The fungus grown in the garden provides food for the queen and other ants inside the nest. Smaller threats are dealt with by smaller ants. Leaf Cutter Ants can easily be spotted by the long lines they create as they carry their leafy supplies. Typically found in the warmer areas of the Americas, Leafcutter ants feed on a special fungus that only grows underneath the nests that they build. The ant society consists of four main social levels, or ‘castes’: minims, minors, mediae, and majors. Wilson offered that leafcutters have perfectly evolved to address every small need necessary for their survival over their 50 million years in existence. We offer GroPods™, GroCubes™ and GroArenas™, all interconnectable so you can customise your leafcutter ant housing with endless possibilities. Most leaf cutter ants are infertile female workers. Leaf Cutter Ants can easily be spotted by the long lines they create as they carry their leafy supplies. Many in-depth studies and b… They are also found in many states of South America. The stretch of the moving ants can reach up to 30 metres. Facts about Leaf Cutter Ants 8: the mature leafcutter colony. However those plant leaves have a little spice added to them first. Leaf cutter ant colonies can have up to 10 million residents with thousands of tunnels and chambers for fungus gardens, nurseries, trash heaps, and other uses. Leafcutter ant is the general name for any of 47 species of leaf-chewing ants of the two genera Atta and Acromyrmex. The head is where the mouth and sensory organs are found, the thorax is where the legs and wings are joined to, and the abdomen houses the digestive and reproductive organs. Discover A Stealthy North American Predator, American Crocodile Facts, Pictures & In-Depth Information, North American Porcupine Facts: Discover North America’s Second-Largest Rodent, North American Bird ID Quiz App For Android: Available Now From The Play Store, Nine-Banded Armadillo Facts, Pictures & In-Depth Information, Bighorn Sheep Facts: Discover The Largest Sheep Native To North America. Within the Myrmicinae subfamily, there are two main groups, or genera, of leafcutter ants: Atta and Acromyrmex. Minims, minors, mediae and majors are the four castes, which occur on the leaf cutter ant colony. They cut and carry leaves back to their nest where they create an environment ideal to grow a special fungus which is used for food and antibiotics. They are the rainforest’s most prolific herbivore, eating more vegetation than any other type of creature. All ants have different things to do in the nest, whether they are workers (who collect the leaves), guards, soldiers or reproducers. Each ant has a role to play within the colony, and their size and physical appearance reflects what their job is within the colony. To prevent this, minims are known to ride on the larger ant’s back (or on the top of the leaf being carried), to fend off any attacks. The fungus is used to start a new fungus garden. The nest’s chambers are built at depths that provide a suitable temperature for their intended use. Follow the link below to find out more and to sign up! 7 Amazing Leaf Cutter Ants Facts Leaf cutter ants are one of the strongest creatures on Earth as they can carry up to 50 times their body weight. Leafcutter ants cultivate crops of fungi, which they nourish with leaves. These species of tropical, fungus-growing ants are all endemic to South and Central America, Mexico, and parts of the southern United States. The colony comprises different castes, known as 'task partitioning', and each caste has a different job to do. Bullet ants are members of the Formicidae family and considered a true ant. They are pretty hard workers in that can carry load 20 times the size of their own. Active Wild Pinterest Active Wild Facebook. These moving trails of cut foliage often stretch over 30 metres (100 feet) across the forest floor and up and down the trunks of canopy trees. Top 10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Dog, Top 10 Ways to Make your Garden more Wildlife Friendly, Top 10 Things to Think about Before Buying Fish, Top 10 Ways to be an Eco-Friendly Traveller. When carrying loads back to the nest, minors are susceptible to attack from phorid flies. Mediae carry heavier loads back to the nest. Amazing Facts About the Leaf Cutter Ant. We offer a wide range of housing options for leafcutter ants. Leafcutter ants practice advanced methods of sustainable agriculture, and operate under one of the most studied social caste systems in the natural world. The new queen carries a piece of the colony’s fungus in a special cavity in her mouth. For further information visit www.aboutcookies.org or www.allaboutcookies.org. 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. This fungus provides food for the colony. Size: 0.08 - 0.55", Queen is 0.87" (2- 14mm, Queen is 22mm). Leafcutter ants are fairly large ants, and are a reddish-brown colour. The queen ant lays eggs in the nest, the eggs eventually hatch and become larvae. Leafcutter ant social structure is extremely complex. Not only that, they actually grow their own food, and live in colonies that can contain over eight million insects! Queen ants are the largest in the colony and measure up to 22mm (0.87in) long while a worker may be as small as 2mm (0.08in). Majors provide additional security when the nest is threatened. The queen lays eggs to begin a new colony. 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