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Weaver Ant

Weaver Ant Facts

Size 0.3-0.4 in (8-10 mm)
Speed Unknown
Weight Unknown
Lifespan Unknown
Food Insects
Predators Spiders, caterpillars
Habitat The Tropics (Africa, Asia, Australia)
Order Hhymenoptera
Family Ants
Scientific name Oecophylla
Characteristics Builds nests in trees

Main Characteristics

Like the red wood ant, weaver ants are part of the formicinae sub-family.


As the red wood ant is well-known in Germany, we often presume that ants always live on the ground, where they build anthills. Weaver ants exclusively live in trees. Their ant communities can get so big that one tree just isn’t big enough. They build colonies across several trees.

Weaver Ant Weaver Ant - Photo: frank60/Shutterstock



Weaver Ants Are Bodyguards for Caterpillars

Some caterpillars (gossamer-winged butterflies and owlet moths) secrete a honeydew that attracts weaver ants. The ants slurp up all the sweet liquid and protect the caterpillar while they do so. They’re kind of like bodyguards.

Weaver Ant Weaver Ant - Photo: frank60/Shutterstock

Enemies and Threats

How Do Weaver Ants Defend Their Nest?

If their nest is damaged (e.g. if an animal damages it by accident), the ants sound the alarm. In the truest sense of the word. Thousands of them knock on the leaves from the inside, which creates an audible warning sound. It’s intended to warn the intruder not to take another step. As weaver ants react to threats with aggression, it’s a bad idea to go near their nests. These ants don’t have a functional stinger but their bites sure can hurt.

Weaver Ant Weaver Ant - Photo: frank60/Shutterstock

Fun Facts

Birds Love Weaver Ant - Because of Their Acid

Birds often use ant acid to rid their feathers of mites. Like the acid from the weaver ant. They pick up the ants and put them between their feathers. Because the ants aren’t particularly happy about this, they defend themselves by spraying acid. The bird doesn’t mind so much, as long they get rid of the mites.


Weaver Ants Are a Popular Snack

In Asia, weaver ant larvae are regularly farmed and sold as snacks. They’re supposed to be very creamy. Adult weaver ants are also a popular snack, and are usually eaten with rice dishes. They are said to taste sour and lemony. Would you eat ants?

From here you find infos written by animalfunfacts fan Rosa!

Fan Facts RosaWeaver Ants Spin Nests Out of Silk

They live in the Tropics and spin nests out of silk and leaves. The silk fibers are made by weaver ant larvae and produced from their abdomen. The workers then carry the larvae in their jaws as they weave.

Weaver Ants Help Fight Pests

Unbe-Weave-Able or not: Weaver ants are used to control pests. And have been since the 3rd/4th century. In eastern Asia, they are placed in fruit trees. They take over pest control on farms, as weaver ants are predators and eat insects.

Weaver Ants in Medicine

Although it’s hard to believe: weaver ants help healing. In Asia and Africa, these weavers are put to another use. Their jaws are used to close wounds. It might sound strange but it seems to work.

These facts were submitted by fan Rosa. Thanks! Do you want to write a fan fact sheet?

Weaver Ant Weaver Ant - Photo: frank60/Shutterstock


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