What species of ant Genus Atta
Location: Coto Brus, Costa Rica
October 8, 2011 6:24 pm
Hi! I loved your book. But living in Costa Rica in rain forest, it’s impossible to save all the spiders. We have thousands every day and every night in the house of all sizes. But that is off subject.
I’m attaching two photos of a very large leaf-cutter ant that I found in my garden. It was alone and I’ve never seen one like it before. The leaf-cutters we have here are all smaller and the heads of the soldiers are smaller than this thing. The white streak on the face may be a scar. It seems to have some sort of fungus growing on its head. I’ve looked at every site available online and can’t be sure of what I have. Can you help?
Signature: Mary B. Thorman
Thanks for the compliment on the book. We agree that your ant is a Leafcutter Ant, though we do not have the necessary skills to pin down a species for you. The large head and mandibles are indicative of the Leafcutter Ants. We located a nice page on the Critter Images website that is devoted to Leafcutter Ants of Costa Rica. That site directs folks to The Lurker’s Guide to Leaf Cutter Ants authored by A Sunjian for additional information.