Messor pergandei
Afton Canyon, San Bernadino Co., California

photograph © Alex Wild 2004

A harvester ant worker stands guard over her nest entrance on the desert floor.  The long hairs on the bottom of the head form a structure called a psammophore, used for digging in the desert sand. 

This image is copyrighted by the photographer and cannot be used without permission. To obtain permission to use this image, please email Alex Wild. (alwild (at)  Most of the photographs on are reduced from their original size and compressed for more efficient web transmission.  In some cases, higher quality versions are available.

This image was captured with a Canon EOS D60, with a Canon 65/2.8 MPE 1-5x Macro lens.