Acacias and Ants


Take a close look at the acacia tree (Acacia collinsii or Acacia cornigera) for a lesson in plant and animal relationships. The tree provides food for acacia ants (Pseudomyrmex ferruginea), and the ants protect it from animal predators and foreign vegetation. They even keep a circle cleared around the tree. Find the small hole near the base of one of its thorns and watch what happens when the tree is disturbed. Keep your fingers out of the way as ants rush out; their stings are painful. Be careful not to brush un wittingly against an acacia branch along a trail.

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