Leaf-cutter ants carrying leaves

Meet LSC's Animals: Leaf-Cutter Ants

In the tropical forests and fields of South America, leaf-cutter ants work tirelessly to provide for their colony, fighting the natural defenses of plants and other predators.

Learn more about LSC’s leaf-cutter ants in our new “Meet LSC’s Animals” video!

Leaf-cutter ants cut and carry leaves up to 20 times their body weight, which is like a human lifting a car, and follow extensive scent trails back to their nest. 

The nest – the ant’s home – is a fine example of animal engineering, sometimes containing 3,000 chambers that stretch 50 feet across and 16 feet deep. Once the foragers reach the nest, the leaves are chewed up to create a compost which then grows fungus, their primary food source.

To make sure that the colony continuously works smoothly, the queen will produce about 150 million eggs in her lifetime, with an average of 8 million worker ants living at one time!

More News