|Long-Legged Ant (Aphaenogaster cockerelli)|
DESCRIPTION: L=0.33" (8.5mm). Overall reddish brown to reddish black in color, slender, with very long legs and antennae.
NATURAL HISTORY: Feed mostly on insects that they bring back to their large nests. These ants have been seen plugging the nest holes of the Red Harvester Ant (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) to reduce competition. As in most ants, long-legged ants are social with a queen that lays eggs and female workers that forage and tend the eggs, larvae, queen, and nest. Occasionally, reproductive males and females are produced (most commonly after a summer rain), and they fly out of the nest to mate, after which the males die and the females form new colonies of their own. The queens mate once, often with more than one male, and then store the sperm the rest of their life (10-20 years). See Dale Ward's Ant's of Arizona website for more information and photos.