Ant Fact Archive

Sirui Ma, Snail, 2023

Sirui Ma

courtesy of the artist

Caterpillars often grow up surrounded by ants. They employ chemical and acoustic signals to manipulate their entourage into liking and protecting them.44 A sweet secretion is used to reward the guardians for their services. 45,46

  • Caterpillars have developed several dedicated organs specifically for appeasing and attracting ants.
  • While many caterpillars are content to trade sugar for safety, others betray their hosts by feasting on the colony‚Äôs young.
  • Pierce et al., 2002