Stratford Library holds leafcutter ants talk

Leafcutter Ants: An All Female Society Working Cooperatively Around the Clock is this month’s Sunday Afternoon Talk, with guest speaker Dr. Barbara Beitch Sunday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m., in The Stratford Library’s Lovell Room. The talk is free and open to the public.

Dr. Barbara Beitch’s observations of leafcutter ant behavior have led her to look for answers to such questions as to what determines which caste member will develop from each fertilized egg, what do the ants do with all those leaves, where is the queen, why does one often see a little ant hitching a ride on a leaf carried by another ant, what can we infer from the possibility that leafcutter ants are the most ancient agronomists in the world and why do the ants have a garbage dump and a cemetery?

In her Library power-point presentation, Beitch will be sharing what she has learned about leafcutter ants and other highly organized “eusocial” species, about genetic and environmental factors that shape leafcutter caste determination and about the ecology of leafcutter ants — their symbiotic relationship with fungi and their ecological niche in the rainforest.

Due to limited available seating, reservations are required by calling 203-385-4162. A complete schedule of future talks through June 2017 is now available at the Library or online at stratfordlibrary.org.

The fascinating life of leafcutter ants will be the topic for the Stratford Library’s monthly Sunday Afternoon Talks program on Feb. 12

The fascinating life of leafcutter ants will be the topic for the Stratford Library’s monthly Sunday Afternoon Talks program on Feb. 12.

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