In British East Africa Oecophylla longinoda (Latr.) var. textor Santschi is locally common in the costal region. Inland it is absent from higher altitudes and from areas where there is a pronounced dry season.
In Zanzibar Island, O. longinoda at least 89 species of trees and shurbs; the largest populations occur on the clove (Jambosa caryophyllus), Citrus spp., Bridelia micrantha and Canthium zanzibaricum.
The nesting habits and colony composition of O. longinoda are such that one colony may spread over a number of adjacent trees; it contains only one gravid queen.
Winged virgin sexual forms are released at the beginning of the wet seasons and new colonies are initiated by a single queen, who uses her food reserves to bring the first batch of brood to maturity.
In Zanzibzr, O. longinoda tends a wide range of Homoptera that produce honey-dew, but apparently “ prefers ” certain Coccids, notably Saissetia spp.
The degree of attention afforded by an ant species determines the species of Homoptera which it is able to attend.
The insect species preyed upon by O. longinoda include the honey bee, Apis mellifera, and the driver ant, Dorylus nigricans, of which large numbers may be destroyed.
O. longinoda is of undoubted value for controlling certain coconut pests, notably Theraptus sp. (Coreidae), and its efficiency in coconut plantations could probably be much enhanced.