Bug Expert Says We Should Mimic the Ants


A leaf cutter ant, one of millions that keep the Rainforest in trim. Photo courtesy of Audubon Miami Valley

By Annie Craver

Audubon Miami Valley will be hosting Randy Morgan’s program The Leaf- Cutting Ants: Advanced Agricultural Civilization by Instinct,7:30 p.m. Monday, May 13 , in the second floor conference room of the Lebanon Citizens National Bank building, 30 West Park Place, Oxford.

Monday’s program will detail how Leaf-Cutter ants keep and maintain the rainforest and the role they play in the rainforest. “There are millions of Lead-Cutter ants in the rainforest, and while they are little, they play a major role in keeping the Rainforest maintained” said Audubon Miami Valley Program Chair Hardy Ashbaugh.

Speaker and Okeana resident, Randy Morgan, holds an M.S. in entomology from the University of Wisconsin. For 32 years, Morgan worked at the Cincinnati Zoo Insectarium, but recently  retired from his position as curator of Invertebrates, Reptiles and Amphibians. For 40 years, Morgan worked extensively with leaf cutting ants in the field, in laboratory observation nests and in public exhibits.

While working at the zoo, Morgan managed a diverse collection of live insects and other small animals for public education display, developed a world-class exhibit and received significant recognition and awards for his efforts.

Randy Morgan, retired entomologist from the Cincinnati Zoo, will speak on the ants at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Photo courtesy of Audubon Miami Valley

Through Morgan’s talk, Eshbaugh said “Audience members will be able learn something they’ve never learned before. Randy knows a lot about the environment and how Leaf-Cutting ants rely on chemical trails to find their way to different locations.”

Audubon Miami Valley focuses on conserving and restoring natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, wildlife and their habitats. According to Audubon Miami Valley’s website, “We envision a world where humankind accepts the obligations of being part of nature, especially the obligation of stewardship.”

Following Monday’s talk, audience members are invited to stick around for a social with Randy Morgan and Audubon Miami Valley members.