Farming Ants Grow Their Fungus Crops Like Farmer: Leafcutter ants

Human are not only species that have ability to grow crop according to needs. There are ants that also do farming and selectively grow their fungus crop like human as a food source. According to scientist these ants has been growing their crops for the past 50 million years. These ants also know how to handle parasite and weed that harm their crop.

Leafcutter ants are very common to South and Central America, southern United States, and parts of the Mexico.The leaf-cutter ant lives in huge underground nests which extend up to a radius of 80 meters with eight million workers working on their farms .These worker do different work according to their level.


Leafcutter ants are commonly compared to farmer because of their farming habits. They grow nitrogen producing bacteria that act like fertilizer for their fungus garden and use pesticide that disinfect the fungi by growing antibiotic-secreting bacteria as well.

Leaf cutter ants bring leaves to the nest and deposit it on the top of their fungus garden. They eat fungus from lower level of garden and observe its enzymes without digesting it and excrete juice onto the fresh leaves of the garden. These are the ant’s saliva that ensure decomposition of leaf faster and make it easier for fungi to access nutrients inside the leaves at faster rate.

Leafcutter ants affect their surroundings by various ways they enrich the soil by their fungus garden and ensure the new plant growth by pruning.Colony hierarchy has the smallest workers that are responsible for growing brood or taking care of fungus and known as Minims with 1 mm head width. Mediae are the worker who brings the leaf to the nest and Minors are slightly larger worker who defend them while working.

Majors are the soldier ants that defend the nest from intruders and other possible danger. Farming ants grow their fungus crops like farmer they developed technique to do safer farming. They totally dependent on their fungus crop for living and fungus cannot grow without help of ants.

Leafcutter ants