SEM of a Garden ant carrying a Rose aphid

SEM of a Garden ant carrying a Rose aphid

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This image is part of the feature Rose Under The Microscope


Caption: Ant carrying an aphid. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the head of a Garden ant Lasius niger with a Rose aphid nymph held in its mouthparts. The ant's compound eyes and antennae are seen. The Rose aphid Macrosiphon rosae is being carried and is protected in a symbiotic relationship with the ant. The Garden ant herds the aphids on domestic rose plants and collects honeydew from them. The ant strokes each aphid with its antennae and the aphid emits a drop of sugary honeydew as nourishment for the ant. In return, the ant protects the aphid by removing the eggs of aphid predators such as ladybirds and lacewings. Magnification: x37 at 6x7cm size. Magnification: x80 at 12x15cm size.

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Keywords: animal, ant, ant and aphid, ant carry, ant carrying, aphid, aphid carry, black garden ant, carrying aphid, garden ant, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, lasius niger, macrosiphon rosae, nature, symbiosis, wildlife, zoology

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