Teamwork at its best: Red Weaver Ants

on 18th March 2019

“This is TEAMWORK at its best! There’s so much we can learn and be inspired by Nature!

“I have noticed these Red Weaver Ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) constructing their nest in our Rainforest last week.

“Red Weaver Ants are known for their unique nest building behaviour where workers construct nests by weaving together leaves using larval silk.

“There is a division of labour, which is associated with the size difference between workers, whereby major workers ants forage, defend and maintain the ant colony and the minor ants stay within the nests to care of the newly hatched ants.

“Weaver ants hunt and kill small insects that are potentially harmful plant pests. Therefore, trees harbouring weaver ants benefit from decreased level of herbivory from organisms such as caterpillars and grasshoppers.

“Be careful not to brush against the plants when you walk through the Rainforest in our school. These ants can give you a sting before you can swipe them off your arms and neck. Well, getting bitten once or twice might be part of our life experiences.”

Jacob Tan Guanrui
Senior Teacher (Biology)
Commonwealth Secondary School
27th February 2019

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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