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Leafcutter Ant (Atta cephalotes) Fact Sheet: Bibliography & Resources


Alma AM, Farji-Brener AG, Elizalde L. 2019. Phorid parasitoid attack triggers specific defensive behaviours and collaborative responses in leaf-cutting ants. Behav Processes. 165:36–43. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2019.06.005.

Alvarado A, Berish CW, Peralta F. 1981. Leaf‐cutter ant (Atta cephalotes) influence on the morphology of andepts in Costa Rica. Soil Sci Soc Am J. 45(4):790–794. doi:10.2136/sssaj1981.03615995004500040023x.

Arganda S, Hoadley AP, Razdan ES, Muratore IB, Traniello JFA. 2020. The neuroplasticity of division of labor: worker polymorphism, compound eye structure and brain organization in the leafcutter ant Atta cephalotes. J Comp Physiol A. 206(4):651–662. doi:10.1007/s00359-020-01423-9.

Autuori M. 1956. La fondation des sociétés chez les foumis champignonnistes du genre “Atta” (Hym. Formicidae). In: L’instinct dans le comportement des animaux et de l’homme. Paris: Fondation Singer-Polignac. p. 77–104.

Bacci M, Solomon SE, Mueller UG, Martins VG, Carvalho AOR, Vieira LGE, Silva-Pinhati ACO. 2009. Phylogeny of leafcutter ants in the genus Atta Fabricius (Formicidae: Attini) based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 51(3):427–437. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2008.11.005.

Baer B, Boomsma JJ. 2006. Mating biology of the leaf-cutting ants Atta colombica and A. cephalotes. J Morphol. 267(10):1165–1171. doi:10.1002/jmor.10467.

Baer B, Armitage SAO, Boomsma JJ. 2006. Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants. Nature. 441(7095):872–875. doi:10.1038/nature04698.

Bailey IW. 1920. Some relations between ants and fungi. Ecology. 1(3):174–189. doi:10.2307/1929134.

Banks AN, Srygley RB. 2003. Orientation by magnetic field in leaf-cutter ants, Atta colombica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Ethology. 109(10):835–846. doi:10.1046/j.0179-1613.2003.00927.x.

Barrera CA, Sosa‐Calvo J, Schultz TR, Rabeling C, Bacci M. 2022. Phylogenomic reconstruction reveals new insights into the evolution and biogeography of Atta leaf‐cutting ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Systematic Entomology. 47(1):13–35. doi:10.1111/syen.12513.

Bass M. 1997. The effects of leaf deprivation on leaf-cutting ants and their mutualistic fungus. Ecol Entomol. 22(4):384–389. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2311.1997.00080.x.

Belt T. 1874. The naturalist in Nicaragua. 2nd edition. London (England): J.M. Dent & Sons.

Blanton CM, Ewel JJ. 1985. Leaf-cutting ant herbivory in successional and agricultural tropical ecosystems. Ecology. 66(3):861–869. doi:10.2307/1940548.

Boaretto MAC, Forti LC. 1997. Perspectivas no controle de formigas cortadeiras. Série Técnica IPEF. 11:31–46.

Bot ANM, Currie CR, Hart AG, Boomsma JJ. 2001. Waste management in leaf-cutting ants. Ethol Ecol Evol. 13(3):225–237. doi:10.1080/08927014.2001.9522772.

Bradshaw JWS, Howse PE, Baker R. 1986. A novel autostimulatory pheromone regulating transport of leaves in Atta cephalotes. Anim Behav. 34:234–240. doi:10.1016/0003-3472(86)90028-X.

Brent C. 1886. Notes on the CEcodomas, or leaf-cutting ants of Trinidad. Am Nat. 20(2):123–131. doi:10.1086/274161.

Burd M. 2000. Body size effects on locomotion and load carriage in the highly polymorphic leaf-cutting ants Atta colombica and Atta cephalotes. Behav Ecol. 11(2):125–131. doi:10.1093/beheco/11.2.125.

Burd M, Aranwela N. 2003. Head-on encounter rates and walking speed of foragers in leaf-cutting ant traffic. Insectes Sociaux. 50(1):3–8. doi:10.1007/s000400300001.

Burd M, Archer D, Aranwela N, Stradling DJ. 2002. Traffic dynamics of the leaf‐cutting ant, Atta cephalotes. Am Nat. 159(3):283–293. doi:10.1086/338541.

Bustamante S, Amarillo-Suárez A. 2019. Foraging plasticity of Atta cephalotes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in response to temperature differences between forest and pasture. Rev Biol Trop. 67(4):963–974. doi:10.15517/rbt.v67i4.34951.

Bustamante S, Amarillo‐Suárez A, Wirth R. 2020. Effects of pasture and forest microclimatic conditions on the foraging activity of leaf‐cutting ants. Biotropica. 52(4):697–708. doi:10.1111/btp.12783.

Castaño-Quintana K, Montoya-Lerma J, Giraldo-Echeverri C. 2013. Toxicity of foliage extracts of Tithonia diversifolia (Asteraceae) on Atta cephalotes (Hymenoptera: Myrmicinae) workers. Ind Crops Prod. 44:391–395. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2012.11.039.

Chavarria Pizarro L, Mccreery HF, Lawson SP, Winston ME, O’Donnell S. 2012. Sodium-specific foraging by leafcutter ant workers (Atta cephalotes, Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Ecol Entomol. 37(5):435–438. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2311.2012.01380.x.

Cherrett J. 1968. A flight record for queens of Atta cephalotes L. (Hym. Formicidae). Entomols Mon Mag. 104:255–256.

Cherrett JM. 1968. The foraging behaviour of Atta cephalotes L. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). J Anim Ecol. 37(2):387. doi:10.2307/2955.

Cherrett JM, Seaforth CE. 1970. Phytochemical arrestants for the leaf-cutting ants, Atta cephalotes (L.) and Acromyrmex octospinosus (Reich), with some notes on the ants’ response. Bull Entomol Res. 59(4):615–625. doi:10.1017/S0007485300003606.

Corrêa MM, Silva PSD, Wirth R, Tabarelli M, Leal IR. 2010. How leaf-cutting ants impact forests: drastic nest effects on light environment and plant assemblages. Oecologia. 162(1):103–115. doi:10.1007/s00442-009-1436-4.

Corrêa MM, Silva PSD, Wirth R, Tabarelli M, Leal IR. 2016. Foraging activity of leaf-cutting ants changes light availability and plant assemblage in Atlantic forest. Ecol Entomol. 41(4):442–450. doi:10.1111/een.12312.

Cristiano MP, Cardoso DC, Sandoval‐Gómez VE, Simões‐Gomes FC. 2020. Amoimyrmex Cristiano, Cardoso & Sandoval, gen. nov. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): a new genus of leaf‐cutting ants revealed by multilocus molecular phylogenetic and morphological analyses. Austral Entomology. 59(4):643–676. doi:10.1111/aen.12493.

Crumière AJJ, James A, Lannes P, Mallett S, Michelsen A, Rinnan R, Shik JZ. 2021. The multidimensional nutritional niche of fungus‐cultivar provisioning in free‐ranging colonies of a neotropical leafcutter ant. Pinter‐Wollman N, editor. Ecology Letters. 24(11):2439–2451. doi:10.1111/ele.13865.

Crumière AJJ, Mallett S, Michelsen A, Rinnan R, Shik JZ. 2022. Nutritional challenges of feeding a mutualist: Testing for a nutrient–toxin tradeoff in fungus‐farming leafcutter ants. Ecology. 103(6). doi:10.1002/ecy.3684.

Currie CR. 2001. A community of ants, fungi, and bacteria: a multilateral approach to studying symbiosis. Annu Rev Microbiol. 55(1):357–380. doi:10.1146/annurev.micro.55.1.357.

Currie CR, Bot ANM, Boomsma JJ. 2003. Experimental evidence of a tripartite mutualism: bacteria protect ant fungus gardens from specialized parasites. Oikos. 101(1):91–102. doi:10.1034/j.1600-0706.2003.12036.x.

Currie CR, Scott JA, Summerbell RC, Malloch D. 1999. Fungus-growing ants use antibiotic-producing bacteria to control garden parasites. Nature. 398(6729):701–704. doi:10.1038/19519.

Currie CR, Stuart AE. 2001. Weeding and grooming of pathogens in agriculture by ants. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 268(1471):1033–1039. doi:10.1098/rspb.2001.1605.

Daza FFF, Roman GR, Rodriguez MV, Vargas IAG, Heano HC, Cereda MP, Mulet RAC. 2019. Spores of Beauveria bassiana and Trichoderma lignorum as a bioinsecticide for the control of Atta cephalotes. Biol Res. 52(1):51. doi:10.1186/s40659-019-0259-y.

De Fine Licht HH, Boomsma JJ. 2010. Forage collection, substrate preparation, and diet composition in fungus-growing ants. Ecological Entomology. 35(3):259–269. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2311.2010.01193.x.

De Fine Licht HH, Schiøtt M, Rogowska-Wrzesinska A, Nygaard S, Roepstorff P, Boomsma JJ. 2013. Laccase detoxification mediates the nutritional alliance between leaf-cutting ants and fungus-garden symbionts. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 110(2):583–587. doi:10.1073/pnas.1212709110.

De Fine Licht HH, Boomsma JJ, Tunlid A. 2014. Symbiotic adaptations in the fungal cultivar of leaf-cutting ants. Nat Commun. 5(1):5675. doi:10.1038/ncomms6675.

Della Lucia TM, Gandra LC, Guedes RN. 2014. Managing leaf-cutting ants: peculiarities, trends and challenges. Pest Manag Sci. 70(1):14–23. doi:10.1002/ps.3660.

den Boer SPA, Baer B, Boomsma JJ. 2010. Seminal fluid mediates ejaculate competition in social insects. Science. 327(5972):1506–1509. doi:10.1126/science.1184709.

den Boer SPA, Baer B, Dreier S, Aron S, Nash DR, Boomsma JJ. 2009. Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens. Proc R Soc B. 276(1675):3945–3953. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.1184.

den Boer SPA, Stürup M, Boomsma JJ, Baer B. 2015. The ejaculatory biology of leafcutter ants. Journal of Insect Physiology. 74:56–62. doi:10.1016/j.jinsphys.2015.02.006.

Dijkstra MB, Boomsma JJ. 2006. Are workers of Atta leafcutter ants capable of reproduction? Insect Soc. 53(2):136–140. doi:10.1007/s00040-005-0848-3.

Do Nascimento RR, Schoeters E, Morgan ED, Billen J, Stradling DJ. 1996. Chemistry of metapleural gland secretions of three attine ants, Atta sexdens rubropilosa, Atta cephalotes, and Acromyrmex octospinosus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J Chem Ecol. 22(5):987–1000. doi:10.1007/BF02029949.

Dohm C, Leal IR, Tabarelli M, Meyer ST, Wirth R. 2011. Leaf-cutting ants proliferate in the Amazon: an expected response to forest edge? J Trop Ecol. 27(6):645–649. doi:10.1017/S0266467411000447.

Dosselli R, Grassl J, den Boer SPA, Kratz M, Moran JM, Boomsma JJ, Baer B. 2019. Protein-level interactions as mediators of sexual conflict in ants. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. 18:S34–S45. doi:10.1074/mcp.RA118.000941.

Eibl-Eibesfeldt VI, Eibl-Eibesfeldt E. 1967. Das parasitenabwehren der minima-arbeiterinnen der blattschneider-ameise (Atta cephalotes). Z Für Tierpsychol. 24(3):278–281. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.1967.tb00579.x.

Estrada C, Wcislo WT, Bael SA. 2013. Symbiotic fungi alter plant chemistry that discourages leaf‐cutting ants. New Phytol. 198(1):241–251. doi:10.1111/nph.12140.

Farji‐Brener AG. 2001. Why are leaf‐cutting ants more common in early secondary forests than in old‐growth tropical forests? An evaluation of the palatable forage hypothesis. Oikos. 92(1):169-177.

Farji-Brener AG, Amador-Vargas S, Chinchilla F, Escobar S, Cabrera S, Herrera MI, Sandoval C. 2010. Information transfer in head-on encounters between leaf-cutting ant workers: food, trail condition or orientation cues? Anim Behav. 79(2):343–349. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.11.009.

Farji-Brener AG, Barrantes G, Laverde O, Fierro-Calderón K, Bascopé F, López A. 2007. Fallen branches as part of leaf-cutting ant trails: their role in resource discovery and leaf transport rates in Atta cephalotes. Biotropica. 39(2):211–215. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2006.00256.x.

Farji-Brener AG, Chinchilla FA, Rifkin S, Sánchez Cuervo AM, Triana E, Quiroga V, Giraldo P. 2011. The ‘truck-driver’ effect in leaf-cutting ants: how individual load influences the walking speed of nest-mates. Physiol Entomol. 36(2):128–134. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3032.2010.00771.x.

Farji-Brener AG, Werenkraut V. 2015. A meta-analysis of leaf-cutting ant nest effects on soil fertility and plant performance: leaf-cutting ant nest, soil fertility and plant performance. Ecol Entomol. 40(2):150–158. doi:10.1111/een.12169.

Farji-Brener AG, Dalton MC, Balza U, Courtis A, Lemus-Domínguez I, Fernández-Hilario R, Cáceres-Levi D. 2018. Working in the rain? Why leaf-cutting ants stop foraging when it’s raining. Insectes Sociaux. 65(2):233–239. doi:10.1007/s00040-018-0605-z.

Farji-Brener AG, Illes AE. 2000. Do leaf-cutting ant nests make “bottom-up” gaps in neotropical rain forests?: a critical review of the evidence. Ecol Letters. 3(3):219–227. doi:10.1046/j.1461-0248.2000.00134.x.

Farji-Brener AG, Silva JF. 1995. Leaf-cutting ants and forest groves in a tropical parkland savanna of Venezuela: facilitated succession? J Trop Ecol. 11(4):651–669. doi:10.1017/S0266467400009202.

Feener DH, Brown BV. 1993. Oviposition behavior of an ant-parasitizing fly, Neodohrniphora curvinervis (Diptera: Phoridae), and defense behavior by its leaf-cutting ant host Atta cephalotes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J Insect Behav. 6(6):675–688. doi:10.1007/BF01201669.

Feener DH, Moss KAG. 1990. Defense against parasites by hitchhikers in leaf-cutting ants: a quantitative assessment. Behav Ecol Sociobiol. 26(1):17–29. doi:10.1007/BF00174021.

Fernandez‐Bou AS, Dierick D, Swanson AC, Allen MF, Alvarado AGF, Artavia‐León A, Carrasquillo‐Quintana O, Lachman DA, Oberbauer S, Pinto‐Tomás AA, et al. 2019. The role of the ecosystem engineer, the leaf‐cutter ant Atta cephalotes, on soil CO2 dynamics in a wet tropical rainforest. J Geophys Res Biogeosciences. 124(2):260–273. doi:10.1029/2018JG004723.

Fernández F, Castro-Huertas V, Serna F. 2015. Hormigas cortadoras de hojas de Colombia: Acromyrmex & Atta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Fauna de Colombia (Monografía). Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Fernández-Marín H, Zimmerman JK, Rehner SA, Wcislo WT. 2006. Active use of the metapleural glands by ants in controlling fungal infection. Proc R Soc B Biol Sci. 273(1594):1689–1695. doi:10.1098/rspb.2006.3492.

Fisher PJ, Stradling DJ, Sutton BC, Petrini LE. 1996. Microfungi in the fungus gardens of the leaf-cutting ant Atta cephalotes: a preliminary study. Mycol Res. 100(5):541–546. doi:10.1016/S0953-7562(96)80006-2.

Fowler HG. 1983. Latitudinal gradients and diversity of the leaf-cutting ants (Atta and Acromyrmex) (Hymenoptera : Formicidae). Rev Biol Trop. 31(2):213–216.

Fowler HG, Pereira da Silva V, Forti LC, Saes NB. 1986. Population dynamics of leaf-cutting ants: a brief review. In: Lofgren CS, Vander Meer RK (editors). Fire ants and leaf-cutting ants: biology and management. Boulder (CO): Westview Press. P. 123–145.

Freeman BM, Chaves-Campos J. 2016. Branch width and height influence the incorporation of branches into foraging trails and travel speed in leafcutter ants Atta cephalotes (L.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Neotrop Entomol. 45(3):258–264. doi:10.1007/s13744-016-0362-5.

Garrett RW, Carlson KA, Goggans MS, Nesson MH, Shepard CA, Schofield RMS. 2016. Leaf processing behaviour in Atta leafcutter ants: 90% of leaf cutting takes place inside the nest, and ants select pieces that require less cutting. R Soc Open Sci. 3(1):150111. doi:10.1098/rsos.150111.

Garrettson M, Stetzel JF, Halpern BS, Hearn DJ, Lucey BT, McKone MJ. 1998. Diversity and abundance of understorey plants on active and abandoned nests of leaf-cutting ants (Atta cephalotes) in a Costa Rican rain forest. J Trop Ecol. 14(1):17–26. doi:10.1017/S0266467498000029.

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