Texas Leafcutting Ant (May 28, 2014)

There have been many submissions of Texas leafcutting ants this week. Texas leafcutting ants commonly swarm this time of year, usually after heavy rains. They can be serious pests of plants because the workers clip plant leaves to provision their below-ground colony. They inoculate the leaf pieces with fungi and then feed on the fungi. For more information visit the Texas leafcutting ant web page at the Texas A&M Department of Entomology. Here is a recent fact sheet from Wizzie Brown, our urban entomologist in Austin, and here is a 2014 blog post from Molly Keck in San Antonio. 

Ant invasion in La Vernia, Texas, May 2, 2013. Photo Credit: Pascalle Bippert. 

Winged adult Texas leafcutting ant. Photo Credit: Ann Arbour.

Winged adult Texas leafcutting ant. Photo Credit: Ann Arbour.

Adult Texas leafcutting ant after its wings have fallen off. Photo Credit: Ann Arbour.

Adult Texas leafcutting ant after its wings have fallen off. Photo Credit: Ann Arbour.