Atta texana

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Atta texana

Here’s a one-off shot I snapped this afternoon when I had a few minutes. Our lab colony of leafcutter ants is fed oranges, among other things, making for a colorful substrate.


photo details:
Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 7D
ISO 100, f/13, 1/200 sec, diffuse flash.

4 thoughts on “Atta texana”

  1. Wow: what a face! Wheeler claimed Atta texana was in my prairie field sites in the Fort Worth Nature Center in Fort Worth, Texas. But they aren’t there any more.

    1. Presumably it’s because citrus are native to the eastern hemisphere, where leafcutters do not occur, and lack the appropriate defenses. Native Neotropical plants tend to either have nasty chemicals or grow quickly enough to recover from leafcutter damage. Citrus, not so much.

      As anyone who has tried to garden in the presence of Atta can attest, leafcutters just love non-native plants: parsley, citrus, roses, lettuce…

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