Collected these two queens on El Mirage Dry Lake, and I suspect they are Veromessor Pergandei. Would somebody mind helping me check if that seems accurate?
On the periphery of El Mirage Dry Lake bed, around 12pm on April 2nd, 2022, while performing model rocket launches with a high school rocketry team, I noticed these large, black ants that kept trying to hide under our plastic supply bins and by the car tires. I saw a total of about 8, all were wingless except one. I collected the alate and one dealate to bring home. They were walking on the dry lake bed, in mostly featureless, flat areas, seeming to look for cover to hide under.
Length seems to be around 9mm, based on the images I captured of them sitting on the 1cm square grid on my workbench.
Whole body is shiny black, with lots of fine, white hairs in a line along the segments of the gaster.