attine

noun at·tine \ ˈa-ˌtīn \

Definition of attine

plural attines
: any of various myrmicine ants (tribe Attini) found chiefly in tropical America that culture fungi for food
  • Leaf-cutters and all the other attines cultivate various kinds of fungi for colony members to eat.
  • —Susan MiliusScience News21 Nov. 1998
  • Species of the lower attines do not cut and use leaves as the main substrate for their symbiotic fungus, but rather gather a large variety of dead vegetable matter, including bits of leaves, plant seeds, and fruits, as well as insect feces and corpses.
  • —Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. WilsonThe Leafcutter Ants: Civilization by Instinct2011
Note: The tribe Attini comprises ants of the genus Atta, known as leaf-cutting ants, and closely related genera.

attine

adjective
    • The leaf-cutters represent the most advanced division of a powerful insect tribe called the attine ants, 200 species that engage in a mutually convenient arrangement with fungi.
    • —Natalie AngierNew York Times13 Dec. 1994

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Origin and Etymology of attine

borrowed from New Latin Attini, from Atta2Atta + -ini-ini


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