Leaf cutting ant colonies may have up to five fertile queens, producing eggs. These eggs develop into larvae. Most of the larvae turn into sterile worker ants, but some develop into winged reproductive ants in the springtime. These swarming reproductives are much larger than the worker ants.
Leaf cutter ants damage vegetation because they remove foliage in order to carry it back to their nests. They have been known to remove all the needles or leaves from a tree in one night. At night, workers will pick out a shrub or tree and swarm over it and cut circular-shaped pieces from the leaves.