It is a sad day when a long-studied colony is lost. It happens for all types of reason - a careless hacking gardener, a giant crushing treefall, a mysterious colony disappearance, a spiteful enemy, and the list goes on. This case however, points to a large vertebrate hungry for ant larvae. Though I cannot be certain, this attack looks like the work of a fearless tamandua anteater with the Cecropia stem snapped and holes intentionally gouged into brood-containing internodes. I'm sure the colony didn't let the beast enjoy its meal too much. For all the good the ants do for the protection of their tree, this is one danger Cecropias bare in hosting an ant colony: some animals eat ants and are willing to destroy whatever stands between them and a tasty meal. At least we can celebrate the fact that this was a natural loss, and an interesting one at that. I need to install some camera traps.