The Leafcutter Ants: Civilization by Instinct

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of The Ants comes this dynamic and visually astonishing portrait of Earth's final superorganism.

The Leafcutter Ants is the main distinct and authoritative description of any ant species ever produced. With a textual content compatible for either a lay and a systematic viewers, the booklet presents an unforgettable journey of Earth's such a lot developed animal societies. each one colony of leafcutters comprises as many as 5 million staff, all of the daughters of a unmarried queen which may dwell over a decade. a big nest can stretch thirty ft throughout, upward push 5 ft or extra above the floor, and encompass thousands of chambers that extend twenty-five toes under the floor floor. certainly, the leafcutters have parlayed their instinctive civilization right into a digital domination of wooded area, grassland, and cropland―from Louisiana to Patagonia. encouraged by way of a piece of the authors' acclaimed The Superorganism, this brilliantly illustrated paintings offers the final word clarification of what a social order with a half-billion years of animal evolution has accomplished. Four-color all through, fifty six photos

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In pass part, they're elliptical, measuring four to forty eight centimeters in width and a couple of to six centimeters in top. In greater nests, the foraging tunnels are wider, yet no longer unavoidably greater. 162 those tunnels can expand to ninety meters. 163 They channel the hundreds of foragers arriving at the aboveground trunk routes, which in flip attach the nest and harvesting parts, occasionally extending greater than 250 meters from the nest. simply because they're static and long-lived, those trunk routes are thought of a part of the nest structure.

Extra narrowly outlined, any set of people in a given colony that's either morphologically precise and really good in habit. CLADE A species or set of species representing a different department in a phylogenetic tree and consequently of unmarried universal ancestry. CLONE A inhabitants of people all derived asexually from a similar unmarried guardian. COLONY a bunch of people, except a unmarried mated pair, that constructs nests or rears offspring in a cooperative demeanour (as against an aggregation). See Aggregation.

An Atta sexdens forager shears a leaf fragment from a tree 28. Atta cephalotes round leaf lower and colony harvesting job 29. Acromyrmex lundi and Acromyrmex coronatus slicing leaves 30. Atta sexdens loading a leaf fragment and leaf pickups 31. Vegetable fragments transported to the nest via Atta leafcutters 32. Crowded foraging columns of the Atta species 33. Trunk course of Atta leafcutter ants 34. Schematic illustrations of the mind of an Atta employee ant 35. Harvesting website of Atta leafcutters in Panama 36.

Timothy Linksvayer and his colleagues saw hitchhikers in Atta cephalotes colonies in los angeles Selva, Costa Rica, which foraged at evening while parasitic phorid flies weren't flying. From their specified statement of the habit of the hitchhikers they recommend that hitchhikers additionally fresh the transported leaf fragments from fungal contaminations and different damaging microorganisms. A next experimental research with Atta sexdens and Atta laevigata led by means of E. H. M. Vieira-Neto strongly helps this recommendation.

Hölldobler and E. O. Wilson, “Nest region exploration and popularity in leaf-cutter ants (Atta cephalotes),” magazine of Insect body structure 32(2): 143–150 (1986). ninety| F. Roces, J. Tautz, and B. Hölldobler, “Stridulation in leaf-cutting ants: short-range recruitment via plant-borne vibrations,” Naturwissenschaften 80(11): 521–524 (1993). ninety one| H. Markl, “Stridulation in leaf-cutting ants,” technology 149: 1392–1393 (1965); H. Markl, “Die Verständigung durch Stridulationssignale bei Blattschneiderameisen, II: Erzeugung und Eigenschaften der Signale,” Zeitschrift für vergleichende Physiologie 60(2): 103–150 (1968).

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