Atta cephalotes: Flag-bearer

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Atta cephalotes forager with leaf fragment.

Atta cephalotes: Flag-bearer

Photo by Richard Seaman
Website: Richard Seaman's website

Nice close-up pic of a forager brandishing a leaf fragment as it heads back home. I just thought of something while looking at this image. When I used to do molecular biology work, one of the traditional methods of creating transgenic plants was to cut a leaf into small fragments, then dip it into a culture of Agrobacterium tumefaciens, which will then transport the gene you want to insert via the open wounds.

In the case of leaf-cutting ants though, this leaf fragment is cut into much finer fragments, into a pulp, then fed to their fungus gardens.

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