A Temnothorax rugatulus ant worker. (Photo credit: Michele Lanan)
Me taking a picture of a Temnothorax
ant colony I just found underneath a rock, one of their favorite living spots.
My collection site on Mount Lemmon in Tucson, AZ (see map below). The ants I study, brown rock ants (Temnothorax rugatulus), live on this mountain at about 2100 m
An upturned rock showing a small Temnothorax colony. Some workers are on the ground and some are still stuck on the underside of the rock. If you look closely at the pine needles underneath the rock you can see the little round wall they built out of dirt.
Enlarged image of the Temnothorax colony showing only the portion stuck to the underside of the rock. The queen is the big ant in the middle. Each worker is about 2-3 mm in length (in other words, very small!)