Peony Ants

Peony buds always seem to attract a number of ants.

I think this is Formica subsericea

Either there are numbers of ants or there are numbers of other insects–often flies.

These peonies had a number of very colorful bluebottle flies, probably Cynomya species.  I suspect the flower secretes a sugary substance that attracts the insects.  There is probably some kind of biological function to that secretion, but I am at a loss as to what that function would be.


About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in ants, diptera, insects, plants and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Peony Ants

  1. Mark Wetmore says:

    When I was a kid, our smart old dog would look at anything we were looking at. Grandpa, Papa, and I were all looking at a big peonie bud one time when the dog looked too, sniffed it and got her nose pinched by the ant. Thanks Brer Bear, for bringing back the sweet memory.

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