Formica smaragdina

Jerdon, T. C., 1851, A catalogue of the species of ants found in southern India., Madras Journal of Literature and Science 17, pp. 103-127 : 121

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Formica smaragdina


34. Formica smaragdina   HNS .

Worker, length about 4 - 10 th of an inch; head long, triangular; antennae long; eyes large, medial; jaws triangular, pointed, with sharp teeth; thorax not furrowed; abdominal pedicle, long, low, narrow, linear; legs long; colour of an uniform pale rufous.

Male 7 - 24 th of an inch long; head diamond shaped; eyes lateral, small; thorax raised in front; abdomen small; wings reaching beyond the abdomen; of a rufous colour.

Female 7 - 8 th of an inch long; head short, triangular-, eyes lateral; three ocelli; thorax very large, wide; abdominal pedicle wide in the middle as viewed from above, very thin laterally; abdomen large; wings reaching beyond abdomen; entirely of a pale shining green colour.

This Ant is well known in Malabar, and the wooded parts of [[ ... ]], bat is rare in the Carnatic, where I have only seen it in one [[ ... ]] large Mango groves.

It forms a nest of living leaves which it draws together without [[ ... ]] from the branch, and unites with, a fine white web; sometimes this nest is above a foot in diameter but usually smaller. The society consists of a vast number of individuals, and in large nests we find many females and males, both with end without their wings at all times of the year. They are very bold and pugnacious, [[ ... ]] very severely. They live chiefly on vegetable secretions, and are very partial to the flowers and buds of some of tie Loranthi, which abound so on the Western Coast, they often form a temporary web round the flowers or sometimes round the fruit of various trees, viz the Eugenia Malaccensis, Artabothrys odorotissima, & c. apparently only for the purpose of feeding undisturbed they will however also sometimes feed on decaying animal matter. It is said that the web they form is occasionally used for writing on in the N. W. Provinces of India, and that the Ants are made uses of to destroy a nest of wasps that may have established themselves in a house. In this case they are said to destroy all the wasps but become so infuriated, that their own discriminate attacks arenearly as bad as those of their foes. In gardens they are most par-tial to mango trees, and also to the large leaves of the Jamei Malae, (Eugenia Malaccensis), but in the jungles they select a vast number of trees, or rather make no selection at all.