Instead we were supposed to pay attention to other things... like this desert lichen.
Aphaenogaster cockerelli and Aphaenogaster albisetosa are two very similar species. A. cockerelli have curved spines, while A. albisetosa have more erect spines. They are otherwise very similar looking and can have multiple color patterns depending on where the population was found.
So upon finding the one we were immediately told to catch it... and I replied "Aren't the little ones deadly?"
The response I got wasn't all that encouraging but I'm under the impression that it's like a bee sting. You have to be allergic to the venom for it to be serious. There is the Bark Scorpion is another story but they weren't reported in the area.