Polyrhachis laboriosa ants

Polyrhachis laboriosa ants

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Polyrhachis laboriosa ants passing food. This African ant species is endemic to Cameroon and lives in trees at the edges of tropical forests. It feeds on honeydew produced by aphids, flower nectar, and sugary exudes from young leaves. Here, one ant is transferring food to another member of its community by mouth-to-mouth contact, a process known as trophallaxis. The hooked spines on the ants' backs are used as a defence against predators and other ants. Photographed in the Biosphere Reserve of Dja, Cameroon.

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