Figure 6. Sampling of YG COCY ants for microbiomic and metabolomis investigations. A and B – location of the sampling site in the canopy of the Dipterocarpaceae tree; KBFSC, Brunei; C – sampling of YG ants with custom-designed aspirator that allows large interior and sufficient ventilation for reduced mortality in uncaptured ants; D – leaf samples in sterile clean bench sorted for sampling (Vienna); E – sampling of phylloplane microbiome in VUT laboratory.

The two major goals of the second sampling expedition performed solitarily by Alexey Kopchinskiy were (i) sampling of YG COCY ants, transportation them alive to UBD, freezing alive and subsequent transportation of frozen samples to Vienna laboratory; and (ii) sampling of leaves from YG COCY foraging trees (high canopy) and transportation them to PI’s laboratory at low (albeit above zero) temperature.

Around 1,000 YG COCY ants have been successfully sampled from the two YG colonies and properly preserved for microbiomic and metabolomics investigations.

Leaves from the two foraging trees (Dipterocarpaceae and Ficus sp. respectively) have been collected from ranges around 50 and 30 m above ground, respectively, and transported to Vienna (Figure 6). In Vienna the subsamples of microbial biomass from phylloplane were collected, while leaves were photographed, measured and preserved for subsequent investigation (microbiome). A database of respective samples has been created.