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 Forest bachac (Atta cephalotes)




Forest bachac | Atta cephalotes photo
Atta cephalotes from Cologne Zoo, Germany.

Photograph by Sarefo. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Forest bachac | Atta cephalotes photo
Leaf-cutter ants at Playa Blanca, Cahuita, Costa Rica.

Photograph by Hans Hillewaert. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Forest bachac | Atta cephalotes photo
Profile view of ant Atta cephalotes

Photograph by April Nobile AntWeb.org / CC-BY-SA-3.0.  (view image details)

Forest bachac | Atta cephalotes photo
Head view of ant Atta cephalotes

Photograph by April Nobile AntWeb.org / CC-BY-SA-3.0.  (view image details)

FOREST BACHAC FACTS

Description
The Forest bachac is a species of leafcutter ant. Atta species harvest leaves of plants which are brought into the nest and used to grow fungus. The worker ants tend to the fungus inside the nest. This species is a significant insect pest in plantations where they can defoliate trees by cutting off pieces of leaf. Like nearly all ants, they are a social species and live in large colonies. There is a significant difference in the sizes of castes of ants that make up the colony ranging from less than a centimetre to about two centimetres.

Other Names
Umbrella ant, Parasol ant

Size
the queen is about 22mm long, males about 18mm, with workers varying from about 2mm to 14mm depending on caste

Environment
found in rainforest, and also active in disturbed habitats including plantations and farmland

Food
feeds on fungus from harvested leaves

Breeding
Each colony has a queen any which lays the eggs. The eggs hatch into larvae which are like small grubs, which pupate and emerge as adults. When a queen departs the nest to start a new colony she takes some of the fungus in her mouth to begin the new fungus farm.

Range
Atta cephalotes is found in southern Mexico, central America and northern parts of South America.

Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Formicidae
Genus:Atta
Species:cephalotes
Common Name:Forest bachac


Relatives in same Genus
  Texas leafcutter ant (A. texana)