Pogonomyrmex californicus


P. californicus profile view. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.Besides the information provided on the other pages of this website, there are quite a few interesting facts about the California harvester ant waiting to be discovered. We selected eight pieces of information and displayed them below.

- The mandibles of Pogonomyrmex californicus are used to cut down grass and plant stems from the nest area, remove seeds from plants and take them back to the nest, hold food during consumption, remove soil during nest excavation and repair, and move eggs and larvae within the nest, just to name a few (Pogolumina 2010).

- The California harvester ant's venom is more effective in vertebrates than other insects probably because it evolved as a defense against such mammals as rodents (Pogolumina 2010).

- Dry-sand-carrying abilities are increased by up to 200 percent as a result of the presence of the psammophore (Pogolumina 2010).

- Other desert ants also have psammophores, including species of Messor, Pheridole, and Mymecosystus (Pogolumina 2010).

- P. californicus is a member of the subfamily Myrmicinae, which indicates that worker ants have distinct postpetioles (abdominal segment IV is much larger than abdominal segment III) (AntWeb 2014).

- The average foraging distance of this organism is three to five meters from the nest, or about 10 feet to 16.5 feet (Navajo Nature 2010).

- The average length of a California harvester ant worker is approximately 0.25 inch (Navajo Nature 2010).

- Cephalic and thoracic rugae (ridges) have shining interspaces in P. californicus (Navajo Nature 2010).

As you can certainly see, P. californicus is a fascinating organism! From having relatives that share characteristics such as psammophores and distinct postpetioles in workers to having extremely powerful venom, the California harvester ant was chosen by us for a reason. We hope that you will find the wonders of this organism as captivating as we did.

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