Bug of the Week: Ants


This week my son decided to feed the tiny ants that live in our backyard. He gave them some droplets of honey.

ants feeding on honey

These ants are sitting on the surface of a plastic flower pot. It was amazing how fast the ants found the droplets.

Watching ants can be an absorbing activity. My son noticed that the rear part of the ants, which is technically called the gaster, became swollen and had a banded appearance as the ants filled up (you might be able to see this in the top photo). The ants store liquid food in a special internal pouch inside the gaster called a crop, and as the crop fills the gaster swells. He could tell how recently an ant had arrived by how the gaster looked.

Have you ever observed ants? If not, you should give it a try.

1 Comment

  1. Pip

    I love this post! This is something we can easily do, it gave me something specific to look for and to point the kids toward. As soon as all this rain clears up, I’ve got a new outdoor activity!
    Thank you.

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