“Ang Hantik” (Philippine Fire Ants – 6 photos)

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“Hantik” (green tree ants) is the Philippine version of the Amazon’s fire ants, though they are tamer and not as aggressive as its South American counterpart. But their sting and venom really hurts if one manage to crawl on your skin and make a bite using its two large pincers!

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Our hantik usually build their colonies in mango trees and other green leafy trees that abound the Philippines.

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But unlike the fire ants of South America, our hantik are not aggressive and will usually go on their way provided that you are not in their way.

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They are actually “cannibals” and will eat one of their own if they find one which is dead. Black ants usually steer away from the hantik. The hantik is two to three times bigger than our local black ants.

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The curious thing about the hantik, its difficult to distinguish the worker ants from the soldiers. All of them have the pincers and a thorax full of venom. But I may be wrong…

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I was lucky to find a trail of the hantik in the balcony of a room which we were checked in for the weekend in a resort located up north of Metro Manila.

I took one picture with a flash while the rest of the pictures without a flash. I used Canon’s 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens to photograph the hantik.

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