Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Leaf Cutter Ant

Red leaves on a trail usually mean that there are leaf cutter ants carrying dinner to their den.  The ants do not actually eat the leaves.  They feed the  leaves to a fungus and eat the fungus.

The ants know what type of leaves the fungus prefers.  The red leaves may be an attractive color for humans, but I assume that the fungus cares only about taste, and not about the presentation of the meal.  After all, the fungus is not only color blind, it does not have any eyes.

This week we are showing photos of Antigua, Guatemala on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.


Kate said...

Those little ants are both industrious and smart.

Sharon said...

I should have known it was going to be those busy little ants.

Judy said...

I was sure this was going to be the answer to the red leaf question. I remember when you had one featured before. It must be odd to see those colorful leaves moving along the trail. The hidden life of insects is amazing.

Jack said...

The things we learn in blogland . . .

Bob Crowe said...

Well, I learned something. In Monteverde we saw large numbers of cutter ants marching in line down vines, each with its burden.

glenda said...

Quite interesting.

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