Secrets of the insect architects

Insects are skilled architects that build homes of all kinds, from basements to tree houses and even skyscrapers.

WeaverAnt-BBC

Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) at work (Credit: Visuals Unlimited/naturepl.com) via BBC Earth

Weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina)

This ant weaves a nest out of tree leaves high up in the canopy. To build one, a group of workers forms live ant bridges to bring the leaves together, while another fetches larvae from an existing ant nest.

Worker ants hold these larvae in their jaws and squeeze them while moving along the leaf edges. On squeezing, the weaver ant larva produces a fine silk fibre that glues the leaves. As more and more leaves are pulled along, a lump of fresh green leaves lined with a white silk mat is formed.

Know about other insect architecture in my full BBC Earth story here.

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