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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.[1] 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,[2] 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).[1]

Description

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.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c Robinson, William H. (2005). Handbook of Urban Insects and Arachnids. Cambridge University Press. pp. 238–239. ISBN 978-0-521-81253-5. http://books.google.com/books?id=aluUgDVYJ8wC.
  2. ^ "Texas Leaf Cutting Ant". Insects in the City. Texas AgriLife Extension. 2006-08-30. Archived from the original on October 15, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20081015211736/http://citybugs.tamu.edu/FastSheets/Ent-1029.html. 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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