Description: 3/8″ (8-10 mm), depending on caste. Reddish black with 2 sharp diverging spines on rear of thorax, 1-segmented “waist” (pedicel) between thorax and abdomen.
- Food Small insects.
- Life Cycle Queen excavates brood chamber in soil and lays a few eggs. Queen regurgitates food to larvae until they can spin cocoons and transform to adults. Then workers hunt for food, expand galleries, feed queen, and tend eggs and young.
- Habitat Arid plateaus at elevations of 2,690-5,380′ (820-1,640 m).
- Range Texas to California, south to Mexico.
- Discussion The sharp spines on these ants may be nature’s way of protecting their narrow “waist,” or pedicel, from attackers. Formerly included in the genus Novomessor.