Ant Room Tour | Trap Jaw Ants


Hi guys, my name’s Jordan, and in this “ant
room tour” we’re looking at some new additions to our ever-growing collection of ants! They are the incredibly unique, and highly
specialised, Trap Jaw Ants… Housed within this founding nest, we have
a colony of Trap-jaws, of the genus “Odontomachus”. Sent to us by one of our viewers over in Western
Australia. The colony’s only in it’s early stages,
with just 3 workers present. All the offspring of their mother, and queen. As you can see, she looks quite similar to
her children. You can tell her apart by her slightly larger
frame. And if you look closely, you can see some
distinctive marks on either side of her thorax. This is where her wings were once attached,
wings which she used for nuptial flights. Often, once queens begin founding their colony,
they shed these wings, like this one has, leaving behind a couple of small, dimply scars. These guys are quite large ants. Measuring in at around 15-20mm in length. But, their size isn’t really what they’re
known for. As their common name of “Trap-jaw Ant”
suggests, they’re renowned for their highly sophisticated, and deadly mandibles. To showcase this, I’m placing a small cricket
into their foraging arena, one of our new ‘Ants Australia’ outworlds. The ants sense the cricket’s presence almost
immediately. Opening up their mandibles wide in response. They fix them into position at around 180
degrees, poised to strike. A couple of the workers curiously make their way up to their nest entrance. But, that’s about as far as they go. These ants are primarily solitary hunters. Often preferring to prey upon small insects,
like termites. So perhaps they are a little intimidated by
the size of this cricket. Eventually, however, the ants have no choice
but to take it on, as the cricket ended up coming to them, blundering into their nest. Definitely not a good place to be. Using their antennae, the trap-jaws carefully
size up their unwanted guest and calculate the best point to strike. Then, once these sensory hairs lined along
their mandibles touch their target. It triggers the ants to snap their jaws shut. At blinding speeds. You’re witnessing the fastest bite in the
entire animal kingdom. The action is so fast that it can generate
forces exceeding 300 times the ants’ body weight. That’s some serious power. More than enough to encourage this cricket
into a swift retreat. With their prey now stunned and disorientated. The ants have finally built up enough courage
to go on the offensive… Did you see that? This ant just sliced straight through the
cricket’s antenna! The sheer speed at which they strike is truly
astonishing. Not only do trap jaws possess this lethal
bite, but they also have a venomous stinger which they can unsheathe from the tips of
their abdomens. Upon injection, it causes their victims to
go into a state of paralysis. Although, in the case with this cricket here,
it appears their bites alone were sufficient enough to subdue it. So perhaps, they didn’t feel the need to
expend valuable energy by following up with a sting or two. On top of Trap-jaw ants’ impressive offensive
capabilities, they’re also well equipped for defence. But not in a way that you would expect. They have a unique ability to fling themselves
out of harm’s way. They do this by turning their jaws into a
catapult. When faced with a perceived danger, they point
their heads towards a solid surface and unleash the power of their bite. The generated force is then used to propels
the ants backwards. Just watch how fast the action is… It’s almost like they’re teleporting themselves. It definitely wouldn’t be easy to pursue
something that can flee in a split second like this. Such a quirky, but highly successful strategy
of survival. In terms of diet, I’ve tried offering these
ants sugars like this slice of pair here, and also some small drops of raw honey, but
they don’t seem to be very interested. And rarely leave their nest to try it in the first place. Generally, young ant colonies, with only a
few workers present, tend to be much timider when it comes to foraging. With this colony, for example, I’ve never
seen more than a single worker up exploring their foraging area. Perhaps it’s because they feel as though
they have much more to lose. If just one worker were to become lost, injured
or die whilst in search of food, that’s one third of their workers population just
gone. So to make the ants feel more at ease when
it comes to feeding, I like to place food right by their nest entrance. Despite this, I’ve found these trap jaws still reject
most foods that I provide, unless they’re insects. Crickets seem to be their favourite. As soon as I place one near their entrance,
they drag it straight down into the safety of their nest. Because their jaws are so large in respect
to their bodies, they tend to get in the way from time to time, inhibiting their movement. So when consuming food, like this cricket,
I find, they’ll often open up their jaws so as to allow their mouthparts better access
to it. So, when a trap jaw opens its jaws, it’s
not always a sign of aggression. Now, onto our second colony of Trap-jaws. These guys are of a different, but closely
related genus, known as “Anochetus”. A genus mostly found in tropical areas. These guys here, were found up in Queensland,
by our good mate Riley over at ‘Aussie Ants’. Queensland is a hot-spot for ant diversity,
and so, here they keep and document a vast variety of species. I highly recommend checking them out over
on their YouTube channel and Instagram page. I’ll leave links in the description below. Currently the colony has several workers present
and I’ve got them housed in a simple test tube setup. Which is just a water reservoir blocked off with some cotton wool. Here you can see the queen of the colony. Who’s distinctively darker than the workers,
and like most queens, a little larger in size too. Compared to the Odontomachus trap jaws, this
species is super tiny, only around 3-4mm in length. Side by side you can see the difference is
quite substantial. Because of their smaller size and slightly
different jaw structure, they aren’t as deadly as their sister genus. They act more like ambush
predators, rather than taking on their prey head on. Despite their small frames, I think they still look
quite intimidating. The way they move around their tube here,
kind of resembles a pacing lion. It almost looks as though they’re moving
in slow motion… Just like the Odontomachus, they’re also
a little picky when it comes to food, preferring small insects over anything else. Here, I’m feeding them a tiny cockroach. Which they seem to be quite fond of. Watch as one of the workers methodically opens
up her jaws to mauver herself into a better position. And here you can see one the workers carefully
tending to her brood. A tiny larva only about 1mm in length. So, it’s clear, these trap jaws aren’t at all
hindered by their menacing jaws, effectively utilizing them for even the most delicate
of tasks. So what do you guys think of Trap-jaw Ants? Pretty impressive right? I find it remarkable how they’ve evolved
such incredible predatory weaponry. That’s often utilized for a profoundly different
function, flight. This is a great example of evolutionary co-option,
where a trait evolved for one purpose, serves another. So which ants do you guys want to see next
time in our ant room tour? Currently we’re keeping over 50 unique species! Including Dracula ants, Strobe ants, Sugar
Ants, Meat Ants, Spiny Ants, Bull Ants, Big-headed Ants, Furnace Ants, and so much more! So let us know in the comment section below. Now onto our regular contest where
we giveaway one of our specially built formicaria. In last video’s contest we asked, “What
is the most disturbing this you’ve discovered about ants”. For me, it’s when I first learned of parasites
queens. Queen ants which found their colonies by a
brutal means. After their nuptial flights, instead of digging
out a little burrow, laying some eggs, and starting their colony from scratch, like most
queens do, what they do is infiltrate and usurp existing colonies, by killing their
queen, and disguising themselves as the colonies true queen by rubbing the murdered queen’s
pheromones all over their bodies. That’s quite disturbing to me. So the winner of the contest is…DWDear1985
who found their most disturbing ant discovery to be about Dracula Ants, also known as Vampire
Ants. These guys get their name for a reason. They have a rather creepy tendency to bite
into their own developing larvae and consume their haemoglobin. Much like a vampire would. So congratulations, you’ve just won yourselves
one of our size 1 acrylic nests. For our next videos contest, we’re going
to be giving away one of our size 1 ytong nests. To enter simply answer the following “How
has your interest in ants impacted you as a person?” For example, you might have become more interested
in exploring the natural world, or have managed to meet new people and make new friends that
you wouldn’t have otherwise met, or perhaps it’s kept you distracted from some unpleasant
experiences in your life. A little bit of a personal question, I know. But we’d love to hear your honest thoughts. So post your answer in the comment section
below. We’ll pick out a single comment and announce
them as the winner in our next video. As always thanks for watching this video,
and I hope you enjoyed.

Comments 100

  • Hello, i caught a trap jaw queen 1 week ago she laid 3 eggs and she eat it. But now why she stopped laying eggs? Anyone have a same problem? How to solve this

  • Can I send u a picture of my ants for u to identify?

  • Great video Jordan I love all your videos! But I have had a hard time finding ytong… so I was wondering if you could sell ytong on your shop? And can you please lower the prices of the queen ants? Thank you Jordan! 🙂

  • Hello everyone! If you guys watched the 2 videos on how to make ant nests out of AAC and you want to make it and you can not find it like me… then go to this website to get it!!! http://www.aerconaac.com/

  • If I use beach sand substrate will the salt in the sand kill ants

  • Trap jaw ants like meat

  • I'm the real Antman

  • Ants love me

  • Good ants

  • well i don't own a ant colony but this curiosity make me start studying ants on my region as a hobby and get interested in how they society works and react to problems

  • After watching your awesome videos I have decided to make myself a never seen before Ant room to watch my progress please hit the link
    To my page up to part 4 at the moment
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/345468755980751/

  • İ cant wait to see to this channel and those colonies gets bigger 🙂

  • Favorite Ants Australia vid!

  • By learning about ants I’ve really started to push available space for keeping them and love watching your videos for tips and tricks I have built little cages in the wild and done so but not with a queen

  • Ants aus where did u get ur name maybe from a person from Canada u copyed antscanda

  • did u give these to ants canada

  • i've been watching your videos recently and ive noticed you sound a lot happier/sure of yourself in these more recent videos, i dont know you personally but it makes me happy to hear that growth and excitement in your voice!!! keep up the great work <3

  • My interest in ants has impacted my life pretty much. I'm only 13 and i spend a lot of time on internet watching ant keeping tutorials and stuff like that because i have 2 Lasius Niger queens both with lots of brood, workers can arrive at any moment, I also spend much time on the problems that have happened with the test tube set-ups (floods, moving the queen from test tube to test tube a d so on. I don't have much money on my own so i can't afford to buy fancy formicariums and arenas, I have a formicarium for only one of my ant colonies but i have arenas for both. all i need now is another formicarium for the second colony. Both formicaruims and nest are very small compared to those that you sell on your ant store. I can't afford your products because they are kinda pricey for me and I live in Europe. My dream is to have a Trapjaw ant colony like yours (the small orange ones). I got the formicarium and the two arenas on the cost of my birthday and christmas gifts which means i have invested a lot into ant keeping. My parents are also kinda happy that i got a hobby that i enjoy.

  • My interest in ants has led me to discover this channel. Your channel has shown me even more interesting things about ants. Thank you!

  • Why I want to keep ants is because it would be great for me to study them, and learn for to do ant keeping for to develop as my own human being

  • My grandma always mad at me

  • My 3 dream species are Green Headed Ants Trap Jaw Ants and Red Bull Ants. I am new to the hobby though and I don't have any colonys yet but im going to try catch some this spring. So I am no expert and if someone could please tell me if I can find these where I live. Ps I live in The South West part of Australia.

  • Meat ants

  • I just caught seven Queen Ants and five of them layed eggs

  • Dracula ants¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

  • srry for bad writing i just need to work on it srry

  • 3:28 … clearly you've half-killed that baby cricket

  • Make a video of your shuger ants

  • I also have an anochetus queen

  • I’ve stopped taking herion since I’ve discovered ants they take my mind off it

  • These are my favorite ants

  • Can we have ant species that don't bite and sting hahaha Australia where everything want to kill u hahaha

  • Ant Canada has trap Jaws to

  • I like trap jaw ant so i give👍to this vid

  • Amazing video! Can I use regular sand for substrate? What are some easy options for substrate ?

  • Where do you have the odontomachus sp ?

  • I was wondering if you keep your ants exposed to light all the time? I thought most ants really didnt like the light inside their nests and try to avoid it as much as they can. Do you think its uncomfortable for them to be exposed to the lights all the time? BTW I really enjoy your videos, i love social insects a lot…the idea of the hive mind is so interesting, and the parallel between ants and humans is so fascinating! Especially their farming techniques and symbiotic relationships with aphids and other critters like that! Its prob weird to most ppl, but close up i think ants are really quite adorable! Take care! 🙂

  • @Ants Australia how did get the ants if they were sent from WA isn't that illegal? Or do you have a permit?

  • I HAVE A TRAP JAW ANT QUEEN BUT I NOW A LITTLE BIT HOW TO KEEP HER CAN YOU MAKE A VIDIO HOW TO KEEP TRAP JAW ANTS

  • I currently have 2 Australian species of Trap Jaw queens. They look exactly like yours and are about 1.5 – 2cm long as well. I am currently having trouble getting both queens to lay, any tips?

  • Can you keep a colony of

  • Don't hate me but I read the thumbnail as trap Jews instead of trap jaws 😞

  • Man really ants change my life watching them work as a team and getting big jobs done. My wife left me but my new found interest in ants let me know life is bigger than my little problems you got a plan you must stick to it like the ants. Do that makes me a black nerd i like it ant are awesome to study.

  • i only knew about these ants because of antsCanada

  • I have a pretty begginer question- how long does trap jaw queens live ? I want to buy anochetus risii, owner say its young queen with only 1 worker and brood so i dont know how long they can live next to my other colonies ;D

  • that are many ants…

  • It has impacted my life by keeping depression at bay. Seriously, before becoming interested in ants I nearly killed myself. It saved my life because I want to know what it's like to keep ants, so I'm waiting till I grow up and have my own house.

  • I love ur vids

  • something about the whole hive mentality how ants have a queen and soldiers and workers i start to think we are very much like ants and the planet our farm really the most complex of all, maybe through ants we can learn something about ourselves

  • u ar cruelle! your ants colonie is in a very small place!!! fuck!!!

  • Meant ants!!!!!!

  • Trap jaws are cool

  • Jordan! This video was featured on The Sci Show channel!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkxvWBKg5xk
    (Yes there is credit)

  • Is there an ant America

  • I don't think Ants have Hemoglobin, they have Hemolymph, which enables them to breath through its exoskeleton
    Great video

  • teleporting ants

  • These are my favorite type of ants, very cool!

  • i would love to see a vid about your Dracula ants 🙂

  • obviously it was you who killed the cricket and not that the cricket fainted

  • Show us the STROBE ANTS 🙂

  • I love the way they walk!

  • Bro you’re awesome. I’m a future ant keeper

  • I want another trap jaw ant vidio

  • You deserve much more subscribers. This is my favorite ant channel!

  • I can’t find any ant keepers that has army ants?

    Are they not popular

  • U should team up with the slow mo guys and film these ants

  • Hi ants Australia, can you tell me if harvester ants like humid, bright, dark, ect nests?

  • SWEET!!! Here in Puerto RIco, we have Trap-Jaw ants. They r one of my fav. I DONT know if all trap jaws do this but here in PR they jump. Well I dont think its a "REAL" jump. But more like they slam there jaws so hard they go flying. Its pretty cool to see BUT not if your to close cuz when they land on you they bite you. At least that's what happened to me lol

  • do u have bullet ants?? I have NEVER seen anyone have any and was wondering how they r and if its worked to raise them

  • Its lead me to watch tarantula videos.. and now I own 3 spiderlings. I still look for anything I learned about ants when I'm outside. And without the these videos I wouldnt have found the others and learned that I like amazing…bugs! Hahaha

  • "Everybody get up, it's time to slam now

    We got a real jaw goin' down

    Welcome to the Trap Jaw
    Here's your chance, do your dance at the Trap Jaw
    Alright…"

  • You, ants Canada and any other ant channels should make one main channel where you upload all your content called ant planet

    EDIT: still keep and upload to your own channels of course

  • Anyone notice the bg music is the same as the one Erin (Goodnight Moon) used in her dragon egg video?

  • Before i used to hate ants bc they were pests and after watching ants canada and ants australia i am really good at biology and has camponotus carpenter ant

  • Your music choice is interesting, but repetitive. Nice video though. I just wish I wouldn't hear the same tracks over and over again. But well, maybe it's my fault for trying to watch all of your videos in one evening.

  • Do you have anything to do with Ants Canada?

  • How Big do dracula ants get? 5mm or over 1cm the worker ?

  • Do cricket keepers find this disturbing ?

  • at first i read trap jews…🤦‍♂️

  • My answer to your question. I had a pretty good phobia of ants. After watching hundreds of hours of Ants Canada and yourself I've been thinking about getting my own colony, and I also don't run away like a little child (grown ass man here) from ants nests. I watch them with interest instead.

  • My interest in ants made me respect nature more and see how incredible new things and creatures could do and how they work in their organized organisms and how their ecosystems depend on each other as my first queen was a tetramorium and she was so beautiful I started thinking on how I could keep exotic ants when I get older because I'm only 10 years old and I'm very curious and willing to learn more about different a species and how they'll help the environment as it changes over time and how the ant evolve

  • Poor cricket you evil! 😈

  • I feed a wild trap jaw colony a asian army ant major

  • I see a lot of winged carpenter ants just laying dead.. in my bathtub? That’s the only place I find them!
    Can anyone tell me why?

  • those make a nice addition to your collection

  • love your videos

  • Hello. Do u have Chimera Ant??

  • I started my facination for ants due to the work I did in my garden and discoverred a (for me) new species. the Lasius Flavus (Yellow Farmland ant). Never seen them before, and after some digging on the internet i've learned a lot about them. I caputered their queen, some bruut and a few workers, and placed them in a jar. Building my own Yton formicarium right now with my son. I know I'm a bit late and the giveaway is already done, but wanted to vent this anyway. 🙂

  • I'd love to see more of your Bull Ants, and I'd love to learn more about honey ants as well. loving the videos. keep it up!

  • finally i know this black bastard name

  • 0:45 I know that music. That's the workshop music from Neverwinter!
    Is Neverwinter using fucking stock music in it's game. Omg

  • What is the ants bodywheight?

  • trap jaw ant:ight ima ender pearl

  • Ants Australia Antscanada Antsamerica ?

  • Cricket: literally being eaten alive

    Narrator: continues talking about jaws getting in the way

  • I want. sugar Ants

  • I feed trapjaw ants natural enemy to protect my family from them. It looks like a very smaller version of bullet ant without sting completely venomless. A bulky muscular ant with the least painful bite and body armour almost like a rhino. I call it gorilla ant. Be careful Trapjaws are deadly even to hooman. I was lucky enough to stay alive when my left foot bitten by one of their winged version when I was little, it felt like hell. Even gorilla ants though slightly bigger always lose one on one. I used to match them in a small closed container to see who was coming on top. It took quite a while for the trapjaw to finally killed the gorilla ant. But ant war is all about many vs many not one on one so the gorilla ants finally dominated all grounds around my house until now and wanna keep it that way forever. The gorilla ants can finally drove away trapjaws because gorillas work together a little bit better than trapjaws not that trapjaws arent working together well. I once saw 8 gorillas swarmed 1 trapjaw to kill it rather quick. Each bitten each trapjaw's six foots and the other two bitten each of trapjaw's long mandibles and teared the trapjaw's body apart.

  • in my house there are odontomachus

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