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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kerengga, the big red ants

Kerengga
Ocoephylla smaradgina
weaver ants


They live in groups, hundreds or could be thousands. Feeling threatened, the whole army will attack without delay. The pain doesn't last long with no side effect... These kerengga will pull leaves together and weave them. They live, and have hundreds of babies inside.... In younger days, we would search high and low for kerengga's den .... the eggs were super class as fishing baits. Mom's constant warnings not to venture out too far which include fishing didn't deter us much, and kerengga's stinging bite was very mild then... haha.

There was a story when we were kids, about a very naughty boy. His Dad was so angry one day that he tied the boy to a coconut tree, get a couple of kerengga's den with kerengga still inside and placed them close to the boy. They boy yell like hell!!!. We wouldn't know if the incident really took place, or it just be one of those little stories Mom love to tell as a deterrance ........

To a certain extent, kerengga is considered friendly by gardeners, because they will protect the tree they colonized from pest. But plucking fruits will be quite a task with kerengga around.






kerengga climbing up Pulai tree

location: Putrajaya.




14 comments:

  1. They look like they are made of amber.

    My mother always said to stay away from any ant that had red in it because they are the biters. Maybe that is true everywhere? :)

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  2. If I was a kid when I heard that story about the ants, it would make me be very good. :)
    Rosey

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  3. Ants are fascinating. So very organised. If they were our size they would definitely rule the world :-)

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  4. I saw a program on TV about ants some days ago.

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  5. I used to have a rambutan and mango tree at my old house. It was inhabited by these red ants. When they drop onto you neck or inside your shirt, their bite is terrible.

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  6. Interesting to see 1 and then 3 and then many.
    I can send you some seeds of marigold, that is red and yellow in a few months time, just write me a note so i would not forget. MB

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  7. Bangchik, are all your blogs that you are following showing in your dashboard today? Mine all gone. I wonder why :-(

    Hey, these kerengga ants bit right? Quite painful. Don't go near!

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  8. Red is danger. So to stay away from red ants is to stay away from dangerous bite! You are right GARDEN MS S.

    We have stories about red ants to keep kids in control, but i am sure moms in your place have other biting and stinging stories, ROSEY.

    If ants our size, huh, hard to imagine EASYGARDENER, who knows we could just handle them like tigers...

    ~bangchik

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  9. MARIE, what's the program you were watching? Most program highlight their strength, that ants are very hierarchical. Functions are well defined and strictly followed.

    Ants can drop onto your neck BELLE, but they can also crawl up your leg... haha, that's very scary!

    ~bangchik

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  10. Thanks for the offer MARIA, just hope your marigolds seeds are very international and can germinate easily in Malaysia. Will get back to you soon.

    Dashboard is ok STEPH, a lot slower than usual though. I have heard people treating patients with numbness using red ants. Red ants will bite to stimulate sensory organ.... wanna try?

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  11. I've experienced the pain caused by these teeny tiny monsters! Much worse than bee stings...I think! The black ones are more prevalent in my garden where the soil is sandy but these red ones...watch out! I like them in your pictures though!

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  12. Most animals and insects are adorable in pictures, even tigers, crocodiles and snakes. But in close contact, survival instinct is quick to take over. They bite us, we kill them..... LYNN, the worst pain is not from these ants but from centipedes. As kids we used to cry the whole day..... haha.

    ~bangchik

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  13. I really should be more careful. I've dug up a lot of red ants in my backyard since I've been redoing the garden areas. I'm surprised these little buggers haven't taken a few nips at me!

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  14. > Water roots
    I don't know, but it is good to get bitten once or twice... to check if our feeling of pain is still OK. and also to check if adrenaline is still in abundance in our body. haha.
    Be careful,
    ~bangchik

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