I love ant. Part 3.

Ants and fungi: Leafcutter ants
If you’ve never had the opportunity to see leafcutter ants in action, watch this.

Cool, eh?

Ants cultivate a particular fungus to feed their young.  The fungus is farmed by the ants who provide cut leaves that the fungus decomposes.  The ants are sensitive to any parasitic fungus and have a further symbiosis with a bacteria to protect their farmed fungus.  The fungus is dependent on the ant to grow, and ants in turn are dependent on the fungal farm. Voila! Myrmecophily.

Image courtesy of Alex Wild

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: