Texas Harvester Ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus (Buckl.)

PLANTS ATTACKED: This ant attacks plants which produce small seed, such as alfalfa, clovers, Johnsongrass, rye and bermudagrass.

DESCRIPTION: The worker ant is reddish-brown and is 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. The male and female are larger than the worker and are winged during the swarming season, but these two forms seldom are seen.

LIFE HISTORY: The eggs are laid in "ant nests" which are made up of chambers below the surface of the soil, and such areas are indicated by the presence of a barren mound. The diameter of the barren area depends upon the age and vigor of the colony, but usually it is from 3 to 35 feet. Swarming (the appearance of winged males and females) takes place during early summer when new colonies are established.

DAMAGE: Some damage is caused by the ants collecting seeds from plants near the ant "dens." However, the most important loss is the destruction of vegetation around the nests.