Acromyrmex versicolor - Desert Leaf-Cutter Ant
Arizona, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2006

The birth of an ant-fungus garden, with newly-laid ant eggs and the early stages of fungal growth.  Leaf-cutting ant colonies subsist entirely on their cultivated fungus. 

USA AZ Pima Co.: Tucson Mountains 
32º15.817'N 111º03.762'W 750m. 8.vii.2006.
Mating swarm along side of road. 
#AW2840, voucher specimens deposited at ALWC.

This image is copyrighted by the photographer and cannot be used without permission. To obtain permission to use this image, please email Alex Wild. (alwild (at)  Most of the photographs on are reduced from their original size and compressed for more efficient web transmission.  In some cases, higher quality versions are available.

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 20D, using a Canon MPE 65mm 1-5x macro lens.