One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tropical ant which cuts pieces from leaves and carries them back to the nest for use as a culture medium for growing food fungi.
Genus Atta, family Formicidae
- ‘‘Take for instance the society of the leafcutter ants and their communal leaf fungus.’’
- ‘Other tropical plants have been found to be toxic to leafcutter ants, mosquitoes, and other insects, and could lead to the discovery of other pesticides.’
- ‘New World tropical leafcutter ants create colossal underground metropolises, each housing several million workers that tend huge fungus gardens.’
- ‘The leafcutter ants are accountable for 25 per cent of all leaf destruction in the South American rainforests, and predatory ants eat more insects than all other animals put together.’
- ‘They ate emperor moth caterpillars, toasted giant leafcutter ants, black Himalayan ants from China, mealworms, chocolate-covered ants, fish eyes, whitebait, tripe, eels, and snails.’
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