homeaboutarchives + tagsnewslettermembership!
aboutarchivesnewslettermembership!
aboutarchivesmembers!

The Dynamic Treetop Kingdoms of the Weaver Ants

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 01, 2020

In their third video of their ant trilogy (see also The World War of the Ants and The Billion Ant Mega Colony and the Biggest War on Earth), Kurzgesagt goes up into the treetops to tell us about the weaver ants.

Deep in tropical jungles lie floating kingdoms ruled by beautiful and deadly masters: They are sort of the high elves of the ant kingdoms: Talented architects that create castles and city states. But they are also fierce and expansionist warriors and their kingdoms are ensnared in a never ending war for survival. Oecophylla weaver ants.

The nests that weaver ants build out of leaves and silk from larve (that the ants use as “tiny cute glue guns”) are incredible. Since Kurzgesagt is animated, I went looking for some actual footage of weaver ants doing their thing. Here’s a clip from BBC Earth:

I found this video via The Kid Should See This, who explains that a mango orchard in Thailand uses the ants to keep pests away without using chemical pesticides:

In this mango orchard in Northern Thailand, weaver ants are nurtured so they can thrive and protect the harvest. The ants hunt the pests that would eat the mangoes, eliminating any need to use harmful chemical pesticides. The farmer creates strategic highways of red string to connect the weaver ants to new trees, expanding where they forage.

You can also watch this documentary on Australian weaver ants and this video from AntsCanada (whose videos always have amazing narration) to learn more about weaver ants.