There is no queen
in the colony but a mated worker called a
'gamergate' lays the eggs. The brood
seems to be raised in cycles with the gamergate
laying eggs for about two – three weeks,
then allowing these to mature into new workers
before laying another batch.
Once laid the eggs
are continually carried in the jaws of the
workers. When the larvae emerge they are
very active and can frequently be seen waving
their front half around looking for food.
When the larvae are mature they spin a thick
Curious wasp like
males seem to be produced intermittently
throughout the year and are always found
near the entrances of the nests. These leave
the nests in the early morning and seek out
other colonies where they will mate with
any receptive workers. (See photograph below.)
In the wild this
species inhabits the depths of undisturbed
forest. Once the forest habitat becomes disturbed
they will move away. Their typical habitat
is lowland diptocarp forest which has a long
dry season often lasting 4 months, when there
is little if any rain.
In northern Thailand
during the dry season the trees in these
forests shed their leaves leaving a covering
of leaf litter over the forest floor. During
this time if you stand quietly you can actually
hear these ants walking over the dry leaves!
They have good eyesight
and can sense vibrations - and will freeze
on the approach of a larger animal making
them very difficult to detect. This action
helps protect them from larger predators.
They are also armed
with a painful sting which is similar to
a wasp sting - but the effect only lasts
for a very short time.
Their nests are
usually located near old tree stumps and
constructed amongst inter-tangled roots.
There is a single
entrance that is surrounded by an assortment
of small twigs and leaves, leading to two
or three large chambers at a depth of about
entrance to a natural wild nest.