Leafcutter Ant Facts
- Common Name: Leafcutter Ant
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hymenoptera
- Genus: Acromyrmex and Atta
13 Leafcutter Ant Facts for Kids
- A leafcutter ant belongs to one of two genera, Atta or Acromyrmex.
- There are 47 known species of leafcutter ants worldwide.
- Leafcutter ant colonies have a complex caste system that includes minims, minors, mediae, and majors.
- Minims are small worker ants. They care for their fungus gardens and the growing brood.
- Minors are medium worker ants. They forage the surrounding area in columns and help defend the foraging columns.
- Mediae are large worker ants. They forage and cut leaves that are brought back to the nest for the fungus gardens.
- Majors are the largest working ants. These are considered soldiers, they defend the nest and clear bigger debris from the Minors foraging trails.
- A leafcutter ant colony can get up to 8 million ants in a few short years.
- The largest species of leafcutter ants is the Atta laevigata.
- Leafcutter ants have large, sharp mandibles that are powerful enough to cut through human skin.
- It’s estimated that a leafcutter ant can carry up to 20 times its own body weight.
- Aside from humans, leafcutter ants have the most complex and largest animal societies on our planet.
- Leafcutter ants are considered as pests in some areas. Some species of leafcutter ants can remove all the foliage from a citrus tree in as little as 24 hours.
Leafcutter Ant Pictures
A close-up picture of two leaf cutter ants.
Credit: San Diego Zoo
A close-up picture of a leaf cutter ant’s head.
Credit: Nicolas Reusens
A picture of a leaf cutter ant biting a human.
Credit: Javier Canteros / YouTube
Additional Resources for Leafcutter Ant Facts
- Five Facts About Leafcutter Ants – Learn five crazy facts about leafcutter ants on the Mother Nature Network website.
- Leafcutter Ant – Britannica – Find more awesome facts about leafcutter ants on the Britannica website.
- Leafcutter Ant – Wikipedia – Explore fire ants more in-depth on the Wikipedia website.