Leaf cutter ants form one of the most complex societies in the animal kingdom! They live in massive colonies underground where the ants perform different job roles called ‘castes’. The leader of the colony is the queen ant, she is the only female ant that breeds and can create a colony of up to 8 million ants! The largest ants are called ‘soldiers’ and they defend the nest and territory. Smaller ants are workers and they help to collect food and rear the ant larvae.
Leaf- cutter ants are famous for chopping up bits of leaf and carrying them off back to the nest. Interestingly, they are not eating the cut-up leaves. They take the leaves in to their nest where they use it to feed a fungus. They then use the fungus to feed the new ant larvae. They are essentially the world’s smallest farmers!