According to local belief, the strange open space in the middle of the dense jungle is the home of a malignant forest spirit. In the local language, it’s called a “devil’s garden” and they are fairly common in parts of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian rainforests. If you’re with a local guide, however, he or she will not avoid the spot: instead, he or she may break a twig off the tree, split it open to reveal dozens of tiny brown ants … and invite you to eat them!
The ants are, in fact, edible. They are called “lemon ants” because of their vague tangy, lemony taste. Feel free to have a try: it won’t hurt you and is likely to become one of your most memorable experiences in the rainforest. But the ants are more than a tasty jungle treat: together with the lone tree in the middle of the clearing they make up one of the most remarkable symbiotic relationships in nature.
Pictures at the article.
My own experience with lemon ants wasn't in the rainforest of Ecuador, but in the rainforests of Kuranda in Australia. They really did taste like lemon. And go me for trying it, too, since I'm afraid of ants. :)