Why the name :
Unlike common ants, Weaver ants make their nests by stitching leaves. They are also refered as Tailor Ants. This is a remarkable feat of cooperation and pretty remarkable
piece of evolution on its own.
A group of worker ants finds a leaf that can be bent easily. Then several ants line up, each holding an edge of a leaf with its mandibles and feet. Slowly, they pull the two leaf edges
together until the two leaf edges are nearly touching. Then, other worker ants carry larvae from the old nest and gently squeeze them with their mandibles to make the larvae ooze a thin
thread of silk. Then the workers stitch the leaves together using this thread.
These nests begin small but can sometimes become so large that they connect branches of neighboring trees. This ability to co-ordinate on such complex tasks is being studied for
applications in robotics.
Weaver ants are reddish in color with black eyes. They are found in Africa, Australia, India and the Solomon Islands.
What do they feed on :
These Ants feed on small creatures and forage for a carbohydrate diet. They also feed on honeydew of small insects.
Tiny bodyguards :
These nests may look like damaging the leaves, but weaver ants actually protect the tree they are living in. They keep other animals like birds, reptiles, and other
insects from living in the tree or eating it. Some plants such as the Sea Hibiscus secrete nectar in their leaves and attract these ants, which in turn protect the plant from insect leaf
eaters.Birds use ants that spray formic acid to kill mites living in their feathers.
Queen and worker :
They are a monogyn species (one queen per colony). The queen is located in one nest and her eggs are distributed to the other nests. Weaver ant queens are typically
around 20-25mm, they are normally greenish brown. Workers are 5-6mm. Mostly orange. Sometimes this species has bright green gasters. Major workers are slightly larger at 8-10mm. They are
mostly orange. This ant has long strong legs, long flexible antennae and large mandibles. They forage, maintain and expand the nest.
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