Animals Wildlife Photo: Watch These Lady Leafcutter Ants Tend to the Gardening By Melissa Breyer Editorial Director Hunter College F.I.T., State University of New York Cornell University Melissa Breyer is Treehugger’s editorial director. She is a sustainability expert and author whose work has been published by the New York Times and National Geographic, among others. our editorial process Melissa Breyer Updated August 13, 2020 Andreas Kay / Flickr Share Twitter Pinterest Email Animals Wildlife Pets Animal Rights Endangered Species Our photo of the day comes with a video from the Amazon rainforest. Could ants be any cooler? They are social, smart, and have many marvelous tricks up their little sleeves – they leave me in awe. These female worker leafcutter ants at work in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador, photographed and filmed by Andreas Kay, are no exception. Andreas explains: "These leafcutter ants of the genus Atta from the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador dissect a leaf with their strong mandibles and carry the pieces to their colony's fungus garden underground. They cannot digest the leaves themselves but cultivate a special fungus on which they feed. The wingless worker ants are females. Each ant can carry up to 50 times its own body weight. This is equivalent to a man carrying a van over his head!" See them in action below. Would you like to see your nature photo featured as the TreeHugger photo of the day? Join TreeHugger’s Reader Photo Pool on Flickr and add your pictures to the group.