Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2014)
Eciton californicum subsp. opacithorax
U.S.A. Nearctic. AntCat AntWiki
collected from the Chiricahua Mtns, Cochise Co.
Open, upland forest and woodlands, savannas, prairies, also parks and spacious campuses.
Natural History: Also relatively common and well-known, the habits of N. opacithorax are quite similar to those of N. nigrescens. Males are bicolored, black with a reddish-brown gaster, and may be seen flying on calm, cool, sunny, late summer or early fall days.
Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)
Ward, P. S., 2005:
Snelling, G. C., 2007:
Figures 108, 109, 120, 134, 145
Eciton (Acamatus) californicum subsp. opacithorax Emery , 1894: 184 (w, in key).U. S. A. , Missouri , Doniphan ( MHNG ). Emery, 1895 b: 259. Pergande, 1895: 874. Forel, 1899: 28 .
Eciton (Acamatus) opacithorax : Emery, 1900 a: 524; Emery, 1910: 25. Wheeler & Long, 1901: 163, 173 (w, q). Wheeler, 1908 b: 411 (m). M. R. Smith, 1924: 84. Mallis, 1941: 62.
Eciton (Acamatus) carolinense : Wheeler, 1921: 314 (q). Misidentification
Eciton (Neivamyrmex) opacithorax : M. R. Smith, 1932: 555 (w, q, m). M. R. Smith, 1951 [in Muesebeck, et al.]: 781. Buren, 1944: 180. Creighton, 1950: 74.
Eciton (Acamatus) opacithorax var. castaneum Borgmeier , 1939 a: 416 (w).COSTA RICA , San Jose ( MCSN ) .
Eciton (Acamatus) californicum : Mallis, 1941: 62 (w). Misidentification
Eciton (Neivamyrmex) californicum : M. R. Smith, 1942: 560 (w). Misidentification
Eciton (Neivamyrmex) opacithorax subsp. castaneum : Borgmeier, 1948: 191 (w, q m). COSTA RICA, San Jose.
Neivamyrmex opacithorax : Borgmeier, 1953: 6. Watkins, 1972: 349; Watkins, 1976: 16, 22. Watkins, 1985: 482, 484.
DISTRIBUTION (Map 10)
UNITED STATES: Virginia and Tennessee, south to Florida, west to California; MEXICO (Baja California, Jalisco); GUATEMALA; COSTA RICA. SPECIMENS EXAMINED
We have 51 records from within the United States.
Although N. opacithorax is a widespread species it is not as commonly encountered as other members of the N. nigrescens group. Within the group it is readily recognized by the distinctively shaped mandible and the shiny head. It is presumably a raider on other ant species. Workers of this species were discovered during the processing of a number twig cuttings which contained a colony of Pseudomyrmex championi (Forel) in Guatemala. It is unknown if the Neivamyrmex were actively entering the colony while it was intact or if the raiding began as the twigs were cut and collected for processing (P. S. Ward, pers. comm.).
Automontage images of N. opacithorax may be viewed at antweb. org.
Specimen Habitat Summary
Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in road edge in mesophyl forest, 2 times found in 2º wet forest, 1 times found in grazed creosote desert, 1 times found in oak pine juniper woodland, 2 times found in swamp forest, 1 times found in pine-oak forest, 1 times found in Quercus-Pinus-Psudotsuga forest, 1 times found in in mature sand pine forest, 1 times found in Larrea desert, 1 times found in oak-pine-juniper forest, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 4 times search, 2 times Baiting, 1 times Search, subterranean raid, 1 times general collecting, 1 times Malaise trap
Elevations: collected from 6 - 1960 meters, 1206 meters average
Type specimens: syntype of Eciton californicum opacithorax: casent0903735
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