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#457136 - 02/03/13 09:05 AM Leaf Cutter Ants Harvesting Cashew Leaves  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,996
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

These Leaf cutter Ants were caught red legged with our cashew leaves the other day! We had to get a camera before spraying our organic poison on them. In a spray bottle mix dish soap, dirt from the ant nest, and water around the base of the tree and on the leaves. This does the trick 90% of the time. Supposedly there is a Maya prayer for the other 10 percent? We have to learn that one!

#457150 - 02/03/13 10:42 AM Re: Leaf Cutter Ants Harvesting Cashew Leaves [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,980
ragman Offline
.
ragman  Offline
These ants are amazing creatures and I took some video of them on a visit to Banana Bank Lodge. They actually had worn paths through the jungle which could be easily seen, it was really something. The ants heading back to the source of the leaves help the ants carrying a leaf if they come upon an ant that drops their leaf. It is really something to watch. Of course if they were eating my trees I might feel differently about them.


Jim
Somewhere on a beach in Belize
#457154 - 02/03/13 12:04 PM Re: Leaf Cutter Ants Harvesting Cashew Leaves [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 11,760
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
Very cool video. I've been told that the ants don't actually eat the leaves they use the leaf to cultivate a fungus that is the food. They can completely defoliate a tree, no matter what they do with the leafs its still gona kill your tree unless you stop them.


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#457161 - 02/03/13 01:26 PM Re: Leaf Cutter Ants Harvesting Cashew Leaves [Re: elbert]  
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 834
BeBelize Offline
.
BeBelize  Offline
Yes, they are very cool to watch. I too have seen trails in the forest they made that looked like small version of human trails. And incredible mounds that looked like villages. I knew they couldn't be good for trees, but they are fascinating creatures and work very hard. wink


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#457164 - 02/03/13 02:36 PM Re: Leaf Cutter Ants Harvesting Cashew Leaves [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,181
dabunk Offline
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dabunk  Offline
Actually they can strip the tree and move on but it does not kill the tree. They come back even better than before after the ants move onto
another tree.

#459113 - 02/28/13 03:28 AM Re: Leaf Cutter Ants Harvesting Cashew Leaves [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 82
Rigrat Offline
.
Rigrat  Offline
We have lost many fruit trees to these ants. They love to strip trees completely or their foliage. Some trees, especially mango trees, never recover from an ant attack.


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