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Leafcutter Ants

Leafcutter Ants are any of the forty seven species of ants belonging to the genera Atta and Acromyrmex that chew leaves. They are tropical ants that grow fungi that inhabit the southern United States, Central America and South America. The crops are grown in underground gardens that can be enormous. The cultivated fungus is completely dependent on the care of the ant and is the food of all the members of the colony, being the only food of the queen, the larvae and other members of the colony that remain in the nest; what turns the relationship into an obligated mutualism. The workers who cut leaves, in addition, ingest sap from the plants while cutting their segments.

The cutters go up in mass to the trees and they kneel their jaws on the leaves and cut sections. The columns of haulers can be seen with large pieces of vegetation raised high. They can attack many plants but constantly change the plant, apparently preventing the total removal of leaves and the death of trees, thus avoi…

Featured Species: Central American Agouti (Dasyprocta punctata)


Central American Agouti (Dasyprocta punctata)

The Central American Agouti (Dasyprocta punctata) is a species of rodent that is found from southern Mexico and Central America to northern Argentina, mainly in Woods and forested areas, at less than 6,500 feet altitude. Usually, they are shy animals and run away from humans, and could be very fast runners. Adults live in monogamous couples for life.

Central American Agouti (Dasyprocta punctata)

They are usually diurnal and are hidden at night in hollow trunks or in burrows between the roots. In the day they are very active and elegant in their movements, giving a kind of trot or a series of jumps that look like a gallop.



Central American Agouti (Dasyprocta punctata)

They eat mostly fruits and seeds, as well as leaves and roots. They bury seeds in their territory and in times of scarcity of food they depend on those buried seeds. Many of these seeds are forgotten, which helps in the proliferation of various types of trees and shrubs, so they are known as important seed dispersers. They have also been seen eating eggs from birds that nest in the ground and even other sources of animal protein.

Central American Agouti (Dasyprocta punctata)

Some populations have been reduced due to hunting and deforestation, which can make it difficult to observe them in certain places. However, large populations remain and it is not considered threatened.

Central American Agouti (Dasyprocta punctata) when feeding, sit on their hind legs and hold the food between their front legs.


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