Formica - Alex Wild Photography
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A Formica francoeuri field ant worker tending to a pair of Great Copper (Lycaena xanthoides) larvae.  The larva produces secretions attractive to ants, and in turn the ants protect the larva from predators and parasites.

San Diego Co., California, USA

A Formica francoeuri field ant worker tending to a pair of Great Copper (Lycaena xanthoides) larvae. The larva produces secretions attractive to ants, and in turn the ants protect the larva from predators and parasites. San Diego Co., California, USA

Formica francoeuriformicinaeformicidaeinsectsinsectantsantbiologyecologymutualismmutualismsspecies interactionsevolutionlycaenidaecaterpillarslepidopteralycaenatendingfield ants