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Weaver ants scramble!

One morning I noticed that some of the leafs on my qumqat tree were stuck together – like this…

curious, I poked it with my finger and quickly retreated when large red ants suddenly swarmed out, looking mean and angry…

It seems that they are weaver ants (Formicidae Oecophylla longinodaie); if in doubt compare my photo with this one. Apparently “Weaver ants form the most elaborate communicative organization in the insect world.” (“Weaver ant”), which seems kind of cool to have in one’s garden; on the other hand, “A mature colony of weaver ants can hold as many as 100,000 to 500,000 workers and may span as many as 12 trees and contain as many as 150 nests.” (ibid.).

Argh! I don’t want half a million of these in my garden!

Me and 499,999 others know where you live!

It makes me wonder what to do about them. My initial worry was that they were going to eat my tree to shreds, but in fact it seems to be doing better ever since they arrived, I think they scare off any other leaf eating bug. They don’t seem to have built any other nests on the tree either, and it seems rather small.


Works Cited.
“Weaver Ant”. Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia. 2007. 1 July 2007

The video was done with Windows Movie Maker 6.0: I put in a sound track, opening and closing credits etc. It’s the first time I’ve tried editing a video clip, and it was pretty simple to use.


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hweicheng on :

eeewww!!! ants are disgusting! for some reasons, out of soo many things, i'm afraid of ants....eeewww...millions of it in ur garden...bad idea....

Boo on :

You're really free, aren't you? Videocamming ants...

julian on :

hweicheng: I always found ants kind of cool... though once they get into my food it's not so cool anymore...

Boo: ahem! Observation and theorisation of inter-species social patterns, if you please ;-)

rachel on :

cool blog. I liked your post on the "twitterisation of blogs". social cyberspace seems to be the most vibrant area of study for sociology.

julian on :

Thanks Rachel. I agree, a lot is happening there at the moment. I find it all very interesting anyway :-) Communication is at the basis of culture after all, so changes in communication can lead to wider changes too I think, though one must not forget the rest of the offline world...

rachel on :

would you be interested in writing/submitting one of your articles to Ceteris Paribus, our department of economics newsletter? planning to make this a sociology issue :-)

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