Friday, June 18, 2010

Busy worker, the Black carpenter ant!

Every day we have this visitor from the animal kingdom into our household. It searches here and there for small food particles. If it finds out something attractive, it hurries out and returns with a flotilla of its companions following in a line, one after the other: it is nothing but our active Black Carpenter Ant (Worker) (Camponotus pennsylvanicus, 'Katterumbu' in Tamil)!

It won't harm us when it climbs on us by itself. But it may bite when we harm it - children scream out of its bite.

Mainly this ant works outdoors on trees tending their 'cows,' the Horned Treehoppers (for their honey-dews), sucking juice out of fruits to feed the larvae or cutting leaves. They also carry their wounded co-workers to the colony to treat them! They easily fall prey to a host of predators such as toads. They do not develop wings to fly away; but we see only their winged mates, the queens and kings, coming out of the colony in rainy season, attracted by artificial lights.

This ant is the hero in many fables, folk stories and granny tales, as you know. It has even religious connections. The temples of the Hindu God, Ganesha is abound with it. The worshipers of Him do it as a duty to feed these ants with sugarcane crystals!
It is a wonder ant busy always and working always for its community!

1 comment:

Asha said...

i liked it peripa can u post something about bees i always wanted to know

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