formicidae

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Treehoppers, Enchenopa ignidorsum? adults, nymphs & tending ant by Andreas Kay
Via Flickr:
from Ecuador: www.flickr.com/andreaskay/albums

“Pirate Ant” (Cardiocondyla pirata)

…a species of Myrmicine ant that was discovered in the province of Laguna in the Philippines. C. pirata gets its common name from the black steak that occurs across the eyes of females, this pattern occurs in no other ant and is thought to be reminiscent of a pirate’s eye-patch. C. pirata was discovered fairly recently (~2013) and as such very little is known about its biology. It likely behaves fairly similarly to other members of the genus Cardiocondyla

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Hymenoptera-Formicidae-Myrmicinae-Cardiocondyla-C. pirata

Image: Seifert B, Frohschammer S

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Treehoppers, Horiola picta & tending ants by Andreas Kay
Via Flickr:
from Ecuador: www.flickr.com/andreaskay/albums

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)

More Science and Gifs on: rudescience  Giffed from: this video

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Treehopper, Horiola picta & tending ants by Andreas Kay
Via Flickr:
from Ecuador: www.flickr.com/andreaskay/albums

Meranoplus mayri

…a species of Myrmicine ant that is distributed throughout the drier regions of Madagascar from the Southwestern region Andohahela National Park north into the province of Mahajanga. Meranoplus mayri are typically encountered at elevations of 20-1,345 m above sea level. Not much is known about the biology of M. mayri except that it is commonly found in urban gardens, grasslands, and deciduous and spiny forests. They are also thought to possibly occur in the High Plateau region as well. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Hymenoptera-Formicidae-Myrmicinae-Meranoplini-Meranoplus-M. mayri

Image: © AntWeb.org