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Species Page - Pogonomyrmex occidentalis
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scientific name    Pogonomyrmex occidentalis    

common name     Western Harvester Ant

habitat
Prefer dry prairie and badlands. In Alberta are found in the prairie region.

seasonality
Found from May till September.

identification
Workers that are ~6.3-8.0 mm in length that are a dull red-orange color (Wheeler and Wheeler, 1963). Body is heavily rugose and the psammophore is present. The petiole has a large anterior peduncle and the node is sharply conical (Fisher and Cover, 2007, and Trager et al., 1998).

life history
Form large conical nests on the surface made up of thousands of workers (Wheeler and Wheeler, 1963). Nuptial flights take place in late July and males and females usually congregate on nearby hills where mating takes place on the ground (Cole and Weirnasz. 2000). Females can live for up to ten years and mate several times before founding a colony (Cole and Weirnasz, 2000).

conservation
Not of concern.

diet info
Primarily harvest seeds to eat, but also take insects.

range
Found throughout the midwest of North America in dry grassland and badland areas. Alberta is the most northerly part of its range.

quick link
http://entomology.museums.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=38681



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