Tehachapi Road Trip 2015 Part 7
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Tehachapi Road Trip Spring 2015 Part 7
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Ant Species (1 of 2)

Formica sp. In Cajon Pass

Although not visible in this poor image, this ant has more bristly hairs on its body than Formica moki in coastal San Diego County. It might be F. francoeuri, another species of inland mountains in southern California.


Formica sp. In Tehachapi


Forelius sp. Near Caliente

This is similar to Forelius pruinosus on Owens Peak.


Messor andrei Near Arvin

This is species is also on Owens Peak.


Small Honeypot Ant In Pinyon Woodland East Of Wrightwood
It Belongs To The Subgenus Eremnocystus (cf. M. creightoni)

I found a nest of small, black (dark brown) honeypot ants on the ridge above the old cabin site. My father built a quonset hut cabin on this 4 acre parcel in the 1950s along the road to Wrightwood, CA. It was later destroyed by fire and it took almost 50 years for the pinyon woodland to fully recover.

Entrance to honeypot ant nest on ridge above cabin property.

After carefully comparing the above species of Myrmecocystus with a previous collection of M. creightoni near Cucamonga, I am reasonably convinced that it is the latter species. Please refer to the following images from Cucamonga:


Honeypot Ant (Subgenus Eremnocystus): Myrmecocystus in Cucamonga, CA

According to James Trager (BugGuide.net) this species belongs to the genus Myrmecocystus. The long maxillary palps are characteristic of that genus. It was found in a gravelly field in Cucamonga, California not far from the nest of a California harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex californicus). It has an acidopore and the body length (excluding antennae) is about 5 mm long. Using the Antwiki Key To Myrmecocystus Species, it appears to match the southern California species M. creightoni; however, I am not 100% certain. The closely related M. lugubris has more erect hairs on thorax, but is otherwise very similar.

Key To Species Of Myrmecocystus
Myrmecocystus Near The Salton Sea
  Myrmecocystus Near Holbrook, Arizona