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Press Release 09-228
Ants, Like Humans, Use Bacteria to Make Their Gardens Grow

Symbiosis between ants and bacteria explains how leaf-cutter ants dominate tropical environments

Back to article | Note about images

Photo of leaf-cutter ants on a leaf.

Leaf-cutter ants doing what they do best--with the help of bacteria.

Credit: University of Wisconsin


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Photo of leaf-cutter ants carrying bits of leaves.

Leaf-cutter ants in the Amazon have four times more biomass than all land animals combined.

Credit: University of Wisconsin


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Photo of a queen leaf-cutter ant.

A queen leaf-cutter ant rules in the tropical "garden."

Credit: University of Wisconsin


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Photo of a leaf-cutter ant.

Underground leaf-cutter nests, some the size of small houses, may harbor ants in the millions.

Credit: University of Wisconsin


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Cover of the Nov. 20, 2009, issue of Science magazine.

Researchers published their findings in the Nov. 20, 2009, issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2009


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