Ants and scale insects are often tight ecological associates, even under the soil. Here, a first instar ground pearl (Eurhizococcus brasiliensis) is carried by a Linepithema micans worker. The ground pearls produce honeydew that feeds the ants, while the ants protect the pearls and carry their young to new host plants.
Bento Gonçalves, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Linepithema micansEurhizococcus brasiliensismargarodidaesymbiosisscale insectsant carrying scale