Some ants in tropical areas, from Africa to Australia, build nests in trees by sewing together groups of large leaves. A row of worker ants pull two leaves together. When the edges are close, more workers, each holding a live ant larva in their jaws, sew the leaves together using strands of silk produced by the larvas salivary glands. The finished nest is a ball of leaves.
If the nest is disturbed the thousand of ants give a noisy warning by tapping on the leaves from within. When these ants bite, they squirt formic acid into the wound making it doubly painful. Many other ants use formic acid as a form of poison. In fact, the technical, Latin word for one family of ants is 'formicidae', which has the same root than the word 'formic'.
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