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Photo#723022
Pogonomyrmex anzensis worker engaging in self-grooming. - Pogonomyrmex anzensis

Pogonomyrmex anzensis worker engaging in self-grooming. - Pogonomyrmex anzensis
Anza-Borrego Desert S.P., Ocotillo Wells Vehicular Rec. Area (el. 121 m / 398 ft), San Diego County, California, USA
April 6, 2011
This is one of the most seldom seen Pogos.

Pogonomyrmex anzensis workers are red in color, and length is about 6.0mm (Taber 1998). They are easily distinguished from other Pogos in the area by their 6-toothed mandibles (as opposed to 7). Other distinctive features include the prominent, carinate rugae (ridges) adorning the occipital corners of the head, and a very visible ventral process on the postpetiole ('tooth-like' projection on the underside of the second part of the 'waist').

Nests of this ant are cryptic, especially among the jumbled, rock-strewn slopes where they are found. They consist of a single, small entrance hole sometimes adorned with a small apron of fine sand, or a tiny amount of almost invisible chaff (discarded plant material) (Snelling 2002). So far, these ants (and their nests) have only been found on west or southwest facing slopes; steep, and covered with large rocks (R.Snelling, G.Snelling, Schmidt and Cover 2009). This choice of habitat is unusual for Pogonomyrmex ants, and is the reason this ant eluded searchers for so many years. This ant was 'rediscovered' in 1998 (after initially being collected by Cole in 1952) by Gordon Snelling, Robert Johnson, and Stefan Cover.

Moved
Moved from Harvester Ants.

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