Ant Tending Treehopper Larvae

May 23rd 2009 in Georgia State Botanical Garden in Athens, GA, USA.

The ant (Formica palidefulva) is tending a number of treehopper (Entylia carinata) nymphs. If watched carefully, the honeydew secreted by the instars are visible at [00:22, 00:28, 00:37] seconds into the video. The mother treehopper is still sitting around the midrib of the thistle where she laid her eggs (dark necrotic patch around her).

The story got published in the November 2009 issue of the Atlas Magazine under the title Darwin’s Ants as a commemoration of 150th anniversary of On The Origin of Species.

Besides doing agriculture, tending and slave making, a few species of ants are capable of gliding such as Cephalotes atrasus as a part of their highly specialized homing behavior:

Nature Documentaries features many informative documentaries on ants such as Natures Secret Power or The Empire of the Desert Ants.

 

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