Week 21 – Robin

Ant-Nectaries

Ant and Extra-floral Nectaries on Passion Flower


I saw these little green nodes on our passion flowers and noticed that the ants were hanging around them. I thought maybe they were aphids, but they are Extra-floral Nectaries. “These are glands that produce water and sugars but they are not designed to attract and reward pollinators. The nectar produced by EFNs is sweeter than phloem and is made up of a mixture of glucose, fructose, sucrose and some protein, amino acids and organic acids.” More info The ants sure like them. Maybe it’s like fast food, so they don’t have to ranch aphids for sweet nectar. Nature is full of amazing secrets. πŸ™‚

Used The Olympus TG-4 in Microscope mode with the LED ring. I turned the photo upside down which made it look rightside up. πŸ˜€ Looks like a little ant cottage!

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