Messor lobognathus (Andrews)


Messor lobognathus head view  Messor lobognathus side view
Large workers with a distinctive psammaphore. When seen in the field the workers bear a striking resemblance to Pogonomyrmex occidentalis. Under closer inspection Messor lobognathus is easily separated from this species by having a pronounced step down in height from the propodeum to the pronotum. The spines on the propodeum are also more slender than Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, especially at their base.
This species is distinguished from Messor smithi by its much longer propodeal spines, concolorous reddish color (smithi has a dark gaster) and a less impressed metanotal groove. Messor lobognathus workers also have pronounced longitudinal rugae on their head while Messor smithi only has some rugae on their head.
Messor lobognathus is a harvester ant that inhabits arid habitats.Nest entrances can be found under rocks or are topped off by small pebble or earthen mounds. This species occurs in a variety of habitats that range from desert to Pinyon-Juniper associations. Foragers collect seeds during part of the day, typically taking a hiatus during the warmest part of midday.
additional biology notes...
Species Range
United States. Midwest and western region that Includes the full north-south breadth of the country from Nevada to North Dakota.
Navajo Reservation Records
Samples being processed.
Additional Notes
Wheeler and Wheeler recorded two excavated nests as having between 533 and 627 workers. In numerous publications this ant is stated to be rare. In some areas it can be locally abundant but across its range it is not frequently encountered.

Morphological. "rounded jaw" The jaw of the workers bear large apical teeth.

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Original Combination - Messor lobognathus - Andrews (1916).

the original species description for Messor lobognathus (first page) species description for Messor lobognathus (second page) Messor lobognathus description (third page)

As recorded by Creighton (1950).
Type Locality
Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Andrews, H. 1916. A new ant of the genus Messor from Colorado. Psyche (Cambridge). 23:81-83.
Cole, A. C., Jr. 1963. A new species of Veromessor from the Nevada Test Site and notes on related species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 56:678-682.
Creighton, W. S. 1950. The ants of North America. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. 104:1-585.
Wheeler, G. C. and J. Wheeler. 1959. Veromessor lobognathus: second note (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 52:176-179.

A note about these publications. The literature cited here is not meant to be an exhaustive list of papers published about this species.

Page authored by David Lubertazzi and Gary Alpert

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