Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius, 1775)

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Formicidae
Genus:Oecophylla
Species:O. smaragdina
Common Names:Kerengga Ant, Red Weaver Ant
Status:Common

Description

Size: 5–10 mm

Read more about the Hymenoptera order.
Read more about the Formicidae family.

Locality Map

General Biology

This is a large and aggressive ant  that build complex nests in trees, using living leaves. The leaves are brought together by chains of worker ants. When the edges of the leaves are in place, another worker ant squeezes a larva to encourage it to produce silk from its special glands. The silk is used to glue the leaves together. Their colonies are usually made up of several nests, spread over a few adjacent trees. The queen is located in one of these nests. 

Kerengga ants are often found near trees such as the Sea Hibiscus (Talipariti tiliaceum) and the great morinda (Morinda citrofolia), which both attract the ants with nectar, in return for some protection from herbivores. Weaver ants do not have a sting but are capable of inflicting a very painful bite, enhanced by chemicals (e.g.e.g., formic acid) secreted from their abdomen

Diet

Kerengga ants eat almost any small animals.

References

Holldobler, B. and E.O. Wilson 1990. The Ants. Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. 732 pp.

Woo, P.M.H., Y.W. Jong, T. Lim & W.K. Soo, 2011. Ants. Pp 225–227. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors), Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development, Editions Didier Millet, Singapore, 552 pp.

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