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New SKULL ISLAND Ant Farm for Ghost Ants | Halloween Special Pt. 2


But suddenly, I came across something that
I wasn’t particularly thankful for… Later that day, I spotted this. Oh no! The Dark Knights! Last week, as I was busy facing my fear of
the formidable maggots which decided to join the feeding frenzy in the Selva de Fuego,
Amazonian kingdom of my Fire Ants, something totally tragic and horrifying happened. I discovered one the tubes from the multiple
formicarial network setup of the Dark Knights, my black crazy ant supercolony, was disconnected! AC Family, as you can imagine, I completely
freaked out! Just a quick look back, the Dark Knights, a supercolony of Black Crazy
Ants, have been an OG in our Antiverse. Scientifically known as Paratrechina longicornis,
the Dark Knights were what I called the “perfect colony” because of their special biological
features. So get this: First off, they’re a polygenous
species, meaning they tolerate multiple queens in a single colony, hence the name supercolony. But what makes them extra crazy, no pun intended,
is their genes, which allow them to physically inbreed without genetically inbreeding. It baffles scientists. In short, queens can give birth to males that
are genetically unrelated to them, so these males can safely mate with any sibling virgin
queen sister within the nest, totally forgoing the need for a nuptial flight with external
colonies for reproduction. This means then that a black crazy ant colony
could not only grow in size super fast, but the colony could technically perpetuate in
an enclosed ant farm forever, without outside contact to propagate or reproduce, unlike,
for example, the Fire Nation, who have to undergo nuptial flights on a yearly basis,
and who only tolerate one queen per colony. If you wish to know more about the Dark Knights,
feel free after this video to click here for their complete storyline playlist. Now, I seldom featured the Dark Knights because
they were the least problematic and eventful colony in our ant menagerie. A video dedicated to them would have essentially
been redundant and very short. They lived peacefully in their elaborate but
comfortable home of AC Outworlds and Uncle Milton Ant Farm without any insect or ant
colony daring to bother them. They traveled to and from their tubes which
ran down to an outworld in my kitchen every single day. There was nothing much to report about them
for over a year… that was until now. Seeing the disconnected tube, I searched frantically
through the various formicaria that made up their setup. One by one, I realized the Dark Knights were
in none of the units, nor seen running through tubes that connected various setups. If I were to guess what happened, I believe
this particular tube connecting the Uncle Milton ant farm to their setup disconnected
little by little over time. This smaller tube you see here came with the
Uncle Milton ant farm, and upon further checking isn’t the same standard size of our AC small
tubes which I regularly use, and it must have loosened over time without me noticing. My bad! It is worth mentioning too that in April this
year, the Luzon Island in the Philippines, where I currently live, experienced a 6.1
magnitude earthquake, which caused property damage and even loss of lives. This tragic event may have contributed to
the loosening of the connecting tubes. My guess is, once the tubes got fully disconnected,
it took the Dark Knights no time at all to fully evacuate their home. I’m certain this disconnection was recent
because I check up on them every day and trust me, I would have noticed a disconnected tube! Whatever the case, this news was shocking. Losing the Dark Knights was disappointing,
knowing how they had become an integral part of the AC Antiverse. But guys, it was at that moment, that I made
an astonishing discovery! While having to deal with an ant supercolony
that appeared to have exited the Antiverse, a brand new colony was waiting to join us. Within this container are super tiny ants
that have been eager to move out. Behold AC Family, let’s all welcome, the
new addition to our ever-growing Antiverse, Ghost Ants. These minute ants scientifically known as
Tapinoma melanocephalum have pale, translucent legs and gasters, creating the illusion that
these ants look like floating heads. Hence, the name ghost ants. These physical characteristics also make them
appear even smaller than they actually are. This ant species is found in tropical and
semi-tropical areas. They are usually seen loose in homes and other
residential spaces. They are very common domestic ants here in
the Philippines, and I often see them around my coffee station trying to steal any sugar
that may have dropped on my counter. This colony we have here was caught from inside
a bamboo stalk. Here, you can see bits and pieces of bamboo
fibers from their old home. What’s super cool is this container actually
also has other inhabitants aside from the ghost ants, and you’ll all be meeting them
soon. Ghost ants are also known to be polygynous,
like the Dark Knights, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more than one queen in here. But, AC Family, there was a bit of problem. There’s a caveat, creating a suitable home
for these extra tiny ants. These super tiny ants are famous for “ghosting”
their ant setups. I’ve actually had this species in the past,
but I learned that like ghosts, they can pass through walls via ventilation or hydration
holes, as well as chemical barriers of an ant farm. Their size makes it difficult for ant keepers
to keep them in contained and secure spaces. So, I had a neat plan for their housing that
I believe you guys will love. Now AC Family, speaking of disappearing and
ghosting ants, I hate to be a bearer of bad news today, but there was another ant kingdom
that appears to have disappeared suddenly. The Blood Legion, our growing colony of Dracula
Ants living within their grand multilevel terrarium, has oddly stopped foraging at the
surface. These Dracula ants belonging to the genus
Stigmotomma are quite odd and an interesting ant species. Growing up in Canada, I had only heard about
their creepy lifestyle in literature, but moving to a tropical country, 9 yrs ago gave
me the chance to see their wonders first hand. As seen in previous videos on this channel,
these Dracula ants are particularly popular for their pseudo-cannibalistic tendencies. They fatten their young with food, and then
go on to drink their blood. They do so by creating micro incisions into
the skin of their larvae or pupae and drink the hemolymph i.e., the technical term for
ant blood, that bleeds out of these cuts. After doing this, the young have this magical
power of healing the cuts, which then allow the larvae to continue developing into adult
ants. Another interesting fact is that this ant
species don’t have a queen. Instead, they run on a gamergate system, where
only a dominant worker ant is allowed to mate with males and lay the colony’s eggs. But all of these mind-boggling abilities aside,
it seems the Blood Legion, too has ghosted us. It’s been weeks since I’ve seen them in search
of food. The chopped up superworms I gave them are
always left wriggling atop the open earth. It was a mystery to me why, because I continued
feeding them lots as normal, providing them purified water, and optimal temperatures. They can’t even climb glass nor jump so they
couldn’t have escaped. How then could they have disappeared without
explanation? Or were they still in there? There was only one way to find out. Looking around the ant room, I knew that if
the Dark Knights were still around, they’d definitely be moving into a place with all
the necessary resources they needed, namely food, water, and moist soil. I asked myself, if I were the Dark Knights,
where would I relocate? What would be the best place that satisfies
the survival of the supercolony? Certainly, not the Selva de Fuego. I knew for sure they wouldn’t dare attempt
to move into the lair of their arch enemies, the Fire Nation, because it was too dangerous
to challenge the fiercest ant colony in the Antiverse. Invading Olympus was also not an option, because
the glass openings of the terrarium were lined with diatomaceous chalk, which would kill
any insect crossing over it. It would be a total hemolymph bath if the
Dark Knights attempted to pass this protective barrier. Surely they wouldn’t enter the Hacienda Del
Dorado, as they’d be met with ant-eating microfrogs, as well as the thunderous mandibles of the
Jawbreakers, trap-jaw ants, who’ve defended their territory from mighty trespassers before. But AC Family, after snooping around, my heart
jumped into my throat when I spotted a possible place the Dark Knights may have created a
temporary encampment. Bingo! So the biggest hurdle in keeping these Ghost
Ants was their super small bodies. They could literally fit on the head of a
pin! If the ghost ants join us, they will literally
be the tiniest members of the Antiverse. The ghost ants are so small they can fit through
the holes of most meshes. Small enough to even fit through the microholes
of AC formicaria, and these holes are tiny and are designed to keep the smallest of ants
in, but apparently not ghost ants. They can also make their way through common
ventilation blockers like cotton balls, filter foam, and cheesecloth. Using most traditional ventilation techniques
would not deter these ghost ants from escaping. Like I said, they pass through walls! To make things even harder, these ghost ants
can miraculously pass through most traditional ant barriers, including petroleum jelly, baby
powder, fluon, and paraffin oil. Whatever their setup would be, I knew it had
to keep the ants contained, but a completely sealed setup would not allow the ants to breathe,
plus what do I do when I need to give them food and water or clean up their setup? It’s why I don’t know many people who have
successfully kept these ants for very long. We needed to put on our best ant Ghostbuster-thinking
caps, AC Family! So after drawing up some plans, I came up
with the perfect solution to their housing! A Ghost Ant island! We needed to find the Blood Legion, AC Family. I loved this unique colony and it was of the
essence to get to the bottom of their disappearance. And when I say getting to the bottom, I mean
taking their terrarium apart and digging through the soil of the entire tank. I took away their tank and brought it to a
place where we could more easily work and properly examine the terrarium components
as we removed them. AC Family, this was completely nerve-racking. Let’s hope for the best and find the Blood
Legion safe somewhere in an underground retreat. Let’s do this. First, I took these massive driftwood pieces
out of the terrarium. Nothing. No Dracula ants came out of the nest protesting
as they would have. I continued the process until I took every
major component from the tank. While doing so, I noticed the plants we planted
only four months ago. They had grown so nicely in the conditions
of the Blood Legion’s territory we made with love for them. I began to feel emo remembering how awesome
and hopeful the Blood Legion was. In my mind, I had high hopes they would become
as prolific and successful as the Fire Nation one day. Let’s not give up hope. The Blood Legion was still alive and we were
going to find them! AC Family, meet Crayola. My veiled chameleon who lives in this tall
enclosure in the Ant Room. But in Crayola’s enclosure, is a large, living
Pothos plant which grows from a bag of digging medium, placed there for her to lay her unfertilized
eggs when she’s ready. This soil is moistened daily when I spray
the leaves with water for my chameleon to drink. There are also super worms and other insects
laying in a hanging container for my chameleon to eat whenever she wants. Given these, as well as the proximity of Crayola’s
setup to the Dark Knight’s home, I knew it was the perfect spot for the Dark Knights
to relocate. I approached the chameleon enclosure to check
the bag of digging medium for the Dark Knights. They just had to be in there. I couldn’t deal with the Dark Knights being
gone. There was no way they had moved out of the
Antiverse. My idea for the best home for the ghost ant
colony was an island. Check this out. By creating them an island, we would solve
the two main problems of ventilation and opportunity of escape. I felt if we could create an island surrounded
by a moat of water, that would allow the ghost ants all the ventilation and air to breathe
that they needed, while also containing them in a single space. It was a crazy idea, but I felt it could work! Instantly, I, your Creator of Worlds went
straight to work to build the ghost ants the best island haven of their dreams. First, I added bags of black sand. Next, I added activated carbon, to ensure
the island soils would remain clean of intoxicants. I added peat moss to provide the ghost ants
with a wonderfully water absorbent digging medium for their nest. I then had to add water to cradle our ghost
ant island. And when the water reached the brim, it was
time to add the stars of the show – the ghost ants. Opening the container, here they come. With all the components out of the Blood Legion’s
terrarium and still no sign of the Blood Legion, I began to search through the soil. AC Family… sigh… I’m sorry. They’re not here. It seems our Blood Legion had all died out. I’m so sorry, guys. After thinking about what could have happened,
I realized that we’ve actually been through this before. The last time we had a promising ant colony
mysteriously disappear was with the Black Panthers, our epic colony of Asian Bullet
ants. It was then that I realized something key. Besides disappearing unexpectedly, there was
one other thing both the Blood Legion and the Black Panthers had in common. Their colonies both operated on a gamergate
system. As you may recall, the Black Panthers, also
died out because their gamergate had died and in order for the next worker in command
to produce workers she needed to mate with another male ant, and I don’t think gamergates-to-be
can mate with brothers, so they in effect needed to wait for a male ant from another
colony to come along and mate with them. And well, there was no way an outside male
could mate with the gamergate of my ant colonies, unless it somehow could smell that there was
a potential gamergate hopeful some 15 stories up high in my building and fly through my
window. So I suspect, AC Family, that the Blood Legion,
like the Black Panthers all died out because their gamergate had reached her max lifespan
and died. For all you Blood Legion fans out there, I’m
sorry. We have to bid goodbye to this awesome colony. It was indeed a pleasure keeping them. Voila! AC Family, let it be known to all corners
of the Antiverse that the Dark Knights have officially been found! This was totally amazing! Examining the soil within my chameleon’s setup,
I could see the Dark Knights going about their usual business setting up shop. Now that I knew where they were encamped,
I decided to act quickly, by cutting the Pothos plant from the bag, transferring the plant
to my tropical fish tank so it could still live, then dumped the entire contents of the
bag into this completely sealed glass enclosure. I offered the Dark Knights food and drink
which they accepted lovingly. By the look of things, they were the same
old Dark Knights that I knew. AC Family, I was super grateful we did not
lose the Dark Knights. Sp happy we managed to recover them. AC Family, behold! Welcome to Skull Island, the great island
kingdom for our new colony of ghost ants. What do you guys think of it? Let’s take a moment and marvel at the ghost
ants experiencing life on the island for the very first time. The ghost ants ran excitedly up and down this
giant driftwood piece adorned with skulls. I could tell the colony was even finding tiny
spaces within the wood to nest in. A thick blanket of mist swirled atop the surface
of the murky waters that circled around the island. It made Skull Island look quite eerie, so
fitting for our colony of ghost ants and Halloween! But AC Family, are you ready for a surprise? What’s totally amazing is that when I dumped
the contents of the container onto the island the ghost ants came with other creatures. Check it out: a baby tarantula! Yes, there were several baby tarantulas in
the collection that were living unharmed with the ghost ants. You see when the bamboo from which these ants
were collected was broken, I thought I had seen some webbing but wasn’t sure. Turns out, it was a native tarantula egg sack
and so along with the ghost ants, we also collected some baby tarantula spiderlings! Can you believe it? So our new island is a ghost ant slash tarantula
island for now anyway. I provided some sweet jelly for the ghost
ants, as a house warming present to welcome them to the Antiverse, and the ants immediately
began to gather in masses to eat up all the delicious goodies! Check out the colour of the food collecting
in their transparent bodies! How cute! Now AC Family, you know what’s next right? What should we name this colony? As always, I need your input, AC council. Leave your name suggestions in the comments
and I will choose my top 5 favourites for us to vote on in a future video. So guys, it was a pretty epic day. We lost an ant colony, welcomed a new one,
discovered that an ant colony had died out, and found the lost ant colony. In this crazy hobby of ant keeping, we see
how life continually seems to come and go. Our Antiverse alone has seen the rise and
fall, entry and exit, births and feedings, deaths and resurrections of so many ant kingdoms
and creatures. As we see time and time again, the world of
nature is a constant ebb and flow of life, as creatures move in and out of spaces, or
reproduce and die within a habitat. Such is the reality and duality of life, and
seeing these great processes happening on a micro scale within these tiny worlds of
ants we care for, is truly a wonder of its own. We are blessed to have a God’s eye perspective
of the great miracle of life. So now, with the Dark Knights in this enclosed
space, our next step was to move them back into their old home. Their former home was a network of interconnected
outworlds that spanned both floors of my home, a great home for them, minus the Uncle Milton
ant farm, which will no longer be part of their network. Or we could make them a totally new home. One that is not only escape-free but is also
aesthetically exquisite. After thinking about it for a moment, I had
the perfect plan and idea for the Dark Knights and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. Also, there was a bit of problem I forgot
to tell you about the new Skull Island set up. While moving in the ants, I made a very concerning
discovery: turns out the baby tarantulas could actually float on the water. AC Family, skull Island needed a water beast
to make sure any escaping tarantulas would be dealt with accordingly. AC Family, did you enjoy today’s Halloween
episode? So much is up ahead, and I can’t wait to show
you what new setup and creatures I am adding to our growing Ant Room, so hit that SUBSCRIBE
button and BELL ICON for notifications now, so you don’t miss out on the epic stories
of the inhabitants of the Antiverse. Don’t forget to also hit the LIKE button every
single time, including now! It would really help a lot! If you’re new to the channel, and want to
catch up on all your AntsCanada Lore, feel free to binge watch this complete story line
playlist here, which traces the origins of all the ant colonies of the ant room, so you
can follow their stories and better appreciate how these ant kingdoms came to be, and why
we love them so much! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you’d like to see exactly what I saw the moment I dumped the new ghost
ant colony onto Skull Island. It was pretty crazy! The ghost ant colony is massive! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: Why are flies important in the world? Congratulations to Chee Meng Chang who correctly
answered: Flies are important because they are part
of the food web and help with the decomposition of dead and
rotting life forms. Congratulations Chee Meng, you just won a
free e-book handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: Why are ghost ants called ghost ants? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book 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, and
SUBSCRIBE if you enjoyed this video to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

100 Comments

  1. AntsCanada Author

    Happy Halloween, AC Family! You may notice that today's episode is a bit different from usual. Please let me know if you like this new multi-story format. I find it helps me update you guys on multiple colonies and creatures in a single video so you guys don't have to wait ages for an update on your favourite colonies. But AC Family, if you enjoyed this video hope you can remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE (hit the bell for Notifications Squad). I'd truly appreciate it. Ant love forever!

    Reply
  2. Tamarra James Author

    Love the new colony, they are interesting…do they have repletes? Baby tarantulas are so cute. I wonder if you could escape the loss of a gammergate colony by introducing a few wild boys in mating season. They either die or mate, and bring genetic variety to the colony. Might call the ghost colony The Spectres.
    I’m going to miss the blood ants 😕🖤🇨🇦

    Reply
  3. nlhrb Author

    Convict cichlids would fit the theme but idk if they will eat the spiders or would even be suited for that set up. Seems to be 10-15 gallons to me, or the video just seems to make it smaller. Can't think of other stuff because spiders float as you said and crayfish and such prefers to stay on the bottom. Yellow lab cichlid is small, agressive and may work but will be too striking for the skull theme. Red-bellied piranha would be cool, but that's illegal in the Philippines (some fish keepers own them though). The only thing I can think of is a young red-bellied pacu, that grows incredibly fast and would need a replacement after some months, you can eat them though. Yum

    Reply
  4. River Vessel Author

    Three thousand years ago King Solomon ( by far the wisest man of his time ) wrote Proverbs 6:6- "Go to the ant, you sluggard (lazy person); consider her ways, and be wise!" If King Solomon said "consider the ant" this I will do, and you have provided me with the perfect viewing portal to their world. Thank you.

    Reply
  5. Aaron Raphael Trinidad Author

    Answer to the AC question of the week is because they have transparent legs and gasters which makes it look like their heads are floating

    Reply
  6. steezy_-b Author

    I hope everybody does now is that he either let them run away or either freaking kill them but he did it so he can move in the ghost ants in the new home

    Reply
  7. MrDziell Author

    Honestly I say the ghost ants should be called "The Skull Crawlers" (as they crawl all over there island with skulls on it) or "The Phantom Crawlers" (as they're ghost ants and they crawl all over their island.)

    Reply
  8. asdedoxd Author

    "Undead Legion" for the ghost ants, as they live in a now haunted island, hidden in the mist of the sea, a cursed land in which ghosts roam around

    Reply
  9. franco cruz Author

    at least no ant colonies escaped during the earth quake.Espiecially the fire ants.Boy,that would have been
    1.A mess(the glass,and other things inside the terrarium)
    2.A pain(literally)

    Reply
  10. Bakkiyamani bagavathsingh Author

    my little brothers name suggestion-tiny cute ants. my suggestion-ghost riders,haunt-tinys and the dark devils and for the new water creature,electric blue jack fish with a name-thunder jack and spider group name-phantom face

    Reply
  11. Error Sans Author

    Penanggalan ants is what i think should be the name, since worker ants are females and they look like floating heads. Penanggalan is a floating head of a woman. (Female Ants)= the whole colony except drones

    Reply
  12. HungryIronWolf4 Author

    OMG THANK YOU!!!!! Thank you for making a Dark Knights episode!!! They are my favorite and I'm super happy they are ok. I was TOTALLY in suspense the whole episode!! Thank you for making these, I look forward to them on the weekends.

    As for names for the ghost ant colony…. Im totally for The Spirit Legion in homage to the blood legion (R.I.P. Blood Legion is trending on Twitter somewhere). but if youre tired of legions then The Reapers is better than The Caspers.

    Ghost Gang or SkullCrushers could also work since you said the hard-to-see-bodies make it look like the heads are floating. but The Reapers are my #1.

    Reply

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