Honeypot Ant

honeypot ant

Honeypot ants were a highly valued source of sugar for the Aborigines of central Australia. Honeypot ant workers gather honeydew from scale insects and psyllids (jumping plant lice) and feed it to other workers called 'repletes' whose role in the colony is to act as living food vessels. The repletes develop enlarged abdomens and are kept safe in deep underground galleries where they hang from the ceiling. Repletes will regurgitate some of their nector for other workers.