Super ant carries gigantic flower with ease

EcuadorMegadiversoPublished: December 21, 2017Updated: December 22, 2017901 views
Published: December 21, 2017Updated: December 22, 2017

This leafcutter ant filmed at the Tamandua Ecolodge & Reserve in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador carries the corolla tube of an Ericaceae flower to its colony's fungus garden. The wingless worker ants are females. Each ant can carry up to 50 times its own body weight. This is equivalent to a man carrying a van over his head!

Leafcutter ants cut foliage into pieces and occasionally collect flowers as seen here. Since they cannot digest plants themselves they carry them to their underground colonies, where they grind up the material and inoculate it with a fungus. The harvested fungus is then used as a food source for the ant colony. Therefore leafcutter ants are also called fungus-growing ants.

By the way there are more than 1 million ants for each human on Earth and the total mass of all the ants is roughly equal to the mass of all the people on Earth.

Ecuador is one of 17 megadiverse countries, it actually has the highest biodiversity per square kilometer of any nation, with over 1660 species of birds, some 4000 species of butterflies and thousands of colorful moths, more than 500 amphibians, as well as a unique flora with e.g. over 4300 species of orchids.

Recommend tags
  • amazon+1
  • strong+1
  • insect+1
  • ecuador+1
  • ant+1