Leafcutter Ants

Leafcutter Ants

Leafcutter AntsTypically found in the warmer areas of the Americas, Leafcutter ants feed on a special fungus that only grows underneath the nests that they build. In order to cultivate their fungus, and keep it free from molds, the Leafcutter ants feed it with contant freshly-cut plants (hence, the name). However those plant leaves have a little spice added to them first. The ants will add a little saliva and also a little rectal fluid before putting it on the compost pile.
If the ants encounter a plant that is toxic to either the fungus that feeds them, the can detect that through chemical signals, and then will discontinue cutting and add that particular plant in the future.

This fungus that is created from a mixture of the ants’ fluid and freshly cut plants hasn’t been seen anywhere else on Earth except for in the Leafcutters’ nests.

Leafcutter ants build humongous nests that can go deep into the ground up to 26 feet. These nests can have up to 8 million Leafcutter ants in just one colony. These nests are often referred to as cities because they are so huge.

Leafcutter Ants

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12 Responses to Leafcutter Ants

  1. Patti Gross says:

    I’m a third grade teacher and my students are doing research papers on different kinds of ants. This is a great web-sight for students to find the information needed.

  2. Amy Lasten says:

    Wow I’m doing a report on this and this will give me great grades.

  3. ellisa says:

    WHERE does the ant live be specific…

  4. Jenny says:

    I’m doing a reporte on this is a great topic but i need more information

  5. michelle says:

    this is gross and i dont care cuase i love buggs! all kinds lol hahhahahaha

  6. bella says:

    hey great website love it. its very informative

  7. Connor says:

    WOW this is so cool I am so going to get an A+!!! 😀 I recommend this to other students or teachers. I will tell my friends at school!!!!!!!!!!

  8. James says:

    I live in Tucson Arizona. I’ve successively done container gardening for 6 years. Last year, I planted bell pepper plants 3 times in my pots in the spring. The ants came and successively stripped off all the leaves and killed the tender young plants. I never saw the ants at work, but every day I would find leaves laying on the soil. If the stocks sprouted new leaves the ants would come back and get those too, and the stocks would die. I just started reading about what leaf cutter ants do, and that sounds exactly what I see in my garden.
    Andro doesn’t work, and now I understand why. I don’t want to give up my container garden and I also don’t want to kill all the different ants on my land. What can I do?

  9. you helped soo much im doing a rainforest project and im in year 5 so this is my first project and this website helped so much:http://www.antswers.com/types-of-ants/leafcutter-ants/

  10. Lorraine Clerkley says:

    Is it true true that leaf cutter ants can be used to suture small cuts on the skin?

  11. thanks i filled the hardest question because of you

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