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Treehoppers (Publilia concava) Being Tended by an Ant Treehoppers are often tended by ants as part of a mutualistic relationship. Treehoppers secrete honeydew, which is made mostly from excess plant sap that they consume. Ants &quot;farm&quot; the treehoppers for their honeydew. To do this, an ant grasps a treehopper and strokes it with its antennae. This causes a droplet of honeydew to appear at the tip of the treehopper&rsquo;s abdomen, which the ant then consumes. Both insects benefit from this mutualistic relationship: The ants get honeydew, and in return, they protect the treehoppers from predators.<br />
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Habitat: Rural garden Geotagged,Publilia concava,Spring,United States,ant,ant farmer,eggs,milking,treehopper Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Treehoppers (Publilia concava) Being Tended by an Ant

Treehoppers are often tended by ants as part of a mutualistic relationship. Treehoppers secrete honeydew, which is made mostly from excess plant sap that they consume. Ants "farm" the treehoppers for their honeydew. To do this, an ant grasps a treehopper and strokes it with its antennae. This causes a droplet of honeydew to appear at the tip of the treehopper’s abdomen, which the ant then consumes. Both insects benefit from this mutualistic relationship: The ants get honeydew, and in return, they protect the treehoppers from predators.

Habitat: Rural garden

    comments (2)

  1. Absolutely love this shot! It's such an intimate view into their world, and documents the relationship so well. Top post! Posted 2 months ago
    1. Thanks so much, Ferdy. I have a thing for ants and hoppers. I love finding them and watching them interact. So fascinating. Posted 2 months ago

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Publilia concava (Say) treehoppers belong to Membracidae family.

Similar species: True Bugs
Species identified by Christine Young
View Christine Young's profile

By Christine Young

All rights reserved
Uploaded Dec 29, 2020. Captured Jun 12, 2020 21:39 in 281 Main St S, Woodbury, CT 06798, USA.
  • Canon EOS 90D
  • f/5.0
  • 1/99s
  • ISO500
  • 100mm