Leaf cutting ants video,flies control measures,exterminating bees home,bed bugs treatment in mumbai - PDF Books

Category: Where Do Bed Bugs Come From | 18.06.2013
GenusAtta (1)Atta cephalotes is a leaf-cutting, fungus-growing ant, with one of the most fascinating and complex social systems known to science. Leaf-cutter ant biologyThe leaf-cutter ant lives in huge underground nests, connected by a series of tunnels (2). Leaf-cutter ant threatsThe leaf-cutter ant is perceived as a major pest species because of the damage it can cause to agricultural ecosystems. There is some indication that in parts of its range, populations of the leaf-cutter ant may have declined due to increasing changes in land-use and forest fragmentation (4). Leaf-cutter ant conservationAlthough regarded as a pest, the leaf-cutter ant is vital to maintaining the balance of the ecosystem in South and Central America, having evolved as part of the natural environment there for millions of years (8) (13). MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.


Colonies of this leaf-cutter ant species contain millions of individuals, making it possibly the most dominant invertebrate in Central and South America (3) (4) (5).
The ants cultivate a special ‘fungus garden’ deep within the nest, and are almost entirely dependent on the fungus for food (2) (5) (9). Examples are the soldier caste of termites and ants, and the workers of bees.ColonyA group of organisms living together. Maintaining the garden is crucial to the survival of the colony, and worker ants perform a variety of tasks, including foraging for leaves, cutting them into suitably sized fragments,  transporting leaf fragments back to the colony, and preparing a ‘mulch’ (made from the leaves), which is used to cultivate the fungus garden (2) (5).
There are currently no conservation measures in place to protect the leaf-cutter ant, partly due to its status as one of the most dominant invertebrates of the region, and partly because of its role as a serious crop pest.
Some of the smaller ants ‘hitchhike’ on leaves carried back to the colony, and are thought to protect the foraging ants from parasitic flies (Phoridae), and may also play a part in leaf preparation (7).


As in all ant species, individuals in the worker caste of the leaf-cutter ant are wingless, sterile females of different sizes, depending on the role played within the colony (6). It is essential that the fungus garden remains free of parasites that could cause disease, which would be devastating to the leaf-cutter ant colony. Microorganisms that have the potential to be harmful to the fungus are removed by some of the smaller garden workers as waste, which is taken to a separate waste chamber, reducing the chance that the fungus, or other ants in the colony, will become infected by harmful pathogens (5) (10). A nest of the leaf-cutter ant will also contain tiny ‘minima’ workers, which work inside the colony and in the fungus garden, and ‘media’ and ‘maxima’ workers, larger ants with powerful jaws, which cut and transport leaf fragments back to the nest.



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