Leaf cutter ants trail
It's a pity we were hiking in a group because I can watch this phenomenon for hours. To witness the most complex animal society on the planet. This is how it roughly works:
1. Worker ants climb trees and cut down large segments. You'll see them "raining" onto the ground constantly. The tree-working ants may even form "stairs" of interconnected bodies to reach the leafs.
2. Ground ants cut the large leaf fragments into manageable smaller chunks for transport.
3. Transport troops carry the small fragments, which still weigh a few dozen times their own body weight, to the nest. The path is intelligently routed. If you'd step on the path, 2 minutes later a path curbing that spot is created based on chemical signals of danger.
4. Eventually, the leafs make it to the nest, where it is then sorted by quality and type, and fed to the larvea.
''Atta sexdens'' is a species of leafcutter ant belonging to the tribe Attini. Atta species are native to the New World, from Southern United States to Northern Argentina in the South. They are absent from Chile. They cut leaves to provide a substrate for the fungus farms which are their principal source of food. Their societies are among the most complex found in social insects.