The mechanisms of behavior generally look at the physiological aspects of the organism that allow those to function. All most every aspect of leafcutter behavior is dictated by a clear mechanistic determiner. Namely, leafcutter ants have a division of labor that is dictated by polymorphism (Evison et al 2007).

Polymorphism of Leafcutter Ants

The division of labor within most attine leafcutter ants is divided into three primary polymorphic castes.

Minims/minima (a) are the smallest of the workers. Their small size allows them to effectively cultivate the fungal gardens, and maintain the broods (Evison & Ratnieks 2011). Their diminutive stature also allows them to "hitchhike," or ride the leaves of workers(as can be seen in the picture above). This process of hitchhiking allows the minima to protect the worker ants from parasitic flies, as well as clean the leaves of contaminants (Vieira-Neto, et al. 2012)

Midias (b) are the middle-sized workers. These are the primary foragers. They cut and collect the leaves (Evison & Ratnieks 2011).

Majors/Maxima (c) are the largest of the workers. Their role is predominantly to act as defenders for the colony. Their large size results in them having a substantial maintenance cost for the colony, and because of this, there are relatively few of them. They also have other roles such clearing debris from the ant trail, and sometimes carrying leaves (Evison & Ratnieks 2011).

These morphological differences create a division of labor within the colony that is crucial for nearly all of the behaviors of the ant colony (Evison & Ratnieks 2011). The midias ants will collect the leaves needed for the fungus. They will take the plant matter to the colony where the minimas will clean and feed it to the fungus (Licht et al. 2010).