Red Weaver Ants Oecophylla smaragdina patrolling empty male syconia of Ficus fistulosa  at Sg Liang, Brunei Darussalam in November 2011. Note the jumping spider (possibly Myrmarache plataleoides)  which both mimics and preys on the Red Ants  in the lower right hand corner of the photo.

See Schatz and Hossaert-McKey (2010) Ants use odour cues to exploit fig-fig wasp interactions

Also: Leong & Rosario (2012) Mimicry of the Weaver Ant Oecophylla smaragdina

02 Ficus fistulosa IMG_0262
Patrolling ants  often attend male figs which act as incubators for fig wasps in dioecious figs such as Ficus fistulosa. The ants prey on the fig wasps as they emerge  from the fig. However the yellow colour  of the fig indicates the wasps are long gone. The ants may be using the empty fig as temporary domatia (homes) or farming  aphids inside the  empty figs.
Ficus fistulosa figs ripen green and are dispersed by small fruit bats. Male figs do not produce seeds only fig wasps. The open ostiole (holes) in the base of the fig indicate the wasps have already left  and these male  figs will eventually rot and fall to the ground uneaten.


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Sg Liang Brunei IMG_0273.JPG