A deadly outbreak is spreading in my ant farm, and I don't know what to do. My yellow crazy ant colony, named the 'Golden Empire', has just moved into their brand new terrarium (the 'Crystal Catacombs') but as I was observing them living their lives in their new territories, I noticed signs of a deadly pathogen, a pathogen they've actually dealt with before. I'll need your help, ant lovers! We can solve this crisis together, as we have in the past. Let's hope our ants recover from this! Ant love forever! This video was shot in 4K Ultra HD resolution.
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2020, ants, pets, terrarium, ant farm, antfarm, antscanada, animals, insects, exotic pets, myrmecology, golden empire, yellow crazy ants, anoplolepis, gracilipes, mites
But now on to some order of business we needed to take care of. Up on the peek of this plateau is fixated a sacred sacrificial table, placed here to be the site of our food offerings. Ever since we created this terrarium, I couldn’t wait to finally place a roach onto it. And here was that roach now. AC Family, it was time to witness the ants’ enjoying this delicious house warming gift! In goes the roach! Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel and hit the BELL icon! Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! It’s night, here in these mystical lands you guys have officially named in our last episode the Crystal Catacombs. Every night here in the Crystal Catacombs the crystals illuminate with a magical glow and the ants that had just moved into these lands the night before, have come to love these crystals.
They crawl all over the crystal beds, seemingly absorbing the spiritual energy they emit, before moving on to carry out their business for their colony. These ants belong to a powerful army known as the Golden Empire, and you’ll see just how powerful they are in a bit. But, little do they know, the Empire is in danger. Yes, all of you who’ve been following these ants and their long, difficult journey, may be shocked to know something serious threatens the Golden Empire yet again, and a lot of you guys even spotted signs of it, before I did.
The ants are harbouring a deadly enemy: an outbreak of sorts, which you will see in a bit. I’m not sure what we’ll do, but keep on watching until the end to let me know how you think we should help them overcome this very lethal ‘outbreak’. Rumours were swirling around the lands that the colony’s first fattened cockroach meal was on its way to be placed on the great sacrificial altar at the top of the mountain.
This morning, the Golden Empire was busy exploring their new territories. Never before had the Golden Empire seen such a vast rocky and green kingdom, not this generation anyway. Many ants loved licking the dewey moisture from the leaves of pillowy moss, which grew in carpeted bushes throughout the landscape. It brought me such great joy to know the ants were truly enjoying their grand new kingdom we built just for them. The crystals were now off, but the ants still enjoyed crawling all over them. They look kinda nice on their beds of crystals. They gathered around them to socialize and loiter, before moving on with their business. And speaking of business, the Golden Empire’s main priority right now was the digging of their tunnels. The ants had spent the whole night excavating some impressive tunnelwork into the soils of the Crystal Catacombs.
There was much room to expand their living quarters in these lands. Ants lifted big chunks of soil and piled them up to create mounds of earth. These lands were officially property of the Golden Empire, and their smaller friends, another ant colony which is still waiting to be named by you, guys so leave your name suggestions in the comments for these little ants, that co-inhabit the Crystal Catacombs with the Golden Empire.
We’ll vote for their official name in a future episode. The ants have even found small natural crevices in the rock which formed perfect caverns for the ants to nest in. These lands were full of little such surprises. But little did these ants know, a big surprise was about to come to the light, and it wasn’t so good. Suddenly, a rumble in the sky. The daily storm was rolling through and soon a shower of invigorating water fell onto the Crystal Caverns to provide moisture and hydration to all plants and inhabitants of the territories. And then, the storm was complete. Droplets of water covered the plants, from which the ants could drink whenever they were thirsty. These ants were moisture loving ants and danced through the thick fog that blew through the lowlands of their new mountain home.
The future was looking bright for the Empire but it seems, not for long. Behold, the sacrificial altar. The rumours were true!
The ants could smell their fattened cockroach being chopped up nearby, which meant their first meat offering was arriving soon. Some of the ants hung around and gathered at the sacrificial altar, crawling along its various chains that adorned the stone table. And here it came. The great hand delivered a delicious chopped up roach, fresh from the roach farm. One ant found the roach and began to snack on its juices. After it had its fill, it immediately darted about releasing a pheromone to inform the colony of the amazing food it discovered. This ant was shouting, “Guys, our meal has arrived! Come help! Tell all the Empire.
It’s time for us to feast!” Those who first got word of the roach rushed up to the altar to have a taste! This process of ants finding the roach, having a taste, then going back to inform the colony continued. It wouldn’t be long now before a swarm would be arriving for the feast.
Let’s watch the action as the ants come around, and look very carefully guys, because it was during this feeding frenzy that I first saw the red flag, the outbreak that was a very big threat to the colony. Alas a great swarm of ants were devouring all the gooey, edibles from our roach. They filled their social stomachs up like balloons before heading back to the colony to regurgitate the contents to the rest of the colony. But as I was watching the swarm, I caught sight of a little blip of red. Oh, no! What is that?! No way! Could this be true? Mites!
The Golden Empire had been infected by blood sucking mites before and it almost wiped them out! We managed to get rid of them after two years of careful quarantine, but seeing this mite here scared me beyond words! I couldn’t believe the vampiric blood sucking mites have returned!
In fact, some of you guys had great eyes and spotted them in last week’s episode! The good thing is, it didn’t seem like it was a widespread outbreak at the moment, which is good. A mite biologist once told me that if a colony is healthy they stand a greater chance of keeping such mite parasite populations low, and having increasing numbers of workers means there’s less of a chance the mites will be able to find each other to mate. And so now, AC Family, here’s where I need your help! What should I do? The last time this happened, I used predatory Hypoaspis mites harvested from rhino beetles to help eradicate the vampiric blood sucking mites from a quarantined sample of the colony. I currently don’t have any rhino beetles, but perhaps I could try to find some? I’m not sure if they’re in season at the moment, but they should be emerging from their pupae underground in March. I could try to find some!
But even if I do maange to harvest Hypoaspis mites, does this mean I need to recollect the colony again to keep them in a confined space so the Hypoaspis mites could eat the bad mites? Or perhaps I could just try to hunt down the mite-infected ants and kill them or feed them to my fish, so sad. Or maybe I shouldn’t worry.
Maybe now that the ants have these vast territories, I can boost their food intake and hope they have a population boom making it hard for the mites to keep up and breed. It’s not like we can tell the ants to social distance, but perhaps the mite problem can disappear naturally if I support the ants’ population growth at maximum level, and hope these mites don’t advance to pandemic levels. Let me know your suggestions, AC Family. I’m so sad about this and hope our Golden Empire perseveres, as they always have over the years we’ve been caring for them. Once again, AC Family, the fate of the Golden Empire is in your hands. Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and SUBSCRIBE if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. Be sure to visit AntsCanada.com for all your ant keeping and collecting gear shipped to you in a special package from our ant-loving facility in the USA In this week’s AC Question of the Week we ask: What were the ants filling up like a balloon as they were feeding on the roach?