Stigmatomma - Alex Wild Photography
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Adult Stigmatomma cannot eat solid food and are incapable of the trophallaxis behavior that allows most other ant species to share food among nestmates.  Instead, they have developed a novel way to feed themselves: consuming the hemolymph of nestmate larvae.  Ants puncture vulnerable spots in the larval skin- as the ant in the center demonstrates- and lap up the drops of hemolymph. (Stigmatomma oregonensis)

Quincy, California, USA

Adult Stigmatomma cannot eat solid food and are incapable of the trophallaxis behavior that allows most other ant species to share food among nestmates. Instead, they have developed a novel way to feed themselves: consuming the hemolymph of nestmate larvae. Ants puncture vulnerable spots in the larval skin- as the ant in the center demonstrates- and lap up the drops of hemolymph. (Stigmatomma oregonensis) Quincy, California, USA

AmblyoponeAmblyopone oregonenseAmblyopone oregonensisStigmatomma oregonensisamblyoponinaeformicidaeantsantdracula antsprimitive antsancient antsevolutioninsectshymenopteraworker antcastelarvaelarvabroodlarval hemolymph feedinglarval cannibalismcannibal antshemolymphfeedingcoccoons