ANTS vs. DRAGON’S BREATH

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Fire ants, black crazy ants, yellow crazy ants and now these Polyrhachis ants: Time and time again, the keeping of ants has made for some really unique revelations into the natural world around us. Today we make some really amazing scientific discoveries and finally answer the questions: Where did our Polyrhachis ants disappear to, and what was that mysterious mist seen floating on El Dragon's waters last week?
Special thanks to Alex Wild for photos of Polyrhachis used in this video. Visit http://www.alexanderwild.com and order some amazing prints of his nature photography!
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Caption: Oh no!. ac family, looking into the nest now, it was completely empty. the polyrhachis ants were all gone!. what happened . and shortly after their disappearance, something absolutely. mind-boggling happened that left me speechless. what is this . please subscribe to my channel and hit the. bell icon. welcome to the ac family!. enjoy!. before we get to what this eerie mysterious. mist is that appeared floating on the waters. of el dragon last week, we needed to address. where our polyrhachis ants went and what has. happened leading up to this phenomenon. ac family, you will want to keep on watching. until the end for this epic ant story!. so, i have been showing our past few weeks. of videos of our polyrhachis ants to my myrmecologist. and ant taxonomist friend david general from. the university of the philippines, los banos,. a man who has dedicated his life to studying. and classifying ants of the philippines. needless to say, he has been super impressed. with our video documentation of some extremely. eye-opening footage on these polyrhachis ants. of ours which he said were greatly unstudied. as you saw in our video two weeks ago, david. first mentioned to me that the feeding ecology. of our polyrhachis semiinermis ants was unknown. they didn't know what they ate or how they. ate it. we discovered in our video that the ants fed. on sweet liquids like honey, as well as insect. parts. we were even amazed to discover that the queen. even leaves the comfort and safety of the. nest to feed with her workers, which is quite. interesting and unique since the queens of. most species rarely ever leave the nest unless. they absolutely need to. finally, we even watched as a worker regurgitated. some strange black pellet before diving into. a cockroach leg, meat from which it ripped. off during feeding. david was so intrigued by all of this and. said "wow!. great work!. you're on your way to accumulating enough. observations for a behavioral paper!. does a paper in insectes sociaux sound interesting. to you ". i told him, not so much, but i allowed him. to use our footage in case he or his associates. wanted to write that research paper, but our. only condition was he had to credit the ac. family!. can you imagine, that we together contributed. to science . super cool, ac family. but that's not all!. over the next few weeks i was also able to. shoot some other pretty amazing things, new. ac family discoveries!. another thing dave mentioned to me earlier. on was that "the biology of many polyrhachis. spp is unknown. in fact, i've never seen them bring solid. food to the nest. they somehow take protein in their crops home. to the nest. ". well, two weeks ago, i placed a small spider. near their nest and one worker came, picked. it up, and brought it home! bam!. another contribution to science from the ac. family!. and check out this polyrhachis ant pooping!. you don't see that every day, and in literally. 1 minute, the poop drop was gone!. the tilladsia plant which absorbs nutrients. and water through hair-like structures called. trichomes drank up that nutritious ant poo. i told this to dave and he said: "there's. a new paper proving ant plants are fertilized. by ant poop on the leaves. good show for the tillandsia!". and good show for us, as well. we just supported that paper. but one major thing, scientists have apparently. been wondering was which larval instar in. these polyrhachis ants produces the silk needed. to construct their leaf homes. you see, these ants use the silk webbing produced. by their larvae to glue leaves and debris. together to create amazing nests in the leaves. of plants and similar environments. we saw this last week, when our polyrhachis. were nest building. they took pieces of sphagnum moss and cotton. which we provided to them in a container back. home to their nest to glue together and form. a cozy sanctuary for the queen and brood. but, allegedly, myrmecologists have always. wondered and haven't had an opportunity to. study the web building process of these polyrhachis. ants. and so their big question was: which stage. of larva creates the webbing . now as a backgrounder, in these polyrhachis. ants, there are 5 larval stages known as instars. the first instar being the smallest larva. and the fifth instar being the last and largest. right before pupation. after our polyrhachis ants moved perfectly. onto el dragon island here, i was really hoping. to catch our ants nest building and help answer. that big question. but now, it seems our polyrhachis have disappeared. where could they have gone . i checked everywhere!. i searched every plant, root area, and soil. i checked the waters for drowned ants. i saw none. could our shrimps have eaten them that fast . impossible that our new rasbora fish ate them!. they were too tiny!. did they escape somehow . it was all just so perplexing to me. i sat for a moment and stared into the beautiful. chaos of el dragon's landscape. could the dragon's curse from the days of. the garden of eden be back . no, this is impossible!. this is a science channel!. we don't believe in curses. plus, even if it was, it just can't be. this is a brand new tank, brand new era, brand. new home. oh no!. brand new home. ac family, there is something that i did forget. to mention. some of the soils used to create the island. in which el dragon's plants grow, were taken. from the garden of eden. perhaps our curse had indeed passed on to. these polyrhachis . i stared at our dragon's skull which was set. on the stone to appease the spirit of the. great dragon who once lived in these lands. and then it hit me!. the skull!. i looked into the dragon's skull and low and. behold, our polyrhachis ants were there nestled. into the comfy hallows of one of the horns. and greatest of all, ac family look!. the workers were using a larva to spin silk. and glue debris to form their new nest gate!. wow!. ac family, we just solved the mystery!. these polyrhachis ants use the fifth instar,. the most mature larvae to spin their silk!. high five, guys!. we just answered the big scientific question,. as well as our own mystery as to where our. polyrhachis disappeared to!. but there was one final mystery left. what was that eerie mist that appeared last. week on el dragon's waters. well, when i discovered the ants moved into. the skull last week, one of the things that. concerned me was that the ants no longer could. benefit from the transpiration that naturally. happens in plants. you see ants that build nest homes in leaves. benefit from the humidity that the plants. give off during transpiration. transpiration is the process by which moisture. is carried through plants from roots to small. pores on the underside of leaves, where it. changes to vapor and is released to the atmosphere. so, weaver ants like these polyrhcachis have. natural humidifiers in their homes which is. pretty darn cool. but in this completely dry skull, i feared. the ants might not be able to get the same. amount of humidity as they would had they. lived in the plants. so, i decided to give them something to help. solve that. a fogger, which i placed on a timer to schedule. the creation of a mini mist every few hours,. in order to give our polyrhachis ants some. humidity support. every three hours, a creeping mist like the. breath of a dragon covers the surface of the. waters and keeps ambient humidity ideal for. our ants. are you ready for this, ac family . the best part about all of this: it obscures. the path and makes it hostile traveling ground. for our pharaoh ant interlopers. if any of the pharaoh ants get too close to. the mist, they have a high chance of falling. into the water and being eaten by our mosquito. rasbora fish. many pharaoh ants now turn away when the mist. blows in. i loved watching the mist floating on el dragon's. waters, which by the way, thanks to your votes. is now officially called the river of dragon's. tears. as for our shrimp colony living in the waters,. they also officially have a name. you named them the leviathans. i like those names!. and of course, last week you guys voted for. an official name for our polyrhachis ants,. and ac family, i am happy to announce these. ants are now called the black dragons. thank you guys for always being so enthusiastic. at participating in these ant videos, and. for being a huge part of their fate. thanks to you, we contribute to the ants'. success and as we've seen in this video, to. some amazing discoveries in science. it seems our black dragons which continued. to work through the night building their new. nest in the skull of el dragon will be ok. we'll just have to keep providing them with. everything they need and hope they succeed. this el dragon paludarium setup was such a. huge success. it made me look over to our black dragons'. neighbours, the golden empire in their hacienda. del dorado. our yellow crazy ants have been living in. this terrarium for over a year. look at all of that chaos!. the hacienda del dorado was in desperate need. of a makeover!. we also had to find another way to deal with. their exploding population, and i had just. the renovation to solve both those problems. ac family, behold. alright, ac family!. are you excited for what's up next for our. golden empire . these yellow crazy ants are up for a royal. renovation and i can't wait for you guys to. see what i've done!. tune in next week to catch how i turn their. current overrun terrarium into one of the. craziest ant setups i've ever created in all. my years of ant keeping!. you won't want to miss it so hit that subscribe. button and bell icon and hit the like button. every time, including now!. ac inner colony, i have left a hidden cookie. for you here, if you would just like to watch. some extended play footage of our scientific. discoveries as well as our ground-breaking. discovery of the black dragons spinning silk. using their fifth instar larvae!. spread the word, the ac family saw it first!. before continuing to the ac question of the. week, i wanted to plug my new daily vlogging. channel, featuring my daily vlogs for those. wondering what i work on between these weekly. ant videos!. and now it's time for the ac question of the. week!. last week we asked:. how do beneficial bacteria. help keep fish alive in. an aquarium . congratulations to, and note this was completely. a random selection, ant love forever who correctly. answered. "the fish's waste makes toxic ammonia. which is converted by bacteria into nitrite. and then again into nitrate. ". congratulations ant love forever, you just. won a free e-book handbook from our shop. in this week's ac question of the week, we. ask:. list any of the ant scientific. discoveries we made in this video. leave your answer in the comments section. and you could also win a free ebook handbook. 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!. .
 

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