Maricopa Harvester Ant mound

Class: Hexapoda (animals with six legs - includes all insects)
Order: Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants, sawflies)
    hymen = god of marriage (front and back wings are hooked together), membrane and ptera = wings
Family: Formicidae (ants)
Species: Pogonomyrmex sp. (probably maricopa)
Common Name: harvester ant (not species specific)
Date: 2001 July 26
Place: Guadalupe Mountains National Park
    meadow area in West Dog Canyon near intersection of Marcus and Bush Mountain Trails (I got lots of flea? bites here)

If you walk through the meadow area near the intersection of the Bush Mountain and Marcus Trails, you will find a number of large ant mounds (cleared areas exceed 4 feet in diameter). From the description of the nests studied by Moody and Foster (1979) in the same area, this is probably a Maricopa Harvester Ant nest. Some colonies have excavated chambers to a depth of 7 feet or more. For an interesting read check out Stephen Taber's "The World of the Harvester Ant" c 1998.

References
Moody, J.V. and Foster, D.E. 1979
   Notes on the Bionomics and Nest Structure of Pogonomyrmex maricopa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
   in H.H. Genoways and R.J. Baker (eds.),
   Biological Investigations in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park,
   Symposium at Texas Tech University, Lubbock Texas, April 4-5,1975
   National Parks Service Proceedings and Transactions ser. no. 4.

Links

Note: This is a personal web site and is not affiliated with the National Park Service or Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Contact information for the author, Ron Lyons, is accessible through the Index Page referenced below. Thank you.