Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Leafcutter ants

Leafcutter ants walk in rows back and forth from the source of the leaves to their nests. Here are a few ants on their procession back to their home. The leaves they are carrying are much larger than their bodies.

These ants were walking across a branch. It is more common to see trails of ants walking in the forest floor. Sometimes there are so many leafcutter ants carrying leaves across the ground that it looks like a small green river.

The ants that forage for leaves are subject to attack by a tiny fly parasite that lays its eggs in the crevaces of the ant's head. Sometimes small ants will ride on the larger ants to help defend them from attack. Tomorrow, I will reveal why the ants carry leaves back to their nests.

4 comments:

Sharon said...

I don't remember ever seeing the ants carrying the leaves. This is a really great picture.

JM said...

I just love those ants! Unfortunatelly I was not able to get a proper photo inside the dark jungle without using the flash...

magiceye said...

they are incredibly hard working!

glenda said...

Great picture!

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