Ants are a ubiquitous component of insect biodiversity and well known for its eusocial behavior. They are active foragers, scavengers, and predators that are prevalent in the vicinity of several plantations and crops. They (workers) prey on many insect species and feed on nectar exudates from plants as well as sticky secretions produced by Homopteran and Lepidopteran insects. As ferocious foragers with an aggressive attacking habit (e.g., Oecophylla smaragdina), they have often been used as biological control agents against various crop pests. However, some economically important insect species like the wild silkworm, Antheraea mylitta, are also affected by these foragers, namely, O. smaragdina, Myrmicaria brunnea, Monomorium destructor, Monomorium minutum, etc., which leads to the loss in crop outcome. In addition, some of them are known to destroy several plant species including domesticated fruit trees, particularly at the seedling stage. In this chapter, the foraging habit and the predation biology of these foragers are explored, in which the sequence of attack, their interactions, and invasion caused are discussed. It may also serve as a primary source of information on the foraging and its invasive impact, which may help to protect and/or take counteractive actions against the foragers which are harmful to commercial cultivations.
Part of the book: The Complex World of Ants