Subject: What’s this bug?
February 20, 2016 6:22 pm
We think this is a type of ant. Do you know it’s species?
Found indoors in our home in Singapore. Humid and hot all year around.
This looks to us like a queen Green Tree Ant, Oecophylla smaragdina. You can see the stubs where her wings were attached. Flying Ants are reproduction kings and queens and the queen loses her wings once she has mated. She will now begin a new colony. According to Termites and Ants: “Oecophylla smaragdina nests can be quite extensive covering several trees over a few acres. These nests are made of leaves woven together with ants’ silk secreted by the larvae. Some workers pulled leaves together while other workers each with a larva in its mandibles ‘glue’ the leaves together, with the ant silk secreted by these larvae, to formed a shelter where the brood are housed.”
May I ask, would she have been far from the nest she would be building? Should I be searching around our home to make sure there is not a huge ant colony about to be running through our home?
I read somewhere that sometimes the nests can be built in eaves on roofs etc, not just trees.
We live opposite a Giant part with lots of massive trees. We released her there. We do not have any trees overhanging our house but just want to make sure we are not neglecting to search for a pending ant infestation.
She was found in my son’s bedroom just walking across the floor. My gut is that she was ‘brought in’ with something. But now I’m wondering, at what point would she have lost her wings. Could she have accidentally have flown in, and only just have lost her wings since being in our home?
Sorry for so many questions.
Thank you again for your help,
Hi again Pippa,
What we are about to write is based on speculation, and not about any research we have done on the Green Tree Ants. We suspect this is a newly mated queen that has not yet set up a new colony. We believe after her nuptial flight, she landed near your home, not an ideal site to construct her nest. Your believe that she lost her wings either just prior to entering your home or after landing on a window sill is entirely possible.