Monday, June 11, 2012

Bi-colored Ant at the Banyan Tree

The Banyan Tree, Okhla Bird Park

"6 AM at the Banyan tree..."

For folks on DelhiBird this simply indicates a well known meeting-point at the Okhla Bird Park on the banks of Yamuna river.

during the hot season the river looks more like an open drain with black, frothy effluent gushing down the slats. This Sunday, there were not too many birds on the Yamuna flood plains. At the banyan though there was an interesting looking ant scurrying through its folds and crevices.

Unlike any I had seen before in Kerala, this one had multiple nodes on the thorax and abdomen, almost making it look like an dandy ant trying to pass off for a mini-millipede!

Turns out that this was the Arboreal Bi-colored Ant (Tetraponera rufonigra). It seems they sting so badly that even some spiders try to mimic them to escape predators!

Arboreal Bicolored Ant (Tetraponera rufonigra)

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