What Do Underground Ant Nests Look Like?

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Underground ant nests consist of different kinds of underground chambers, which may include tunnels that lead to a water table. Discover how leaf cutter ants form their underground chambers with information from an entomologist in this free video on insects and bugs.

Part of the Video Series: Insects & Bugs
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Video Transcript

I'm Mike Quinn, I've been an entomologist for twenty years, and we're here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center talking about what do underground ant nests look like. A number of different kinds of ants have different kinds of underground chambers. Some just have a tunnel down, and they might get down, reach a water table for moisture purposes. One of the better-known underground ant chambers are formed by leaf cutter ants, and they can be twenty or more chambers the size of a small football, and they'll have a hanging-down fungus growth there in these chambers, or they'll have a chamber for trash, or a chamber for young, or a chamber for where the queen will be, so pathways between chambers. And these can go down for twenty feet and occupy a lot of space underground and can live on for a decade or more and they're typically in soft soil, sandy soil where the ants can burrow down, and a great source of fascination in the underground nests of ants.

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