Ant meals

Gather honey and store it in the stomach

The ant carries sweet liquid food by sucking it into its crop. When the crop swells, the membrane between the abdominal membrane is stretched to produce a large striped abdomen. When the honey is shared with other ants after returning to the nest, the crop is emptied and the ant leaves the nest again to look for more food.

Camponotus japonicus gathering flower honey

Gather honey of flowers and trees

Not only bees and butterflies visit flowers. Ants also come to gather sweet honey released from the honey gland at the base of the leaves and buds of flowers and trees or to collect the sweet sap oozing out from the peeled bark of a tree.

Pristomyrmex pungens sucking honey exuding from aphids
Gathering honey of aphids and scale insects

Aphids and scale insects suck the sap from trees then exude sweet honey from the tip of their gaster after absorbing the nutritional components from the sap. The ant taps the tip of the gaster of aphids and scale insects with its antenna to stimulate them to release the sweet honey, which the ant then uses as a food source.