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Ants farm aphid clones in subterranean rooms

Press/Media: ResearchAcademic

02/07/2011

Scientists have discovered that ants farm aphid clones in subterranean rooms. The researchers believe the farming method may help ants maximize honeydew yields. The yellow meadow ant, Lasius flavus, (pictured above) farms root aphids for sugar (honeydew) and nitrogen (protein). The scientists say these species of aphids have developed distinctive traits never found in free living species, such as the trophobiotic organ, which holds honey dew for the ants.

References

Related Publications
  1. Ants farm subterranean aphids mostly in single clone groups: An example of prudent husbandry for carbohydrates and proteins?

    Ivens, A. B. F., Kronauer, D. J. C., Pen, I., Weissing, F. J. & Boomsma, J. J., 2-Jul-2012, In : BMC Evolutionary Biology. 12, 11 p., 106.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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