How Strong Are Leaf Cutter Ants?
Despite their size, leaf cutter ants have the ability to carry a load that is 8.78 times their body mass. This number is close to the theoretical maximum load carrying capacity of ants. However, the actual load carried by leaf cutters is dependent on a variety of factors.
In addition to their strength, ants also have a special jaw that is designed to cut leaves. The jaw vibrates over a thousand times per second. This allows the ants to cut leaves with tremendous force. They also have a special bacterium that helps to kill parasitic fungi.
In addition, leaf cutter ants have a mutualistic relationship with fungus. When leafcutter ants eat fungus, they break down cellulose and make it into a nutritional substrate. In addition, some ants carry a bacteria that acts as a pesticide on mold.
A leaf cutter ant colony can contain over two million ants. Leaf cutter ants are highly complex societies. They are divided into different castes. In a mature colony, the queen lays about 28 800 eggs a day. The queen produces about 150-200 million offspring in a decade. She also mates with multiple males and sheds wings after mating. She then digs a new nest chamber in soil.
A leaf cutter ant colony is considered one of the most sophisticated societies on earth. Its highly intricate society includes many different roles. Workers divide their tasks to maintain the colony. They carry out different tasks such as feeding larvae and tending the fungus garden.