Milking aphids, a diligent job! (photo blog Macrophotography)


Milking aphids, I had never heard of them, until Schorelaar wrote a blog somewhere last year in which she described this phenomenon. You can find the blog HERE (opens in a new window).

When I was taking pictures of our poppy this afternoon I noticed that there were a lot of ants in the poppy. When I looked a little better (helped by my macro-objective) I saw that the ants were all running towards the aphids, and running around. And then the blog of Schorelaar came to mind: this is milking aphids! You understand: I had a purpose: this had to be in the picture...

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The poppy, and especially the buds, are full of aphid. The lice sucks juice from the buds, from which they live. Some pieces look really black!

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When I looked a little closer, several ants were crawling over the lice, and sometimes I saw an aphid producing a drop of moisture, which an ant immediately stewed at:

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Apparently, that transparent stuff is irresistible to the ants... they even fight for it!

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One by one, all aphids are tapped, as if the ant asks if he wants to release liquid. Sometimes that doesn't happen directly... and there's a drop for a moment:

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I can tell you: the ant is faster with the slurping than I can press the shutter button on my camera!

What a collaboration in nature: one's waste is the other's bread.

By the way, I also witnessed a brutal murder:

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This ladybug is eating a delicious aphid፦)

Hopefully more soon!

All photos have been taken by me with my Olympus OMD EM! Mark 2.

#luizenmelken #bladluis #mier #natuur #macrofotografie #olympusomd

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