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Wordless Wednesday: Sunflower Ants

Closer...

Under the leaves...

Do you know why ants love sunflowers?

Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ July 11, 2011

4 thoughts on “Wordless Wednesday: Sunflower Ants

  1. James C. Trager

    Paratrechina longicornis and Dorymyrmex flavus (the yellowish one), like many ants, visit sunflowers to drink the secretion of microscopic glands - extrafloral nectar - on the leaf bases.

  2. Roberta

    Okay, so you think the yellowish one is Dorymyrmex and not Forelius? I'll have to pay more attention.

    The extrafloral nectaries on sunflowers definitely aren't as obvious as those on barrel cacti.

  3. James C. Trager

    Well, now that you mention it, I can't be sure, except to say it's one of those. You're probably right, since you took the picture (Right?).

  4. Roberta

    Yes, but sometimes my racing point-and-shoot method does not leave much time for species id. As I remember for those photos I was experiencing a lot of interference (whining by family members.) 🙂

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