O. smaragdina glueing the leaves together by weaving with its larva. Mangrove swamps near Kota Kinabalu

the marvelous weavers

One of the most fascinating forms of life I’ve encountered in Borneo until now is the weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina).

They’re almost everywhere, from primary to secondary forest, from mangrove swamps to city gardens. The weaver ants gathers on plants and hunt small and big insects by using just their mandibles and formic acid. One of the most amazing things to witness about them is the nest building. They first grasp the leaves with their jaws to join them together, then they bring some of their larvae to glue the leaves and finish the work with the silk they can produce. The queens are protected inside leaf-made nest deep on the tree, while outer colonies are normally inhabited by workers. This is a true green kingdom and working with these ants was amazing! More photos soon on magazines, but I wanted to give you a glimpse about them!