|M. pergandei worker from the United States|
Messor pergandei is a species of harvester ant native to the Southwestern United States, especially the deserts of southeastern California. It has also been identified in the Baja California peninsula of Mexico. It was first described by Gustav Mayr, who named it Aphaenogaster pergandei. It has also been referred to as Veromessor pergandei when classified in the Veromessor genus (a junior synonym of Messor). It can also be referred to as a black harvester ant or desert harvester ant, although these common names have also been applied to other species.
Messor pergandei has a head of equal length and width, with very large mandibles. It has short white or yellow hair and a large thorax. Males typically measure about 8.5 millimeters (0.33 in) and females about 10 millimeters (0.39 in). However, individual size can vary based on factors such as availability of food and interspecific competition.
Messor pergandei forms populous, long-lived colonies with an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 workers. Its nests have been estimated to span 15.5 m in underground diameter, and extending to a depth of 4 m. Nests have conspicuous crater entrances (usually 2–3 per nest), which are surrounded by chaff (refuse) piles. Mating flights in this species occur primarily in February when temperatures reach approximately 22 °C.
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- Mayr, Gustav (1886). "Die Formiciden der Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika". Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft (in German) (Vienna) 36: 419–464. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
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- "Black Harvester Ant". Orkin. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
- Davidson, Diane W. (1978). "Size variability in the worker caste of a social insect (veromessor pergandei mayr) as a function of the competitive environment". The American Naturalist 112 (985): 523–532. doi:10.1086/283294. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
- Wissinger, Benjamin D. (2012). Perennial shrub and harvester ant responses to environmental gradients in southern California deserts (Thesis). University of Idaho. OCLC 823874661.
- Uppstrom & Klompen 2011, p. 1
- Uppstrom, K. A.; Klompen, H. (2011), "Mites (Acari) Associated with the Desert Seed Harvester Ant, Messor pergandei (Mayr)", Psyche: A Journal of Entomology 2011: 1–7, doi:10.1155/2011/974646
- This article incorporates text from a scholarly publication published under a copyright license that allows anyone to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the materials in any form for any purpose: Uppstrom, K. A.; Klompen, H. (2011), "Mites (Acari) Associated with the Desert Seed Harvester Ant, Messor pergandei (Mayr)", Psyche: A Journal of Entomology 2011: 1–7, doi:10.1155/2011/974646 Please check the source for the exact licensing terms.
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