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.
They are generally of a more or less oval or elliptical form, or they may be globular, as in Mercurialis annua; at other times linear or clavate, curved, flexuose, or sinuose, as in bryony and gourd.
In all the species except the African species there is a globular receptaculum seminis opening by two short ducts close together into the oviduct, and in the neotropical species there is in addition a small receptaculum ovorum, with extremely thin walls, opening into the oviduct by a short duct just in front of the receptaculum seminis.
Attractive globular aggregates of well-developed radiating crystals have been found at Akatani, a village in the province Echizen, in Japan.
In the first of these, which consists of one principal ridge with several lateral spurs, overlooking Port Louis, are the singular peak of the Pouce (2650 ft.), so called from its supposed resemblance to the human thumb; and the still loftier Pieter Botte (2685 ft.), a tall obelisk of bare rock, crowned with a globular mass of stone.