This concerns me about our new Ant House! I performed an experiment to try to lure out the wild ants of the area of our future Ant House, but what ended up happening was very scary and concerning! Ant love forever! This video was shot in 4K Ultra HD resolution. #AntHouse
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2020, ants, pets, terrarium, ant farm, antfarm, antscanada, animals, insects, exotic pets, myrmecology
As some of you may already know from a past video I did, I’m building an Ant House. No, not a miniature house model for ants, but literally a house with a two story Ant Room to house my various pet ant farms and ant terrariums. However, I discovered something very concerning this week, not so much about the house but about the land on which the house is being built!
I performed a little test and laid down some bait to see what ants I could expect to find in the wild there and ultimately live with in the area, once the Ant House was done. But guys, what my baits ended up luring out from the wilderness was very concerning! Welcome to the AntsCanada ant channel! Please SUBSCRIBE to the channel and hit the BELL ICON. Welcome to the AC Family! Enjoy! There were a couple reasons I wanted to perform this experiment. First, I wanted to see what ants I could expect to find in the area of the new Ant House. Perhaps I could catch a queen ant during nuptial flight and know when to keep an eye open, based on known nuptial flight schedules.
Second, I just really wanted to get acquainted with my future ant neighbours. Being out in the sticks, the tropical southeast Asian sticks that is, I’m sure had a tonne of really cool and exotic ant species to discover living in our future back yard, AC Family. But what I ended up discovering was not at all, what I expected and left me greatly concerned.
You’ll see what I mean in a bit. Meanwhile, I drove to the almost 3,000 square meter site of our future Ant House, which I’m happy to announce is coming along well and on schedule. When I got there, I immediately proceeded with my plans to lure out the wild ants already living on the property, from hiding. So my plan was to set some bait which would hopefully gain the attention of the local ants on the property. The habitat in the area is considered sparse tropical forest, and I’ve already seen several types of awesome ants in the area, including a nest of one species I will be showing you shortly that I didn’t need bait to see. I couldn’t wait to see what ant species our bait would lure out. In terms of bait, I had sweet jelly cups! No ant could resist the sweet stuff! So I laid my first jelly cup onto a wall bordering the property.
Any ant crawling across this wall would smell and taste this sweet jelly cup and call its gang to come feast! As for a second location, I laid down a jelly cup at ground level, at the foot of this giant acacia tree, in hopes to lure out more terrestrial ants. I had some pretty high expectations for this jelly cup!
And finally, for the third location, I chose to place it into a more shaded area, this cool bamboo hut located at the extreme back of the yard, which borders a thick bamboo forest. My hopes were that it would lure out more shade-loving ants or ants living within the bamboo forest. And that was it, our three baits were set: three different locations, three different environments, and hopefully it might in turn lure out three different types of ants. Now, all we needed to do was wait for the ants to discover our goodies. I resolved to check back on the jelly cups after one hour. While waiting for the hour to pass, I decided to visit a neighbour’s yard where he had told me he’d seen some huge ants living on his tree in nests made within the leaves. Without even seeing them, I already knew what species he was talking about and marveled when he showed me, the colony of Asian weaver ants inhabiting his jackfruit tree. Look at them! This colony was super active, and indeed super aggressive!
It was kind of a breezy day, but it did not stop the ants from dashing up and down the branches of the tree. Up close these ants are just stunning! I loved watching the ants racing about along the branches creating ant highways, which I didn’t wanna disturb or get in the way of, as these ants deliver a painful bite, but wanted to observe as closeup and intimately as I could!
Now, I’ve owned this species before, if you recall the Emerald Empire. They create amazing leaf basket nests in the trees, binding leaves together using silk from their larvae. They are awesome ants, and I was thrilled that Asian Weaver ants lived in the area, and my guess was one of our traps was surely going to attract weaver ants, as they love their sweets! In fact, while I was watching this colony, I spotted this! Check this out! A pair of ants were holding a mealy bug! Isn’t that awesome, guys? You see, mealybugs like the one being held hostage here, and other leaf insects, excrete a sweet bi-product called honeydew which many ants love, so the ants protect these leaf insects and relocate them to the best feeding areas of the tree in order to have a constant supply of sugar. We’ve seen this action before on this channel with the Bobbleheads, our supercolony of big-headed ants, who would ‘milk’ their mealybugs of the honeydew.
In fact, snooping around even more I found an ant guarding this scale insect. Like mealybugs, scale insects excrete sweet honeydew which the ants gobble up. You guys will find this hilarious!
Watch this! This small worker ant had been waiting quite patiently for this scale insect to excrete its honeydew, and I was determined to capture it all on film. Many ants were passing by, as it was adjacent to one of the ant highways. It took several minutes before I finally spotted a tiny drop of honeydew emerging from the scale insect’s back, but then, yoink! A larger worker was quick to lap it up! Awww so sad! Hopefully next time around. These ants eat a lot, and aside from sugary foods, they are constantly carrying seized insects to their leaf nests to consume. They catch even the smallest of invertebrates, and I have even caught a swarm of these ants dragging a dead snake to their nest!
They need the protein to produce larvae, which produce the silk which glues their giant leaf nests together. Anyway, as I said, it was awesome to know that there were amazing ants like these living in the area. After observing the ants for a good hour, I decided it was now time to check out ant baits.
But what I saw was not what I was expecting. First, I checked the wall, and this is what I saw. Tonnes of really small ants devouring the jelly. These were ghost ants. They’re called ghost ants due to their transparent gasters making them look like floating heads as they move around. Though we’ve seen ghost ants on this channel before, I was kinda hoping for other ants. These ghost ants are actually an invasive species that have conquered nearly every tropical and subtropical country in the world. Though they’re cool and all, they’re not the easiest ants to keep because they’re so small and hard to contain. In fact, these ants have always been more of a nuisance for me.
Nearby, I actually also caught sight of a colony of pharaoh ants moving into a cavity within the wall. Again, like the ghost ants, I wasn’t as thrilled to spot this species because they are also invasive and aren’t the easiest ants to keep as pets. In fact, they too are more pestiferous and have even wiped out whole colonies of mine in the past, even completely wiping out an awesome termite colony I once owned!
OK, so the first bait didn’t yield the best results. It was time to check the second bait at the foot of the acacia tree. This jelly cup also turned out to be a disappointment. I saw a ghost ant and a few black crazy ants. I love keeping black crazy ants, as you may know seeing as I own a huge black crazy ant colony named the Dark Knights, but again, not a native species but invasive. All of this really concerned me: other than the weaver ants, did this mean my area was completely overrun by invasive ant species? Had these invaders completely wiped out native ants living in my area? This was a problem because ecologically this was not good, but also, with the future ant room being in this area, these ants the baits were luring out were the ants I could also expect to see breaking into my home to live with me. As you know, I live in the tropics, where it is practically impossible to shut out insects from the wild from entering your home, and having ghost ants and pharaoh ants predominantly as my future neighbours was not promising, and it would definitely put my future ant colonies at risk.
Where I currently live, I live 15 floors up which helps deter most pest ants from discovering my ant room, which is rich in ant resources like nesting areas and roaches, and even then I’ve had problems with wild ants breaking in, but with the new Ant Room being just one story up, this just makes my Ant Room an easy buffet restaurant and real estate for these notorious invaders! If this third bait also attracted more invader species, it would be strong evidence to support the fact that the entire area had been driven clean of its native ant species. Perhaps the weaver ants managed to survive the invasions of invasive ants due to being up in the trees.
I entered the bamboo hut, and AC Family, this was what I saw at the final jelly cup. The sight was beautiful. Lots and lots of ants. Supermajors! Guys, I was thrilled to see that our third jelly cup had attracted an awesome colony of what I believe are big-headed ants, from the genus Pheidole, like our Bobbleheads! How amazing! These ants were not invaders. They were endemic, and had lived here for millions of years. And guys, looking carefully, I actually also saw another species here.
The head of this supermajor. Do you notice something about it? It’s different from the big-headed ant supermajor towards the left.
Does it look familiar to you? I could be wrong, but I believe this to be an Asian Marauder ant supermajor, like our Titans! Awesome! We had Carebara diversa living in the area too, and interesting to know they were willing to share the jelly with the big-headed ants! This species is also endemic and has been living in these lands for millions of years! It was so promising to know that the area indeed still had its native ant species. Thank goodness! I truly couldn’t wait to move here and share the area with them. As I watched the sun glistening on the ants’ bodies as they fed happily on the jelly cup we offered them, it warmed my heart to know that we would soon be living among some really cool ants, and though it does suck a little that invasive ants do live around here, too, though a lot of them are species we love and keep on this channel, seeing these big-headed ants and marauder ants thriving in the area, also showed me that native ants are pushing and fighting back against invading enemy lines, and sticking around to claim their ancestral territory theirs.
It was this native vs invasive ant war front that got me thinking, and I wanted to ask you guys what your opinions are on this: So on this channel, we’ve been keeping ants in captive setups which of course is super fun and has its advantages, but AC Family do you think we should also have pet ants but keep them in the wild? In other words, raise wild pet ants? I could always visit a wild weaver ant nest, feed them, and film them, but not have to disturb them nor worry about maintenance.
Of course we’ll always have ants housed in our various ant setups, but perhaps we could also try keeping a colony or more, but keeping them in the wild and just filming them on location in the field. Are these wild ant videos just as satisfying to watch fro you guys, as the ants we keep in setups? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section. Anyway, the moment we can finally move into the Ant House, is quickly approaching, AC Family, and I look forward to more epic ant moments of discovery, whether in the wild, or in ant farms, with all of you guys. Thank you for watching and supporting the ants. It’s ant love forever! AC Family, hope you enjoyed this week’s episode! Are you excited about the new Ant House and Ant Room 2.0? So many more ant videos are ahead, so if you haven't yet do SMASH that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON now, and hit ALL so you get notified at every upload.
Also don’t forget to hit the LIKE button every single time including now. It would really mean a lot to me, guys. Thank you!
AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie for you here, if you would like to watch extended play footage of the local ants we saw in today’s video, as well as the invaders. Go check them out! And guys, it’s that time of the year again! We just launched our biggest ant promo yet! The AC Holidays Sale 2020, where you get 20% off our ac Ant Tower Small and ac Hybrid Nest Mini over at our shop at antscanada.com, and on top of that, if you use the promo code “antloveforever2020”, you get our Ultimate Ant Keeping Handbook ebook, complete with care guides on specific commonly kept ant species, totally free, which you can add to your cart before checking out! Our easy-to-use ant farms which you see me use in my videos, make an awesome holiday gift for anyone who loves ants! We ship worldwide and also offer full email support if you need our help! Plus, if you didn’t catch a queen ant this season and need ants, just visit the QUEEN ANTS FOR SALE tab on our site to look for ant colony sellers in your area. Just a reminder this promo ends January 1st and you need to order before December 17th if within US or December 10th if outside the US, if you hope to receive your package before Christmas, so visit AntsCanada.com today, and own your very own ac Ant Farm and pet ant colony.
And now it’s time for the AC Question of the Week. Last week, we asked: Name one plant in the Ember Islands that seemed to have sprung out of nowhere? Congratulations to Blue Legends who answered: Baby ferns Congratulations Blue Legends, 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 honeydew? Leave your answer in the comments section and you could also win a free Ultimate Ant Keeping Handbook from our shop! Hope you could subscribe to the channel as we upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and SUBSCRIBE if you enjoyed this video, to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!