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Species: Eciton mexicanum   Roger, 1863 

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Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Extant: 5 valid subspecies

Eciton mexicana Roger, 1863a PDF: 205 (w.) MEXICO. Neotropic. Primary type information: Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated). Type-locality: Mexico: (no further data). Type-depository: MNHU. Type notes: Locality provided by Borgmeier, 1955 PDF: 257, Mexico: Chiapas, Escuintla, 3-4.iv.1945 (Schneirla), is not based on type-material and is not the type-locality. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Senior synonym of Eciton rogeri: Borgmeier, 1955 PDF: 250; Kempf, 1972b PDF: 103; Bolton, 1995b: 185.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Mexico (type locality) to northern Argentina. Costa Rica: throughout.


Natural History:

This species can be found in dry forest or wet forest, from sea level to montane areas.

Raiding is always in columns, never in a carpet like E. burchellii. Many of the raiding columns I have observed have been at night, showing a tendency to be nocturnal, but I also encounter columns during the day. The few times I have encountered prey they have been large ponerines in the genera Ectatomma and Pachycondyla.


Borgmeier (1955) described a subspecies panamense from central Panama, based on workers and queen. He differentiated panamense from mexicanum s. str. as follows (my translation): "The soldier differs from mexicanum s. str. by the shorter scapes (1.84mm), shorter funiculus, shorter mandible (3mm) and smaller postpetiole (0.56mm broad posteriorly), and by a well developed anteroventral petiolar tooth (also present on the available minor workers, while it is missing or very short on the workers of mexicanum s. str.)." His key to the queens differentiated the forms as follows:

Petiolar horns with approximately parallel sides, dorsal longitudinal sulcus broad and deep: mexicanum s. str.

Petiolar horns tapered posteriorly, dorsal longitudinal sulcus narrow and shallow: panamense

The degree of development of the anteroventral petiolar tooth is highly variable among the Costa Rica material I have examined, from nearly absent to well developed. I consider panamense a junior synonym of mexicanum until evidence to the contrary.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55

mexicanum RogerHNS 1863a.

Central, “Paraguay” (s. loc.) (MCSN, MHNG, MZSP, NHMB, NHMW). Literature records: Cordillera, “Paraguay” (s. loc.) (Borgmeier 1939, Emery 1894a, Forel 1911a).

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 10 times found in wet forest, 1 times found in lowland tropical rain forest, 4 times found in moist forest, 6 times found in rainforest, 4 times found in cloud forest, 2 times found in mature wet forest, 1 times found in forest, 2 times found in montane wet forest, 1 times found in road in montane wet forest, 2 times found in tropical rainforest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 8 times column on ground, 5 times column, 1 times foraging column, 2 times column on trail at night, 3 times column on road, 2 times nocturnal column, 2 times ex sifted leaf litter, 2 times at night; ground foragers, 1 times column at night, 1 times army ant column, 1 times nocturnal, column on ground, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 29 times search, 1 times hand collecting, 6 times Red de golpeo, 3 times direct collection, 1 times miniWinkler, 2 times observation, 1 times Winkler, 1 times blacklight, 1 times MaxiWinkler, carrion baited times PF, 1 times Pitfall48h, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1780 meters, 550 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1965-08-03 00:00:00.0 and 2023-01-16 00:00:00.0

Type specimens:

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