Watch a patroller recruit to leaf damage

Patrolling Azteca ants that discover freshly damaged leaf material recruit their nestmates to the damaged site to fend off any offenders (or even make a meal of them if they can). This robust, fascinating behavior is one of my favorites to watch unfold. However, it is very difficult to film this interaction in its entirety because tracking such small, fast individuals while maintaining a decent focus takes practice and luck. Recently, I was lucky enough to follow the discoverer from the damage site, along the leaf vein to the petiole junction, all the way across the petiole to the main stem, and back. If you look closely you can see her dragging her abdomen as she runs to lay a pheromone trail that her nestmates follow. She also seems to release an alarm pheromone at the leaf-petiole junction that activates all the poised workers waiting there.