I’m back…after two months in Sydney for my Disco Bugs Exhibition at Bondi Beach as part of the Head On Photo Festival. I did miss Cairns, and was really keen to see some of the new season animals like Rainforest Snails, Crickets, lots of Cairns Birdwing Caterpillars and a host of new life! Here’s just a few of them. Really looking forward to 2022 with Let’s Go Buggin Cairns Nature Tours and some new projects. I am celebrating a milestone birthday this year so it’s going to be a BIG year for me with some interesting travel in the works!
Queen Green Tree Weaver Ant (Oecophylla smaragdina)
Green Tree Weaver Ants (Oecophylla smaragdina)
January is the time that new Queen Green Tree Ants have grown big enough and take flight to start colonies of their own. I’ve seen perhaps 20 in the last three weeks.
Enormous queens, reaching as much as 3cm (1 inch) long, search for large flat green leaves suitable to start a nest. Her many workers of the colony sew together the leaves using the larvae as glue guns sticking the leaves together. Yep, that’s some serious nature-at-its-finest slave-labour!
Annual Member (Top Bugger) Maurice Allan saw this queen nurturing some new larvae… the first brood of a new colony of Green Tree Ants. If successful, she will have her workers and other colony members create a large football-sized nest completely surrounding her with several layers of leaves.
Queen Green Tree Weaver Ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) with larvae. Photograph by © Maurice Allan