Honeypot ant

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Honeypot ant
Honeypot ants
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae

Honeypot ants (also called honey ants or repletes) are ants with swelled abdomens. Their abdomens are filled with food by worker ants. Other ants then extract nutrition from them. They function as living storage containers. This process is called plerergate. Honeypot ants belong to any of five genera.[1] They were first documented in 1881 by Henry C. McCook.

Honey ants use their own bodies as living storage, but they have more function than just storing food. Some store liquids, body fat, and water brought to them by worker ants. They can later serve as a food source for their fellow ants when food is otherwise scarce. When the liquid stored inside a honeypot ant is needed, the worker ants stroke the antennae of the honeypot ant, causing the honeypot ant to regurgitate the stored liquid.

In certain places, such as the Australian outback, honeypot ants are eaten by people as sweets and are considered a delicacy.

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