To create this video, I fed honey water to a captive colony of Camponotus pennsylvanicus carpenter ants and recorded them passing the liquid among nestmates. The sharing behavior is called trophallaxis, and it means more to ants than mere nutrition. They use the behavior to spread chemical messages around the nest and to create a unified colony odor. As a case in point, near the end of the video workers are visible licking the queen. Her scents are picked up this way and passed around the colony via trophallaxis. It's how the ants know the queen is present and reproducing. For the record, I…
Camponotus floridanus, the Florida Carpenter Ant Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D. ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, diffused twin flash
While in Florida earlier this year I turned over a leaf to find this gruesome scene: A worker of the Florida Carpenter Ant (Camponotus floridanus) stationed along a leaf vein among a herd of scale insects.  Except, without a head. I honestly don't know what happened to the poor ant.  Any ideas?