Pogonomyrmex californicus
Mojave National Preserve, California, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2004

The name Pogonomyrmex means "bearded ant".   The name refers to the long hairs on the underside of the head of most harvester ants.  These hairs form a structure called a psammophore used for digging in sandy soils.  Psammophores are a common morphological feature of many different types of desert ants.

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, using a Canon 65/2.8 MPE 1-5x Macro lens.