The reputation enjoyed by weaver ants for solitary nastiness and mass infliction of pain and suffering has so infused beastly realms that a good number of other arthropods, including moth caterpillars, micropezid flies and assorted spiders, do reasonably well by aping Oecophylla smaragdina to various degrees, with colours and gaits that further belie their true affinities and allow the mimics to move unmolested in arenas where their model organisms are held in cautious regard. Certain katydids, mantids and hemipteran bugs, such as this alydid(?) nymph on a fishtail palm at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, too, are myrmecomorphs in their flightless youth, when it pays to make a fool out of passing hunters that'd prefer not to incur the wrath of an ornery sisterhood.
Sequestered in a fort of leaves held together by the silk of her spawn, queen weavers can revel in a life of maternal comfort, devoting the vast bulk of her time and body to feeding and the task of extruding new workers whose jaws and unflappable energy will drive the expansion of an arboreal empire. Every new generation of alates, however, must brave the appetites of aerial insectivores as well as rivals and adversaries, including warriors of their own species, before they can secure a domain of their own. Many risk solitary endeavours, laying virgin clutches on foliar bivouacs, for only when the brood hatches can a nest proper be woven. To raise the odds, some neophytes may join forces, pitching in their grubby offspring to erect a rudimentary shelter in which they can raise fresh swarms of raiders.
Other ants usually give Oecophylla colonies a wide berth, but lone alates are fair game for patrolling columns. One such adventurer, encountered in low shrubbery near the pier at Changi Point, was vexed by a trio of Monomorium floricola, tiny myrmicines of uncertain provenance with congeners that have made a collective nuisance of themselves in pantropical cities. Compared to pharaoh ants, however, flower ants have courted less disfavour with ecologists due to their cryptic habits and marginal habitats. They are said to do well in coastal woods and may even contribute to the welfare of mangrove forests by consuming scale insects that can reach densities fatal to the trees. The workers are certainly not faint of heart, tackling as they did a cousin many times their size, doggedly hampering the queen's passage by tugging at her appendages. Reinforcements, if they had arrived in time, might have tipped the scales of this royal rumble, but the monarch was able to manœuvre her tormentors to her mandibles, which made short work of their segments, buying her time to find safer zones and rue her lot in a life of brute and beastly wiles.