Tailor Ants

Oecophylla longinoda

Tailor Ants, or Weaver Ants, naturally inhabit humid forests, which limits their South African distribution to the northern coast of Kwazulu-Natal (where their unique nests are a common sight in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park). Beyond our borders they’re distributed throughout Africa’s equatorial regions.

A single colony of Tailor Ants usually have several nests within their territory, which they fiercely defend by injecting formic acid when biting assailants, be they other ants, birds or animals and even humans. These nests are constructed using silk produced by the larval ants to bind together living leaves. In one nest the queen, which produces about a hundred eggs per day, lives, while the other nests are used by the workers (which measure up to 11mm in length) to care for the young ants or – fascinatingly! – farm with scale insects. The ants subsist on the honeydew these scale insects secrete as well as on other insects they hunt in the trees or on the ground.

Advertisement

11 thoughts on “Tailor Ants

  1. H.J. for avian101

    Ants of any types are very interesting and extremely smart as a group, collective intelligent. There is a bullet ant in the Amazon Rainforest that if it stings you is comparable to being shot, very painful, here in Florida there are Fireants that sting you and inject formic acid, is like getting a lit match touching you. Great post, D.! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

Please don't leave without sharing your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.