Green Weaver Ants: Edible, Sour and High in Protein

Weaver ants or green ants (genus Oecophylla) are eusocial insects of the family Formicidae (order Hymenoptera). Weaver ants are obligately arboreal and are known for their unique nest building behaviour where workers construct nests by weaving together leaves using larval silk. 

Colonies can be extremely large consisting of more than a hundred nests spanning numerous trees and contain more than half a million workers. Like many other ant species, weaver ants prey on small insects and supplement their diet with carbohydrate-rich honeydew excreted by small insects. 

Oecophylla weaver ants vary in color from reddish to yellowish brown dependent on the species. Oecophylla smaragdina found in Australia often have bright green gasters. Although Oecophylla weaver ants lack a functional sting they can inflict painful bites and often spray formic acid directly at the bite wound resulting in intense discomfort. 

The green weaver ant contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and so they taste sour, the Aborigines used green ants to flavor water and for medicinal purposes.  Weaver ants are one of the most valued types of insects eaten by humans. They can be utilized directly as a protein and food source since the ants (especially the ant larvae) are edible for humans and high in protein and fatty acids. (x)

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