Daily Archives: October 20, 2013

Ants and aphid farming.

Humans are not the only animal to raise other animals for food. Amazingly ants will raise aphids for a secretion called Honeydew which is produced when the ant rubs the aphid sides with their antenna.

Below are black ants attending their aphid herd on a lily.


The ants will move the aphids around the plant to the newest growth as aphids feed on plant sap and also protect them from predators and parasites.

Below are the aphids feeding on the seed pod of a lily.


Some species of ants will take the aphids underground in the winter to feed on the roots of plant and to protect them from freezing. Other species will save the eggs of aphids underground during the winter months then move them back to the grazing plants in the spring to start a new “herd” for honeydew the following spring!




Filed under General Gardening