Giant Forest Ants (Camponotus gigas)

posted in: Insects-others, Videography | 3
video grab: worker and soldier
video grab: worker and soldier

The Giant Forest Ant (Camponotus gigas) is native to Southeast Asia. It is a forest species and can easily be seen in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Although these ants are active mostly at night, solitary worker ants can always be seen wandering on the forest floor and by forest paths and roads (see video below).

According to Wikipedia, these ants are one of the largest in the world. The body length of the workers measure 20.9 mm while that of soldiers 28.1 mm. Honeydew makes up 90% of their diet, but they will also consume insects and bird droppings. It has been reported that they farm cicadas to harvest the honeydew secreted by the latter. The nest is underground, usually at the base of trees or among fallen wood. The colony may number 7,000 workers housed in several nests.

More information on these fascinating ants can be found HERE and HERE.

Jeremiah Loei
Singapore
26th January 2018

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.

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3 Responses

  1. Do they bite humans or have a painful sting if one accidentally stumbles on them?

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  2. I suppose they will bite, but how aggressive they are, I have yet to find out. The size discourages one to find out.

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  3. James, I have no doubt that the thalamo-cortical loops contribute to the rich form of consciousness that we humans experience. Let me say that another way. I believe there are many levels of consciousness. That our human variety includes a bunch of stuff relating to thought and all the other stuff our brains do. But at a lower level, I believe simpler forms of consciousness exist. For example, an ant, having been over a trail, has some sort of memory of that trail. That memory must be available to the ant in some form of a “view of the trail. What that view looks like to the ant, we can only speculate. But I have no doubt that the ant “sees something.

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