Kerengga / Weaver ant

Sunday, August 2, 2009
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Weaver ants or Green ants (genus Oecophylla) are eusocial insects of the family Formicidae (order Hymenoptera). Weaver ants are obligately arboreal and are known for their unique nest building behaviour where workers construct nests by weaving together leaves using larval silk.[1] Colonies can be extremely large consisting of more than a hundred nests spanning numerous trees and contain more than half a million workers. Like many other ant species, weaver ants prey on small insects and supplement their diet with carbohydrate-rich honeydew excreted by small insects (Hemiptera). Oecophylla workers exhibit a clear bimodal size distribution, with almost no overlap between the size of the minor and major workers.[2] [3] The major workers are approximately eight to ten millimeters in length and the minors approximately half the length of the majors. There is a division of labour associated with the size difference between workers. Major workers forage, defend, maintain and expand the colony whereas minor workers tend to stay within the nests where they care for the brood and 'milk' scale insects in or close to the nests. Oecophylla weaver ants vary in color from reddish to yellowish brown dependent on the species. Oecophylla smaragdina found in Australia often have bright green gasters. These ants are highly territorial and workers aggressively defend their territories against intruders. Because of their aggressive behaviour, weaver ants are sometime used by indigenous farmers, particularly in southeast Asia, as natural biocontrol agents against agricultural pests. Although Oecophylla weaver ants lack a functional sting they can inflict painful bites and often spray formic acid[4][5] directly at the bite wound resulting in intense discomfort.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weaver_ant
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Daun Sirih / Betel

Saturday, August 1, 2009
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The Betel (Piper betle) is the leaf of a vine belonging to the Piperaceae family, which includes pepper and Kava. It is valued both as a mild stimulant and for its medicinal properties.
The betel plant is an evergreen and perennial creeper, with glossy heart-shaped leaves and white catkin. The Betel plant originated from South and South East Asia (India and Sri Lanka).
The betel leaf is known as Paan in Urdu/Hindi, and Taambuul and Nagavalli in Sanskrit. Some of the names in the regions in which it is consumed are: Vetrilai Tamil,Tamalapaku Telugu, Vidyache pan Marathi, veeleyada yele Kannada, Vettila Malayalam, Plū Mon, Malus Tetum, Maluu Khmer, Plue Thai, Malus Tetum, Bulath Sinhalese, Malu Tokodede, Bileiy Divehi, bulung samat Kapampangan language, daun sirih Malay language, Papulu Chamorro and Trầu Vietnamese.
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Teratai / Nymphaea / Water Lily

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Nymphaea (pronounced /nɪmˈfiː.ə/) is a genus of aquatic plants in the family Nymphaeaceae. There are about 50 species in the genus, which has a cosmopolitan distribution.

The common name, shared with some other genera in the same family, is water-lily or waterlily.
The name Nymphaea comes from the Greek term "Νυμφαία", possibly related to "Νύμφη" meaning "nymph". The nymphs in Greek mythology were supernatural feminine beings associated with springs, so the application of the name to delicately flowered aquatic plants is understandable.

Despite their name, water-lilies are not related to the true lilies (family Liliaceae). The name "lily" is applied to a number of plants that are not at all closely related, such as day lilies, spider lilies and arum lilies, in addition to the water lilies. Nymphaea (Egyptian lotuses) are also not related to the Chinese and Indian lotus of genus Nelumbo, which are used in Asian cooking and sacred to Hinduism and Buddhism.
However, the genus Nymphaea is closely related to Nuphar, another genus commonly called "lotus". In Nymphaea, the flower petals are much larger than the sepals, whereeas in Nuphar the petals are much smaller than its sepals. The fruit maturation also differs, with Nymphaea fruit sinking below the water level immediately after the flower closes, whereas Nuphar fruit are held above water level to maturity. Both genera share leaves with a radial notch from the circumference to the petiole (leaf stem) in the center.
he ancient Egyptians revered the Nile water-lilies, or lotuses as they were also called. The lotus motif is a frequent feature of temple column architecture.
The Egyptian Blue Water-lily, N. caerulea, opens its flowers in the morning and then sinks beneath the water at dusk, while the Egyptian White Water-lily, N. lotus, flowers at night and closes in the morning. This symbolizes the Egyptian separation of deities and is a motif associated with Egyptian beliefs concerning death and the afterlife. The recent discovery of psychedelic properties of the blue lotus may also have been known to the Egyptians and explain its ceremonial role. Remains of both flowers have been found in the burial tomb of Ramesses II.
The French painter Claude Monet is famous for his paintings of water lilies.
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