These leaf-cutter ants are actually busy carting petals and flower parts from one of the nearby large forest trees (with bright red-flowers across the canopy). They are taking them down into their cavernous nest below ground where they are feeding their mother-lode of fungi. They create a stockpile of this organic material down below and the fungi does its job of breaking it down. The ants in turn feed on the fungal hyphae. Meanwhile, above on land the heat of the day rises on Estancia Zapallo and the task of fixing the wheel on the nearby old horse cart has stalled.
A real morning event I witnessed, while visiting the hot, green, dissected-plateaux of Amambay, Paraguay.
I awoke before 0600 hours and staggered into the rustic kitchen of the big estancia house, that was once owned by Paraguay’s ex-president Wasmosy (Paraguay’s first civilian president in 39 years). I was recovering from two days of diarrhea that I believed was started when I ate some sun-driend meat in the Chaco, south-west of Concepcion.
The first thing I saw in the creeping dawn light was this tarantula on the kitchen tiles. It was in silent consumptive mode, eating a small frog.
The frog remains alive, paralysed while the spider sucks out its life juices. Note for scale the Paraguayan box of matches (marca ‘Qué Luz’) behind during the end of the first take.