Acromyrmex - Alex Wild Photography
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Acromyrmex echinatior

Acromyrmex echinatior

Inside the spongy galleries of the fungus garden, Acromyrmex echinatior leafcutter workers display microbial white patches on their chests made of Actinomyces bacteria. The bacteria are thought to produce antibiotics protecting the ants' fungus garden from infection- a true example of pesticide use among agricultural insects. Panama; Laboratory colony at the University of Wisconsin at Madison

symbiosisant agriculturebacteriamicrobial ecology