What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Green Queen Ant!?
Location: Malaysia
March 7, 2014 8:19 am
Dear bugman, I found this green ant on one of my plant’s leaf and it’s beautiful! I’ve never seen a green ant before. What sort of ant is this? How do I take care of it? Can I build like an ant colony out of this?
Signature: Shanon

Green Ant? or something else???

Green Tree Ant

Dear Shanon,
Are you able to provide us with any other images, including some different angles, of this interesting creature.  While it does resemble an Ant, we are not fully convinced that it is an Ant.  It appears to be guarding a clutch of eggs, and we don’t know if an Ant would begin a new colony in this manner.  Until we are able to provide you with a proper identification, we have no advice on raising this insect.  Moments after writing that, we began our research, and we quickly located a posting on a Green Tree Ant,
Oecophylla smaragdina, on the Atlas of Living Australia, where it states:  “commonly called the green tree ant or weaver ant, is a northern species that also occurs throughout South-east Asia and westward to India. They can be conspicuous in forested areas within their range, foraging on vegetation as well as the ground, often in large numbers and forming distinct trails.”  The University of Notre Dame has an online PDF entitled A Study of the Weaver Ant, Oecophylla smaragdina.   Encyclopedia of Life provides this fascinating information attributed to Shuker:  “Another insect tool user is the weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina), which makes nests by rolling up leaves and then gluing the sides together with silk. Although it is the adult ants that do this, only the larvae produce silk, so how is the process of leaf gluing achieved? In fact, the adults carry larvae in their jaws and squeeze them gently so that the larvae secrete a drop of silk on one end of the leaf edges. The ants then carry the larvae along the entire length of the leaf edges, squeezing as they go, using the larvae like living bottles of glue, until the edges of the leaves are stuck together from end to end.”  Perhaps this is a queen Green Tree Ant that has shed her wings and is just beginning a new colony.

Dear bugman,
I think you are right! It definitely seem like a weaver ant queen. However I’m unable to capture anymore photos because it is no longer on the leaf of the potted plant. I guess it must have gone off to a bigger tree. Te eggs are still there though. Thank you very much for the reply 🙂

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Malaysia
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6 Responses to Green Tree Ant from Malaysia

  1. Pretty cool creature! I think you should be confident with your ID, Bugman, it has the same spine-something on it’s sides.
    Check this image out, I think that it confirms: http://pikul.lib.ku.ac.th/insect/001-006%20UPDATE%20insects/002%20Pest%20Insects/004332%20Horticultural%20%20Pests/FRUIT%20CROP%20PESTS/SUBTROPICAL%20FRUIT%20PESTS/CITRUS%20INSECT/Predator/Oecophylla%20smaragdina%20AE.jpg

  2. aussietrev says:

    Hi guys,
    One thing I can tell you about the green tree ant is that if you are ever unfortunate enough to disturb a nest, they will attack and bite the hell out of you and it hurts more than you can imagine. Some people can have a very severe reaction to the bite. We used to encounter them nesting in epiphytes when we had a native plant collecting business years ago. You only make the mistake of not checking for them once.

  3. Ajay says:

    I also found this thing in my home.
    I captured it.

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