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Tunneling responses of the Western Harvester Ant Pogonomyrmex in various soil coarseness David Brown Darren Butler Jeremy Hawkes and Heather Marsh Department of Zoology Brigham Young University Provo UTAH 84604 Abstract Western Harvester ants abide primarily in the deserts west of the Mississippi River and can be found in spots of mounding soil and extensive tunneling Gordon 1995 The specificity of this species habitat location suggests that the ants have precise adaptations to certain environmental conditions such as temperature humidity food availability predators and soil type By controlling these factors but varying soil type it appears that the ants are best adapted to the more coarse soil With a higher tunneling volume and rate the ants are most efficient in coarser soil which must be one of the required elements that bring these ants to their current habitat Introduction Harvester ants are large ants of the pogonomyrmex species Crist 1999 They can be up to inch in length and will be seen crawling on cleared areas of ground around the home They may be seen going in and out of craters or large holes in the ground which are surrounded by cleared areas from 3 to 35 feet in diameter Johnson 2000 Western Harvester ants make a small mound on top but then tunnel up to
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