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    Author(s): J.A. Torres
    Date: 1989
    Source: Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico. 73(4):401-403
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: International Institute of Tropical Forestry
    PDF: Download Publication  (309.0 KB)


    Ants of the tribe Attini (fungus grower) collect different organic materials that are used to grow a fungus. It was thought that the fungus mycelium was the only source of nutrition for these ants, but Quinlan and Cherrett found that Atta cephalotes (L.) squeezes oils from fresh leaves and uses them as food.  These oils supplement the fungus material eaten by this species.  Members of the genus Atta are considered pests in some agricultural crops, pasture land, and forest seedling plantations.  There are no Atta ants in Puerto Rico and adjacent islands, but four species of the attine tribe have been reported.  Here I duscuss the present distribution, abundance, and ecology of these species.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Torres, J.A. 1989. The status of the fungi-grower ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Puerto Rico and adjacent islands. Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico. 73(4):401-403.


    Atta, fungus grower, species distribution

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