Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Phoenix Empire,
this 4 week old fire ant colony. Sure, they don’t look like much of an Empire at the
moment, but believe you me, these pioneering fire ants are set to become a great ant kingdom
of immense power and conquest! But in order to get there, the Phoenix Empire here will
need to be resourceful, work together, care for one another, and most of all, collect
all the right foods to nourish the queen and the growing colony! And so today, our fire ants are in for a treat,
as they discover for the very first time, what meat tastes like! Welcome to the AntsCanada
Ant Channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to the channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! They don’t know it yet, but today is a very
big day for these fire ants. They’re going to get a taste of meat, and even make their
first contact with live prey. Their reaction may surprise you so keep on watching until
the end. Within this test tube we have our humble team:
We have the pioneering generation of fire ant workers, known as the nanitics. The nanitics
work fastidiously, licking clean and organizing all the brood: eggs, larvae, and pupae. And
of course, giving birth to all these ants is the great and mighty queen, the sole egg-layer
of the colony. By the way, guys, our Queen here awaits for
us to name her. Please take the time to vote here for her official name, and I trust you
will make it a good one! Thank you, AC Council for your input. Now guys, look at how amazing this queen is.
Even with workers all around her, she still takes it upon herself to do her part, at helping
raise the young. Here she feeds this larva through trophallaxis, regurgitating what’s
left of her self-made soup, manufactured from her own body tissues. It’s kinda like ant
breast milk, but she’s definitely running dry on it now, as it pretty much substantiated
this entire colony into being. But I find it awesome that the queen is still working
even though she doesn’t have to. Another cool thing! See those little black
rock-like things on the cotton? Those are called meconia. They’re fecal pellets, excreted
by the larvae. So get this! Ant larvae don’t poop for their entire lives, except right
before they become a pupa. From birth, a larva’s food waste collects inside the larva’s body
creating a pellet, a meconium, which is excreted right before pupation, as a neat, compact,
slow-to-mold packet of poop. Can you imagine only pooing once as a kid right before teenagehood,
and it being so compact that it’s rock hard? Welcome to ant infancy, or should I say inf-ANT-cy!
Haha! Ok, moving on… Now the Phoenix Empire here is on a very important
mission at this stage. Their goal: to grow the colony as big as possible, as quickly
as possible! In nature, only the largest and fastest-growing fire ant colonies survive,
and to do that, they’ll need some serious food collection! Last week, we gave them their very first taste
of sweet honey, which the workers gobbled up and distributed to the entire colony through
trophallaxis. It was a beautiful moment to witness. Since then, I’ve been feeding the
colony bits of sweet jelly, which you can actually see through the semi-transparent
bodies of the larvae. Now although these sugary foods provide the
colony with all the essential energy needed to work hard towards their goals, what these
ants are really looking for now is meat! Protein will be the real game changer, and
help the colony truly explode in population. Protein helps the queen produce more eggs,
and helps the larvae grow much faster. And so AC Family, it’s time to give the ants
what they’re looking for. Let’s give them some prey! Behold! What you see here is what will be
the newest addition to their living space. It’s an AC Test Tube Portal from our shop
at, a very useful piece of equipment for feeding young ant colonies like
the Phoenix Empire. Though it looks complicated, it’s basically the Phoenix Empire’s new
feeding pit! I’ll need to plug up three of the four holes. And this last hole will
accommodate this test tube adapter with a tiny hole to act as the colony’s new nest
entrance. Don’t worry! You’ll understand once we’ve connected the ants to the setup. And now it’s time to move in their dinner!
This baby mealworm. It’s been pre-crushed to make consumption easier for the ants, and
hang on, all you guys wanting to see the bloodbath of a live mealworm feeding, don’t worry.
You’ll see what the fire ants do to a living mealworm in a little bit. So pre-crushing and splitting the mealworm
so its guts spill out increases the chances of the nanitics getting the goods. It isn’t
recommended feeding a prey item that might injure the nanitics, because at this crucial
point every worker matters and any ants killed during battle hurts the chances of colony
success. OK, so let’s unleash the ants! The plan
was to remove the cotton blocker from the colony’s test tube and attach the test tube
end to this test tube adapter. I did this as quickly and carefully as I could. Done!
Let’s watch! It took a few seconds before curious nanitics
began to wander out onto the bridge of the adapter and finally into the great feeding
chamber. The mealworm lay fresh in its juices. I am certain the ants could smell it. One brave ant steps onto the floor and makes
its way to the mealworm. Oop! The ant smells the carcass and at first shies away, but soon
starts to dine. Excited, it makes its way back to the colony leaving a pheromonal trail,
leading the other ants to the mealworm booty! It wasn’t long before word spread to the
entire colony and ants were all over the mealworm chowing down on the delicious mealworm guts. Back in the test tube, the queen and workers
were getting excited. I’m sure the queen was eager to have her first taste of that
tender mealworm meat! The workers eventually attempted to carry
back the entire mealworm to the nest, but they had problems manoeuvering the mealworm
so they eventually decided to just leave it there and dine on location. Hey, cut them
some slack. They’re noobs! Minutes later, the colony had all returned
to the nest and were busy distributing all the meat they’d consumed, regurgitating
it up for the larvae to eat, which I’m sure they loved! I mean, have a look at this larva
which continued to swallow well after the worker had fed it! And of course, our royal highness too was
fed by her loving workers. And just like that, the colony had consumed their very first protein
meal, which will offer the colony the building blocks they need to explode in population. Several days after this meal, the colony was
nursing a brand new bigger pile of brood: there were more eggs, larvae, and pupae now
thanks to the mealworm meat. More workers had been born. It was awesome to see the colony
so fruitful and prolific! Now if you’re wondering how the Phoenix
Empire would react to a living mealworm, yes, I tried it, but I knew exactly what would
happen. The workers cowered away. They were terrified of it and wanted nothing to do with
the moving mealworm. Again, these are noobs, and I don’t think the aggression so typical
of regular fire ants has kicked in at this point. I feel once the Phoenix Empire grows
in numbers, and this new generation of fire ants, which will be larger and more strongly
built due to being better nourished, will start to outnumber and replace the frail and
timid nanitics, we’ll start to see that savage fire ant aggression we all know and
love… or hate! I truly appreciate that a lot of you guys
seem to enjoy watching the evolution and progress of this fire ant colony from its genesis,
its humble beginnings. I really care about these ants, even if they’re not much at
the moment. Regardless, it’s great that we can watch together as this young fire ant
colony rises to become the mighty empire we know they’re going to be one day soon. And until then, I’ll be sure to film the
entire fire ant journey, and with your help, usher the Phoenix Empire to become the greatest
ant colony in the Antiverse. Thank you for watching! It’s ant love forever! AC Family, isn’t the Phoenix Empire awesome?
I think I laughed when I saw that the nanitics wouldn’t dare touch the living mealworm.
But knowing fire ants, that behaviour’s going to change real quick! So much 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 to watch some extended play footage of the Phoenix Empire
chowing down on their mealworm meat. And now it’s time for the AC Question of
the Week. Last week, we asked: What is the name of the process of mouth-to-mouth
food transfer in eusocial insects? Congratulations to Atlas Blue who correctly
answered: Trophallaxis Congratulations Atlas, you just won a free
Ultimate Ant Keeping handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week we
ask: Why does an ant colony need protein? 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!


  1. Greetings, Ant Lovers! Happy to see you guys joining us for this week's update on the Phoenix Empire! Remember to VOTE for a name for the Queen in the card poll! Anyone care to take a stab at creating an official flag for them? Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and SUBSCRIBE (hit the BELL and choose ALL) if you enjoyed this ant video! Thanks so much for watching and supporting these ants! I am certain it won't be long until this colony explodes! Lots of love to all AC Family! Ant love forever!

  2. So I have a random question. With the Fire Nation dying off and now having the Phoenix Empire. Were you ever thinking about having to Phoenix Empires and swapping mail between thanks when the nuptial flight happens question mark what in that helped the colonies basically never die of course if sickness or mites would go through the colonies of course you would have loss. But having two different Phoenix Empires would pretty much ensure that you would always have a Empire around? I guess I'm just asking would you ever do two different ant colonies of the same breed in order to keep the colonies going?

  3. Editing n commentary make me feel like I’m just watching animal planet or sum good job bro kept me watching the whole way thru

  4. You care about these ants? That's nice. They would EAT you alive if they could. Btw, I try to not even step on ants outside, and even if I find one indoors, I'll try to bring it outside – but they are little aliens, in their own little world, that would make us humans food slaves if they had their way.

  5. The ants can have colonial states? I mean if the queen is on the center but oters ants make a new base with a new queen they attack him or they colonise him?

    Sorry my bad inglish i speak spanish

  6. I really like this more focused, closer look on the starting days of the colony. Big part of it prolly is that we already know what they'll become (or can be) so atm we can focus more on the "minutiae" of what they are!

  7. If I got a ant farm, I would have named it something like The Final order of ants. And I mean as in if I got multiple of the sane species that joined together.

  8. An Ant colony needs protein to feed to the queen and brud, it also helps with production of Ant spawn and egg laying

  9. Hello AC people. I have a question.

    Im looking for a ant species that would:

    Like humidity

    Like temp. about 25C (Big plus would be if they dont Hibernate)

    Produce lots of workers (because they would live with a few lizards that would eat them (population control))

    Not very aggresive (so they dont swarm the lizards)

    Like tunel digging in soil (to be protected from lizards)

    So far i like Lasius Niger Ants

    Any toughts and suggestions are welcome.


  10. So first i wasn't that interested in this kind of videos and your videos kept popping up and i got really into it and i just subscribed to your channel yesterday and hope to see more content like this thank you

  11. I commented on one of your older videos. But I wanted to let you know I love your videos and I wanted to know if youd be willing to buy and keep an antlion? They're very interesting and cool insects and would love to see you make videos on it

  12. You should name her lily it is a nice name most people associate ants with bad things but a name like lily is a nicer name that does not sound like an “evil” name, just a thought

  13. Im curious. What would happen if you give them completely dead worm? (It can be crushed) Would ants eat it the same way or rejected?

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