Dolichoderus thoracicus

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Common name: 'The Durian Ant'.

    This is a small black / grey ant that is widely distributed in Asia but usually only found below 1200 meters in altitude. They seem to prefer cultivated areas and they are rarely found in natural undisturbed forest, probably due to the competition for food resources by other species.
    They are mostly arboreal and create nests in any suitable dark dry place such as between large overlapping leaves, under bark or in hollow bamboos. Their nests are reinforced with chewed up plant debris forming a carton like layer which helps bind the leaves together.
    In the tropics they usually rest during the heat of the day when there is bright sunlight but as soon as it cools down will pour out of their nests and create long foraging trails both over tree branches and the ground.
    The workers are 2-3 mm in size and queens slightly larger at 4 mm. Once established colonies will accept multiple queens back into the mother colony forming vast mega colonies, which can spread over a km. It is estimated in these large colonies there is one queen to every 200-300 workers.
    This species is equipped with a potent chemical defense and with this and by sheer force of numbers attacks all other species within its territory driving them away.
    An easy species to keep but requires warmth and a foraging area with plenty of small branches to mimic its natural habitat.