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The Honey Ant - A traditional Aussie foodsource

  • Posted by Julian Bradder
  • August 3, 2011 9:41 PM AEST
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Here in Blighty, ants do little more than clear leaves and plant debris away from the porch as they industriously and cleverly build their homes. But in Australia, there's an ant known as the Honey Ant. The ant harvests honeydew as a result of digestion of the secretions of aphids.

Aphids draw sap from trees and produce a sweet honey dew which their bodies secrete. Quite cleverly, the ant uses it's antenna to stimulate the aphid to secrete the honey dew. The worker ant consumes the honey dew and then stores it in it's stomach, providing a vital food source for the ant colony.

But it's not a one way relationship. The aphids do rather well themselves as the ants take care of the aphids in return for the honey dew. Everyone is a winner it would seem.

One of those winners has of course for thousands of years been the Aboriginal who has buried into ant colonies in search of the prized honey as a food source for the tribe.

Head to the Western Desert and a place called Papunya to discover the Honey Ant!

 

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