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Honeypot Ants - Hormigas Melíferas (Subtitulado Español)

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Published on Feb 14, 2010

***ENGLISH***

Honeypot ants, also called honey ants or repletes, are ants which are gorged with food by workers, to the point that their abdomens swell enormously, a condition called plerergate. Other ants then extract nourishment from them. They function essentially as living larders.

Many insects, notably honey bees and some wasps, collect and store liquid for use at a later date. However, these insects store their food within their nest or in combs. Honey ants are unique in using their own bodies as living storage, but they have more function than just storing food. Some store liquids, body fat, and water from insect prey brought to them by worker ants. They can later serve as a food source for their fellow ants when food is otherwise scarce. In certain places, they are eaten by people as sweets and are considered a delicacy.

These ants can live anywhere in the nest, but in the wild, they are found deep underground, literally imprisoned by their huge abdomens, swollen to the size of grapes. They are so valued in times of little food and water that occasionally raiders from other colonies, knowing of these living storehouses, will attempt to steal these ants because of their high nutritional value and water content. These ants are also known to change colors. Some common colors are green, red, orange, yellow, and blue.

The insects are edible and form an occasional part of the diet of various Australian Aboriginal peoples. Papunya, in Australia's Northern Territory is named after a honey ant creation story, or Dreaming, which belongs to the people there, such as the Warlpiri. The name of Western Desert Art Movement, Papunya Tula, means "honey ant dreaming".

Myrmecocystus nests are found in a variety of arid or semi-arid environments. Some species live in extremely hot deserts, others reside in transitional habitats, and still other species can be found in woodlands where it is somewhat cool but still very dry for a large part of the year.

Source: Wikipedia

***ESPAÑOL***

El género Myrmecocystus, en castellano Hormigas melíferas o en ingles llamadas comúnmente Honeypot ants, son las hormigas que son alimentadas por las obreras, hasta el punto de que sus abdómenes se hinchan enormemente, una enfermedad llamada plerergate. Las otras hormigas posteriormente son alimentadas por ellas. Funcionan básicamente como barriles vivientes.

Estas hormigas tienen la función almacenar alimentos. Algunos almacenar líquidos, grasa corporal, y agua que traen otras obreras. Estas hormigas pueden vivir en cualquier lugar del nido, pero en la naturaleza, que se encuentran debajo de la tierra a buena profundidad, literalmente encarceladas por sus enormes abdómenes aumentados de tamaño como una uva. Estas reservas son utilizadas en épocas de baja recolección de alimento y agua.

Los insectos son comestibles y en forma ocasional son parte de la dieta de los diversos pueblos aborígenes, mesoamericanos y australianos. La mas conocidas son Myrmecocystus mexicanus en el oeste de América del norte y Camponotus inflatus en Australia. El cultivo o cría de estas hormigas lo denominaremos Meliformicultura.

Fuente: http://www.culturaapicola.com.ar

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