Atta cephalotes: Fleeing the battlefield

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Atta cephalotes war.

Atta cephalotes: Fleeing the battlefield

Photo by John Longino
Website: Ants of Costa Rica

Although leafcutters do not engage in internecine fights as frequently as some other ants, there are instances when nearby colonies slide into open warfare. Studies on fights between leafcutters has shown that these ants meet conspecific threats by mobilizing numerous smaller ants, instead of unleashing their respective soldiers against one another. It seems that the use of soldiers is normally limited to meeting vertebrate attacks, or the attacks by such ants as Nomamyrmex army ants.

In this remarkable photo, a tiny worker halts a fleeing soldier, which seems to have lost some of its legs.

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