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Ten centimeters below the soil surface, Pheidole ants tend ground pearls (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) for honeydew. Ground pearls are sap-feeding insects that exude excess sugar attractive to ants, while the ants help transport the young insects to new plants.

Icononzo, Tolima, Colombia

Ten centimeters below the soil surface, Pheidole ants tend ground pearls (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) for honeydew. Ground pearls are sap-feeding insects that exude excess sugar attractive to ants, while the ants help transport the young insects to new plants. Icononzo, Tolima, Colombia

Margarodidaeground pearlssubterranean antsroot aphidsPheidolesymbiosisants and scale insects