Despite not being recognized by the Parks and associated Friends of the Southwest Nature Preserve in Arlington, Texas (And I have brought this to their attention), the Comanche harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex comanche) is an important part of the ecology of the Glen Rose Yucca Prairie.
There are about 60 colonies in this 4.43 ha meadow.Comanche is generalist seed predator and when the Yucca are releasing their seeds, the ants are harvesting them. I have seen some colonies with all foragers bringing Yucca seeds. So, the ants have the potential to impact the Yucca population.
Here is a Comanche nest in the Yucca Meadow: typically a cone shape with a central entrance — the soil is sandy.
There are many grass and forb plants which have seeds Comanche will forage. Here a forager is bringing back a snake cotton seed. Because of the many hairs on this seed, Comanche appears to use it like Velcro and sometimes collects other seeds with these hairs, thus bringing back more than one seed.
Note the spread of her jaws or mandibles and how she has curled her body around toward the seed.
There are several Comanche nests in the trails at the Southwest Preserve as well. Some of these are quite a distance from the Yucca Meadow.
The above nest is near the meadow.
The above nest is in a trail far away from the Yucca meadow. None of the trail nests have as distinctive a crater form.
Finally, there is at least one Barbatus harvester ant colony in a trail at the Southwest Nature Preserve, not far from the Yucca Meadow. This colony has moved it locations a few times over the past 5 years.