Lac is epiphytic on the big Rain Tree East Indian Walnut

Issue 2:budget of 2013, Mae Jang-Fang-Sai National Forest, Lampang

Forest Biodiversity Division. Royal Forest Department

A long road that brings us to Samka village is full with fantastic scenic view of Rain Tree East Indian Walnut (Samanea saman (Jacq.) Merr) along two sides of the road. If you closelylook to those trees, you will find an interesting sticky stuffs which cover branches. Those come with knotty shapes with white or red colors. When you touch it, the red resin will stick on your hand. You might wonder what that thing is. Mr. Tavorn, a local volunteer who has been living there told us that it is economic insect for which is called Lac (common name) or Khrang (Thai name).

Mr. TavornYasoo

Lac in scientific name is called Laccifer lacca Kerr. It is a type of very tiny red color insects that usually stick itself with the big trees in order to survive by eating the nutrient liquid inside the tree. For hiding and protecting themselves from other hunters they will make the soft yellow gold resin to cover themselves. Anyway, when it touches the air for a long time, it will change into hard brown one. Lac which we get from the tree is called stick lac. It contains resin, wax, color of Lac and the body of Lac. Color of Lac and trunk are also used in the industrial businesses.

Mr. Tavorn also told us that Lac is the most important insect for everyone in the village because it is the most valuable goods in the recent years. It can be sold for 250 baht per one kilogram. There are many people from various factories buy it. For industrial businesses, they usually use it for making Shellac by using stick lac around 100kilograms or using seed lacaround 85 kilograms to produce Shellac for 65 kilograms. Shellac has special properties. It will be used for making the glossy woods and make it more durable. It can be used for coating fruits like oranges, coating medicine tablets and also producing as food color. Besides, it can be used for dying cloth like silks or other kind of fabrics. For the various special properties mentioned among industrial businesses, lac becomes a staple goods of the Samka village, Hua-Suea sub district, Mae-Tha district, Lampang. One of the villagers can earn 470,000 baht per year from ones on 20 trees which he has nurtured.

Farming season will start from Novembers. They will put lac on any trees and leave it there for 8-12 months. After that, they can sell them as stick lac. The best tree for nurturing them is Rain Tree East Indian Walnut.

Forest Biodiversity Division
6th floor , Surassawadee Bld.
61 Paholyothin rd. Ladyaw district Jatujak area Bangkok 10900
Telephone : 02-5792814
E-mail : [email protected]