeover,
she has to be accepted by the colony’s workers. Because, apparently, ants have rules about
this kind of thing. It’s not entirely clear how this acceptance
happens, but it might have something to do with the Amazon ant picking up the old queen’s
scent. Either way, once the Formica ants
have approved their new ruler, the Amazon ants will put them to work. They make the other ants do everything for
them, from cleaning to raising their young. Then, once those babies are grown up, the
Amazon ants move on to the next Formica colony to start the cycle over again. It’s not clear if the Formica ants get
anything out of this relationship, but the Amazon ants definitely do. They even appear to have lost the ability
to take care of their own young altogether, possibly after thousands of years of making
other species do it for them. Bullet ants are known for being the ultimate
pain inducers, and their sting is ranked among the most excruciating of all insect stings. At least, based on something called the Schmidt
Sting Pain Index. It was first published in the
1980s by Justin Schmidt, who actually stung himself
with every species he could find. Which I’m sure sounded like a great idea
at the time. Bullet ants are ranked the highest: a 4-plus. They’re native to the rainforests of Central
and South America, and their bodies are almost creepily long, sometimes approaching three
centimeters in length. Thankfully, they aren’t known for being
aggressive unless you get close to their nests. But once you’ve infringed on their territory,
prepare yourself for a world of pain. What makes their sting so incredibly painful
is a peptide called poneratoxin. It was first described in the early 1990s, and it causes painfully long-lasting
contractions in smooth muscles. Bullet ant encounters are rarely deadly for
humans, but enough stings can cause paralysis and trembling, and the pain can persist for
up to 24 hours. Although these ants are mainly known for the
pain they cause, indigenous peoples have found good uses for them, too, like for closing
wounds. They’ll hold a bullet ant close to the wound
and then, when the ant bites down, twist off its body so that only its pincers remain. It’s not a good time for the ant, but the
venom causes the person’s skin to swell and begins the healing process, making it
easier to keep the wound closed. Resourceful, considering my reaction to bullet
ants would be to run as fast possible in the opposite direction. There are around 40 species of leafcutter
ant spread throughout Central and South America, as well as the U.S. And while they won’t poison you or tear
themselves apart, they are pretty crafty. You might think of ants as stealing crumbs
off your floor, or collecting nectar from plants. But leafcutter ants are farmers. They’re known to slice up pieces of plant
material and carry it back to their nests. Then, they’ll partially digest it and leave
it out to grow their real food: fungus. The fungus can break down compounds in plants
that the ants can’t otherwise digest, and it’s the insects’ main source of nutrients. This fungus is so important that if a queen
starts a new colony, she’ll even take a starter culture to the new home. Leafcutter ants have also been likened to
the pharmacists of the insect world, since they use the antibiotics produced by bacteria
to keep unwanted parasitic fungi from growing. Scientists aren’t sure how that relationship
started, but they know that the bacteria hitches a ride on the outside of the ant, then secretes antibiotics that protect
the health of their precious fungus. All of which seems pretty
complex for a little insect. Finally, speaking of ways ants get their food,
we have honeypot ants. They belong to several genuses and are found
around the world in dry climates like deserts. For the most part, these ants seem pretty
normal, until a drought hits. Among honeypot ants, there’s a special class
of workers called repletes. They feed on things like flower nectar and
dead insects, and their abdomens can swell to enormous sizes, sometimes eight times the
weight of the rest of their bodies. This gives them the appearance of a honeypot,
and you might be able to guess where this is going. During a drought, these ants actually use
this abdominal liquid to keep their fellow colony members alive. To get this sweet substance, another worker
ant will stroke a replete’s antenna, giving them the signal that it’s time to eat. Then, the replete will regurgitate the liquid. Which is amazing, and also kind of horrifying? What makes this even weirder is that honeypot
ants are so bloated with liquid that all they can do is hang from the roofs of nests, waiting
to provide nutrients for their buddies. Like little hanging honey pots, I guess. Unfortunately for the honeypot ants, other
colonies and species of ants have also caught on to this, meaning repletes are easy prey. And in Australia, some indigenous peoples
use them in their diets. But for other ants, they’re basically living
vending machines. Which is so creepy. To most people, ants are nothing special. But like a lot of things in the universe,
you just have to look a little more closely. The ant world is an incredible, dangerous,
and downright bizarre place. And it’s all happening right under your
feet. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow,
especially to our patrons on Patreon! If you want to support science education online
and help keep us exploring this weird, amazing world we live in, you can go to patreon.com/scishow. [♪ OUTRO]

Kidnapper Ants Steal Other Ants’ Babies – And Brainwash Them | Deep Look

Kidnapper Ants Steal Other Ants’ Babies – And Brainwash Them | Deep Look


You’re watching Deep Look’s 100th episode. Think we should do 100 more? Then support us on Patreon. Link is in the description. These ants are planning a heist. They don’t have a choice. They can’t feed themselves on their own. But they’re not plotting to steal food. They steal other ants. They’re kidnappers. As the sun sets in California’s Sierra Nevada
mountains, scouts leave their underground nest. They’re looking for ants of an entirely
different species. This nearby colony of black ants knows what’s
out there. So every afternoon, they block the entrance
to their own nest to protect themselves. But it’s too late – a scout spots them. She rushes back to mobilize her sisters. They charge out across the forest floor. It’s a raid! The black ants try to defend themselves from
the onslaught, but it’s not enough. They’re overwhelmed, panicked. The raiders start digging. Once they’re in, they know exactly what
they’re after. The most prized possession ants have… their young. These white things are pupae – developing
juveniles. The kidnappers use their pointy, oversized
mandibles to snatch them up and haul the young back to their nest. Now, you’d think when the stolen ants grow
up, they’d realize they’re surrounded by strangers… … in the nest of a totally different species. But ants don’t really recognize each other
by sight. They use smell. So the kidnappers coat the young ants in secretions
from glands near their mouths, imprinting their colony’s scent onto the new arrivals. As they grow up, the young black ants think
they’re at home, with their own family. They have no idea. So the newly enslaved ants just get to work,
leaving the nest to forage for food for their captors. The black ant’s mandibles are serrated for
grinding up food. The kidnapper ants jaws are really only good
for one thing: grabbing young ants. They can’t even chew their own food. So the kidnappers get their captives to regurgitate
food right into their mouths, like kind of a pre-made smoothie. It’s called trophallaxis. The captive ants do pretty much all the work
in the colony, like keeping up the nest and looking after the young. So the kidnappers can spend their days just
lounging in a big pile… until it’s time to storm the forest floor again, looking for
more unsuspecting ants to join their ranks. Hey, it’s Lauren. How about a few more untrustworthy invertebrates? Like a sea slug that steals poison from its
prey. Or rainforest ants that break their promises
for a little sweet payoff. And check out Above the Noise – a show that
explores the research behind controversial topics in the news. Like the ethics of keeping animals in zoos. See you next time.

Animals That Don’t Look Dangerous But Are


Here are some animals that don’t look like
much, but they’re absolutely dangerous! Just wait until you hear why you should never
pick up this small octopus! 10 – Malaysian Ant
Armed with poisonous sacks on their body, Malaysian ants will essentially commit Kamikaze
in order to protect their colony. Talk about doing what’s best for everyone
else! These tiny little soldier ants willingly give
up their own lives in the cause of protecting their colony from a potential predator. Here’s more or less how a scenario might
play out. A colony of Malaysian Ants are hanging out. Then suddenly, a larger insect or small mammal
might approach their colony with bad intentions. The Malaysian Ant will literally self destruct. They cause themselves to explode, spraying
a toxic chemical all over the predator. In most cases, the predator is destroyed,
along with the exploding ants. As their name might suggest, they’re native
to Malaysia and also parts of Brunei. And as crazy as it seems, they’re actually
one of several insects in the animal kingdom known for self-destructing. Some termites, for example, are known for
deploying a similar battle tactic when danger approaches! 9 – Otters
The River otter is an expert hunter, and is actually an apex predator in the river. Maybe otters KNOW that they’re super cute,
so they use that to their advantage in the wild? Is it possible for animals to think other
animals are cute?! River Otters can hold their breath for up
to four minutes, and can swim as fast as seven miles per hour! While they prefer to eat fish, a River Otter
will sometimes settle for whatever is easiest to find. Fish, birds, turtles, and yes, even alligators. Not even alligators can escape predation from
a river otter! With bone crushing teeth, they can easily
crush their prey with a single bite. Otters often hunt in groups so they can easily
clean up in whatever river they’re in. Otters don’t pose a threat to humans, so
we’re safe. In fact, we’re the reason for their decline,
thanks to nearly 200 years of intense fur trapping. But don’t worry, they’ve rebounded quite
well and today their numbers are estimated to be slightly over 100,000!
8 – Bombardier Beetle If the Bombardier Beetle were a human being,
they’d be the equivalent of someone with a bottle of mace! It’s got a pretty cool defense mechanism
where they’re able to spray whatever they want with essentially a super hot liquid. When they’re under attack, Bombardier Beetles
will spray out scalding hot toxic liquid that can seriously mess predators up! Yes, actual boiling hot temperatures! These chemicals are stored in two separate
chambers in their abdomen, and are deployed through an abdomen tip that rotates a full
270 degrees. They can fire at objects from almost all angles! Now that whole thing I said about the two
chambers, that’s really important. The chemicals in each chamber are hydroquinone
and hydrogen peroxide. When they’re mixed, they’ll more or less
create an explosion. So keeping those compounds separated until
deployed through the tip is crucial. There are at least 500 bombardier beetles
species roaming all over the world. they tend to make their homes in woodlands
and really anywhere moist enough to hatch eggs. So if you ever see one hanging out, try not
to be on the business end of that tip! 7 – Honey Badger
Honey badgers haven’t been known as a total wrecking ball. It wasn’t until back in 2011 did the Honey
Badger go viral for its toughness. It was this great video of the Honey badger
that’s gotten over 92 million views. Ever since then, Honey Badgers finally got
the respect they deserve. Found mostly in Africa and parts of Asia,
the Honey Badger will eat just about anything they can sink their teeth into. These vicious little creatures only measure
about two and a half feet in length and less than a foot in height. But what they lack in size, they make up for
with their attitudes. Honey Badgers really will eat whatever they
want. Cobras, birds, and an array of other small
mammals all make for suitable meals. They’ll even break into bees nests and steal
larva! How do they get away with that? It’s because of their skin! Honey Badgers are extremely tough. A single honey badger has been seen taking
on six lions at a time! They have very loose and tough skin that allows
them to move around easily. So for the case of taking on the lions, the
honey badger was able to turn around and bite a lion on the nose. Plus their skin is so thick, it can withstand
arrows, knives and sharp teeth. So yeah, if you find yourself face to face
with an angry honey badger….good luck! 6 – Boxer Crab
These tiny little crabs are feisty little guys. You can find them in coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific
region, although you would need to look closely as they only measure less than an inch long. However, that doesn’t mean they make prime
targets for predators. Quite the contrary, actually. They team up with sea anemones to help fend
off attackers. In exchange for feeding the anemones, boxer
crabs employ their help by attaching them to their claws, and then jabbing at the would
be prey. This looks silly, but the anemones have rather
painful stinging tentacles that can badly injure anyone trying to make a meal of the
small crabs. As a reward for their help, the crab will
gladly help the anemones collect and digest food. This has to be one of nature’s more interesting
symbiotic relationships! In the event that there aren’t any anemones
to buddy up with, boxer crabs will instead find a sea sponge or a coral for similar purposes. How cool is that?! These guys work together. But not all animals will do that. Sometimes one animal will just turn the other
one into zombies! Find out more by clicking here and watching
this video, things that turn animals into zombies! 5 – Flower mantis
The flower mantis is pretty and lethal at the same time. They look like a flower and they’re still
a dangerous mantis. The orchid mantis is still a praying mantis,
and surprise surprise, it got its name because of its resemblance to an orchid flower. With its four walking legs looking like flower
petals and pretty colors, plenty of things are easily fooled into thinking that it’s
an actual flower. Most orchid mantises are white, with soft
or bright pink accents, just like an orchid. Some mantises are completely white, while
others are pink or mixed colors. The interesting thing is that they can change
colors depending on their environment, and they can do it in a matter of days. Of course, it’s not a flower, it’s actually
a praying mantis trying to get a meal. This clever disguise serves a couple purposes. It’s to get a meal and also to stay hidden
from predators. Posing as a flower, mantises try and catch
pollinating insects such as butterflies and bees that are attracted to the flowers. However, mantises can also get something much
larger, such as a bird, or a lizard! It deceives many animals into stopping by
for a visit. Instead of collecting pollen and nectar, BAM,
that guy just became a nice little meal for the mantis. 4 – Leopard Seal
The Leopard Seal is one of the world’s largest seals. And they can take on a killer whale! Sharks tend to get all the credit for being
a dangerous predator. But the leopard seal is a more unassuming
creature who poses a threat of its own! The biggest Leopard Seals can weigh over 1300
pounds and measure over 11 feet long, the average leopard seal can easily hold their
own in just about any fight. In the Arctic, Leopard seals are near the
top of the food chain, and they’re known to be ferocious when it comes to hunting. Claws on their fins, sharp teeth, and a powerful
jaw make them a power predator. The only creatures they’re afraid of are
sharks and killer whales. Adding to their cute looks, is the illusion
that they sometimes smile. Their lips curl upwards, so depending on how
you look at it, they either look adorable or menacing! 3 – Slow Loris
As adorable as a slow loris may seem, you’d need to be careful around this little primate! By nature, they tend to be very slow. That makes them an easy prey for many larger
predators that’s around them in the Southeast Asian tropical forest. And, the Slow Loris has eyes so big that make
them look so cute, they’re not regarded as a fierce predator. Fortunately for them, they do have a pretty
cool protection system. Whenever they’re in danger or stress, the
slow loris produces venom around its armpit. And it uses that venom to coat its fur! This toxic sweat-like substance is known to
be present even in 6-week old lorises, and it’s actually activated by its saliva! When threatened, a slow loris will hiss and
retreat into a defensive posture with its paws on top of its head. In this position, they look remarkably like
an angry cobra! To add to the effect, slow lorises can even
move in a snake-like fashion. This defensive posture also allows slow lorises
to suck the venom from their arms and strike quickly! Because they’re nocturnal creatures, they’re
in constant danger of their natural predators that include pythons, hawks and orangutans. But because of their protective coating, their
predators can go into anaphylactic shock quickly if they bite into the slow loris. This gives the predator shortness of breath,
swelling in their throats, and an itchy rash all over their bodies in a matter of minutes. Most of the time, lorises bite their predators
as a self defense tactic, since their mouths have been in contact with their own poison! 2 – Blue Ringed Octopus
Don’t let the small size of a blue-ringed octopus fool you. These little guys are among the most venomous
creatures in the ocean! Found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, there
are four different kinds of blue ringed octopus. Here’s a hint. They’re all venomous! Even though they look relatively harmless,
and mayyyybe even pretty cute, they’re a terror to animals lower on the food chain. Shrimp, small crabs, and an array of other
sea creatures are pretty screwed when they get close to these guys. And. Humans need to be careful as well! Even though they’re small, they’re extremely
dangerous. It’s their powerful tetrodotoxin! If you provoke them, their blue rings light
up. That’s when you know to get away immediately. One bite from a blue-ringed octopus would
leave you numb throughout your body. Essentially, the venom blocks sodium ion channels
and muscles don’t get signals to move. The worst part is, there’s no antidote. You’d need medical assistance fast to help
you breathe! 1 – Peregrine Falcon
Roaming the skies in countries all over the world, The Peregrine Falcon can reach speeds
of 200 miles per hour. That’s just INSANE. If it hits anything at that speed it’s just
exploding! At 200 mph, they’re faster than any other
creature on the planet. Renowned for their famous high speed dive,
these birds of prey swoop down to snatch their victims at tremendous speeds. Because of their high speed dive, they’re
among the most prolific hunters in the wild, even though they don’t look like much. They hunt other birds for the most part, but
they can also snag small mammals, lizards and insects! Imagine being a small animal just chilling
somewhere and all of a sudden you’re flying. The average bird would have serious issues
flying so fast from such a high altitude, such as lung damage. However, peregrine falcons have a cool bony
structure on their nostrils that prevent that from happening. And, they also have a third eyelid that helps
keep debris out of their eyes! Watch this video on how animals can get turned
into zombies!