Attention IE7 Users

We have phased out support for your browser version (Internet Explorer 7). Please upgrade to one of these more modern browsers:

Leaf Cutter Ant

Leaf Cutter Ant

Animal's Behavior

The ants forage for leaves some distance from their nest. They find their way home by producing and laying down pheromone trails as they move away from the nest. These pheromones are so powerful that each ant produces one billionth of a gram. One gram of pheromone would easily be enough to make an ant trail all the way around the world.

Eating Habits

Fungus grown by the ants themselves.


Ants live in the forest floor and soil beneath in the warmer regions of Central & South America

Animal Facts

  • Leafcutter ants cannot eat leaves. Instead, they carry the cut pieces back to the nest and use it as a compost to cultivate fungus; this fungus is their food. The fungus cannot survive outside the nest or reproduce without the ant’s help.

Back to Animal Profiles

Quick Facts

Scientific Name

Atta sp.


Animalia, Arthropoda, Insecta, Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae, Attini, Atta sp.

Place of Birth

Warmer regions of Central and South America, but some occur in the United States


0.125 - 0.5 inches


Red to reddish-orange


3-4 weeks

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Mailing address: Audubon Nature Institute 6500 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA 70118
| Copyright © 2015 | Privacy Policy | Mobile Site