new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
Gentle Giants | by antonsrkn
Back to photostream

Gentle Giants

Giant Forest Ant (Camponotus gigas) - Danum Valley, Malaysia


The observant hiker will be unable to venture into Borneos forests without coming across these giant ants. They are a frequent sight both during the day and night and they are tough to miss. At 28 mm these are one of the worlds largest ants, despite their large size they are rather innocuous. 90% of their diet is honeydew, a sugar-rich sticky liquid secreted by certain insects. In this photo you can see two C. gigas with an insect that they were gathering honeydew from, they would approach the rear of the insect and tap it with their antennae and the insect would excrete a drop of honeydew. A remarkable interaction that I spent quite some time observing.

15 faves
Taken on August 13, 2014