Definition of leafcutter ant in US English:

leafcutter ant


  • 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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘New World tropical leafcutter ants create colossal underground metropolises, each housing several million workers that tend huge fungus gardens.’


leafcutter ant

/ˈlēfˌkədər ˌant/