Fire Ants galore! Check out our Fire Nation, our huge colony
of red tropical fire ants. They’ve officially moved into their new formicarium
from last week’s video and boy, is it busy in there! For the first time in almost a year, we get
to see what happens inside an ants’ nest, but my main goal today is to try to spot the
queen ant. We also will be voting for an official name
for this new Fire Nation lair. You won’t want to miss this epic fire ant
queen hunt, as we scour the chambers and tunnels, sort through the young, and attempt to locate
the mother of this massive colony, in this episode of the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please subscribe to my channel, and hit the
bell icon, welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! So in case you didn’t tune in to our last
video, we recently introduced some fresh territory to the Fire Nation here. We added our new AC Hybrid Nest 2.0 to their
current living network of tubes, tubs, and outworlds. It was an incredible and hi-tech addition
to their home and they began to establish highways within the new nest. So let’s check up on their progress one week
later, shall we? Whoa! Check out all those ants! They really love this new nest. Alright, AC Family before we continue, I have
placed my top 5 picks from your name suggestions for this new nest, in an iPoll here, so please
take a moment to vote for your favourite name, so we will determine what to call this new,
very popular area of the Fire Nation. Also by the way AC Family, I know all too
well, how sharp some of your eyes are at catching details, so I’ll need your help. Throughout this video if you see the queen
or think you see her, be sure to point her out in the comments and leave a time stamp
for us to all check out. Look at how they’ve organized themselves in
here. Isn’t it just incredible how many ants have
managed to pack themselves in here. Wow! The Fire Nation is truly majestic. This nest is absolutely alive and active! The fire ants enter and exit the nest through
an opening here… and here… Check out how heavily guarded each of these
nest openings are. It’s important that there are large groups
of ants simply waiting around the exists ready to engage in battle at a single alarm because
inside the nest lays the valuable young and their queen, possibly. And if she is in here, I’m determined to find
her. Let’s check the rooms! Look at that flow of workers. Amazing to watch them follow organized highways
and not simply march everywhere randomly. It’s great traffic efficiency. In this chamber you will see a huge brood
pile. Those whitish things that look like rice are
all pupae, teenage ants in their developmental stage prior to becoming full-grown, fully
formed ants. They are immobile and helpless and rely on
the workers to care and transport them during this period of their lives. They remain in this phase for several days
and then become workers that survive for about 3 weeks to a month. The total lifespan of a worker ant is actually
about 1-2 months. This means then that every couple of months
the colony you see in these videos will all be dead and will have been replaced with new
workers. Every couple of months this fire ant colony
is a new colony, except for one member. The queen. I don’t see her here. Do you? The queen is the only one who survives for
many years. The record for a queen ant in captivity is
almost 30 yrs. Talk about the saying “Long Live the Queen!” Here is another brood room, also mostly pupae. Though it may seem like the pupae are the
most abundant form of brood in this nest, don’t be fooled. There are also lots of eggs and larvae stashed
around in this nest, but because they are smaller and less conspicuous they’re easier
to hide away. Here is one such room. Workers have decided to fill this room with
larvae of different stages and probably lots of eggs, as well. The larvae and eggs also depend on the workers,
who by the way are their sisters, to care, feed, and transport them around. Wanna hear something amazing about the larvae,
AC Family? Each larvae is fed and as it grows, its waste
collects inside its body and then only right before it pupates to become a pupa, it finally
releases the built up poop, in a fecal pellet known as a meconium. Yes, ant babies only poop once in their entire
lives and it is all in a compact fecal pellet which actually remains attached to the pupa
shell. This is evolutionary brilliance, because inside
an ant nest where there are many members, and it is moist, things can get dangerously
infested with bacteria and mold, so having that one meconium per larva and having it
packaged up on the outside of the pupa means ant baby poop isn’t just sitting around. Everything is sterile and it’s truly an amazing
biological ant feature. Let’s continue looking for our queen. Check out this huge room and all the brood
in here. Something tells me if our queen is in this
formicarium, she would be hiding somewhere here. I don’t think the queen would be near any
of the entrances as this would be dangerous for her. She’s got to be in the heart of the nest somewhere. There are some rooms of the nest which the
ants have not occupied. This room here has been elected the bathroom
of the colony. Ants enter and leave as needed. Some privacy please! These rooms lead to one of the water test
tubes. Not too many drinking from this one. But this one is a popular watering hole it
seems. Perhaps they’re trying to keep the second
test tube as clean as possible by drinking first from this test tube. Who knows? Here you will see one of the highway crossroads
within the nest. Ants in this area are moving in all directions. Each of those ants are on their own missions. To be honest I really miss watching the action
inside the nest. It’s just as interesting as watching external
ant activity in their outworlds. Now you might notice that some of the brood
are yellowish orange in colour. These are the pupae that are ready to ecolse,
meaning the adult ants are ready emerge from their pupal stage. Newly formed adults start off as a yellowish
orange colour then overtime, as their exoskelton hardens turn a dark red colour. This process is called tanning. Check out this room. This is one of the rooms with the perforrated
floors, allowing for the humidity to enter the nest from below. The Hybrid Nest’s hydration chambers are beneath
the nest, as you may have seen in our previous video. The ants make sure not to cover this too much
to allow for the moisture to enter the nest. I continued to check out the rooms as closely
as I could, but could not find the queen. What I’m looking for is a larger ant with
a fat gaster, the technical term for the abdomen or ant butt, as well as a cohort of worker
ants around her. Often she is seen as a head and thorax and
a swelling of worker ants around her gaster. It’s a bit difficult to find the queen because
they hide her well, but also, it’s easy to mistaken the majors as a queen. The ants with the massive heads are the majors,
specialized workers at cutting things open with their huge, muscled mandibles. I find the omnipresence of the majors makes
finding the queen a bit challenging. I truly love this nest and in the past several
months have been housing my ant colonies in natural nests, but with this dirtless formicarium
I can actually come super close to the ants and not bother them nor have to worry about
being stung. By the way, guys, these Hybrid Nests are available
now and I have placed a link to them at our store in the description box so if you’ve
been wanting to start ant keeping, you must have a look at them. They’re reliable, easy-to-use, and we ship
them worldwide! AC Family, I am not seeing the queen anywhere. Perhaps she hasn’t moved in yet? What do you guys think? Let’s just take some time to look shall we? Here we go. Keep your eyes peeled AC Family! To be honest, if the queen is anywere in here,
I feel she would be in this room, because I see a lot of eggs being kept around here. For 5 hrs I did my best to check all areas
of the nest for any signs of the queen, but to no avail. I swear she’s in here, but perhaps she’s deciding
not to let herself be seen this time around. Did any of you guys spot her? If you did, let us know in the comments. I too will keep rewatching this video to find
her! Otherwise, I’ll keep my eyes open over the
next few days and film her if I do manage to catch a glimpse of her royal ant highness. Thank you for watching another episode of
the AntsCanada ant channel. Until next time AC Family, this AntsCanada
signing out. It’s ant love forever. Alright AC Family, wasn’t this like one big
Where’s Waldo challenge? Ac Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would just like to watch extended play footage of the fire ants living
inside their new formicarium. And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: What does an ant colony do when their
current nest gets too dirty or too lived in? Congratulations to Lorcan Cooper who correctly
answered: They dig new tunnels and abandon
the old ones or completely move out. Congratulations Lorcan Cooper you just won
a brand new, free Hybrid Nest 2.0 formicarium from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What is the name for the fecal pellet expelled
prior to pupation in an ant’s development? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could win a free ant t-shirt from our shop! Hope you can subscribe to the channel as we
upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE
if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!