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trophallaxis Line breaks: troph¦al|laxis
Pronunciation: /ˌtrɒfəˈlaksɪs/

Definition of trophallaxis in English:


[mass noun] Entomology
The mutual exchange of regurgitated liquids between adult social insects or between them and their larvae.
Example sentences
  • Direct interactions are the ‘obvious’ interactions: antennation, trophallaxis (food or liquid exchange), mandibular contact, visual contact, chemical contact (the odor of nearby nestmates), etc.
  • Second, we quantified the rate of trophallaxis, that is, oral exchange of liquid food between individuals.
  • Typical nest behaviors, such as aggression and trophallaxis, were not observed among aggregating wasps.


Early 20th century: from tropho- 'nourishment' + Greek allaxis 'exchange'.

Definition of trophallaxis in:

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