Sunday, 6 July 2008

Working together

When I lived at Galiwin'ku on Elcho Island in the Northern Territory I was quickly introduced to Green Ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) - they bite, they're everywhere and (this is the bit that got me) the local yolgnu (aboriginals) used them for bush tucker - they ate the green abdomens because apparently they have a citrus flavour. Apparently, I say, because I could never bring myself to taste it.

Green Ants are also everywhere here in Queensland and they are remarkable for another reason. They work co-operatively to pull leaves together to to make nests, and hold and manipulate their larvae in such a way that causes them to excrete a type of silk to bind the leaves together.

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