Pogonomyrmex rugosus

    

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Although primarily seed harvesters, most Pogonomyrmex are very happy to get protein-rich food if it is easily available. Here a Pogonomyrmex rugosus worker is taking part in the bounty of a termite flight.
Although primarily seed harvesters, most Pogonomyrmex are very happy to get protein-rich food if it is easily available. Here a Pogonomyrmex rugosus worker is taking part in the bounty of a termite flight.
A Pogonomyrmex rugosus worker capturing a termite king or queen. After a mating flight, the vulnerable termite kings and queens run around on the ground looking for places to start new nests. Ants make the most of the termites' vulnerabilityl
A Pogonomyrmex rugosus worker capturing a termite king or queen. After a mating flight, the vulnerable termite kings and queens run around on the ground looking for places to start new nests. Ants make the most of the termites' vulnerabilityl
Closeup of Pogonomyrmex rugosus worker picking up soil at her nest entrance.
Closeup of Pogonomyrmex rugosus worker picking up soil at her nest entrance.
Closeup of Pogonomyrmex rugosus worker dumping soil from her mandibles.  It is interesting to see all of the hairs between the mandibles - since insects have exoskeletons, much of their information about the outside world comes to them through the various pores and hairs on their exoskeletons.
Closeup of Pogonomyrmex rugosus worker dumping soil from her mandibles. It is interesting to see all of the hairs between the mandibles - since insects have exoskeletons, much of their information about the outside world comes to them through the various pores and hairs on their exoskeletons.
Pogonomyrmex rugosus worker dropping soil excavated from her nest.
Pogonomyrmex rugosus worker dropping soil excavated from her nest.
Unmated, winged Pogonomyrmex rugosus queen at the nest entrance, surrounded by workers.
Unmated, winged Pogonomyrmex rugosus queen at the nest entrance, surrounded by workers.
Be careful identifying Pogonomyrmex rugosus based soley on color - the colors vary! This red P. rugosus worker is from Phoenix, Arizona. Many (but not all) of the colonies around Phoenix are red rather than the darker colors that I think of as typical.
Be careful identifying Pogonomyrmex rugosus based soley on color - the colors vary! This red P. rugosus worker is from Phoenix, Arizona. Many (but not all) of the colonies around Phoenix are red rather than the darker colors that I think of as typical.
Pogonomyrmex rugosus is a trunk-trail forager. The workers stream out from the nest in long columns, often reusing the same pathways. The clear trail running from the center bottom of the photo is such a foraging trail - you can see how it is clear of debris. You can also see a few ants on the trail, at the center of the photo.
Pogonomyrmex rugosus is a trunk-trail forager. The workers stream out from the nest in long columns, often reusing the same pathways. The clear trail running from the center bottom of the photo is such a foraging trail - you can see how it is clear of debris. You can also see a few ants on the trail, at the center of the photo.
A Euryopis spider eating its Pogonomyrmex rugosus prey.
A Euryopis spider eating its Pogonomyrmex rugosus prey.