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Sleepy feet

Sleepy feet

The relationship between ants and aphids has long been seen as mutually beneficial: the ants protect aphids from predators such as ladybugs, and the aphids secrete honeydew, a sweet, nutritious liquid that the ants drink. But it turns out that some aphid-farming ants have a not-so-nice way of making sure they get enough to drink. The black garden ant's feet leave a trail of chemicals that tranquilize aphids and keep them from wandering away. When the ants decide that the aphids need to be moved to another plant, they pick them up and carry them to the new location.

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Last updated by curious on Sept. 26, 2009

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