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DISTRIBUTION (Map 3)
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 ForelHNS, 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 Wheeler further noted that the specimens bore an unpublished Cresson name, AcamatusHNS fuscipennisHNS.
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) fuscipennisHNS, 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. fuscipennisHNS 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. macropterusHNS, described from Mexico, and N. fuscipennisHNS, but cited relatively larger ocelli and wings as distinguishing features for N. macropterusHNS. 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. fuscipennisHNS the distance between the lateral ocellus and the margin of the compound eye was slightly greater than in N. macropterusHNS. 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. fuscipennisHNS 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. macropterusHNS. 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. macropterusHNS as a synonym of N. fuscipennisHNS.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in limestone ridge, Ocotillo, Acacia, Opuntia, 1 times found in oak-pine forest, 1 times found in ocotillo-acacia rocky slope.
Collected most commonly using these methods: 1 times search, 1 times alates flying.
Elevations: collected from 1480 - 1768 meters, 1579 meters average
Type specimens: paralectotype: casent0103461