Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ants and Aphids

There’s a short wall behind my apartment complex where Mr. Davis likes to perch, and there’s often a line of ants coming and going up and over it that I like to watch.  Today, as I watched the ant line disappear under some ivy, something caught my eye.  It was several ants tending diligently to a flock of aphids!

Now, I’d known before about the relationship between ants and aphids, and seen it before on nature shows, but somehow stumbling upon it in my back yard made the phenomenon 100% more awesome.  I watched with wonder as the ants harvested honeydew from their aphid herd in wee little droplets.  Nearby, a large group of baby aphids was clustered on an ivy stem under the shelter of a leaf.  At the base of the stem, two ants were just hanging out, which was weird to see as one tends to encounter ants on the go.  Guard duty, I suppose.

Meanwhile, during my observation, Mr. Davis had hopped down and found where the line of ants picked up through the grass.  He was lapping them up by the tongueful.

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