Mound Building Ant
Genus Formica (rufa group)

formica mound-building ants
I was a little freaked out when I came across a huge thatch-like mound of red and black ants in the
Dam wetlands, Wasatch County, Utah.  I thought from their appearance that they
 were carpenter ants but they were mound-building formica ants  © Carol Davis 5-20-2012

hordes of ants
I found out from Bugguide that these newly-hatched, winged females who are jockeying
for position on some tall grass, launch themselves into the surrounding wetlands to start
a nest of their own by taking over a smaller colony of ants. Apparently very few of
 the queen wannabes survive.  © Carol Davis 5-20-2012

mound of ants
The ants in this photo made the mound below the climbing females seem to come alive. I've never seen so
many ants in one place in my life.  I kept my distance while try to photograph these since I didn't care to
have ants climbing up my legs.  This is only a small section of the actual mound. © Carol Davis 5-20-2012

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