The workers in question remain within the nest, suspended by their feet, and serve as living honey-pots for the colony, becoming so distended by the supplies of honey poured into their mouths by their foraging comrades that their abdomens become sub-globular, the pale intersegmental membrane being tightly stretched between the widely-separated dark sclerites.
Female abdomens, showing short d, Male from side.
The insects included in this order differ from those of the two preceding orders in their more condensed abdomens which bear no cerci, while the number of Malpighian tubes is reduced to four.
The gross feeder is a man in the larva state; and there are whole nations in that condition, nations without fancy or imagination, whose vast abdomens betray them.
There are no longer sentinels sounding the alarm with their abdomens raised, and ready to die in defense of the hive.