Daily foraging patterns of leaf cutter ants at La Selva
Leaf cutter ants carry leaf and flower
pieces to their nests to nourish the fungus that they eat. The
marching ants create conspicuous trails from the trees to their
nests. We expected ant activity would vary over the course of the day
as environmental conditions change. In particular, high light and
temperature were expected to result in decreased activity due to
increased potential for dehydration of ants and their cargo. We
compared ant activity on three ant trails that we considered to be in
closed forest with five trails that were in more open areas. We found
that there were considerable differences in activity on the different
trails, with trails classified as ÅgopenÅh tending to
have more activity and more variation in activity from time to time.
Our hypothesis was not supported in that there were no statistical
differences in ant activity among sample times.