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Monday, 24 March 2014 03:32

Honey Pot Ants / Myrmecocystus mexicanus

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Honeypot Ant

Named Honey Pot because of their huge, swollen abdomens that resembles a pot of honey, but also becuase they commonly feed on juices from bruised or broken fruits and nectar from a wide variety of flowers and from extrafloral glands.

 

Belonging to the Myrmecocystus family, honeypot ants, also called honey ants, are ants which are gorged with food by workers, to the point that their abdomens swell enormously. Other ants then extract nourishment from them. They function essentially as living larders.

Sometimes raiders from other colonies will attempt tlo kidnap the resident honeypot ants because of their relatively high nutritional value.

The insects are edible and form an occasional part of the diet of various Australian Aboriginal peoples.

Several different groups of ants have independently evolved a honeypot lifestyle. The best known are the Myrmecocystus honeypots of western North America and Camponotus inflatus of Australia.

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