Sequoia NP June 2019 (Part 9)

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Sequoia National Park Road Trip June 2019 (Part 9)

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Ant Species Encountered On This Trip

Ants In Vicinity Of Wuksachi Lodge

Carpenter Ant (Camponotus)

Although they don't actually eat the wood like termites, carpenter ant excavations can destroy the structural integrity of wood frame houses.

A large carpenter ant (Camponotus sp.) major worker on my pillow.

A carpenter ant wingless queen (Camponotus sp.) that I quickly released.

Carpenter ant major worker who attended Zach & Sarah's wedding in Truckee!

Field Ant (Formica--Fusca Group)

Field ants (Formica--Fusca Group) near Wuksachi parking area.

Field ant nests (Formica--Fusca Group) near Wuksachi parking area.

Red Field Ant (Formica--Rufa Group)

Field ant (Formica--Rufa Group) near Wuksachi parking area. It is very similar to Formica oreas near Truckee, in the Sierra Nevada north of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.

  Red Formica Ants At Truckee Similar To Ones At Wuksachi Lodge  

Odorous House Ant (Tapinoma sessile)

Little black ant Tapinoma sessile: This species is also called "odorous house ant" because crushed ants give off a blue cheese odor and it commonly invades houses. Workers are 2.0 - 3.0 mm long, about the same length as Argentine ants (Linepithema humile). This is actually a native ant species with a widespread distribution in North America from coastal to mountain regions. When I first noticed it on the trail to Wuksachi Lodge, I thought is was a species of Brachymyrmex; however, 12 antennal segments clearly separates it from Brachymyrmex that only has 9 segments. Number of antennal segments and shape of "anal" orifice (circular or slit-shaped) is difficult to determine with a hand lens. I am reasonably certain this ant species was in our bed at the Best Western in Tehachapi on our way home!

Along Steep Switchbacks On Narrow Road To Park Entrance I Found
Some Of The Same Species As Owens Peak In San Diego County

Black Harvester Ant (Veromessor andrei)

Black harvester ant (Veromessor andrei) at Buckeye Flats: After giving the colony fig bars and cashews (which they seemed to enjoy), they still went ahead and bit the hand that fed them. One crawled up to my neck and bit me. This actually made me happy because I could readily verify that it wasn't a red harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex) that have a potent sting that can last for hours. Other roadside ants included odorous house ants (Tapinoma), big-headed ants (Pheidole), and pyramid ants (Dorymyrmex). In fact, most of them are also found on Owens Peak and the Wayne's Word residence in Twin Oaks Valley. [Note: Image taken on Owens Peak definitely not as painful as neck-biting harvester ants at Buckeye Flats!]

Native Fire Ant (Solenopsis xyloni)

Native fire ant (Solenopsis xyloni) in Three Rivers: This attractive little ant can bite and sting.

  Ants On Owens Peak, San Diego County  

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