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

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


Last week, we said goodbye to one of the OG
ant colonies of this channel. It was with great sadness that we discovered
that the Fire Nation, my five year old fire ant colony, had died out. But with great endings come new beginnings,
and I can’t wait to introduce to you the heirs to the Fire Nation’s throne. AC Family, today we meet our brand new fire
ant queen and her first pioneering generation of fire ant workers. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
BELL ICON. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! Behold! The great successors of the Fire Nation. What you’re seeing here is a new fire ant
queen with her first generation of worker ants. These ants are about to receive something
truly special, so do keep on watching until the end to witness something magical this
colony is about to receive. Now in this test tube setup, we have the queen,
so gorgeous. We also have the first set of workers, which
are known as nanitics. You can also see eggs, larvae, and pupae. Check out that light coloured worker ant which
recently eclosed from its pupal stage. In a few days, it will be moving around like
the other workers, and its exoskeleton properly hardened. I find this fledgling fire ant colony to be
so cute, and I feel they’ll quickly rise in numbers to take their place as the mighty
fire ant colony of our Antiverse. Now, I was thinking. What should we name this colony? Should we call them Fire Nation 2.0 or the
Neo Fire Nation, or perhaps the Phoenix Nation, as was popularly suggested in last week’s
video. Let me know what you think we should name
this great fire ant colony in the making in this ipoll here. Thank you, AC Council for your input. You’ll notice the queen lays super still. She’s actually resting and preserving her
energy, and for good reason. She’s currently not in her best form at
the moment. You see, the queen hasn’t eaten a real,
full meal in weeks and has gone through quite a lot over the past month. So get this, after a queen mates during her
nuptial flight, she breaks off her wings, and goes off to seal herself within a chamber
in the soil, known as a claustral cell. In this claustral cell, the queen does not
eat and subsists entirely off energy stores in her back muscles which previously powered
her wings for flight. She lays eggs and once these eggs hatch into
larvae, she feeds the larvae a self-made nutritious soup, again created from her back muscle stores,
which she regurgitates up for the larvae to eat. The larvae grow, develop into pupae, then
eclose into adult worker ants. So, this queen here is starving. She literally raised these workers and larvae
off her own body tissues this whole time. Sound pretty crazy but it what she’s built
to do. It’s important she doesn’t move around
too much, though. She must preserve her energy at all costs
if she wants to survive to perpetuate the colony. The success of the entire colony now lies
in the hands of the nanitics. The most important first task of these workers
is to wander out into the world, and bring back some food so the queen can finally eat
after all these weeks of fasting, and AC Family, guess what: We’re about to make that moment
happen now. Let’s feed them! AC Family, I can’t wait for us to see this! Using a toothpick I placed a tiny drop of
honey into their test tube setup. Now let’s watch! Instantly a couple ants discovered the honey. Then a third came along to drink. Then a fourth… a fifth… and a sixth came
to drink. A seventh ant came along and an eighth. It was awesome to see that the honey was such
a hit! You also have to remember that these ants
have only known the self-made regurgitated soup from their mother, the queen. I imagine, as great as that must taste, this
honey must truly be blowing their minds right now! Wouldn’t you think? The queen began showing signs of excitement. I think she had been informed that her nanitics
had found something tasty just beyond. A few minutes later, workers with full social
stomachs came back to regurgitate the goods. At first, I saw the workers were feeding other
workers. This process of regurgitation and mouth to
mouth feeding is called trophallaxis, something all eusocial insects like bees and termites
do to distribute food among members of a colony. Then I noticed a worker feeding a larva. I bet that larvae was loving the honey. When the worker was done feeding it, you could
actually see the honey in the larva’s stomach through its semi-transparent body. How neat right? And then finally, a worker moved in to give
their starving queen mother her very first meal in weeks. Just awesome! More and more workers continued to feed their
queen via trophallaxis. She accepted their offerings graciously. For me, watching a queen and nanitics of a
starting ant colony receive their very first meal is truly one of the most beautiful things
to witness in the hobby, one of those ant keeping joys. Over the next few days, I will continue to
offer our fledgling fire ant colony here various small meals, like a cricket leg or a mealworm
head. The days of fasting and subsisting on the
queen’s own body tissues are now over, as the workers will be the ones feeding the queen
and brood from now on. With the queen properly nourished and a growing
army of worker ants caring for her and her future brood, she no longer needs to do anything
else but perform her primary duty of laying eggs. I think it’s super cool for us to be able
to start this awesome new journey with this new fire ant colony of ours. I think it’s extra cool because it’s been
years since we’ve been able to start an ant colony from scratch like this on the channel,
and I think it would be great for us to watch how a massive fire ant colony of the likes
of our late Fire Nation, emerges from such humble beginnings. Given ample food and resources, this species
literally explodes in population, so I anticipate that this colony will need to move out of
here in a week or two. I plan on moving them first into a Hybrid
Nest, and then once they outgrow that, move them into a terrarium perhaps. But here’s the thing about moving them into
the Selva de Fuego, the old home of our Fire Nation. A lot of you spotted that the supermajor in
last week’s episode had a blood sucking mite on it! It freaked me out because it meant that mites
could have been responsible for wiping out the Fire Nation, and not old age of the queen. But, it could also be possible that the blood
sucking mites came after the queen had died and the population started to dwindle and
weaken. Whatever the case, I’m not going to take
risks, and I have decided that I am going to have to ditch the Selva de Fuego and create
an entirely new vivarium from scratch. I still have a few months to plan before this
colony will be big enough to move in a terrarium anyway. Though the past few weeks have been quite
rough, this new fire ant colony brings me new hope. Though they don’t seem like it yet, this
cute ant colony will soon rise to become the savage, aggressive, and powerful fire ant
kingdom we once knew in the Fire Nation, and until then I’ll continue to nurture them
and film their evolution, every step of the way. Thank you for watching. It’s ant love forever. AC Family, are you as excited as I am about
this new fire ant colony? I look forward to building new memories together
with them and learning about them. I wonder if they have a different personality
than the Fire Nation. So much is in store ahead so if you haven’t
yet, SMASH that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON now and hit ALL so you get notified at
every upload, because I believe notifications seem to be broken but the Youtube support
team is on it. Also don’t forget to hit the LIKE button
every single time including now. It would really mean a lot to me. Thank you, guys! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would like to watch some extended play footage of our new young fire
ant colony. And now it’s time for the AC Question of
the Week. Last week, we asked: Which was your favourite memory of the Fire
Nation? Congratulations to Patrick Tierney who answered: My favorite moment in the Fire Nation’s
history was when they were escaping their enclosures. Congratulations Patrick, you just won a free
Ultimate Ant Keeping handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week we
ask: What is the name of the process of mouth-to-mouth
food transfer in eusocial insects? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! Hope you could subscribe to our channel as
we upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and
SUBSCRIBE if you enjoyed this video, to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

Comments

  1. Post
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    AntsCanada

    AC Family, meet our new fire ant colony! Aren't they beautiful? What should we name the Royal Queen? Taking name suggestions now! BTW – Thank you all for the outpouring of love and support last week at the announcement of the Fire Nation's passing! All the messages moved me deeply and it helped to see so many of you sharing in the loss. Ant love is truly forever! We begin all over again with this new fire ant colony! Pls remember to SUBSCRIBE to join our growing family and to follow the journey of this colony and others of our Antiverse!

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    Zaphod Stone

    It's kind of a religious experience to see this. I'm not even close to an ant raising expert but i can tell that this is a very special, tender moment. The queen is not selfish or lazy living off the worker's food gathering efforts, she birthed the colony, expending her life energy to the brink of death so her first children could grow up strong and healthy. Now her children will thank her for her efforts by feeding her in return so their family can grow and flourish. Nature truly is amazing.

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    Spencer Johnson

    Bruh imagine bein’ the last ant in the salva del fuego, and you’re covered in mites and surrounded by your dead family

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    Ϯꂅᕱო JESSTONIE ƤӇ

    wait are you mikey bustos? beacause i watched a video of yours that was uploaded 7 years ago and you said in one comment your the same guy

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    Eric Smith

    You ever heard of northomyrmica macrops aka dinosaur ants they are from Australia so can you go to there so I can see them for myself

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    richard hocking

    I just wondering how did you get the fire ant queen so fast after the death of the first fire ants weeks before, as the flights of male and female (queen) has been done in October if I right last year.

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    NorthernMouse

    It was weird for me personally as someone who doesn't like ants to get emotional for the amazing Fire Nation. And now the birth of a new Nation

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    artonmysleeve arton

    I stumbled to your videos and I think they are freaking amazing. I would love to keep some fire ants myself but for some reason I can't find a seller here in the UK, is there a reason for that?
    thanks a million 😀

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    Johnny Simsthree

    hey i know i have some trouble with outworld tubing, how about using a band-aid or two for it so it holds better with the cotton stuff in the tubing as well? and if any ants try to escape they get trapped with sticky or they have to bite through two tough hides after cotton walls.

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    sentient-corgi-parade bdb

    Goshhh its so tearjerking to see this ant colony from the baby stage. They're so caring to their mother and she's so attentive to her babies; so precious ❤❤❤

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