Fungus ant, SEM

Fungus ant, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Fungus ant (Acromyrmex sp.). Acromyrmex is the genus whose members are leaf cutter ants (A. versicolor and A. octospinosus). Leaves are chewed into tiny fragments that create a moist pulp-like mass upon which fungi grow. This material serves as the ant's food. By products from the leaves, fungus, and ant waste fertilize the soil. Ants help to create soil and keep it fertile. Magnification: x5 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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Keywords: 99816b, acromyrmex, ant, antenna, antennae, anterior, ants, attine, attines, attini, colored, coloured, cutter, ecology, electron, false-colored, false-coloured, formicidae, fungus, fungus-growing, gardener, growing, head, hymenoptera, insect, insects, leaf, leaf-cutter, mandible, micrograph, mouth, mouthpart, myrmicinae, octospinosus, scanning, sem, soil

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