Leafcutter Ant Facts for Kids

A Picture of a Leafcutter Ant
  • Common Name: Leafcutter Ant
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Family:Formicidae
  • Genus: Acromyrmex and Atta

13 Leafcutter Ant Facts for Kids

  1. A leafcutter ant belongs to one of two genera, Atta or Acromyrmex.
  2. There are 47 known species of leafcutter ants worldwide.
  3. Leafcutter ant colonies have a complex caste system that includes minims, minors, mediae, and majors.
  4. Minims are small worker ants. They care for their fungus gardens and the growing brood.
  5. Minors are medium worker ants. They forage the surrounding area in columns and help defend the foraging columns.
  6. Mediae are large worker ants. They forage and cut leaves that are brought back to the nest for the fungus gardens.
  7. Majors are the largest working ants. These are considered soldiers, they defend the nest and clear bigger debris from the Minors foraging trails.
  8. A leafcutter ant colony can get up to 8 million ants in a few short years.
  9. The largest species of leafcutter ants is the Atta laevigata.
  10. Leafcutter ants have large, sharp mandibles that are powerful enough to cut through human skin.
  11. It’s estimated that a leafcutter ant can carry up to 20 times its own body weight.
  12. Aside from humans, leafcutter ants have the most complex and largest animal societies on our planet.
  13. 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.

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