MY GROWING ARMY OF FIRE ANTS | GETTING BIGGER & MORE COMPLEX

MY GROWING ARMY OF FIRE ANTS | GETTING BIGGER & MORE COMPLEX


Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Ember Empress,
the royal queen fire ant of this 7 week old fire ant colony, we call the Phoenix Empire. Can you imagine that just a few weeks ago
our Phoenix Empire consisted of just a solo queen empress with a clutch of eggs in a test
tube, but today, we’ve fostered a growing army, silently getting bigger and stronger
with every week, in an ever expanding ant kingdom! And so today, we take a closer look at just
how big and complex the Phoenix Empire has become on a special guided tour through their
incredible and evolving living quarters. Welcome to the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! It’s amazing how far these ants have come,
and at the very end of the video, the final stop to this tour of the fire ant kingdom,
is something you guys probably might have never seen before, so keep on watching until
the end to catch that. This here is the Phoenix Empire’s grand
castle. By the way, I wanted to give an official name
to this entire connected kingdom here of the Phoenix Empire, so guys, please take a moment
to vote in this ipoll here, to give our Phoenix Empire’s grand territories an official name! I trust you guys will make it a great one! Thank you, AC Council for your input! It’s sunrise now and the Phoenix Empire
nest is bustling with activity, workers going about their various routine tasks. For those of you who’ve been following them
these past few weeks, can you believe how many ants there are now! And have a look at that brood pile! Our Ember Empress, their cherished queen,
has been quite busy laying eggs, as you can see here! That’s one awesome mass of fire ant eggs! What you’re looking at here is the future
generation of fire ants. The brood pile is totally tripping me out
and is just massive right now, compared to last week, and as we saw in a previous video,
like pre-school, the Phoenix Empire is mindful to organize all the young by age group, so
they’re easier to care for. Eggs, larvae, and pupae are carefully grouped
together. The workers lick the brood clean with their
antibiotic saliva to keep mold from growing on their exposed, vulnerable bodies! Check out this dark pupa here which is just
about ready to emerge as an adult ant, a process called eclosing. She’s even starting to wiggle her feet! How cute! Once eclosed, new workers start off yellowish
in colour, then darken to the signature red and black after a couple of days. The Phoenix Empire youth looks promising! Now have you ever wondered if and how ants
sleep? Well, yes, they do, but their sleep consists
of hundreds of short, random power naps within the 24 hr cycle, like these two napping ants
here, but they wake up after a few minutes to commence working. Work just never ends! Amazing right? Oh! Rising to greet us now is our Ember Empress,
awakening to switch her resting position, and oh my gosh! Look at her butt! Compared to the last time we saw her, look
at how much her gaster has grown, enough to even give Kim Kardashian a run for her money! OK, I’ll stop. AC Family, I was just so happy to see this,
because it’s known as physogastrism, where the queen’s ovaries are producing such a
crazy amount of eggs, that it is blowing her gaster up like a balloon! Did you guys even know that ants have ovaries? Her gaster, will still grow to twice or even
three times this size in the coming weeks, as she becomes a total egg-producing factory! Let’s wish her luck on that! It’s important that our Ember Empress here
gets her rest and eats a lot in order to produce eggs. Soon she will have her own dedicated entourage
of workers that specialize only at massaging her, feeding her, plucking her newly laid
eggs from her gaster, and keeping her covered and protected. But for now, she buries herself deep into
a pile of her own brood and awaits her next egg-laying contractions. Man, I just love watching the Phoenix Empire
in their nest, how about you? It’s somehow relaxing, and I could do it
for hours. But, as interesting as these nest activities
are, so too is the action happening outside the nest. Attached to their setup is a great place,
you guys have officially named the Fireforest, and it is here where I’ll be serving their
breakfast! On today’s menu, the ants will be feasting
on a freshly chopped up superworm on a bed of leaf, and it also happens to be the biggest
meal they’ve ever had. Let’s watch! The Phoenix Empire sends out one of the workers
to venture out into the Fire Forest. She smells something interesting and new within
the territories. She wanders out onto Fire Forest grounds and
uses her antennae to smell around and locate what she’s looking for. It wasn’t long before she finally discovered
our culinary preparations, gives it a sniff, and runs back to the nest leaving a pheromonal
trail to inform the rest of the colony of the gourmet superworm steaks she found, and
call for back up to help with consumption. A few minutes later, the ants feast, fill
up their social stomachs and are back at the nest feeding the rest of the colony via trophallaxis,
regurgitating the pre-digested superworm meat into each other’s mouths, including the
larvae, and the queen. But meat isn’t all they eat! Some workers periodically visit the special
test tube which holds their sweet brown sugar-water supply we first provided them last week, and
they too bring their sugar water collections back to the nest! Now, guys this is something new that I’m
sure you’ll love! Check this out! Look at how filled up and stretched some of
the worker’s gasters are, as they each carry large quantities of food in their bodies! Interestingly enough, these specialized fattened
up workers, who have taken up the role of living food transporters, are known as the
repletes. They’re basically walking ant fridges, I
suppose, and are new to the Phoenix Empire. I’ve been waiting for the repletes to appear! The repletes differ from other worker ants
because they do nothing but stay at home and store the colony’s food, saved in their
sterile social stomachs and regurgitate the contents to feed the other colony members,
as needed. They’re larger bodies makes it too risky
for them to leave the nest as they become easier targets for predators, so they just
stay at home and are fattened up by workers ants returning from a meal outside. If I were a member of the Phoenix Empire,
I think this job description suits me best! Haha! The workers make sure these repletes are amply
fed so they can ensure the colony has a constant uninterrupted supply of food, so colony growth
rate isn’t slowed down during periods when food becomes harder to find. But guys, repletes aren’t all! Some of these fattened up workers are known
as aquapletes! Workers that only store the colony’s water! And, check this out! The colony has been extra diligent at collecting
water from their water station, as evidenced by the bubbles in their water test tube, and
stuffing some of the workers, those choosing to be aquapletes, with this fresh water, because
the colony is currently undergoing somewhat of a water shortage crisis. The colony’s water supply is running low. Soon their cotton wall which used to provide
the colony with their water and humidity will run completely dry. But don’t worry, once it does, the colony
will pick up and move into their full water test tube. It won’t be much longer before one of these
ants comes up with the brilliant idea to make their full water test tube neighbouring their
nest, their new nest. We’ll find them all, brood, workers, and
the queen nesting in the new test tube one day soon! Another thing you might notice is some of
the ants have decided to interior decorate! They’ve carried grains of sand into their
test tube portal and even into the entrance of their nest test tube! It’s interesting to see that as the colony
grows, their activities become more and more diverse and interesting! But guys, as promised at the start of this
video, now it’s time to show you the final location of the Phoenix Empire’s kingdom,
which I discovered held a secret that moved me inside. Behold the Phoenix Empire’s garbage and
bathroom area within their test tube portal. Upon closer inspection, what I saw surprised
me then made me sad. Do you see it? It’s a dead worker. Turns out, this location in the test tube
portal is not only the colony’s designated toilet and garbage site, but it is also the
new Phoenix Empire graveyard. No need to worry, though. The death of this ant is normal and I was
expecting it, some point soon. You see, though the queen ant lives for several
years, worker ants only live for a few weeks, and it seems our oldest ants, the nanitics,
are now reaching the end of their lives and dying off. This nanitic, as a true first born, did not
have the benefit of being raised off the substantial mealworms and sugar water that the Phoenix
Empire enjoys today, because it was raised off the queen’s muscle tissues back when
the colony first began. As a result, these nanitics are smaller, physically
disadvantaged, and shorter lived. But as sad as it was to see that the nanitics
were dying now, you know what? I also felt a deep gratitude for the important
work it did while it was alive, during the Phoenix Empire’s most critical stage. Imagine that this dead ant here, was one of
the Phoenix Empire’s pioneers. This ant had to do all the jobs in order to
secure the Phoenix Empire’s future success. It had to be the queen’s caretaker, a forager,
a replete, an aquaplete, an interior designer, and caregiver of the young. Without the great work it served during its
lifetime, the Phoenix Empire would not be the fully functioning, optimistic fire ant
colony it is now. The nanitics in my mind are heroes. RIP little one! Thank you for your service. As I watched our new Phoenix Empire this week,
active, fruitful, and complex as ever, I realized that when you remove scale, societies of living
creatures often have many similarities. There’s order, systems in place to ensure
survival, denomination of jobs and key roles within its members, and pioneers making way
for those on the leading edge of the future. Ants and people aren’t so different after
all. I appreciate that you guys have all become
part of this fire ant colony’s journey, helping me make decisions and raise them. I can’t explain it but I love them so much
and understand that many of you happen to feel the same. It’s pretty cool! I’ll be sure to keep filming our Phoenix
Empire here closely, as they continue to grow in size and social complexity, so we can discover
more and more about them, and ultimately ourselves. Thank you for watching and supporting the
ants! I’ll see you guys again next week! It’s ant love forever! AC Family, our Phoenix Empire is evolving
so much, wouldn’t you say? A lot 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 see the absolutely shocking and awesome discovery I made this
week in the Ant Room! Someone laid eggs! Go see who! Just a quick announcement: if you’ve wanted
to get into ant keeping, use the coupon code “antloveforever” to get 10% off all ant
farms and equipment at AntsCanada.com! Promo ends March 1st so get your ant keeping
gear at AntsCanada.com now. And now it’s time for the AC Question of
the Week. Last week, we asked: Why did the ant park need to be
minimally decorated and kept dry? Congratulations to Jacia Bruns who answered: It was to make sure the Phoenix Empire
wouldn’t nest in the ant park. Congratulations Jacia, you just won a free
Ultimate Ant Keeping handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week we
ask: Name one thing you love about
the Phoenix Empire’s way of life. Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free ebook 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!

75 comments

  1. Greetings, Ant Lovers! The colony's getting huge! Did the ending make you sad, too? Hope you guys can give the video a LIKE, SHARE the video, and SUBSCRIBE if you haven't yet (hit the BELL for notification squad!) if you enjoyed this week's episode! So much more coming up! Don't forget to also vote for the official name of the Phoenix Empire's territories! I love you, guys. Thanks so much for watching! Ant love forever!

  2. My favorite thing about the Pheonix's way of life is how they organize the eggs larvae and pupa into age groups so that it's easier to care for and keep track of them. #AntLoveForever #PheonixEmpire

  3. Answer to the AC question
    The one thing that I love about the phoenix empire's way of life is that how everyone is trying so hard all the time so that the next generation of ants can thrive and live their lives better.

  4. For one thing i love about the fire ant empire's way of life – i liked how they were digging (well one ant at least was digging lol) and exploring in the ant park in last week's episode! i liked how dedicated and thorough they were when checking out the gravel and branches!

    also i'm excited it's a book this time, because that book looks really interesting.

  5. It looks like there is a smaller golden dead ant (possibly pharaoh and) to the left and a little in front of the dead ninantic

  6. is there any types of ants that like fighting?, you should make a whole 4 – 2 teams to see if they end up working together or just always war

  7. Ember empress ruler of the fire forest and city of ashes populated by her majesties daughter making the Phoenix empire

  8. What will happen to the ants if your ant queen have baby queen in the same place
    Please let me know iam a beginner
    My ants are black and so tiny
    I don't know what I will do if this happens
    Please make a video about this

  9. The Fire Nation is how I started to watch your channel. And it is sad to have seen them no longer around. hug I hope the the Phoenix Empire life a long and fun life.

  10. Off topic comment, there was a nuptial flight happening in east java, I was there for almost a month. I only captured 1 queen. Saly, she died because my friend put honey inside, so she got stuck and died.

  11. Aaaaaw, replete are my new favorites. Like a stay at home parent, gain a little weight but who cares! Their love sustains them all.

  12. Imagine burying yourself in a pile of your own babies…think about that (edited because I realized someone else already said it :/)

  13. What do you do when they are just too much of them and you can’t continue to contain them? Do you just execute them? If so how

  14. I like to think that tales of the Early days and the Nanitics are told throughout the colony for years. Whether true or not, it makes me feel happier.

  15. Risen from the ashes from the fire nation, the pheonix empire, replaces the fire nation's place, when as big as the fire nation, may they live longer!
    3:39, NIKI MINAJ VIBES

  16. Ants and bugs in general used to disgust me but know I find so fascinating how they have such a similar society to our own some are nomadic raiders (army ants) some are slavers and some are just anarchists (crazy ants) and some just live out there days in relative peace ( the common black ant as far as I know)

  17. I am really intereste in your videos and the ants but I cannot see them with the empathy you do.

    Not that I have an apathy against them I do want them to suceed but at the same time I can not relate at all to your way of viewing them.

    So its probably good that you have a colony and I just watch on youtube 😉

  18. When you cry over an ant I've come to really like ants ever since I've seen your channel it's so cool how they differ- when they are the same species- how not all of them have big heads and big jaws- just some of them- from the same queen! It's fascinating

  19. AC HELP!!!! I JUST COUGHT A FIRE ANT QUEEN AND PUT IT IN A JAR A LARGE JAR BUT SHE WAS WALKING AROUND WHAT DOES DIS MEAN A.C. AHHHHHH!!!!!

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