Pogonomyrmex californicus


P. californicus range in the United States. Retrieved from National Atlas.Pogonomyrmex californicus is, for the most part, found in dry and arid desert locations, specifically in the southwestern part of the United States in southern California, Nevada, southern Utah, Arizona, southern New Mexico, and western Texas, as well as in the Mexican states of Baja California, Sonora, and Chihuahua; it is not found in any other location across the globe (De Vita 1979; Navajo Nature 2010). The terrain where the ants live is very flat and is mostly composed of gravel and sand with very little vegetation (Navajo Nature 2010). These conditions are necessary for colonies to thrive.

California harvester ant colonies' nests are constructed in the soil or beneath stones, in areas where there is generous exposure to the sun - the entrances of these nests are often irregular in shape and surrounded by a circular or semicircular crater of loose sand (Navajo Nature 2010). On the same website, it was explained that colonies are only sometimes constructed beneath stones, whereas most other times, they are constructed in small to large soil mounds with coverings of gravel. Worker ants "clean house," so to speak, by altering the space nearest to the nest as a result of clearing away plants and other vegetation (Navajo Nature 2010).

Outside of the ant nests, there is a whole world of other organisms in the desert. Organisms found in this environment include the Joshua tree, ironwood, foothill palo verde, the giant saguaro, desert pupfishes, the fringe-toed lizard, the shovel-nosed snake, and the Panamint rattlesnake (Rundel and Gibson 1996).

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