More specifically, Green Tree Ants (Oecophylla smaragdina). As the name implies, they’re green, and they nest in trees, building softball-sized enclosures of dead leaves stitched together among living foliage. But you see a lot of them on the ground, on logs, rocks, mud, wherever, doing what ants do.
On one of my first field days, Michelle picked one up, gently gripped its head between thumb and index finger, and delicately licked the ant’s butt. “Try it,” she suggested, as she released her victim. “Tastes like citrus.” Sure enough, when I cornered my own green ant, it shot an unexpected, strong taste of lime on my tongue, actually quite agreeable. I wondered what was passing through the insect’s tiny mind. What would you do if a giant licked your backside? In this case, I had a quick answer as the ant latched its jaws on my finger before I set it free. Definitely wouldn’t want to lick the wrong end of that one!
From your green ants blog, I assume that the food still hasn’t arrived ! Cheers Laimons
You always amaze me how each blog entry has something new and different to tell us. And sometimes down right funny. By the way I very much liked your telling of what you did on St. Patty’s day. I have told my people here at work about that and they all had a good laugh too. Thank you for involving us in your adventures.
If you get to Queensland this trip, I hear that the cane toads are worth a lick or two.
Hey Diane – Ha! Yeah, St Patty’s Day was pretty fun. Glad you’re enjoying the updates!