Ant kingdom
Structures of ants
Winged ants
Marriage flight
Ant Kingdom from a queen
Egg-laying by a queen
Ants are strong
Procession of ants
Ants like sweets
Ants raising insects
Slave-making ants
A fight of ants
Ant lion
Hibernation of ants
How to raise ants































Some ants are tending insects!?

Do you know that some ant species habitually tend insects? Such insect keeper ants use the honeydew excreted by the tiny insect メcows,モ in the same way that humans raise cows or sheep in order to use the milk these produce.

This is quite an incredible story. What kind of insects are these ants tending and how do they make use of them?

An ant of the Formica japonica species receiving honeydew secreted from the end of an aphid's (plant louse's) abdomen

For example, ants of the Lasius flavus species capture and carry aphids to their nests where they care for them, keeping them ready to メmilkモ at will, exclusively for the member ants of the nest.

Moreover, other ant species also make use of aphids (plant lice) and scale insects. Those insects suck juices from plants and excrete honeydew from the end of their abdomens.

Ants frequently touch and tap the end of the aphidsユ abdomens with their antennae to stimulate the excretion of honeydew and the aphids actually produce it upon demand. In return for the honeydew produced by aphids, the insect keeper ants protect the aphids from their natural enemies.

Insects tended by ants Cooperation between ants and insects

Ants that grow mushrooms

There is a species of ants that grow mushrooms for food in their nests. This species, which is confined to Central and South America, is the leaf-cutter ant, or parasol ant.
Leaf cutters chew leaf sections they have carried back from the trees on the earth into a pulp (sponge-like masses), which they store in a special chamber far under the earthユs surface. In the chamber, the pulp is used as a substrate on which their fungus and mushrooms can grow, and it is the mushrooms that are eaten.
Ants of this species can be called farmer ants. However, this species is a great pest to fruit growers, because the leaves of many trees are cut, which can ruin a whole plantation in a short time if the parasol ants are left unchecked.

A leaf-cutter ant