Friday, August 6, 2010

Leaf cutter ants

I had to stop to bend down and take some photos of leaf cutter ants walking along the edge of a stairway in a garden. The advantage of this location for photographing leaf cutter ants is that I could get my camera down to the the same level as the ants and take some close photos with my macro setting.

Leaf cutter ants are remarkable for several reasons. They to not eat the leaves that they carry back to their underground nests. They feed the leaves to a fungus, and they eat the fungus.

It amazes me that they can carry leaves much bigger than they are, as you can see here. They travel in lines, and they work so hard that they will even pass a comrade like they are in a race, as is happening here.

This week we are showing photos of the colorful island of Burano in Venice, Italy, on Viva la Voyage, our travel photo site.

8 comments:

brattcat said...

excellent macro, Dave, and fascinating info about the leaves feeding the fungus...sounds so scifi.

Sharon said...

This is a fantastic photo! I love it.

Gerald (Ackworth born) said...

They feed the leaves to the fungi - a bit like us fattening up the beef cows then.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

these ants are quite industrious

PAK said...

What a smart ants ;)

Jarart said...

You did an excellent job with the ants. Wasn't there and old song about these guys? Something about "high hopes" I think. Of course I'm way too young to remember that, or "Car 54". ;)

domino said...

A couple of years ago a saw a movie about this micro life. Since the movie my respect for this life has grown.

JM said...

I enjoy these ants so very much! Sadly I didn't get a proper shot when visited Costa Rica...

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