Leaf cutter ants are true farmers because they harvest the leaves of plants. They use leaves as fertilizer to grow the specialized fungus that serves as the colony's food source.
Workers forage at night, and when a suitable tree or shrub is found, the workers swarm over it, cutting circular-shaped pieces from leaves. These pieces are dropped to the ground where other workers pick them up and return to the colony.
There, the leaf pieces are cut into tiny bits and carried into the colony to add to the fungus gardens. Foraging trails may extend several hundred feet from the nest site, so a colony located on one property can be preying on the trees and shrubs of another.
A small tree or large shrub can have all its leaves stripped in a single night.