Think you can beat leaf-cutter ants? Think again!

September 18th, 2011

Brothers Raigner and Raymond listen together c. Guillermo Duran

“When you pour gasoline into a leaf-cutter ant hole, you kill only a few individuals,” explained Prof. Hector Barrios, AEP Guest Experts speaker, on Sept. 17, “because in reality leaf-cutter ants dig nests meters deep below the earth.”

The faces of his listeners alternated between marvel and disgust as they listened to the ways insects impact us for better or for worse. When asked if she had a comment, Michelle Medina, 4 year-old Pedasieña, emphatically proclaimed, “I like butterflies and leafcutter ants!”

Professor Hector Barrios is originally from the Pedasi region of Panama, but he has worked at the University of Panama for 22 years, working on projects in collaboration with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Princeton University, and other institutions.

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