Common Name: Formicid Ants
Order Name: Hymenoptera
Family Name: Formicidae
Ants are important scavengers. They are responsible for recycling huge amounts of organic material from fallen fruit to this unfortunate butterfly. Ants help to keep the enviroments free of rotting material. These ants, from Brazil, keep the forest floor clean and were able to handle this fallen butterfly in a matter of a few hours.
Ants have adapted to take advantage of many different food types. These ants, from Brazil, are carefully harvesting the bounty of seeds that have fallen to the forest floor from the tree canopy far above. The ant has long been viewed as an industrious worker, busily building food reserves for leaner times.
These large and robust Brazilian ants were found fastidiously inspecting and cleaning exposed root sections on the damp forest floor. These ant usually live in the canopy and hollow out stems. Notice the exaggerated protective spines on the thorax of these ants. Ants are the most successful, prolific and noticeable insects in the forest. They are extremely important in the recycling of organic material back into the system.
Formicid Ants Milking Treehopper Larva
These Ecuadorian ants are harvesting the sweet honeydew secretions of larval treehoppers in return for protection against other insect predators. In this arrangement, ant, larva and adult treehoppers all existed in harmony. Some ants actually corral and rear aphids for the purpose of cultivating their honeydew supplies. The biblical food known as mana that fed the Israelites as they trekked through the Sinai Desert was probably a honeydew secretion.