Have you ever heard of fungus farmers? It was news to me. I had no idea that there were leaf cutter ants that “farmed fungus”. It is amazing how one little picture can take you on a journey that teaches you so much. It began with a simple picture of the ant labeled “leaf cutter”. I was unfamiliar so I had to learn more.
I learned so much that I thought it was worth sharing. The ants live in a colony and everyone has a job to do. They depend on each other. The queen ant begins life with wings, she need them to mate. After she is done mating with the males she spends her life laying eggs.
You have the worker ants. These are the female ants that are wingless and sterile. They are paramount in keeping a healthy colony. They grow fungus, care for the eggs and feed the colony.
The soldiers are larger sterile females and they defend the colony and are the leaf collectors.
The males mate, fly to another colony and mate. They die soon after a couple matings.