Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Glutton Ants

At the end of our property, we have an area which transitioned to semi-forest. Nobody touched that area since my father died, and in the tropics if you allow an area undisturbed it will surely become a little wilderness. And this area turned out to be my favorite. The leaf litters accumulate beneath the trees, and some small reptiles like to go there. In and out of the tree canopies, birds roost and they seem to be feeling safe lingering there. A lot of them are already singing in the morning. My niece can hear different bird calls that grow in number through the years.

I promise not to clean this area at all, to offer some sanctuary to whatever wildlife that want to linger there. Of course there will not be any big animals nor monkeys that will come, because it is really far from the big forest. At least it can be a haven for the birds.  In July last year i saw some epiphytic plants on trees; i took some thinking they are hoyas.

No flowers are visible when i found it, the leaves are not as clean as it looks now. I had to do some washings and scrapings on the leaves to photosynthesize better. After 3 months with us those little red flowers come out from most of the nodes. That's the time i realized it is not a hoya but a dischidia. I sought the help of some hobbyists in a group of Philippine flora, telling me it is Dischidiopsis parasitica, endemic to the country. 

I realized those lipstick-like tube flowers also bloom a little at maturity. The tip divides into 5 parts showing white inner parts. The length of each flower is just around 1 cm, and i haven't brought a magnifying glass to see the inner parts. The ants find the nectar attractive, look at that one ant with its head fully hidden while sipping the sweet inside it. 

I watched a little longer and all the flowers with cracked or open ends were invaded by ant, one at a time. It is exciting watching them dig their heads inside, and after a few minutes come out when satiated. Another ant will take the turn to enter. Sometimes, an ant go back and forth 3-4 times. Haha, even ants are gluttons too!

This is how the plant looks now. They grow hanging down, and seem happy in their new location. What more will they ask for, they can drink more frequently than their normal habitat. The covering debris on their leaf stomates are cleaned for more efficient food manufacture. They are surely happy, and the ants and I are happy too! More for me as i have subjects to photograph and some drama to watch when i go home!


  1. Awesome macros of ants!

  2. Wow, awesome macro shots. The tube like flowers are tiny! Have a happy day!

    1. Yes Eileen, they are miniature lipsticks! Thanks.

  3. Beautiful macros! They do look like lipstick!

  4. I love the pictures of those little ants poking out of the flowers!

  5. Luv they one with the ants peeking out of the buds, have a nice Tuesday

    Much love...

  6. They are such interesting flower buds! I love the bright red color. I hope the ants don't do the flowers harm.

  7. I love that you are leaving an area wild Andrea...I love learning about plants and insects. I have gotten over my fear of insects since watching them in my yard...Michelle

  8. How fun to watch the ants in action! And the plant itself is quite lovely. Sounds like the wildlife are pleased with your plot of natural land. :)

  9. Gorgeous photos! Great to watch all these ants.

  10. i would enjoy watching those ants too. i love how you captured them going in and out... have a great day~


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