Atta mexicana: Sidewalk Invasion

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Hormiga arriera nests in Nuevo Vallarta sidewalks.

Atta mexicana: Sidewalk Invasion

Photo by A. Sunjian

Nuevo Vallarta is an ultra-modernized gated residential and beach resort complex close to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. There are golf courses galore in the town, and nice wide roads connect the hotels sprouting all over the place. And yet, the adaptability and ecological dominance of leafcutter ants continue to reassert themselves, with quite a lot of large Atta mexicana nest mounds towering up from the otherwise clean sidewalks.

This series of mounds have almost completely blocked a path - there is only a thin strip of cleared area between the mounds where pedestrians (and the occassional bicyclist like myself) can carefully thread their way past the blockage. Since I've seen sweepers manually clearing other sidewalks in the place, I can only assume that the mounds would have been a lot larger were it not for the periodic cleaning.

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Web Site Author: A. Sunjian
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