Distribution and Nest Occupancy Patterns of Oecophylla Smaragdina (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Colonies in Southeast Asian Oil Palm Plantations

Published: 31 May 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/mww99239pv.1


Data related to the study of the Asian weaver ant colony distribution in large oil palm plantations canopies nationwide in Malaysia-Indonesia. Colony growth development stage status. Some definitions for (i) incipient, (ii) immature, (iii) pre-matured, (iv) matured Oecophylla smaragdina colonies: An incipient is an embryonic colony identified as occupying only 1 palm within 1 to 3 months. The term immature is an innovative description to distinguish among the four determined growth of development stage of the Asian weaver ant. Pre-matured refers to the colonies newly reproductive emergence since the first release corresponding to a not yet acquired population dynamic stability. The matured colony is above 3 years of age with a notified stable population dynamic suitable for manipulation i.e. nest capture and translocation to unoccupied plantation blocks (by the Asian weaver ant colonies) in the case of a sudden defoliator’s infestation outbreak. The objectives included (1) documenting the distribution of O. smaragdina colonies and estimating the boundaries of colonized palms, (2) investigating colony occupancy patterns in relation to the presence of the nest network in the canopy, (3) visually distinguishing between barrack and brood nests by comparing their stand heights from the ground, and (4) estimating the age of colonies in relation to the average total number of nests and total number of occupied trees per colony. 1. Asian weaver ant nest distribution pattern in oil palm trees from selected plantations (Malaysian Palm Oil Board MPOB Teluk Intan, Perak - Universiti Malaya, Felcra, Boustead plantations Kota Tinggi Sg. Arah Johor - ) 2. Investigation of Oecophylla smaragdina growth stage development as : incipient immature pre matured and matured colonies based on the number of occupied palm trees over time from first month to about 4-5 years of colony age. 3. Determination of colonies age by Pearson correlation coefficient and Poisson Probability analysis. 4. Study of the visual distinction between the brood and barrack nests of the Asian weaver ant colonies in the occupied oil palm plantation in South-East Asia (Malaysia-Indonesia). The discriminant analysis DA determined the height from the ground represented the nest location in the palm canopies as being the main factor helping to visually identify the brood from the barrack nests. The brood nest are located at higher position from ground with a range of 6-15 meters and the barracks nests are located at a range of 4 to 5 m in this study. This is done first time. This is in conjunction for future biological control trial on the invasive bagworm species Metisa plana (defoliator) causing serious yield fresh fruit bunches loss with low quality for over two years period.



Collectivite de Saint Martin, Universiti Malaya Fakulti Sains


Agricultural Science, Ecology, Behavioral Ecology, Insect Ecology, Agroecosystem, Applied Ecology, Lifespan Population, Industrial Crops


Collectivité Territoriale de Martinique

Doctoral research scholarship under European Union grant funds through the Territorial Collectivity of Martinique CTM to EXELIS MOISE PIERRE

Institute of Research Management and Services, University of Malaya

(Sustainability & Biodiversity) UMRG project no. RG187/12SUS

Institute of Research Management and Services, University of Malaya

AFR (Frontier Science) project no. RP016A-14-AFR