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Ant drinking honeydew from aphid | by pbertner
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Ant drinking honeydew from aphid

It only took me 3 hours to get this shot and 400 takes...Finally caught this carpenter ant with a mouth full of honeydew though. After gently patting the abdomen of the aphids with its antennae, this stroking encourages the aphids to excrete honeydew, a sugary exudate derived from the plant phloem which they take in as they pierce the plant stems with their proboscis. Ants farm many hemipterans, deriving sugars and in return protect their hosts in an interesting symbiotic relationship.

 

Kelowna, B.C., Canada

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Taken on July 8, 2011