≡ Menu

Leaf Cutter Ants in Costa Rica

Leaf Cutter Ants in Costa Rica

Leaf cutter ants are found in the tropical climates of Central and South America, and utalize a system of agriculture known as ant-fungus mutualism. The ants eat a chemical produced by the fungus and the fungus can only grow in the enclosures of an ant’s nest. So the ants feed the fungus with the pieces of leaves that they cut off of plants, protect the fungus from invasive species and mold, and the fungus provides the ants with food. It is a marvelous arangement for both species, and I find the touch of a smile creeping across my face, as these little ants remind me that the world is alright.

Leaf cutter ants are famous in Costa Rica, and I think I know why- they are everywhere. A walk through the forests reveals these little creatures cutting out little circular holes out of leaves and carrying the spoils along well worn trails to their nests. They are simply fun to watch, they just know what they are doing.

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Reddit0Share on StumbleUpon0Digg thisPrint this pageEmail this to someone
Filed under: Central America, Costa Rica

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3169 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support Wade Shepard’s travels:

Wade Shepard is currently in: Puketi Forest, New ZealandMap