To resume the Monday Manadarin Meanings series, I present:
This is zhīyè yǐ, the Mandarin Chinese word for the weaver ant. “Weaver ant” is the common name for the ant genus Oecophylla, so called because of the magnificent nests they construct in the trees by binding together leaves using silk produced from their own larvae:
(Image from Alex Wild)
The Chinese word for this interesting ant is rather straightforward, with 织叶 (zhīyè) meaning “weaver” and 蚁 (yǐ) meaning “ant” (of course). However, breaking down “织叶” further, we see that “weaver” here is specifically referring to “weaving leaves”: “织” means “to weave” and “叶” means “leaf”. So, yet again, we see that the Chinese common name for an ant is more biologically informative than its English counterpart.