[IMAGE 3 of 4] Spring is a busy time for Pogonomyrmex salinus workers
. While some colony members forage, or conduct maintenance on the nest below, others engage in the removal of plants
that have sprung up on, or too close to the nest mound. Even with their powerful mandibles
, these ants struggle to cut through tough plant stems, and leaves. This series of images was captured on our first outing of 2010, in Washington state. A dozen or so workers from a small nest were busy cutting down cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum
) growing on, and around the edges of the nest mound [see additional images » ]
. One worker was seen attempting to drag a bunch of fallen spikelets, possibly back to the nest - though it was unclear, as she was making no progress, and soon abandoned the effort.