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 (trŏf′ə-lăk′sĭs, trō′fə-)
The transfer or exchange of regurgitated liquid food between individuals of certain social insects such as ants or bees.

[troph(o)- + Greek allaxis, exchange (from allassein, to exchange, from allos, other; see al- in Indo-European roots).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Zoology) the exchange of regurgitated food that occurs between adults and larvae in colonies of social insects
[C19/20: from New Latin, from tropho- + Greek allaxis exchange, from allassein to change, from allos other]
ˌtrophalˈlactic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌtrɒf əˈlæk sɪs, ˌtroʊ fə-)

n., pl. -lax•es (-ˈlæk siz)
the exchange of nutriments or other secretions between organisms, as the members of a colony of social insects.
[1915–20; troph- + Greek állaxis exchange =allak-, variant s. of allássein to change + -sis -sis]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The main disadvantages of dyes have been reported to be non- homogeneous colouration, variable fade-out, and unintended transfer to other individuals by cannibalism and trophallaxis (Haagsma and Rust, 1993; Thorne et al., 1996; Curtis and Waller, 1997; Evans et al., 1998; Suarez and Thorne, 2000).
Baits utilize ant social behaviors of foraging, recruitment, and stomodeal trophallaxis, the mouth-to-mouth transfer of food or excretions, to direct toxicants to nest mates, and most importantly, the queen or queens of a colony.
Exchange of food between workers, workers and queen, or adults and larvae by trophallaxis or as trophic eggs (as in Myrmecia [21, 22]) was not observed in Nothomyrmecia by Jaisson et al.
Crailsheim, "Trophallaxis among swarm-robots: a biologically inspired strategy for swarm robotics," in Proceedings of the 1st IEEE/RAS-EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob '06), pp.
Odour convergence and tolerance between nestmate through trophallaxis and grooming in the ant Camponotus fellah (Dalla Torre).
The bioassays in which 50 (Percent) and 25 (Percent) workers were exposed with entomopathogenic fungi resulted horizontal transmission among the unexposed workers through oral trophallaxis (mutual exchange of nutrients among colony members), allogrooming and cannibalism of dead or injured nest mates.
Other reports indicate that the crickets will mimic ant grooming behavior and attempt to partake in trophallaxis with the ants, doing so successfully in a laboratory setting (Henderson & Akre 1986; Wetterer & Hugel 2008).
Biological examples included ant decision making with scent trails, hymenoptera agreement and consensus through food sharing (trophallaxis), and the stigmergy used to store state in insect nest architecture.
The most interesting fact about termites is they feed each other through trophallaxis meaning they get their nutrition from grooming each other.
The proboscis is mainly used for sucking in liquids such as nectar, water and honey inside the hive, for exchanging food with other bees (trophallaxis), and also for removing water from nectar.