Tetraponera rufonigra (Arboreal Bicoloured Ant)


This aggresive, large (15-16mm long) arboreal ant is known for its powerful sting and ability to run vertically on surfaces such as tree bark. It predominantly, has a dark head and gaster, and light orange/brown-red thorax. 


Interestingly, this active species of ant is actually known as a pest in parts of South East Asia such as Malaysia. Specifically, locals tends to stay well away due to the possible effects their sting can have. Although, generally, it's not more dangerous or painful to a wasp's sting. 


These ants are known to have mutualistic relationships with specific plants called 'myrmecophytes'. "Myrmeco - what, you say?". Essentially, these plants provide ants with shelter and substances such as nectar to feed on. In return, these ants ward of potential predators by naturally protecting their colony which resides in these plants. 


In captivity, this can be replicated with a bio-active setup, however, they will feed well on insects such as mealworms, flies and waxworms. Additionally, sugar water and honey water are fondly taken by the worker ants.


They have the ability to occupy a diverse range of habitats, from deciduous forests to urban gardens which makes them quite suitable to captvity as they adapt quite well to acrylic ant farms as well as more naturalistic setups, i.e. bioactive terrariums. 


If you're looking for an unusual looking ant which has quite the attitude and packs the sting to match this, then Tetraponera rufonigra may be just for you. 


It is illegal and strictly frowned upon to release any non-native ants into the wild. 

Tetraponera rufonigra