WEAVER ANT OECOPHYLLA; HYMENOPTERA-FORMICIDAE; BIOLOGICAL-CONTROL; GREEN ANT; FABRICIUS; COLONY; HARVEST; CITRUS
INSECT SOC;Insect. Soc.;AUG;2015;62;3
The Asian weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina is of importance to Southeast Asian livelihoods as a source of human food and animal feed and as biological control agent in tree crops including mango and citrus. The introduction of weaver ants in plantations requires the inclusion of the reproductive queen. We report on locating the gravid queen in a mature O. smaragdina colony in Laos. The queen tree could be identified by considering tree height and number of nests in the tree: no tree was taller and housed more nests than the queen tree. The queen nest was a small nest, located near the tree top and near the trunk, and with more workers patrolling its exterior than at other small nests in the queen tree. The queen nest can be highly inconspicuous in dense tree crowns. Queen nest identification was ascertained by tapping and shaking nests, supporting branches, or entire trees, which elicits queen evacuation with retinue.