They may be springtails, since their is a species of brown, myrmecophylic spingtail that lives with them in their nests and feeds upon their garbage / waste.
I've seen the springtails, they look quite different than the mites. One of them lives in my Tetramorium colony
I know what you're referring to! They are definitely mites. Absolutely for sure. They're dark red and shiny and I've only ever noticed them casually walking around with the ants. Interestingly, I notice that they travel with the ants when two colonies go to war with one another. I think they're travelling to a new nest for reasons (like new food source, mates, etc).
That's what they are!
Also, AntsMaryland, my macro lens is still not here yet. PLEASE be patient.
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