Neivamyrmex fuscipennis (M. R. Smith),

Snelling, G. C. & Snelling, R. R., 2007, New synonymy, new species, new keys to Neivamyrmex army ants of the United States., Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Homage to E. O. Wilson - 50 years of contributions. (Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80), pp. 459-550: 469-470

publication ID


persistent identifier

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scientific name

Neivamyrmex fuscipennis (M. R. Smith)


Neivamyrmex fuscipennis (M. R. Smith)  HNS 

Figure 114

Eciton (Acamatus) spoliator  HNS  : Wheeler, 1908: 416 - 417 (m). Misidentification “ Acamatus fuscipennis Cresson  HNS  ”: Wheeler, 1908: 417 (m). Nomen nudum.

Eciton (Neivamyrmex) fuscipennis M. R. Smith  HNS  , 1942: 578 (m). USA: Texas ( Belfrage ) ( USNM) examined  .

Neivamyrmex fuscipennis  HNS  : Borgmeier, 1953: 18. Borgmeier, 1955: 642. Watkins, 1975: 85 - 90.

Neivamyrmex macropterus Borgmeier  HNS  , 1953: 40 (m). MEXICO, Durango, Lerdo ( USNM). Borgmeier   , 1955: 645 - 646 (m). Watkins, 1975: 85 - 90. NEW SYNONYMY.


UNITED STATES: Texas and Kansas, west to Arizona, south to Mexico (Morelos and San Luis Potosi).


UNITED STATES, ARIZONA, Cochise Co.: SWRS. 5 mi. W. Portal , 5400 ' ( LACM, UNAR, USNM)  ; Herb Martyr Dam , Chiricahua Mtns . ( UNAR.); near Portal ( SEMC)  . Santa Cruz Co.: Madera Canyon , 4880 ' ( LACM)  . KANSAS Stevens Co.: Hugoton ( SEMC)  . TEXAS, Jeff Davis Co.: Ft. Davis Resort , 5800 ' ( LACM)  . Presidio Co.: 40 mi. ESE Presidio , at UV light ( UNAR)  . Rusk Co.: Henderson ( TAMU)  .

MEXICO, MORELOS: 10 mi N Cuernavaca ( UCDC)  .


As Creighton (1950) had pointed out, the authorship of this species has been confused. Wheeler (1908) recorded two male specimens from an unspecified locality in Texas as Eciton (Acamatus) spoliator Forel  HNS  , 1899, a species originally described from Costa Rica. He provided a translation of Forel's species and a figure that was clearly based on one of the Texas males. Wheeler further noted that the specimens bore an unpublished Cresson name, Acamatus  HNS  fuscipennis  HNS  .

M. R. Smith (1942) correctly recognized that the Texas specimens were not the same as Forel's species and redescribed the two males as Eciton (Neivamyrmex) fuscipennis  HNS  , attributing the species authorship to Wheeler (1908). Subsequent authors have followed Smith's lead in awarding authorship to Wheeler. D. R. Smith (1979), however, determined that the correct author for N. fuscipennis  HNS  should be M. R. Smith, 1942. Watkins (1975) concurred and selected one of the Texas males as lectotype.

Borgmeier (1953, 1955) noted the similarities between his new species, N. macropterus  HNS  , described from Mexico, and N. fuscipennis  HNS  , but cited relatively larger ocelli and wings as distinguishing features for N. macropterus  HNS  . Watkins (1975) took up the matter and, after examining more than 50 males from 9 localities found that the differences in eye length and wing length cited by Borgmeier were unreliable. He did conclude that, in N. fuscipennis  HNS  the distance between the lateral ocellus and the margin of the compound eye was slightly greater than in N. macropterus  HNS  . He further noted that this difference could be determined in many specimens only by careful, precise measurements. His final determination was that the two species are so closely related that they could not be reliably separated, especially in specimens from intermediate localities.

According to Watkins (1985) in N. fuscipennis  HNS  the “ distance from the lateral ocellus to the compound eye was usually about one-half diameter of median ocellus ” vs. “ about one-fourth (or less) ” in N. macropterus  HNS  . We have found that when males are so positioned that the appropriate measurements of anterior ocellus and of the distance between the compound eye and the nearest lateral ocellus are uniform these differences between the two supposed taxa disappear. Accordingly we here treat N. macropterus  HNS  as a synonym of N. fuscipennis  HNS  .


USA, Washington D.C., National Museum of Natural History, [formerly, United States National Museum]


USA, Washington D.C., National Museum of Natural History, [formerly, United States National Museum]


USA, Arizona, Portal, Southwestern Research Station


USA, California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History


USA, Kansas, Lawrence, University of Kansas, Snow Entomological Museum


USA, Texas, College Station, Texas A & M University


USA, California, Davis, University of California, R.M. Bohart Museum of Entomology


USA, California, Davis, University of California, R.M. Bohart Museum of Entomology