Las Hormigas Convergen

Leafcutter ants grow their own food underground and that food is fungus.  The ants walk along their own little highways through forests and gardens looking for leaves leaving a scent on the highway like breadcrumbs so they can find their way to their underground colony. They use their sharp mouthpieces to strip leaves from plants and then carry the pieces of leaves over their back, returning to their nests to chew the leaves to pulp.  The moldering pulp is stored with ant ca ca and other “starter” fungus, decomposing everything into an edible leafcutter ant delight.

We’ve been fortunate enough to have avoided a leafcutter ant infestation in our garden thus far.  This is probably because SU keeps everything around our area very clean and unpalatable to the little critters.  We went on a walk recently down our road close to twilight and found an ant superhighway with all roads converging to a hole in the ground.  The ants are most active when the sun is lower in the sky and so we were able to see them in action in the fading light; a convergence of leafcutter ants…in the campo.

12343Converge on the WordPress page that shows you other entries in this week’s photo challenge here.

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About indacampo

You'll find me at https://indacampo.wordpress.com/ blogging about Panama...and other things.
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10 Responses to Las Hormigas Convergen

  1. Nicely shot photos..!!!

  2. Lee A Campbell says:

    Well what can say here I see nicey nicey pictures of bugs and greenery yet I look out my window and what do my eye see 12 to 14 inches of that lovely, welcomed white fluffy stuff we in Canada call SNOW!! almost one foot blaa. Tomorrow is moving day and we sold the bobcat. grrr. can not even get to the man cave 😦
    We had almost as much snow as last year but all at one time. Upside to this the ground is not frozen yet so this insulating foot of snow will assist in the septic system not freezing underground this year and I may add the lines are buried 10 feet. Maybe just maybe we beat old man frost or the new owners have. There’s nothing like calling the vac truck in January to empty the septic.
    And
    Lets mention the well its 210 feet deep and pumps up and into a cistern 8 feet below ground that also will not freeze thanks to this 12 inches of fluffy glorious snot oh I mean snow
    Ok so if we can get someone to plow the road I mean drive way which is over 200 feet long the moving truck will be able to get in…. ah but in the spring when it melts 5 MTHS from NOW the trees will be nourished with water and our spring, summer pets namely the MOSQUITO will have many breeding grounds to choose from. OFF our best friend!
    Keep those inspirations summery pictures coming and ah oh where is my mitts and hat!!!!
    Layers layers layers

    • indacampo says:

      Wow, as I sit here wiping the “glow” off my forehead in the waning hours of our 33° (on the plus side) day I ponder at the unfortunate circumstances of my kith and kin, Especially those that are moving in what is surely to be the worst weather of the year…maybe not. Winter is just beginning up North while the Summer Tradewinds are just beginning to blow here. Bye, bye rain, not that we had much this year at all, and Hello Sunshine.

      Count your blessings, no more 200 foot driveway to plow, no more well to thaw, no more septic system freezing. Hopefully the moving truck was able to make it through. I’m just wondering how you are managing driving in your fancy Mustang with 14 inches of snow on the ground… 🙂

  3. We’ve watched the leafcutter ants many times as they’re so interesting and industrious. Thanks for the great info! Anita

    • indacampo says:

      We always thought they were industrious also until they began to eat our friend’s front garden. They generally nest in untended property and fields but once they discover a food source, and they really like hibiscus, it’s difficult to eradicate them. They do look vicious close up though. 🙂

  4. Ants are amazing, even when being destructive.

    janet

    • indacampo says:

      They are, we have what we call Honey Ants who come and go through the window screens in our house. It’s interesting watching them as they come and go even though they are a pain and get into Dos Gato’s dishes in the night.

  5. Interesting little critters, those leafcutter ants…

  6. Pingback: The Amazing Leaf Cutter Ants | In Da Campo

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