Leafcutter Ants in Cancun

Discussion in 'Living in Cancun' started by asj2008, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. asj2008

    asj2008 Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Hi all:

    I'll be travelling to Cancun next week, and doing some research on leaf cutter ants in the area. I'm particularly interested in the presence of these ants inside the city.

    I maintain a site dedicated to these critters at:
    http://www.blueboard.com/leafcutters/

    I'm hoping people here can point out specific instances of colonies in the area and the address or location that they've seen them. Any other info would be appreciated as well.

    gracias...

    ASJ
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    We have one in our garden - although I havent seen any activity for a few months, most likely due to the time of year. They were most active Jan - May and normally came out around dusk. I'll see if I can spot any tonight but like I say I havent seen any for a while.

    Here's a pic of some enjoying my garden
    [​IMG]
     
  3. asj2008

    asj2008 Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Thanks Steve...yes, at this time of the year (hot), they would only come out when it's cool....or your colony may have died out? Did you actually see their nest or maybe they were just coming in from somewheres else? These critters can forage for very large distances....
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    Yes, I saw the nest (amazing how many different classes of ants there were, also saw the white fungus they feed off). I dug it up and petrol bombed it (sorry!) the numbers dwindled for a while but they recovered.

    I just had a quick look and saw just one ant, there doesnt seem to be much activity there at all. I dont know if they build multiple nests or not but I've always suspected there is a larger one next door.
     
  5. RiverGirl

    RiverGirl Guest

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    I have seen leaf-cutter ants in the Parque Kabah (it's across from Costco on Avenida Kabah). I haven't noticed any in recent weeks, but I've seen them there in past lots of times. It's a big park, there must be plenty of colonies there.

    Yesterday, in the park, I saw an antlion take down a big caterpillar. And another antlion was munching on a spider it had trapped. There are a lot of antlion pits near the entrance to the park, so I usually stop and see what they are up to (who they are eating) when I go to the park. Sometimes I thwart their efforts and save their victims...
     
  6. asj2008

    asj2008 Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Hi Steve,

    Yep, large mature colonies typically have many nest mounds, so that one you spotted may have simply been one of many. However, smaller colonies do start out with only one nest mound or so.

    The presence of large numbers of soldiers means the nest is at least one year old.

    I'm gonna try to map out their presence in parts of Cancun just like I did for Puerto Vallarta and South texas :p


    http://www.blueboard.com/nfu/survey_rio_grande_texas.htm

    http://www.blueboard.com/nfu/impact_survey.htm

    Here's my "diary" of the Texas trip:
    http://www.blueboard.com/leafcutters/notes/2007_2_7.htm

    Maybe i'll do one for cancun ;)
     
  7. asj2008

    asj2008 Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Hi Rivergirl,

    Thanks for the tip ...it'll help me ID locations.... :)

    If it rains next week, and gets cooler, that'll help get them out....

    You know, I've never actually seen an ant lion...might be interesting to see one...
     
  8. asj2008

    asj2008 Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Here's a question - how safe is Cancun (parks, etc) at night? My spanish is slightly rudimentary....
     
  9. RiverGirl

    RiverGirl Guest

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    The Parque Kabah isn't open at night. They close the gates at 4 or 5 pm.
     
  10. asj2008

    asj2008 Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Ok, I read more about it...I'll probably have to take the bus to get to it from the Zona Hotelera...

    To be honest, I don't believe I'll need to go to el centro to see them...i went to Cancun in 2001 and saw some stripping bushes in front of one of the large resorts at km 14, across from Faro's Restaurant :D
     
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