Everyone has seen these hard-working ants lugging single file pieces of leaves back to the nest to provide fodder for their fungus farm.
Now the little guys will have their own Web page called Zompopas.com that will contain information and photos for all levels of studies, according to the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología.
Zompopa is the Spanish name for the leafcutter ant, called scientifically Atta cephalotes. They are universal in Costa Rica, and sometimes too universal because many gardeners are unhappy to see their plants and trees stripped. Each nest may contain 5 million of the critters, so they can do a lot of stripping quickly.
The Web page actually crew out of a project to control the ants at the Monumento Nacional Guayabo near Turriallba, said the ministry which will announce the Web page Thursday in conjunction with the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas at the Universidad de Costa Rica.
Adrián PintoTomás is the researcher who was out to remove the leafcutters from the monument because the insects were doing damage. He created a bioproduct to eliminate the ants but also recognized the tourist value of the ant colonies nearby, said the ministry. His work is presented of the Web site.
Right now the site is password protected because it will not go public until Thursday. The logo features a leafcutter ant carrying the name of the site as if it were a leaf fragment.
Florida Ice & Farm gave support to the project.