Ants of the North American Deserts - Alex Wild Photography
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Sonoran desert cacti are frequently covered in ants.  Cacti provide ants with nectar- a ready food supply in a harsh environment- in exchange for protection from herbivorous insects.  Here, two Crematogaster opuntiae acrobat ants exchange nectar they have gathered from a chain-link cholla.

Tucson, Arizona, USA

Sonoran desert cacti are frequently covered in ants. Cacti provide ants with nectar- a ready food supply in a harsh environment- in exchange for protection from herbivorous insects. Here, two Crematogaster opuntiae acrobat ants exchange nectar they have gathered from a chain-link cholla. Tucson, Arizona, USA

Acrobat antsacrobat antCrematogasterMyrmicinaeFormicidaeHymenopteraantsantinsectsinsectworkersCrematogaster opuntiaeextrafloral nectarynectariescarbohydratesecologyant plantinteractionsfeedingplantscactusopuntiachollatrophallaxis