Atta cephalotes - leaf-cutter ant
Captive colony at the California Academy of Sciences
(from tropical America)

photograph © Alex Wild 2004

The fungus garden in a nest of Atta leaf-cutter ants.  Notice the diversity of ant sizes within a colony, from the large red soldier ants to the minute orange ants tending to the garden.  Atta ants have some of the most sophisticated caste systems among the social insects.

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 D60, with a Canon 100mm 2.8 Macro USM lens.