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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
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Photo#825780
Harvester Ant alates - Pogonomyrmex - female

Harvester Ant alates - Pogonomyrmex - Female
Pena Blanca Recreation Area, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, USA
July 27, 2013
I got down close to this colony, where winged individuals (alates) were emerging. These are all queens-to-be (see comments, thanks for correction). I managed not to get stung, thanks to the help of friends that brushed a few wayward ants off my back before they could reach flesh.

gathering_2013

All alates visible on this pic...
are female reproductives, i.e. wannabe queens. True, drones are very similar to females in Pogonomyrmex, a genus where sexual dimorphism is especially lessened.
Nonetheless, their head is slightly smaller and antennae have different proportions. Whereas the head of these individuals shown here is basically similar to the workers', except for the (small and barely visible) ocelli.