We ant keepers usually have that one dream ant colony, that one species of ant that fillsan ant-loving mind with excitement and wonder.
I've owned dozens of species of ants in my life time, but there is one species that standsout in my mind as one of my ultimate favourites, and at one point, I actually managed to geta hold of a colony of these majestic and titanic ants, with massive majors ready to take anythingon with their crushing jaws, but sadly, tragedy befell them, as they were ripped apart bya series of life crises, eventually leading to their extermination, reduced to mere exoskeletons.
But this week, AC Family, I've been quite preoccupied, building what has to be one ofmy greatest ant worlds yet, because this week, the Titans have returned to us from the dead,and you're about to find out that these Asian Marauder ants are now stronger than ever.
Join me, as we populate this new ant world, with the most epic and majestic ants in theworld.
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Welcome to the AC Family!Enjoy!Before me sits an empty glass aquarium, into which I was to construct a setup for a veryimportant ant colony.
My Ant Room is completely full of ant kingdoms now, which is why when a friend called meup and told me he had an Asian Marauder ant colony that needed a home, I was forced tofind a spot for this new ant kingdom, as it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.
I resolved to place the setup at this corner, which happened to place it at the center ofthe Ant Room.
Little did I know, this Ant Kingdom was going to be one of my favourite ant farms of alltime, and the colony moving in would shock me, especially when I saw the colony's queens.
Yes, queens plural!Do keep on watching until the end, guys, as you too need to see this!If you're new to the channel, one of the ant colonies we've lost in the past, was the Titans,a great Asian Marauder ant colony, a species best known among ant enthusiasts for havingthe most impressive polymorphism of any ant, meaning these girls have crazy sizes of workerants.
They had the regular tiny and fast-moving minor workers, as well as larger majors, buteveryone's favourite has to be, these enormous 1 inch-long supermajors with massive heads,packed with ant muscle to provide the colony with any needed jaw-force.
You'll be seeing all of these worker castes in a bit!Asian Marauder ants are hands down, one of my favourite ants, I've ever owned, and Iknow many of you have felt the same.
Because when our beloved Titans passed away, a great number of you grieved their deathwith me, as the video of their passing trended on Youtube around the world, and since theirpassing, you guys have continually requested for me to bring them back and try again.
A few weeks ago, I managed to bring back the Jawbreakers, another previously lost colony,and that proved to be a great return!So today, when I got the call to provide a home for this huge Asian Marauder Ant Colony,I thought about it for a moment, and decided YES!Ant colony accepted.
I went to my aquarium builders, and asked them to fashion me a 40 cm long by 40 cm wideby 70 cm tall aquarium, but this aquarium had to have very specific specs.
I needed four ventilation holes of two inch diameter, drilled at four corners of a slidingglass top.
The tight sliding glass top, instead of mesh or open-air, ensured no spaces to allow forinvasions from wild ants.
I was not going to allow history to repeat itself.
I also needed a port hole drilled into the side here.
Once the aquarium was stationed in place, I went straight to work!I dumped tonnes of new rich, virgin soils into the enclosure.
I wanted the ants the have a lot of digging medium, something the Titans didn't quitehave living in the Garden of Eden, their setup at the time.
I feel if the Titans had more digging medium, they may have been able to dig deeper chambers,and better protect their queen and brood from outside invasions at the surface.
Plus, Asian Marauder ants dig very deep tunnels in the wild, so I was determined to providethis new colony that luxury.
Three hours later, the ant kingdom was complete.
AC Family, behold!I am proud to introduce to you Olympus, our new Mountain Castle ant world.
I found Olympus a fitting name for this terrarium, because Mount Olympus from Greek mythologywas a mythical home created by the new gods after the Battle of the Titans.
Let me show you around Olympus!The first thing you might notice is that it is a sloping ant world.
I wanted to create a sort of mountain-side feel to this terrarium, so that it could providea lot of digging space for the ants but also offer them a greater amount of above groundforaging space.
Viewing from the side, you can see that there is just so much moist, rich soil for the antsto build their tunnels and chambers in.
It measures a soil depth of 40 cm at its deepest point and 10 cm at its lowest.
A large and gorgeous winding piece of driftwood gives the mountain structure and integrity,holding the territories together.
But what I love the most is the mountain-side plant life.
I've carefully planted two species of Peperomia plants along this sloping terrain, includingthis Peperomia puteolata, and this ever cute related species of Peperomia caperata "Rosso".
When planting these plants into the setup, I made sure to check the foliage and accompanyingsoils to ensure there were no stow aways, like tiny ant baby-eating Brahminy snakeswhich happened to come with one of the plants in the Garden of Eden in the past, and couldhave been one of the reasons the Titans failed to proliferate.
I made sure all these plants, were snake-free.
Growing at the apex of the mountain, we see the outstretched needle leaves of a beautiful'Blue Carpet' conifer tree, Juniperus squamata.
I find the tree gives the entire territory a mountainous feel, along with rock cliffsat strategic places.
But what completes this entire mountain castle terrain, is this mountain castle, which standssolidly from the mountain's eastern escarpment.
I chose this castle decor because of its neat ruins look, as a sort of representation ofthe Titan's turbulent past.
Now I rarely do themed ant setups, but I felt this ant world would be sort of differentand special.
What do you guys think of this mountain castle setup, called Olympus?So, AC Family, now for the moment we've all been waiting for.
It was time to move in the ants, and witness the epic return of a beloved ant colony fromthe past, back to the Antiverse.
To prepare, I needed to add my barrier.
This baby powder barrier would not be needed once the enclosure was completely sealed,but I wanted to add it anyway, just to keep the ants concentrated on ground activitiesand not on climbing to the topmost parts of the enclosure.
I rubbed baby powder all around the sliding glass door holes, and along the top edgesof the tank, and slipped the sliding door back onto the terrarium.
And now, to meet the colony, our new Titans.
Inside this green paper-wrapped container lies what I was told, was an epic Asian Marauderant supercolony with thousands of workers and four queens.
Yes, four royal egg-laying queens!I was surprised by this because I had no idea this species was polygynous, meaning theytolerated more than one queen per nest.
This was great and I couldn't wait to meet them!Now here was my plan on how to move this supercolony into Olympus.
I was going to need the help of a long tube to allow the ants to move in on their own.
The next step was, I needed to remove the paper covering.
Exposing the colony to light will make the colony uneasy and elicit the urge to relocateout of their current container.
All I needed to do now was connect these two tubes to allow the emmigration into Olympusto take place.
AC Family, are you ready?1 - 2 - 3.
I pulled out the cotton blocker and inserted the portal tube, but I quickly realized theportal tube was not snugly fitting into the larger tube.
There was a space through which the ants could escape, so I taped it up.
And finally the last step, was I needed to fix a bright LED light at the opposite endof the container to get the ants to emmigrate towards the portal tube.
This LED light produces very little heat, so I wasn't too worried the colony was goingto cook in their container, but the light alone would be enough to do the job.
You see ants are naturally photophobic when nesting, and will do anything to find darkness.
In fact, I could already see the ants getting 'antsy'.
But despite the sudden hi-jinx, it seemed there were no ants interested on leaving yetthrough the portal tube.
Moments later, some ants came close, but never dared to venture off onto the foreign surfaceof the portal tube.
And soon, to my surprise, the ants were beginning to bring dirt out into the tube as if to builda barrier and seal it off.
How odd!But then, after the timer shut off the lights of all the ant setups of the Ant Room, itwas then that the Titans decided to initiate their exodus.
Of course!The Ant Room needed to be dark.
I should have known.
Gradually, the ants began to wander out into the portal tube, including a major.
If you're new to these ants, that's nothing!Wait until you see the epic supermajors and the minor workers riding them like mounts!I knew it wouldn't be long before these inquiring ants would head back to their colony to spillthe tea, that there is a much cooler place, figuratively and literally speaking, justbeyond the borders of their container.
But another strange move on the ants' part.
They began to bring chunks of soil into the portal tube.
Why?This energetic one was determined to bring soil deep into the portal tube.
Why?What were these ants up to?Finally, after 3 hours of moving soil into the portal tube, creating some interestingsoil piles, the ants finally began to venture out of the portal tube and setting claws ontoOlympus.
This was the first ant to discover their future kingdom.
Look at how excited it is as soon as it realizes what it's found.
She explores the area before heading back to the colony to inform them of the new promisedland.
This began the chain reaction of more and more curious wandering ants to exit the tubeand explore Olympus for themselves.
More and more ants were traveling through the portal tube now, still laying out thesepeculiar piles of soil.
I began to notice that there was suddenly an established trail of ants exiting the portaltube.
I tried to see where the ants entering Olympus were going, and it seemed the ants were excitedabout some dark space behind the driftwood.
How cool!This meant that the Titans had found a suitable place to setup shop and nest, and AC Family,this is where things get real interesting!But being the bonehead that I am, I fell asleep.
It had been a long day, and I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.
I woke up in a panic at 6 AM.
Oh no!I was so worried I had missed the entire move, even missing the chance to see the supercolony'sfour royal queens!Peeking into Olympus, I saw that the ants were in full out brood transport mode!They were moving in the young, which meant the emmigration into Olympus was officialand full steam ahead!Watching the ants moving in all that brood was just magical!So awesome!Behind the driftwood, ants were busy constructing barricades to help usher and protect the highwayof ants marching in to their new home base.
Check out that highway, AC Family!These ants are all so in sync and committed to the move.
I guess these ants here are starting early with nest construction.
They after all, have a very important task.
They need to ensure there is a suitable fortified subterranean space, large enough to housea supercolony of thousands of ants and their four huge queens, not to mention, in a shorttime period before the arrival of the royals!Speaking of which, here comes a supermajor now!This one is one of the smaller supermajors, but trust me, they get bigger!Let's look out for the big ones, the ones the minor ants love to ride!The supermajor made its way up the highway and into the nest.
It did seem like there was a lot of brood for the colony to transport.
After all, with four queens each constantly laying eggs, it meant the ants were caringfor a lot of young, and.
oh!AC Family, what I saw next left me utterly speechless.
No, it wasn't that supermajor.
And nope it wasn't that supermajor, either, but cool to see minors riding it.
but thesesupermajors were mere security guards, because emerging into Olympus air space, I watchedwide-eyed as the clump made a grand entrance!AC Family, as if hearing angels singing, I was spellbound as one of the colony's queensmade her way down the tube towards Olympus.
Wow!The hairs on my arms stood on end!She was just huge!And look at that amazing royal procession, workers carrying babies behind her like along regal veil, as she sort of slid down the tube.
What a sight and opportunity to witness!The supermajors who moved ahead of her, and all surrounding ants, clumped up together,so that their queen could slowly and safely descend down the steep smooth slope of thetube, and onto the driftwood, as they escorted her down.
Following behind her another royal guard supermajor ensuring her safety.
Isn't this crazy, AC Family?It was like watching a president proceeding down a parade!Haha!I was unsure if the queen was even using her legs, as it did seem her workers clumpingaround her were the ones moving her.
Wow!This was definitely their monarch and empress, whose precious royal legs they didn't evenwant to be used.
But then another commotion caught my eye.
OMG!AC Family, another clump!A second queen was making her way down the portal tube into Olympus!Awesome!I was happy we at least got to see two queens moving in.
This second queen was moved along the highway into the darkened retreat of their nest!But now I wondered could we possibly be so lucky, to have not missed the other two queensfrom moving in?Yup!I shouted for joy as a third queen, catered to by a major made her way down the tube.
And here she comes, making her way down As they approached this steep part, I would alwaysbrace myself because I felt like the queens might lose their grip and fall.
It didn't seem like the queens were the climbing type and I began to regret fixing the tubeso steeply.
But this third queen was nimble and had a great clump of ants ensuring her safe transport.
It did seem like the supermajors were having troubles managing the angle, as well.
But, AC Family, I began to wonder if perhaps the fourth and final queen was still leftto move in.
And AC Family, emerging from the container, I saw the huge silhouette of our fourth queenmaking her way through the tube.
Yes!AC Family, it seems I woke up right on time to catch all four queens moving in!Talk about perfect timing!The queen entered Olympus and made her way down the steep slippery slope of the portaltube.
The queen emerged from the tube, and what happened next was totally unexpected and mademy heart jump into my throat.
The queen suddenly lost her footing and plunged down the mountain.
No!Where was her Royal Guard when she needed her?There she was lagging behind and looking for her.
I looked down for the queen and spotted her.
She was unmoving, and had fallen from quite the height!I hoped she was OK.
But how was she ever going to make it up this huge climb to rejoin the colony?She needed to at least make it to this rock, under which the colony was nested.
And then, the queen began to move.
OMG!She was actually going to attempt to make the climb!Workers clumped around her and even helped pull her up the great driftwood surface.
She climbed steadily upwards, and the whole time I worried she would slip again, but gladly,she made it safely up the wood, and surprisingly, took an interesting turn through this space,which happened to be the shortest pathway to the nest!Wow!The ants had calculated the quickest route and guided her to the nest!Thank goodness!And AC Family, that was it.
I resolved to allow the rest of the colony to move in and transport their remaining broodinto Olympus.
I watched in amazement at all the awesome brood they were transporting!I caught the ants carrying some really huge larvae, perhaps young supermajors?They delicately carried these larger larvae down the driftwood and into the nest.
I even caught the ants carrying queen alate pupae!Wow!The colony was producing reproductives already?Man, that's insane!And look at how huge that queen pupa is!It took several ants to safely transport this virgin queen-to-be down the tube.
I even caught them transporting a newly eclosed queen alate, freshly emerged from her pupa!She couldn't even walk yet, but her sisters were more than helpful at transporting herinto the new home.
If that's not ant love I don't know what is!I assumed this hardening queen alate will feel much better in the moist soils of Olympus.
There were more supermajors that again seemed to have trouble with the slope, but thanksto some helpful minors, were able to make it down safely.
I never ended up finding out what the piles of soil were for, but my guess was that theants were trying to block off the pathway and help keep the route to Olympus comfortablyhumidified, just as the colony likes it.
These ants hate dryness.
But AC Family, are you ready for the shocker I was talking about at the beginning of thevideo?Suddenly, I was caught off guard, when I saw this.
A fifth queen was making her way down the tube heading for Olympus.
How on Earth?This super colony had five queens?!No way!My friend who gave me this colony must not have realized he had actually collected fivequeens!Wow!This fifth queen majestically marched into Olympus with her entourage and descended downthe tube.
When she emerged, I braced myself.
Was she going to fall?No, thank goodness!AC Family, that's not all.
Are you ready for the next shocker?A dark mass caught my eye making its way to Olympus.
There was no way!Get outta here!I couldn't believe my eyes.
A sixth queen was fully entering Olympus!She emerged from the tube, and don't fall!Don't fall!The workers clumping around her carried and guided her down side ways to safety.
Haha!Anything to make it down safely, I guess.
And that was it!Believe me AC Family, I waited for more surprise queens but saw that the ants eventually weretransporting out bits of garbage and food left behind.
I did however manage to finally catch a huge and true supermajor!Was there really only one in the colony?This Titan made its way down the tube with minors riding her like a loyal steed.
Over the next four hours, the colony completed their move into Olympus.
When they were done, I removed the tube and checked up on how the new Titans were settlingin.
To my surprise, the ants had already begun to form impressive trails all around Olympus.
With vigor and excitement they traveled up and down the mountain to and from the placethey were nesting all the way to the top, where I was surprised to see that the antshad already covered the entire space where the highway used to be.
I looked around for some kind of nest opening, and low and behold, there was the highway.
Wow!They had actually built an entire dome over this highway to obscure the nest entrance!All of this in just four hours!And now AC Family, it was time for AC Family tradition and offer our house-warming gift,a hard boiled egg, which according to my friend, these ants love.
I felt it also was a great symbol of new life, a new beginning for the Titans, in the newant kingdom of Olympus, their lush territory with plenty of space to dig and create tunnelsfor their growing colony.
But provision of soil and digging space wasn't the only important provision for life in Olympus.
To avoid the same crises of the past, I made sure to fill the top holes with lots of filterwool, to keep any invading wild ants from entering the land of the Titans.
And speaking of which, AC Family, there was one final thing I needed to do.
As a memorial monument to commemorate the great and fallen colony we lost in the past,which helped us learn how to better care for this new colony of Asian Marauder ants, Ihung this pendant, within which lay a preserved Marauder ant supermajor.
Something that was given to me as a gift many years ago, which started my entire fascinationfor this species, and caused me to dream of keeping them one day.
It would forever remind me that death is never in vain and that sometimes it takes a fewtries to get a thing right.
This pendant was also actually glow in the dark!And as the new Titans began to work their way into their new giant egg, carrying littletiny bits of it, piece by piece, back to their nest to nourish the colony, my ant-lovingheart was so full.
I had decided that Olympus was going down in Antiverse history, as one of my favouriteant colonies of all time!AC Family, what do you think of this six queen, polymorphic supercolony?Isn't this the coolest ant kingdom and colony ever?!Alright, I will always love my O.
ant colonies and emerging ones, as well, but this colonyis just so epic I can't even begin to explain!Let me know what you think of the new Titans?I look forward to updating you all on their progress over time.
Let's hope they succeed, AC Family!So be sure to hit that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL icon now, so you don't miss out on thiscontinuing ant story, and hit the LIKE button every single time, including now!And if you're new to the channel and want to catch up on all your AntsCanada Lore, feelfree to binge watch this complete story line playlist here, which traces the origins ofall the ant colonies of the ant room, so you can follow their stories and better appreciatehow 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 would just like to watchsome extended play footage of the ants moving into Olympus!It's pretty amazing and super satisfying to watch!Hello six queens!And before we proceed to the AC Question of the Week, I'd like to plug my daily vloggingchannel, daily vlogs which often include a lot of nature stuff so do check it out!If you love birds, I'd love for you to meet my new cute baby!And now it's time for the AC Question of the Week!Last week we asked:Name one neat fact you learned about mealybugs in this video.
Congratulations to E.
who correctly answered:Ants drink the mealybugs bi-product: honeydew.
You just won a free e-book handbook from our shop!In this week's AC Question of the Week, we ask:Name one precaution taken during Olympus' construction,aimed at avoiding mistakes from the past Titan colony?Leave your answer in the comments section and you could also win a free e-book handbookfrom 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 helpus keep making more.
It's ant love forever!.