Friday, August 9, 2013

Leaf Cutter Ants

Red leaves are a favorite food for red leaf cutter ants.  When there is a red leaf on the ground, I usually stop and watch to see if it moves.  Usually it does. Then I look for the direction of travel and often there is a stream of red leaves as the ants follow each other.

As I have pointed out in the past, leaf cutter ants do not actually eat the leaves.  They feed leaves to a fungus underground, and the ants eat the fungus.  The ants know which types of leaves the fungus prefers.

Who knew that fungi were picky eaters?

And speaking of animals, yesterday there was an article about Costa Rica on the front page of the U.S. edition of CNN website, which is unusual indeed.  It was a news report of a plan by the government in Costa Rica to outlaw all zoos.  The environmental miniserr said that no animals should br confined in cages and should be observed in heir natural habitats.  Years ago Costa Rica banned circuses that include animal acts.

This week we are showing photos from Waterford, Ireland, the home of Waterford Crystal, on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.


PerthDailyPhoto said...

Tres interesting post Dave, I did not realise that fungi even ate never mind that they were picky eaters :)) so a ban on zoos hey, that's very admirable, some of them can be horrendous, others really well done, and I guess the good zoos give people who can't travel a chance to see amazing animals.

Judy said...

It must be fun to watch those little ants hauling those red leaves back to the nest.

glenda said...

Great shot of the moving leaf! I must agree with Costa Rica on the zoo thing.

Karl Demetz said...

Must be fun to watch them.

Kate said...

What clever little things those ants are. . .devious, too. I have ambivalent feeling about closing all zoos. If they are well-designed and maintained they can be useful and engaging tools for education. Would hate to deprive young children of that opportunity.

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