Animal Lovers' Blog

The Smaller Majority

Yesterday I introduced the amazing lantern bugs and their fast-flying honeydew. I mentioned that ants, animals that often collect honeydew from homopteran insects, were unable to enjoy it because of the speed with which the honeydew drops were expelled. And yet, when Kenji and I started investigating the behavior of lantern bugs in a systematic fashion we quickly discovered that ants had found a way of tapping into this source of food after all, and they weren’t very nice about it.

As we cataloged various kinds of insects that were coming to catch a few sweet drops from the lantern bugs, often we would see large, light colored snails near these insects. But surely these snails couldn’t have anything to do with the bugs, right? We decided to look into this strange observation in more detail, and what we found was quite surprising. First of all, the snail, Euglandina…

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