Ants that grow their food have to weed, too. Now, the first detailed study of ants tending fungus gardens shows that whether the gardener has two legs or six, the chore looks much the same.
Like the best human gardeners, ants try to stop a weed invasion in its early stages, report Cameron Currie and Alison Stuart, now of the University of Texas in Austin and the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, respectively. Ants settle in one spot and weed, then move to the next spot, researchers report in the May 22 Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B.
Theyre amazing weeders, Currie says.