Ants are used as Living Food Storage Vessels : Honeypot Ants

If someone order you to store food for rainy day then what you will do? Obviously you store food in your home with applying some preservative that not allow food to spoil. This is the same method like bees and other insect who store food in their nest or in combs. But what you will think about ants which make their body as living storage vessel .Yes these ants colony has some specialize Honeypot worker that have specialty to store food in their body. Some of these ants species only made for storage food and they will never returned to the normal life styles .But in the other hand  some species use their body for temporary food storage .


Honeypot ants are very common in North Africa, part of South Africa, North America, Australia and Melanesia and also known as honey ants. Honeypot ants are extra special worker stuffed with food by workers to the point that their abdomens expand enormously and they become motionless and hang from the roof of the underground nests.  Other workers take their liquid food to feed the rest of the colony whenever there is shortage of food. Whenever food is required then worker ant stroke the antennae of the honeypot ant and honeypot ant bring swallowed food up again to the mouth and other ant eat it as per hunger.

Honeypot ants not only store food in their abdominal but they also store liquids, body fat, water from insect killed and  brought to them by worker ants.


Some ants take birth as a honeypot ants right from their pupa stage and live anywhere in the nest where no one can reach from outside .Honeypot ants swollen to the size of grapes and become so valuable that the raiders from other colonies who know about them try to steal these ants because of their high nutritional value and water content.

Australian Aboriginal peoples eat honeypot ants occasionally as part of their diet without cooking.

honey pot ants