Pogonomyrmex pima

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Pogonomyrmex pima
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Pogonomyrmecini
Genus: Pogonomyrmex
Species group: pima
Species: P. pima
Binomial name
Pogonomyrmex pima
Wheeler, W.M., 1909

Pogonomyrmex pima casent0006291 profile 1.jpg

Pogonomyrmex pima casent0006291 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

At a Glance • Ergatoid queen  


My eleven nests of this species were nearly equally divided as to their location beneath stones (five) and without a covering object (six). Each of two of the latter nests bore a small, low crater about 3 inches in diameter. The workers forage singly at a slow and steady gait and, like those of imberbiculus, are extremely docile ants. Food consists largely of seeds, but some dead arthropods are incorporated into the diet. (Cole 1968)


Keys including this Species


United States: southern Arizona. Mexico: Sonora.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb Nests of P. pima have been found from sea level to elevations of 2,400 feet.



Dimorphic queens are produced: winged and ergatoid (Johnson et al. 2007)



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • pima. Pogonomyrmex (Ephebomyrmex) pima Wheeler, W.M. 1909e: 79 (w.) U.S.A. Cole, 1968: 175 (q.m.); Johnson, R.A. et al. 2007: 79 (ergatoid q.).

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Cole (1968) - HL 1.11-1.19 mm, HW 1.09-1.17 mm, CI 91.6-100.9, SL 0.80-0.82 mm, SI 70.1-73.4, EL 0.24-0.29 mm, EW 0.17-0.20 mm, OI 20.2-26.1, WL 1.48-1.53 mm, PNL 0.27-0.31 mm, PNW 0.34-0.41 mm, PPL 0.31-0.37 mm, PPW 0.53-0.58 mm.

Mandible (Pl. III, Fig. 20) similar to that of imberbiculus, but second basal tooth notably shorter than third, nearly as small as penultimate which is much smaller than third basal; ultimate basal tooth absent; basal mandibular border faintly and broadly convex. Antennal scape (Pl. I, Fig. 6) similar lo lhal of imberbiculus.

Eye placed distinctly anterior to middle of side of head. Anterior border of clypeus entire, without a projection in front of each antennal fossa. Contours of thorax, petiole, and postpetiole as shown in Pl. V, Fig. 9; dorsum of petiolar and postpctiolar nodes as in Pl. VII, Fig. 26. Petiolar node, in lateral view, conical, its apex acute; anterior declivity rather long and straight, subequal to length of poslerior declivity, meeting the peduncle at a pronounced, well-rounded angle. Head, thorax, petiole, and postpetiole opaque. Head coarsely, longitudinally rugose to rugo-reticulose. Thorax coarsely rugo-reticulose. Interrugal spaces finely and densely punctate. Peliolar node and postpetiole shagreened and faintly punctate, the pctiolar node frequently with a few, irregular, longitudinal rugulae. Pilosity as in imberbiculus. Color a deep, ferrugineous red; the appendages paler.


Cole (1968) - HL 1.11-1.19 mm, HW 1.09-1.17 mm, CI 91.6-100.9. SL 0.80-0.82 mm, SI 70.1-73.4, EL 0.24-0.29 mm, EW 0.17-0.20 mm, OI 20.2-26.1, WL 1.48-1.53 mm, PNL 0.27-0.31 mm, PNW 0.34-0.41 mm, PPL 0.34-0.37 mm, PPW 0.53-0.58 mm.

Head, petiole, and postpetiole similar to those of the worker. Contours of thorax, petiole, and postpetiole as shown in Pl. IX, Fig. 6.

Head longitudinally rugose on front and genae, rugo-reticulose on vertex and occiput, the interrugal spaces densely and finely punctate, the surface dull; frontal area shining, bearing two longitudinal rugae; clypeus longitudinally rugose, the interrugal spaces without sculpture. Pronotal collar faintly, transversely striate; sides of thorax rugo-reticulose, the rugae with a longitudinal trend, the interspaces without perceptible sculpture; scutal dorsum longitudinally rugose, the interspaces densely and finely punctured; sides of scutum irregularly and rather weakly rugo-reticulose. Scutellum longitudinally rugose, the interspaces with sparse, fine, scattered punctures. Base of epinotum with a few, coarse, wavy, transverse rugae, the interspaces smooth and shining. Petiolar node shagreened; postpetiolar node densely and very finely punctate and faintly and sparsely striate; ventral lobe of postpetiole densely and finely punctate. Base of gastric dorsum with prominent piligerous punctures.

Hairs short, uneven. both straight and curved, the pattern similar to that of the worker; those on wing membrane as in the female of imberbiculus.

Head, thorax, petiole, post petiole, and appendages subopaque; gaster finely shagreened and moderately shining. Color a deep, rich, ferrugineous red; sides of scutum and terminal half of gaster infuscated.

Described, for the first time, from a nest queen collected by the writer 2 mi. N. of Magdelina, Sonora, Mexico, August 7, 1959, and 9 alate females, also collected by me, from a nest 65 mi. N. of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, August 14, 1 961.


Cole (1968) - HL 0.87 mm, HW 0.92 mm, CI 102.4, SL 0.22 mm, SI 23.9, EL 0.36 mm, EW 0.27 mm, OI 41.4, WL 1.43 mm, PNL 0.27 mm, PNW 0.27 mm, PPL 0.34 mm, PPW 0.44 mm.

Head shape similar to that of the imberbiculus male; transverse occipital keel pronounced; in frontal view, sides of head beneath the eyes strongly constricted, very short, subparallel. Eyes very large, elongate, strongly protruding from sides of head. Mandible as shown in Pl. VIII, Fig. 19; blade much broader distally than proximally, without a bend, apical and basal margins not subparallel; masticatory margin with 6 teeth, basalmost tooth the smallest and meeting basal mandibular margin evenly at a straight angle. Antennal scape very short; pedicel short, subglobular; flagellum notably shorter than that of imberbiculus, being less than three times the head width, with segments 6, 7, 8, and 9 markedly narrower than any of the preceding segments.

Contours of thorax, petiole, and postpetiole as shown in Pl. IX, Fig. 7; dorsum of petiolar and postpetiolar nodes as in Pl. XII, Fig. 18. Apex of petiolar node, in lateral view, flattened, strongly and very broadly truncate; anterior declivity of node notably steeper than posterior declivity, the length of the two subequal.

Head finely and densely punctate; prominently, moderately coarsely, irregularly, longitudinally rugose on front and on midvertex to the occipital border; rugae on vertex above eyes coarse, wavy, reticulate, with a longitudinal trend; several somewhat less coarse rugae radiate outward both laterally and posteriorly from each lateral ocellus and from median ocellus to each lateral ocellus; frontal area smooth and shining; antennal scape finely, irregularly, longitudinally striate. Sides of thorax, except mesothoracic epimera, with numerous, coarse, irregular, wavy rugae with a longitudinal trend; mesothoracic epimera largely finely punctate, with a few, irregular, longitudinal rugulae; scutum strongly shining, with only sparse, large, piligerous punctures; paraptera coarsely, transversely rugose, the rugae widely spaced, the interrugal spaces shining, epinotum very coarsely, irregularly, longitudinally rugose; Maynan and parapsidal furrows prominent. Head and thorax, except frontal area and scutum, largely opaque; antennae, legs, and gaster shining; petiole and postpetiole smooth, faintly shagreened, strongly shining.

Body densely hairy. Hairs long, slender, both straight and curved, as long on venter of head as on dorsum; on antennal scape moderately long, erect and suberect; on eyes rather numerous, short, straight, erect; on epinotum notably shorter and sparser than elsewhere on thorax; absent from venter of petiole and its peduncle. Entire surface of gaster with abundant, delicate, pointed, golden hairs very irregular in length. Pilosity of wing membrane as in the imberbiculus male. Body a deep brownish black; appendages a little lighter.

Described, for the first time, from a unique collected by the writer at Douglas, Arizona, July 3, 1956. Inasmuch as the foregoing description applies to the only specimen available, there has been no opportunity to evaluate the degree of intraspecific variation of characters in the male caste.

Type Material

Type locality: Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Alatorre-Bracamontes, C.E. and M Vasquez-Bolanos. 2010. Lista comentada de las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) del norte de México. Dugesiana 17(1):9-36
  • Cole A. C., Jr. 1937. An annotated list of the ants of Arizona (Hym.: Formicidae). [concl.]. Entomological News 48: 134-140.
  • Cole A. C., Jr. 1966. Keys to the subgenera, complexes, and species of the genus Pogonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in North America, for identification of the workers. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 59: 528-530.
  • Cole, A.C. 1968. Pogonomyrmex harvester ants: A study of the genus in North America. University of Tennesee Press. Knoxville
  • Creighton W. S. 1957. Studies on the North American representatives of Ephebomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche (Cambridge) 63: 54-66.
  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2944
  • Fernandes, P.R. XXXX. Los hormigas del suelo en Mexico: Diversidad, distribucion e importancia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).
  • Holbrook, C.T., C.-P. Strehl, R.A. Johnson and J. Gadau. 2007. Low Queen Mating Frequency in the Seed-Harvester Ant Pogonomyrmex (Ephebomyrmex) pima: Implications for the Evolution of Polyandry. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 62(2)229-236
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at http://www.asu.edu/clas/sirgtools/resources.htm
  • Mackay, W.P., E.E. Mackay, J.F. Perez Dominguez, L.I. Valdez Sanchez and P.V. Orozco. 1985. Las hormigas del estado de Chihuahua Mexico: El genero Pogonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) . Sociobiology 11(1):39-54
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133