Aphaenogaster texana Wheeler, W.M., 1915,

Shattuck, Steve & Cover, Stefan, 2016, Taxonomy of some little-understood North American ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Zootaxa 4175 (1), pp. 10-22: 14

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Aphaenogaster texana Wheeler, W.M., 1915


Aphaenogaster texana Wheeler, W.M., 1915 

Aphaenogaster texana Wheeler, W.M. 1915: 412  . 2 worker syntypes, Texas (specific locality not given) (probably Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa, not seen). 

Aphaenogaster huachucana crinimera Cole, 1953: 82  . Holotype and paratype workers, queens, males, campground area at Bandelier National Monument [35°48′N 106°17′W], New Mexico, 6050ft., 30 July 1952 (A.C. Cole) (Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Museum of Comparative Zoology) [http:// mczbase.mcz.harvard.edu/guid/ MCZ: Ent:29078]GoogleMaps  ; paratype workers, queens, males, 5 mi. south Mescalero (as Mescalera ) [33°07′N 105°43′W], New Mexico, 6950ft., 19 August 1952 (A.C. Cole) (Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, National Museum of Natural History, Museum of Comparative Zoology, collections of W.F. Buren, W.S. Creighton, R.E. Gregg, M. Talbot, G.C. Wheeler, E.O. Wilson). New synonym.GoogleMaps 

Aphaenogaster huachucana crinimera  was established by Cole (1953) based on a series of nests collected at two high-elevation sites in New Mexico. He stated that his new subspecies was apparently very closely related to A. huachucana  but differed in having more prominent sculpturing, sharper and longer propodeal spines, more hairy legs and considerably darker body color. It is puzzling that Cole chose to associate his new subspecies with A. huachucana  . The differences cited by Cole between A. huachucana  and A. crinimera  are real, but Cole overlooked the most important difference of all: A. crinimera  lacks the prominent lobe at the base of the antennal scape that separates A. huachucana  from all other North American congeners. In all other respects, A. crinimera  is, frankly, inseparable from A. texana  , the sole member of the Aphaenogaster rudis  complex present throughout much of Arizona and New Mexico. Recent collections of A. texana  show that the species varies in color from dark brown to reddish or yellowish brown, but is morphologically consistent across its range. The A. crinimera  types are typical A. texana  from a population on the darker side of the color spectrum. Because of this we consider A. crinimera  to be a junior synonym of A. texana  .

A. texana  is found from Arkansas west through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, and south into northern Mexico  . Western populations typically occur in middle elevation mesic oak-pine forests. The ant is especially common in protected canyon slope and bottom forests that are not subject to flooding. Nests are in soil and litter and are most commonly found under rocks in dappled to moderate shade. 


Museum of Comparative Zoology














Aphaenogaster texana Wheeler, W.M., 1915

Shattuck, Steve & Cover, Stefan 2016

Aphaenogaster texana

Wheeler 1915: 412

Aphaenogaster huachucana crinimera

Cole 1953: 82