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Meat Ants and Leafhoppers
A leafhopper is the common name for any species in the family Cicadellidae. They are small jumping and flying insects ranging from 2 to 30mm in length, but usually under 13mm. They are identified by their long, wedge-shaped bodies, bright colors and patterns of spots or stripes on their wings. Leafhoppers are found in any habitats that can support vascular plant life. They feed on plants, usually contained to a host plant that differs according to species.
Meat ants, also known as gravel ants, are an omnivorous species of ant found throughout Australia. They live in vast underground nests, and are very hostile to any intruders. They are known to eat any meat available, including toads and rotting carcasses.
Leafhoppers and meat ants participate in a mutualistic relationship in which both of the species benefit from one another. The leafhoppers excrete a sugary resin used to break down plants. This substance is then collected by meat ants, who proceed to use the substance as a method for preserving food such as meat. The resin is also a ready food source for the ants. In return for providing them with such a valuable resource, the ants provide protection from predation to the defenseless leafhoppers. Leafhoppers' predators include birds, lizards, spiders, and wasps.
A Mutual Relationship
THANK YOU LEAFHOPPER