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Texas leafcutter ant
Atta texana is a fungus-farming ant species of the genus Atta, found in Texas, Louisiana and northeastern states of Mexico. Common names include town ant, parasol ant, fungus ant, Texas leafcutter ant, cut ant, and night ant. It harvests leaves from over 200 plant species, and is considered a major pest of agricultural and ornamental plants, as it can defoliate a citrus tree in less than 24 hours. Every colony has several queens and up to 2 million workers. Nests are built in well-drained sandy or loamy soil, and may reach a depth of 6 m (20 ft), have 1000 entrance holes, and occupy 420 m2 (4,500 sq ft).
A. texana workers measure 4 to 14 mm (0.16 to 0.55 in) in length, and are highly polymorphic. The back of the thorax has three pairs of spines. The ant has a narrow waist and is rusty brown in color.
- Robinson, William H. (2005). Handbook of Urban Insects and Arachnids. Cambridge University Press. pp. 238–239. ISBN 978-0-521-81253-5.
- "Texas Leaf Cutting Ant". Insects in the City. Texas AgriLife Extension. 2006-08-30. Archived from the original on October 15, 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
- Evans, Arthur V (2007). "Ants, Bees, and Wasps: Order Hymenoptera". National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders & Related Species of North America. Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. p. 380. ISBN 978-1-4027-4153-1.
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