Ants

Ants are a key part of almost every ecosystem - are particularly obvious members of many Costa Rican ecosystems.  Here are a few of their stories:

Army Ants

Scourge of the rainforest.  Learn about these predators which overwhelm with numbers and teamwork.

Leafcutter Ants

Leafcutter ants move a tremendous amount of plant material in the forest.  They remove living tissue from the leaves and carry it underground to feed to a special fungus that they grow.  Later, they feed on the fungus.  This massive movement of materials from the canopy to underground has profound ecological implications.  The Leafcutter Ant section has more information on these fascinating insects, as well as some ecological questions you can answer using data we gathered in Costa Rica.

 

Bullet Ants

Acacia Ants

A tree that provides the ants with homes AND a complete diet!  What more could an ant want?

Cecropia Ants

Another mutualistic symbiosis; the tree provides a place for the ants to live as well as a food source; while the ants defend the plant perhaps their biggest contribution is the nitrogen in their wastes.

Other Ants