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Aboriginal Art Symbols - Honey Ant

The Aboriginal art symbol for a honey ant is a simplified drawing of the insect itself, emphasizing its bloated abdomen filled with honey.

Aboriginal Art Symbols - Honey Ant

The Aboriginal art symbol for a honey ant is a simplified drawing of the insect itself, emphasizing its bloated abdomen filled with honey.

  • Honey ants are one of the most popular treats on the bush tucker menu.

  • Aboriginal people usually hunt for honey ants by looking for signs of their activity under trees or bushes that would indicate a nearby nest. Then they would carefully dig down through the ant holes until they unearthed the chambers that contained the honey ants.

Honey Ants in the Nest

Honey Ants in the Nest
Photo © Greg Hume

Honey ants are overfed by other ants in the nest to the point where their abdomens swell with giant balls of honey up to 1 centimeter in diameter.

  • They then become living honey pots that hang from the ceiling of the nest so that the other ants may draw nourishment from them when food is scarce.

  • They usually die after their stored honey is consumed as their bodies cannot retract to their normal size.

Some of the topics in our Aboriginal Art pages are illustrated with a painting that was inspired by the theme of that page. The symbols and images used to create them are taken from the sheets above which are freely available as pdf. files for you to download to help with drawing your own artworks.