You can set your browser not to accept cookies and the above websites tell you how to remove cookies from your browser. We hope that you have enjoyed learning about these amazing rainforest animals. Leafcutter ants have two long antennae, and five eyes: two big, compound eyes on either side of their heads, and three simple eyes on the tops of their heads. The bullet ant was first described in 1775, by Johan Fabricius, a Danish Zoologist. Follow the link below to find out more and to sign up! Caste system keeps every ant in line The video below has some great views of leafcutter ants at work! The Leafcutter Ant (Atta cephalotes) is a species ofleafcutter antin the tribeAttini(the fungus-growing ants). There are about 40 species of leafcutter ant in the world. The new queen carries a piece of the colony’s fungus in a special cavity in her mouth. Minims, minors, mediae and majors are the four castes, which occur on the leaf cutter ant colony. Reproduction. Leafcutter ants live throughout Central and South America. Instead, they use the leaf cuttings to cultivate fungal growth in their nests, the fungus provides food for the ants and their larvae. Our pest guide offers helpful information and facts on leaf cutter ants, including control and prevention of these pests. The leaf-cutter ant lives in huge underground nests, connected by a series of tunnels. The queen ant lays eggs in the nest, the eggs eventually hatch and become larvae. (It’s completely free, you can unsubscribe at any time, and we’ll never share your details.). Their leaf cutting helps stimulate vegetation growth – similar to pruning, so they are actually helping, not harming, the plants from which they are harvesting leaves. Members of the plant families Compositae, Solanaceae, and Euphorbiaceae are frequently attacked. The fungus can’t survive without the ants, and the ants can’t survive without the fungus. There can be over one million ants in a single colony! Ants look much like termites, and the two are often confused—especially by nervous homeowners. Leafcutter ant social structure is extremely complex. The colony of leafcutter ants is divided in several castes. Leaf Cutter Ants Facts for Kids. Leafcutter ants vary in size and appearance depending on their role within the colony. They are able to carry things in their jaws that are up to 50 times heavier than they are! The fungus is used to start a new fungus garden. These include our popular HT GroPods™ System which is the first housing unit with a built-in heating & humidification system. Let’s learn more leafcutter ant facts …. Each caste will have to do a specified function. Leafcutter ants can carry twenty times their body weight and cut and process fresh vegetation (leaves, flowers, and grasses) to serve as the nutritional substrate for their fungal cultivates. The queen lays eggs to begin a new colony. There are 47 known species of leafcutter ants worldwide. We hope that you have enjoyed learning about these amazing rainforest animals. These ants are gardeners. 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). Diet. Most of the first eggs laid by the queen are eaten by her and her larvae. A leafcutter ant belongs to one of two genera, Atta or Acromyrmex. They are a relatively rare example of a fungus-farming ant, which actively cultivate fungi much like how humans farm crops . Minims mainly work inside the nest, tending to the fungus and ant larvae. The colony comprises different castes, known as "task partitioning", and each caste has a … The Leafcutter Ant (Acromyrmex) is a leaf-chewing insect. Leafcutter ants practice advanced methods of sustainable agriculture, and operate under one of the most studied social caste systems in the natural world. The main predators of leaf-cutter ants are giant anteaters and armadillos. The film below shows leafcutter ants at work, and also has views of the ants’ fungus garden. Next to human society, leafcutter ants are considered to have one of the most complex societies on earth. A single colony of ants can contain up to 5 million members, and each colony has a queen that can live more than 15 years. ActiveWild.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon stores. Some species of leafcutter ants remove waste material from the nest and take it to special areas, others have chambers within the nest to store waste. These species of tropical, fungus-growing ants are all endemic to South and Central America, Mexico and parts of the southern United States. The binomial name for a bullet is Paraponera clavata. Leaf Cutter ant nests can get huge. Leafcutter Ants. The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. Many rainforest creatures eat leafcutter ants, including anteaters, armadillos, and many species of reptiles and birds. Within the Myrmicinae subfamily, there are two main groups, or genera, of leafcutter ants: Atta and Acromyrmex. Most leaf cutter ants are infertile female workers. Castes. In some areas, leafcutter ants are considered pests, as they can cause considerable damage to crops. They use their large jaws to cut up leaves to carry the pieces back to their nest. Join the thousands of Active Wild subscribers who receive free wildlife and science news & info direct to their inboxes! The stretch of the moving ants can reach up to 30 metres. Leafcutter ant colonies have a complex caste system that includes minims, minors, mediae, and majors. Log in, By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. Leafcutter ants play an important part in the rainforest ecosystem, and are responsible for eating incredible amounts of rainforest vegetation. The ant society consists of four main social levels, or ‘castes’: minims, minors, mediae, and majors. The ants cultivate a special ‘fungus garden’ deep within the nest, and are almost entirely dependent on the fungus for food. Copyright © 2020 ActiveWild.com. The larvae pupate and become adults. More information Accept. https://www.patreon.com/truefactsTrue Facts T-shirts: https://ze-true-store.myshopify.com/ Atta cephalotes is a species of leafcutter ant in the tribe Attini (the fungus-growing ants). This has a big effect on the rainforest ecosystem. These species of tropical, fungus-growing ants are all endemic to South and Central America, Mexico and parts of the southern United States. Bullet ants are members of the Formicidae family and considered a true ant. Leaf cutter ants live in the southern states of the United States, Mexico, and Central America. The nestsare so large that they build their own ventilation systems to maintain a constant flow of fresh air fresh for the ants and fungus growth. They use their large jaws to cut up leaves to carry the pieces back to their nest. These ants can reduce vegetable patches to leafless stalks overnight. A leafcutter ant nest may descend as deep as six meters. This process involves removing the waxy outer layer of the leaves then chewing them up. Smaller threats are dealt with by smaller ants. Leafcutter ants, a non-generic name, are any of 47 species of leaf-chewing ants belonging to the two genera Atta and Acromyrmex. Leafcutter ant is the general name for any of 47 species of leaf-chewing ants of the two genera Atta and Acromyrmex. Many of the most amazing rainforest animals we’ve looked at have been big animals. There are 47 species of leafcutter ants. 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