I've heard and preached that adult ants can't consume solid foods, for a while now, but I'm wondering if this is completely true. On more than one occasion (notably with the seasonally brood-less Formica), I've seen the attention of worker ants disintegrate insect food items; only shriveled pieces of chitin are left behind. I'm assuming that worker ants have some way to break down solid foods, and the notion that they cannot consume solid food items only applies in an immediate and literal sense (that it can only enter their bodies as a fine liquid.) This would mean that they are not necessarily dependent on larvae to digest solid proteins, albeit such a method is more efficient. Can anybody shed some light on this?