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This field ant is about 5mm long and dull red with a slightly darker abdomen. There are five species living in the eastern US and I think this may be Formica dolosa, but am not sure.
Dry sandy area next to a wetland. These are common ants living in many different habitats
I drove to Crex Meadows yesterday, one of my favorite wildlife/birding/photography spots in the Midwest. There was a storm moving in later in the day and I thought there would be a good chance of a great sunset and cloud photos. No such luck as heavy overcast moved in first creating dull light for wildlife photography and nothing much for sunset, so I started looking for macro subject on which I could use flash. This field ant was a perfect subject. I also need to find out what insect larvae it was tending in the second photo. In the first photo, I moved too quickly and the ant raised up in alarm or defense. A second later it tucked itself in the blossoms. It stayed there for about 15 seconds and then ventured back out to tend to the larvae.