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Leafcutter ants build the most complex colonies in the world. Each colony has many chambers on multiple levels. Just one colony can have 2000 chambers, requiring 40 tons of dirt to be removed!
Many types of workers are needed to do the chores of the colony. Some ants travel into the forest, where they cut leaves and carry them back to the colony. Others tend large gardens inside the underground chambers. Others help raise the young or take out the trash.
Each worker has just the right size and tools to do its job. The biggest and baddest are the soldier ants. They have huge mandibles and weigh up to 300 times more than gardener ants. The tiny gardener ants care for the fungus that grows on the cut and chewed-up leaves. The colony then eats this fungus for food.
They don't call me "major" for nothing. I'm big because I keep hungry intruders out of the nest. You don't want to mess with my mandibles and my sting.
Small body, but BIG job—that's me. I'm perfectly designed to take care of the young ants and tend the fungal garden that keeps my colony alive.
I'm pretty much the reason we leafcutters got our name (not that I'm bragging). With my mandibles, I cut up vegetation and carry the pieces back to the nest.
You may think I'm just one small ant, but I'm never alone. We minor soldiers are the first line of defense to keep the other ants and the colony safe.