Leaf Cutting Ants

I love working with old encyclopedias such as the 11th edition Britannica. There’s just so many wonderful illustrations and you never know what you might find as you turn each page. Today I’m sharing a new ant drawing with you. Leaf cutting ants are fun insects to watch. With large heads designed for cutting pieces of leaves to the way they carry the leaves back to their nests seems almost like something out of a fairy tale.

Ironically, many leaf cutting ants live underground. They bring the circular leaf pieces to the nest where they are cut into smaller pieces and placed in small heaps. On those heaps, the ants grow a fungus that they eat. Pretty cool.

What’s also cool is this vintage ant drawing that shows three types of leaf-cutting ants from tropical America.


Back when this drawing was published, the ants were identified as Atta cephalus, Eciton drepanophora and Eciton erratica.

This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.