Ants farm Black Locust Treehopper (Vanduzea arquata) nymphs on a Black Locust tree in my backyard. Ants farm the treehopper nymphs by herding and protecting them. The ant's reward for tending the treehoppers is the honeydew secreted by nymphs. Here are some photos and a video of the ants the "milking" the nymphs.
In both of these photos you can see the honeydew droplet secreted by the treehopper nymph.
|Ant "milking" honeydew from a Black Locust Treehopper nymph|
|Black Locust Treehopper, Vanduzea arquata|
The adult treehoppers are also tended by ants.
|Ants tending Black Locust Treehoppers|
Just for the fun of it, here is a photo of another species of treehopper found on the same young Black Locust in my backyard.. This is the Locust Treehopper (Thelia bimaculata) which mimic thorns on the Locust trees.
|The Locut Treehopper is a great thorn mimic|