The photo above of three weaver ants was taken in the Maliau Basin in Borneo – one of the few relatively untouched rainforests remaining on Earth. Rainforests are hotspots of biodiversity, containing 50% of the Earth’s terrestrial plant and animal species, and most of the animal species are insects. Members of Insecta are more diverse than any other class of animals – scientists have estimated that there may be up to 30 million insect species worldwide.
Weaver ants get their name from the way they build their nests. The ants form a chain with their bodies to bend leaves (see photo below), and then use silk produced by their own larvae to stitch the leaves together to form strong, waterproof nests in the rainforest canopy. They nest in trees but often hunt for small insects on the forest floor, as the ants in the main photo are doing.
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