The Amazing Leaf Cutter Ants

There are thousands of kinds of ants, and there are 39 different types of leaf cutter ants. Leaf cutter ants are among the most distinctive out of all the species. They spend their lives cutting pieces of leaves, flowers, and grasses and carrying them to their underground homes, where the leaves are chewed into a pulp. They also don’t discriminate and can also be destructive when it comes to other items.

A leaf cutter ant can carry almost ten times its weight.  Think about it like a 200-pound human carrying a 2,000-pound car in the air.  SU came across a trail of these industrious workers the other day.  They were going up and down a hill that was pretty much straight up and down.  It gave me an opportunity to get a closer look while they are traveling back and forth from their nest to where they are farming leaves.

Leaf cutter ants can cause a lot of destruction in the garden, but these ants have been around for the better part of 50 million years.  As long as they stay on their side of the fence all is well…in the campo.

Leaf cutter ants Leaf cutter ants Leaf cutter ants Leaf cutter ants Leaf cutter ants



About indacampo

You'll find me at blogging about Panama...and other things.
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4 Responses to The Amazing Leaf Cutter Ants

  1. We have pictures of our own from many countries of the amazing leaf cutter ants and I loved learning some interesting facts about them in your post. Interesting creatures!

    • indacampo says:

      Gracias! Even though I’m fascinated by them I know to some of my friends they are a plague on their gardens. 😊

  2. It’s always interesting to watch your flowers march across the patio. They decided my moringa tree was fair game so I had to put a stop to that. They have been keeping my mani ground cover well trimmed though so I’m letting them have that for the time being and the green leaves and yellow flowers continue to march across my patio.

    • indacampo says:

      We’ve been fortunate that they’ve skipped our yard this far but they’ve managed to nosh on the surrounding yards. My friend’s hibiscus was gnawed to the ground but they live near a pasture so it’s open season in their yard.

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