Black Ants' Unique Nest on a Tree Trunk- Philippines

posted Jun 3, 2014, 5:36 AM by iscspm iscspm   [ updated Jul 1, 2014, 4:33 AM ]
I doubt if this is common...

Black Ants Living on Tree Trunk of Veicchia merrillis- I have seen in an online photo of a quite similar type of nest in the country of Nigeria. Here are series of photos for anyone who is interested to inquire and identify the species' SN.  Genus ID is Crematogaster sp.  by David General (UPLB) through Dr. Brian Fisher. As stated, there is still a problem in species designation. Will this be given a new species name? The Nigeria lit that I had seen specifies Crematogaster basing in nest similarity. Here is the link. (These photos must not be used in any way without permission from Prof. Isidro T. Savillo).


Comment: Currently I. Savillo is keenly observing the ability of these ants to repair their nests by punching a hole on it. Otherwise, this species could be one of the laziest ant when it comes to nest making and as David G., said they used the nest of a hymenopteran after driving them away as their own. (To recall, a hymenopteran nest was seen previously) Building and extending their nest independent of the hymenopteran's are hypotheses at this moment.

June 27, 2014`` After intermittent rains within the 2 day period, the punched hole in the nest was repaired and the apex part of the nest where the topmost part of it was horizontally removed, has signify  nest construction activity, now extending the nest above the line where the nest portion was removed. Three nests have been recently reported: two are in different trees in the same vicinity in a wrap around fashion. The third nest is on the neighboring V. merrillis. The overlapping palm stalks become a bridge for the ants to gain access to the neighboring palm. A nest was constructed at the beginning of the origin of the palm leaves quite lofty and this was examined if traces of wasp nest could be seen. There was none but aphids could be seen inside the nest. The ants are observed to be associating with aphids. The nests in the V. merrillis are humps and have not wrapped around.

David General's* recent lit.
*currently working in the project- the Ants of the Phil.