One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An ant that stores large amounts of honeydew and nectar in its elastic abdomen, which becomes greatly distended. This is then fed to nest mates by regurgitation.
"Myrmecocystus" and other genera, family "Formicidae"
- ‘The natives would dig into the ground looking for the nests of honeypot ants.’
- ‘One unusual native California species on display is the honeypot ant, which lives in the dry regions of the state, including the Central Valley.’
- ‘An extreme example occurs in honeypot ants, where some ants have enormously expanded abdomens that serve to store honey for the colony.’
- ‘We have honeypot ants in the genus Myrmecocystus and lots of carpenter ants in the genera Camponotus and Formica.’
- ‘And the fact is that many ants perform highly specialised tasks that bring the individual little benefit: one caste, found among the honeypot ants, has the sole task of storing food for the rest of the colony in their bellies; other castes remove the bodies of their dead comrades from the nest.’
- ‘The honeypot ant, whose name derives from the enlarged amber-colored abdomen reminiscent of a honeypot, acts as living reservoir in the dry desert.’
- ‘Yes, honeypot ants are eaten as a delicacy in some countries, including the US and Australia.’
- ‘The workers of Myrmecocystus mimicus, the honeypot ant of the southwestern United States, collect nectar from flowers, sweet moisture from fruit, and honeydew produced by sucking insects like aphids.’
- ‘The ants were obtained by scraping the surface of the ground to find the vertical shaft of the nest that led down to horizontal chambers where the honeypot ants were located.’
- ‘My first featured bug will be a species of honeypot ant from the southwestern deserts, Myrmecocystus mexicanus.’
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