Pheidole xerophila - big-headed harvester ant
Arizona, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2008

Seed-harvesting ants in the genus Pheidole have two distinct worker castes.  The small, slender minor workers are efficient at foraging for the seeds that feed the colony. The large-headed majors have powerful seed-crushing mandibles for processing the incoming food.  This species, Pheidole xerophila, is a common ant in urban Tucson.

USA AZ Pima Co.: Tucson
32º14.24'N 110º56.44'W 750m. iii.2008
Urban lot, ants harvesting grass seeds.

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 20D, using a Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens.