Red harvester ants are very large ants. When winged specimens come flying around, people pay attention. Scientists call the winged ants alates. Since they come out of their nest in large numbers, many people call them swarmers.
The winged ants only have one purpose. They leave their nest to find a mate from another colony. After they are inseminated, the females will start new colonies. These inseminated female ants will be the queens in the new colonies.
The rough harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex rugosus (Emery) is common in the western United States. In their book, “Journey to the Ants”, Wilson and H