[mass noun] The mutual exchange of regurgitated liquids between adult social insects or between them and their larvae.
- ‘Typical nest behaviors, such as aggression and trophallaxis, were not observed among aggregating wasps.’
- ‘Second, we quantified the rate of trophallaxis, that is, oral exchange of liquid food between individuals.’
- ‘Its expression in salivary glands suggests it can be passed among nestmates by trophallaxis or spread on the insect cuticle during grooming.’
- ‘The worker was performing trophallaxis with the queen who had her tongue extended through a slit or small hole in the queen cell.’
- ‘Direct interactions are the ‘obvious’ interactions: antennation, trophallaxis (food or liquid exchange), mandibular contact, visual contact, chemical contact (the odor of nearby nestmates), etc.’
Early 20th century: from tropho- ‘nourishment’ + Greek allaxis exchange.