Ants on a Dead Bug

 

Weaver or Tree Ant…….or is it ants on a beetle? These delightful creatures with their bright green abdomens belong to the Weaver or Tree Ants (Oecophylla spp.). They make their nests by ingeniously folding living leaves on the tree and binding them into position with silk. The beetle was one of many of that type we saw when we were on this trip to Queensland in 2011, where most were alive and resting on walls in daytime but some had died and were being investigated by ants, hoping to find a way through the outer hard exoskeleton to juicier bits inside. The beetles were referred to as Christmas Beetles (Anoplognathus spp.) and I cannot say if this was an accurate identification but internet sources support it. They range in size from 15 – 40 mm in size and they belong to the Scarab family (over 3000 species in Australia), which also includes flower and cock chafers, and fiddle beetles.

9 thoughts on “Ants on a Dead Bug

  1. Absolutely fascinating. Great footage. What camera did you use? I want to get a camcorder to make arty films, so looking for recommendations.

  2. Thank you, Emma. This clip was shot using the video function on a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100. (I am currently using a later model, the DMC-FZ200). I think it is easy to capture good movie footage on most cameras and smart phones these days. I have toyed with the idea of getting a camcorder but thought it would be a bit fiddly switching from stills on the camera to video on the camcorder.

  3. Hello, Angela. The camera I used for all the photos in this post was a Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ100. The first of the two images of the leaves shows the ants starting to fold the living tree leaves for their nest. Once the leaves have been bound together by silk and the nest is occupied, they die and become brown as in the second picture of the completed nest. I am now using a LUMIX DMC-FZ200.

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