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Mother Nature has a knack for fashioning beasts
beyond our wildest imagination, great and small, cute and scary. But she also has a dark and twisted side. What you’re about see and learn in this video
will surely shock you, because the new beasts that are about to move into this peculiar
contraption are some of the most ancient and almost mythological social animals I’ve ever
introduced on this channel. Ladies and gents, gather round and have a
seat and witness the dark side of the Antiverse. Welcome to the AntsCanada ant channel. Please subscribe to my channel and hit the
bell icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy. AC Family, let’s get to it. Yes, we’ve got yet another new colony of ants
joining us this week, but I guarantee, these ants are unlike anything you’ve ever seen
before! I quite literally have only heard about these
ants in books, ironically, but when the opportunity to keep a real colony of these oh so fabled
ants came to me, I could not pass up the chance. But what you will learn and witness in this
video is shocking and to the best of my knowledge, has never been documented in science before,
especially not on video! This will also be one of those videos, AC
Family, where we make some new scientific discoveries valuable to ant science! Yes, we the AC Family, once again will be
the first in the world to see and discover some biological and behavioural things about
these incredible and savage ants. So, as always, keep on watching until the
end. What you see before you is a new piece of
ant technology, something we at AntsCanada have been working on, our newest of ant inventions. We call it the Ant Tower. To be able to truly appreciate the beasts
of this video, we would be needing this Ant Tower to film them, which would also become
their home. Yes, it’s an ant farm, but don’t be fooled
by its simplistic design. We’ve souped it up with some awesome ant keeping
engineering! But first, we need to make this empty Ant
Tower more inhabitable for our new beasts, so I added in some soil. And now to create the start of the subterranean
lair in which our beasts shall reside and roost. I plunged a q-tip through the earth and fashioned
them a cavern fit for a monster, no, fit for a family of monsters. Hmmm… Next, I added some faux blades of grass, some
stones, some sphagnum moss, and a twig. Now to add a few drops of water to moisten
the soil, and ah, much better now. I think our beasts will love their new territories,
wouldn’t you say? AC Family, I name this new ant territory The
Blood Tower. Let me show you around! In case you were wondering what this red layer
is all about, our beasts love nesting in darkness and hate the light in areas they retreat to
rest, and like many ants, they also happen to be blind to red light, so this red transparent
layer will fool our beasts into thinking they are cloaked in darkness just as they like
it, but giving us a bit of visibility. I move to the lower levels of the Ant Tower
to inject some life-giving water, which would evaporate and hydrate the beasts’ living quarters
above through tiny microholes in the hydration chamber’s roof. Alright, there. And now AC Family, the time has come to meet
and move in our beasts! The Blood Tower was ready! At the back of the Ant Tower, were three ports. Two entrance ports, one at the back there,
which is plugged up with an AC plug to keep our beasts from escaping, and this second
port through which our beasts will be entering the Blood Tower. That smaller top port is for adding wind if
needed via a fish tank air pump, but we won’t be needing that for this colony. We need the air in this Ant Tower to be misty
and still. So here we go, guys. Let’s unleash our beasts into the newly created
Blood Tower! I fastened their containment test tube to
the back of the Ant Tower, and immediately the beasts spilled out into the territories. AC Family, I am pleased to present to you,
the infamous and frightening Dracula Ants, of the genus Stigmatomma! These beasts are just insane! The colony is now filing in, and take a look
at those crazy mandibles! They’re like two long fangs sticking out of
their face, but each of those mandibles has a row of sharp teeth. Look at them swarming and surveying the Blood
Tower’s grounds, and it looks like they’ve found our cavern! Now let me explain why these Dracula ants
are super unique and oh so dark. Dracula ants are an ancient group of predacious
ants that are actually found worldwide. They get their name not from their long fang-like
mandibles, but from their very unique feeding habits. So AC Family, get this. Dracula ants allegedly are not capable of
consuming solid foods, nor are they capable of trophallaxis, i.e. the transfer food socially
from mouth to mouth, a process common to nearly all social insects. But what’s crazy is that the way adult Dracula
worker ants eat, is they feed solid food to their larvae, and then believe it or not,
proceed to practice a non-lethal version of cannibalism! AC Family, you won’t believe this, but Dracula
ants actually bite and drink the blood of their own larvae! Isn’t that crazy? They create an incision in the skin of the
larvae and drink up the hemolymph, the technical term for insect blood, that bleeds out of
these wounds, and that is how adult Dracula ants feed, and how the species got their name. They are well-known blood-feeders in the ant
world. Isn’t that just crazy! That’s sister adult ants feeding from the
blood of their younger sibling larvae. As for who’s laying the eggs, some species
of Dracula ants have queens but I believe this species to be one that has gamergates,
i.e. a mated dominant worker ant who assumes the role of egg layer, like our Black Panthers. They were moving in the last of the larvae
now. It seems the ants were planning on moving
in the pupae last. The ants were clearly settling into the Blood
Tower, their new home, as planned. I was so happy about this, and look, some
of the stones looked like teeth, which I found to be rather fitting for a Dracula ant home. They were also busy beginning their excavation
and expansion of the tunnel we made for them. Our plans were working out perfectly. Now one thing that concerned me though was
that these ants are known to specialize on preying on centipedes, but only thing is,
I don’t have any centipedes to feed them, and I wasn’t about to go hunting for centipedes
in the jungle every day to feed them either. But one thing I did have, were superworms! I wonder if they would eat them, or rather
bring the superworm to the babies and then suck their blood! Oh, the idea was blood-curdling and exciting! Let’s try it! I opened the food shoot at the top of the
Ant Tower, and placed in a split superworm. The Dracula ants came to inspect the sudden
foreign meat that had fallen from the sky. They looked so careful and curious about it. Personally, I was expecting them to ferociously
pounce on it immediately, but to my surprise, they seemed super cautious around it and lightly
touched the superworm with their antennae to smell it. A few minutes later one ant finally decided
to sting it with her stinger, and later, the ants began to bury the superworm, but seeing
all this, to me it did seem the ants weren’t super thrilled about superworms as a prey
item. Maybe they would have a taste for roaches? I tossed in half a roach nymph and watched. An ant took some baby lunges at, but then
what I saw next completely shocked me. The ant began to feed on the roach. It looked to me like the worker was drinking
the roach’s splattered haemolymph! More ants began to join in drinking the juices
spilling from the roach, and one ant even came to lick the surface of the superworm! Here we were AC Family, witnessing first hand,
evidence that these Dracula ants actually do eat other insects and not just their own
larvae’s blood. It was still unclear whether or not the ants
were eating the gooey guts of the prey, too, but whatever the case, we just made a neat
scientific discovery, AC Family! High five! Mark the date, we saw it first! And just when I thought that was the epitome
of our scientific discoveries, little did I know, we were about to film and witness
yet another new fact about these Dracula ants. AC Family, have a look at this cocoon. This species of ant is the cocoon-spinning
type, which means when the larvae are ready to pupate, they spin these cocoon cases to
protect them through the pupal stage, as they develop into adult ants. But then, I noticed this worker tearing open
a hole in one of the cocoons. And oh my, there was even a developing pupa
inside. The worker continued to tear a larger hole
into the cocoon and it did seem that the pupa wasn’t even fully developed, and then suddenly,
the worker went in to drink from the exposed pupa. When I realized what was happening, my jaw
hit the floor. OMG! AC Family, these Dracula ants were actually
drinking the blood of the pupae, too, and not just their larvae as indicated by past
research! Isn’t that just incredible? AC Family, we made yet another valuable discovery
on the biology of these Dracula ants! Mark the date! We saw it first! Dracula ants also feed from the blood of their
pupae! I watched as several workers came to lap up
and feed from the pupal blood wound. The ants then proceeded to carry this bleeding
cocoon into the nest, where I assume it would continue to nourish its sisters. Just insane! But AC Family, that’s not all. A third discovery! I placed some hard-boiled egg yolk into the
Blood Tower, and to my surprise the ants began to feed from it! What? For sure there was no trace of blood in this
yolk, insect or otherwise, so this suggested then that the ants actually can eat solids! They’ve got the tools to process even solid
food! AC Family, mark the date! We saw it first! I decided to leave the ants alone for a few
hours while they continued to move in the remaining cocoons, and check up on them later. A few hours later, I came back to check on
the Dracula ants, but little did I know, we were in for a mind-blowing sight! The ants seemed to be droning over the roach
and superworm, but upon closer inspection I saw larvae! Wow! The ants had brought the larvae to the surface
to feed on the prey carcasses! Wow! Now we know why the ants were burying the
prey! They had every intention of placing the larvae
around it to feed, and the soil walls acted like blankets to cradle and protect the feeding
young. I was in awe. The larvae were so mobile and very maggot-like
in demeanor. And it did look like the larvae were not just
drinking the gooey, liquidy parts. It seemed the larvae could get at the solid
parts, as well. It made perfect sense that the ants decided
to bring the larvae to the prey item because again these ants can’t transfer food mouth
to mouth via a social stomach like most ordinary ants, so the prey either needed to be dragged
into the nest to the young, or in this case, because there probably wasn’t a lot of space
in their nest which was undergoing construction, the ants had to bring the larvae to the prey. And when one of the larvae was full, an adult
worker came along to pluck it from its place and carry it back into the nest, where it
assumingly would be wounded and its blood drank up by its older sisters. Just incredible, right AC Family? I watched for hours as they one by one removed
the larvae who had had their fill from the roach, to take them into the depths of the
nest to assumingly proceed to feed the workers their freshly nourished blood. I feel the workers of this particular species
of Dracula ant, do eat semi-solid foods, but perhaps their main source of food is blood,
either their own young’s or that of freshly killed insects. The next morning, the Dracula ants had all
settled in. I noticed they had created an ant hill from
their excavations, and had nest openings in several locations. They were starting to wake up now to start
their day. I removed the red film to see if we could
see any of the action inside the nest. Right away I saw some tunnels with cocoons
and workers inside. There was also a tunnel here under these stones,
and a tunnel here under these stones, but these tunnels seemed to all branch out from
the main cavern we created for them before they moved in. As the colony grows, the tunnels and chambers
will be become larger and more defined, so we’ll be able to see the ants better in their
nest. Sadly, in just the three short days I’ve had
them, I wasn’t able to film the adult Dracula ants bleeding and drinking the larvae’s blood,
but what we had seen so far, was, in my mind, already pretty ground-breaking in the world
of myrmecology! I resolved to continue feeding roaches, completely
split open so the workers could feed from their gooey insides and blood. Overall, I find these Dracula ants pretty
remarkable! They’re truly unlike any other ant I’ve ever
kept. And the fact that we made some pretty amazing
ant discoveries today, filled my heart with joy! We’re all myrmecologists on the brink of ant
discovery! We discovered these Dracula ants feed from
the blood of not only their larvae but also that of other insects, as well as their own
pupae. We found that these ants actually can eat
solids, and that the ants are willing to bring their young up to the surface to feed on prey
cradled in beds of soil. I promise to keep a close lens to these Dracula
ants, to see if I can shoot them drinking larval blood, and hopefully catch some more
scientific Dracula ant discoveries! Alright AC Family, you know what’s next! What should we name this epic colony of Dracula
ants? Leave your name suggestions in the comments,
and I will choose my favourites for us to vote on in a future video. I have some epic plans for this Dracula ant
colony, which currently doesn’t take up too much space. The ants have already begun to show signs
of wanting an expansion, so I’m planning on connecting more Ant Towers, and change their
territory name from the Blood Tower to the Blood Castle, perhaps even add a grand Draculean
courtyard designed like a scary forest. What do you guys think? Overall, I loved watching the ants and decided
that these quote unquote beasts, weren’t the blood-thirsty and shadowy monster ants I thought
they would be. They were just unique ants with a unique lifestyle
and feeding bahaviour. Actually, looking at them much more carefully,
I found them to be kinda cute. Watching them move around in an almost stealthy,
slithering manner, and feeding within the Blood Tower was super satisfying. I do plan on showing this video to my myrmecologist
friends to get their take on the neat things we discovered together this week. The week, we discovered that these vampires
were not monsters, but unique and cool friends. Mark the date, AC Family. It’s ant love forever. And now about those termites… Haha! AC Family, did you enjoy today’s episode? Now, I cannot count how many of you have been
asking, no, demanding for an update on the termite pair we caught a few months ago in
our previous video Ants vs. Termites, and well, I’ve finally got an update for you,
so hit that Subscribe button and Bell icon now, so you don’t miss out on the termite
craziness ahead, 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, 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 would just like to watch some extended play footage of the Dracula
ants living in their new home, the Blood Tower! Watching these gorgeous ants is pretty amazing
and super satisfying to watch! And before we proceed to the AC Question of
the Week, I’d like to plug my daily vlogging channel, daily vlogs which have become a full
out bird dad channel, as I am now raising a baby African Grey parrot! If you love birds, I’d love for you to meet
my new cute little bird! She’s a handful, but I love her and I think
you would, too! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: What are the pit organs for
on the lips of some snakes? Congratulations to Dominic the Rat and Animal
Guy who correctly answered: The pit organs on the lips of some snakes
are for sensing heat from prey animals. Congratulations, Dominic, you just won a free
e-book handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What do these Dracula ants have in common
with our Black Panthers, i.e. Diacamma 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 thoughts on “My Dracula Ant Colony – ants that suck blood

  1. If you enjoyed this episode, watch the continuation of this colony's story here (Haloween Episode): https://youtu.be/jy41S-jZcUk

  2. Shoot I hate that you always talk like an never ending clickbait.. sry dude but you can make your videos longer in other way than this.. 🙁

  3. When he tried to feed them a super worm, i felt chills at my spine, idk why, ive seen superworms before 😐

  4. I think that its good that they eat some of their larvas because the colony (idk how to write that im a French Canadian) can grow at a lower rate

  5. when you switch your phone to inverted colors so you can see the ants in real colors:
    my strategical mind beats you in every way

  6. I highly doubt that those things were undiscovered and that they were either a coincidence or already known

  7. My new queen pavement ant is laying eggs I will be buying one of these how long after order does it ship in Canada 🇨🇦

  8. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you knew what material the red film was made out of because I was interested in keeping my red wiggler worms in a terrarium so that I'd be able to watch them like you do with your ants. They are also not sensitive to red light so the red film sounds like a good idea! Thanks! Love your videos!

  9. Upon death, I wonder if his casket will be buried in ant hill…Or the casket will just be filled with ants…

  10. Wow.. makes me feel like ants rather use each other for the benefit of the colony and not for the benefit of the ant.

  11. It seems like off of the towers you could add on of the flat caverns with red film over glass so you can see more indept information about there underground movement.

  12. Recently I witnessed the external feeding behaviour in my Rhytidoponera colony when a large roach foolishly entered thier domain. Only saw three workers but one male came out to feed while 20 or more queens carried out hundreds of brood. Males can climb glass though. Very little info about New Zealand and Tasmanian ants

  13. Hey thanks for the fantastic videos, I just wanted to tell u that u inspired me to start a colony of my own.

  14. 32 seconds in, can’t take any more of this hyperbolic, incredulous, adorable Canadian. Mythological? They’re ants, buddy, you’re doing science, take off your light up sneakers and dictate a real educational video.

  15. You might as well be a ant expert. nice video! keep up the great work on the channel! (and also, i subscribed so ur welcome)

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