Leafcutter ants

Leafcutter ants

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Credit: GREGORY DIMIJIAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Leafcutter ants. Leafcutter ants (Atta cephalotes) carrying leaf fragments to their nest. The ants search for leaves from certain tree species, perhaps travelling hundreds of metres from their nest. Once the leaves have been cut into small pieces by their powerful jaws, the fragments are carried deep within the nest, where they are chewed up and used to feed a particular species of fungus. The ants harvest and eat this fungus. This ant lives in tropical rainforests in South and Central America, as well as in southern parts of Texas, USA. Photographed near the La Selva Biological Field Station, Costa Rica.

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Keywords: animal, ant, atta cephalotes, carrying leaf, costa rica, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, leaf, leafcutter, leafcutter ant, leafcutter ants carrying, nature, wildlife, with leaves, zoology

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