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Genus Pogonomyrmex - Harvester Ants

Harvester Red Ants - Pogonomyrmex comanche Red Harvester Ant, lateral - Pogonomyrmex barbatus - female harvester ant near Fabens, TX - Pogonomyrmex rugosus - female harvester ants? - Pogonomyrmex badius Pogonomyrmex - Pogonomyrmex californicus Pogonomyrmex occidentalis - female Large Red Ant in House Rock Valley - Pogonomyrmex Pogonomyrmex - Pogonomyrmex barbatus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
Superfamily Formicoidea (Ants)
Family Formicidae (Ants)
Subfamily Myrmicinae
Tribe Pogonomyrmecini
Genus Pogonomyrmex (Harvester Ants)
Other Common Names
rough harvester ants
Explanation of Names
Pogonomyrmex means "bearded ant", for the basket-like hair structure or psammophore underneath their heads for holding sandy soil.
The presence of the psammophore by itself is not a diagnostic trait for the genus. Many genera, including Veromessor, Myrmecocystus, and Pheidole, all have species that have psammophores in our area.
In our area, a mostly western US distribution, with one species east of the Mississippi River. Two species range into Canada from SK to BC, P. occidentalis and salinus.
US species in this genus can generally be grouped into 4 main groups: the barbatus, occidentalis, and californicus complexes, and three small species in the Ephebomyrmex subgenus.(1)

barbatus complex (10 species in our area, 6 represented)
Excised clypeus:

californicus complex (8 species in our area, 6 represented)

Our only polymorphic species:

black gaster morph:

pure red morph:

occidentalis complex (6 species in our area, 4 represented)
offset basal mandibular tooth:

straight basal mandibular tooth:

subgenus Ephebomyrmex (3 species in our area, 3 represented)

Internet References
Works Cited
1.Cladistic Phylogeny of the North American Species Complexes of Pogonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
Stephen W. Taber. 1990. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Volume 83, Pages 307–316.