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Wildlife of Panama

There are tens of thousands of ant species but here we describe 3 of them that you can encounter in the rain forests:

Leaf Cutter Ants

Leaf Cutter Ants
Leaf-cutter ants are relatively large, rusty red or brown in color, and have a spiny body and long legs. The ants of the Atta group monoculture fungus for food by removing competing fungi from their gardens. To do this, they harvest many different types of plants and plant materials, including leaves, flowers, seed husks, and stems. They use this material as a substrate for the fungus. For more information on the Leaf Cutter Ants please see this page here at Wikipedia.


Army Ants
The name army ant (or legionary ant or marabunta) is applied to over 200 ant species, in different lineages, due to their aggressive predatory foraging groups, known as "raids", in which huge numbers of ants forage simultaneously over a certain area. During their hunt, many surface-raiding army ants are accompanied by various birds, such as antbirds, thrushes,ovenbirds and wrens, which devour the insects that are flushed out by the ants, a behavior known as cleptoparasitism. Therefore bird watchers are keen to find follow and observe the birds around the army ant trails.  For more information on the Army Ants please see this page here at Wikipedia.

Azteca ant nest
Azteca andreae ant tree Nest

Azteca andreae is an arboreal ant species found in the tropics. Often, the ants will not only receive housing from the plant; they will eat extrafloral nectar and food bodies that the plant provides. In return, the plant receives security from herbivores that may eat the plant, because the ants hunt on the plant and eat many of the plant’s predators. This symbiosis benefits both the plant and ants.

Sometimes old and or abandoned and nests are used as homes for some birds. Trogon nests for example are dug into rotting wood or termite nests, with one species, the Violaceous Trogon, nesting in wasp nests.

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