Unlike many other Pogo
species, a majority of the P. salinus
ants we encounter are very docile, and tolerate our presence with no signs of defensive behavior (usually ignoring us completely). Occasionally, however, we come across a colony populated by extremely pugnacious workers. On our first visit to this gigantic nest (July 2008) I was unable to approach the entrance, due to the many angry defenders. On the second visit (one year later - when this image was captured), we arrived when the temperature was still too low for the ants to be active, and waited for the first to emerge...
This worker was one of the first to come out. She stood in the sun just outside the entrance, and attempted to menace us with a feeble opening and closing of the mandibles
(note the worn, blunt 'teeth'). At 11°C / 52°F, the air temperature was still too low for vigorous activity, though the rocky surface where this ant stood had already reached a surface temperature of approx. 20°C / 69°F. Facing east, this nest is constructed around large rocks which act as solar collectors - allowing its inhabitants to become active well before those of any other nest in the immediate vicinity that we have observed. Within an hour, many workers were active and becoming agitated, so I retreated.