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Movie Title Author Movie Format Comments
Foraging by Moonlight Cinenet Films Quicktime Lots of awesome small quicktime clips of leafcutters, including foraging by moonlight.
Jumping Leafcutters A. Sunjian (Nov-Dec 2003) Quicktime (3.8 MB) This short film shows a leafcutter jumping into its foraging hole...pretty funny, sort of.... Look at the lower left hand corner and you'll see a head come into view, then suddenly see the ant jump into the foraging hole. A car had just passed by and this may have prompted the leafcutter to jump....

After the jump, the ant's head lay stuck between some other ants with its butt waving in the air...pretty funny...

The file is 3.8 MB...i preserved the fast frame per second to catch the jump. save it to your hard drive, then watch it in slow motion...

Leafcutter worker dodges phorid fly A. Sunjian (Nov-Dec 2003) Quicktime (7.5 MB) This is an interesting segment that shows a phorid fly trying to parasitize a forager...the forager tries to run away and bite the irritating fly, but I believe the fly managed to unload its eggs.

If a phorid fly managed to lay its eggs on the head of the worker, the emerging larvae will eat the ant alive!

This is a 7.5 MB quicktime movie. Right click on the link and save the file onto your hard-drive before viewing it.

Fire ants attack Atta mexicana foragers A. Sunjian (Nov-Dec 2003) Quicktime (14 MB) On a trip to Puerto Vallarta last November 2003, I came upon the scene of a massacre. Foragers from a large Atta colony had stumbled upon a nest of stinging fire ants, and about 10-20 dead and dying leafcutters littered the ground. Disoriented foragers, panicked by the smells of alarm generated by their dying nestmates, were also set upon by other ants from nearby nests.

It is fairly long, and I had to slow the frame rate to 7 per second to keep the size low. You have to have Apple's QuickTime to view the movie.

I would suggest saving it to your local hard drive first before viewing (to save my server and your time). For windows machines using Mozilla browser, right click on the link and select SAVE LINK TARGET AS.

The large major/soldier at the end that makes its way so painfully across the screen actually has been disabled by leafcutters (two dead ones are hanging on its body). I have no idea why. Perhaps it had successfully battled some Solenopsis and its odor had changed by the time it limped back to the foraging hole.

There are three segments on the movie...the first segment shows a forager on its can just see a lone fire ant dead and clinging to a leg. The second segment shows fire ants moving around a dead forager whose jaws sem to be still clamped on a leaf section. The third segment shows a large major/soldier as it painfully limps across the screen, with two leafcutters hangning onto its thorax and leg.

Leafcutters foraging in Nuevo Vallarta A. Sunjian (Nov-Dec 2003) Quicktime (14 MB) One of the coolest things i saw was in the resort i stayed in at nuevo vallarta in November 2003 (Paradise Village Resort)....very disturbed environment, lots of building and construction, but if you know where to look, there are quite a lot of leafcutter ants around.

This colony emerged after dark and started stripping away leaves from a sidewalk legume tree. each ant came down bearing at least one of the small leaflets....we traced the line back to the multiple foraging holes. just before we left on dec 6, i noticed the town had painted the white lime stuff around the base to try to keep the ants out. however, i still noticed foragers going hesitantly up the tree and coming back with forage - just not that many of them this time, so i guess the white lime does work to a point.

There are several segments in the 14 MB film below...the first shows ants as they go up the tree trunk...the second shows ants going down with leaves...the third shows a closeup of ants passing by with cut leaves...and the final segment shows the ants swarming into a foraging hole. As before, you should probably save the entire file into your local drive before viewing using quicktime.

Leafcutters clearing nest mound A. Sunjian (Nov-Dec 2003) Quicktime (12 MB)

Even in the ultra-developed resort area of Nuevo Vallarta, leafcutters (Atta mexicana) proliferate. Their large nest mounds even erupt from the town's clean sidewalks! This movie shows ants from a colony transporting loads of soil out of the nest. Each ant carries a large lump of compacted soil in its jaws and drops it near or at the apex of the mound. The other interesting thing to note is that they all are dropping loads only at one end of the mound. The file is around 11 MB, so if you could save the link first to your hard drive before viewing it.

  Leafcutter parade of pink flowers Quicktime Beautiful procession of bobbing and weaving lines of leafcutters carrying pink flowers
  Army ants hold off leafcutters Quicktime Army ant line cuts through leafcutter foragers. There is one dead army ant on the upper corner as far as I can see. No other casualties. They seem to be avoiding each other.
  Acromyrmex versicolor movies Ants of Arizona (Dale Ward) AVI Acromyrmex versicolor ants from Arizona doing their thang!
  Various leafcutter shots in Costa Rica RH Cummins/Chris Myers (Tropical Ecosystems of Costa Rica and Panama) Quicktime Many leafcutter movies from Costa Rica.

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Web Site Author: A. Sunjian
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