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Gongylidia (singular gongylidium) are hyphal swellings of fungus cultivated by higher-attine genera of fungus-growing ants. This fungus no longer exists naturally outside the ant colonies.

Gongylidia are fed to the developing larvae and distributed throughout the colony to feed workers, soldiers, and the queen.[1] They are ellipsoid, about 30-50 micrometres in diameter[2] and rich in lipids and carbohydrates derived from the leaves[3] and are produced in clusters (called staphylae).[4]

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  3. ^ Currie, Cameron R. (January 1, 2001). "A community of Ants, Fungi, and Bacteria: A Multilateral Approach to Studying Symbiosis". Annual Review of Microbiology. 55: 357–80. doi:10.1146/annurev.micro.55.1.357. hdl:1808/835. PMID 11544360. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  4. ^ "Integrative Biology" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-11-06.