Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lunch for leaf cutter ants?

Yesterday I posted a photo of leaf cutter ants carrying leaves back to their nest. Here is a leaf that has had holes cut out by leaf cutter ants. Do you think that the ants have eaten the leaves that they have cut out?

Actually, the leaf cutter ants do not eat the leaves. They carry the leaves back to their nests in order to feed a fungi that they cultivate inside their underground nests. They then eat the fungi. Different species of leaf cutter ants cultivate different variations of fungi, and the ants know which specific type of leaves are good for the fungi and which are poisonous to the fungi.

5 comments:

humanobserver said...

I guess the ants have eaten the leaves indeed...http://exposemaximum.blogspot.com/

istanbuldailyphoto said...

A Sweet color. I love Green. Greetings.

Sharon said...

Smart little guys, aren't they?

Jilly said...

Fascinating three days on the leaf cutter ants. amazing to think these portions of leaf feed a fungus that they eat and that they know to get the leaves. Nature is amazing!

Jarart said...

A whole other world going on right under our feet.

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