After the colony chooses a particular tree, the media workers who communicate using pheromones, travel back and forth with the leaves they have cut, guarded en route by the soldier ants. When the leaf bits arrive at the nest, the minima clean and chew them in to smaller pieces and mix them with saliva and faeces to make a sticky paste. This provides the material on which a fungus grows which ultimately is what the leaf cutter ants feed on. These ants are in the end, fungus gardeners.
The leaf cutter ants and the fungus are dependant upon each other for survival. The fungus has lost the ability to reproduce on its own, so it does not exist in the forest where the ants are not taking care of it.
The nests of leaf cutter ants are complex systems of tunnels and chambers underground. Large, mature nests can function with millions of workers and the mound may cover many square meters of ground. The chambers are mostly occupied by the fungus gardens, but others are for raising the young and one houses the queen.