Entomology: Animal Husbandry in The Animal Kingdom

Scientists have long admired the industrious ants that keep aphids as cows and milk them for their sweet "honeydew" secretion. Now a graduate student in entomology has added to the brief catalogue of insect husbandry Louisiana State University's Gary Ross has watched Mexican carpenter ants (Camponotus abominalis) protect caterpillars against their natural enemies and live on the juices that the caterpillars excrete. Though both parties benefit from the odd relationship, nature ensures that it is always brief: by the time they are 83 days old, the caterpillar cattle sprout orange-rimmed wings and fly away.

Ross discovered the colorful symbiosis...

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