Wednesday, May 16, 2007

False Honey Ants - Prenolepis imparis

Communing, originally uploaded by imarsman.

Here are some False Honey Ants gathering nectar from extrafloral nectaries on a Bachelor's Button plant. Extrafloral nectaries are growths that are rich in sucrose and tend to attract s of ants. It is presumed that extrafloral nectaries serve to protect the plant from unwanted pests, as the ants will chase off other insects. Note that False Honey Ants have large abdomens, an indication that they tend to ingest food that will later be shared with the colony.