This species is common at Austin about the electric lights during the spring and summer months (Wheeler 1908). Males have been collected from April to August inclusive, most of them having been taken during June. They are apparently among the earliest males of Eciton to appear (Smith 1942).
This common small species can be confused with no other United States species. The long flexuous hairs on the body of this ant readily distinguish it from our other Neivamyrmex. Throughout its range from the southern United States to South America this ant is morphologically quite uniform. (Snelling and Snelling 2007)
United States: Louisiana and Oklahoma west to Texas; Mexico: Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí south to Chiapas and Yucatán; South America. (Snelling and Snelling 2007)
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
Known only from males.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- melshaemeri. Labidus melshaemeri Haldeman, 1852: 368, pl. 9, figs. 7-9 (m.) U.S.A. Combination in Eciton (Labidus): Mayr, 1886d: 442; in E. (Acamatus): Emery, 1900a: 187; in E. (Neivamyrmex): Smith, M.R. 1942c: 576; in Neivamyrmex: Borgmeier, 1953: 8. See also: Borgmeier, 1955: 647; Snelling, G.C. & Snelling, R.R., 2007: 479.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Smith (1942) - Length 7 mm.
Head approximately one and six-tenths times as broad as long. Eye prominent, convex, protuberant. Ocelli large; ocellar protuberance concave at summit, inner border of eye and lateral ocellus almost touching each other. Frontal carinae sharply margined, subparallel, with distinct groove between them up to point where each converges outwardly toward eye, thus forming a prominent ridge above each antennal socket. Antennal scape robust, short, approximately as long as combined length of first 3 funicular segments; second funicular segment unusually short, third through fifth distinctly broader than any succeeding segments. A pair of short, stubby, toothlike projections posterior to clypeus, these not evident on all individuals. Mandible rather long, slender, curved, tapering from base toward apex, where it ends in a very acute point. Posterior corner of head strongly projecting between lateral ocellus and inner border of eye, but not so well developed as in fuscipennis. From above, posterior corners of head projecting behind and also dorsolaterad of eye, thus giving head an extended appearance. In profile, vertex and posterior corner of head well extended dorsally above superior border of eye. Eye nearly touching base of mandible, occupying all of side of head except for large, protuberant, ridge-shaped corner posterodorsad of eye. Region of head posterior to ocelli, in profile, flattened or feebly concave; occiput without a perceptible flange. Thorax, in profile, distinctly longer than high, not projecting perceptibly above head. Anterior median and parapsidal lines often indistinct or missing, the former most easily seen. Epinotum, in profile, subtruncate. Tarsal claws faintly toothed. Petiole, in profile, flattened or feebly convex beneath. Gaster elongate, slender, compressed, with distinct constrictions between segments. Intermediate tooth on apex of seventh gastric sternum small and indistinct, the lateral teeth acute. In profile, apex of paramere truncate, ventral border of apex convex, and dorsal border of apex excised.
Body rather shining in spite of the unusually long and fairly dense hairs covering it. Punctures on side of thorax sparse, but visible in some lights.
Hairs yellowish, long, suberect; less appressed on head, thorax, petiole, and ventral surface of gaster; unusually long near apex of gaster.
Yellowish brown to darker brown with the head usually, and the thorax occasionally, darker than remainder of body. Wings dusky grayish or dusky yellowish, with light-brown veim and distinct dark stigma.
Smith (1942) - Fort Gates, Coryell County, Tex., Lieut. Horace Haldeman. Type apparently lost. The type locality of this species has been incorrectly cited by many formicologists as Fort Gates, Utah, because melsheimeri was described by Prof. S. S. Haldeman in the report of Stansbury's Expedition to the Great Salt Lake (Haldeman, 1852). Since not all the insects mentioned or described in this report were collected in Utah, and as melsheimeri is common in Texas (no one has ever reported it from Utah), I believe the Fort Gates referred to is unquestionably that in Coryell County, Tex. What applies to the type locality of melsheimeri also applies to the type locality of Neivamyrmex harrisii.
- Borgmeier, T. 1953. Vorarbeiten zu einer Revision der neotropischen Wanderameisen. Stud. Entomol. 2: 1-51 (page 8, Combination in Nievamyrmex)
- Borgmeier, T. 1955. Die Wanderameisen der neotropischen Region. Stud. Entomol. 3: 1-720 (page 647, see also)
- Emery, C. 1900e. Nuovi studi sul genere Eciton. Mem. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna (5)8:173-188 (page 187, Combination in E. (Acamatus))
- Haldeman, S. S. 1852. Appendix C. - Insects. Pp. 366-378 in: Stansbury, H. An expedition to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah; including a description of its geography, natural history, and minerals, and an analysis of its waters. London: Sampson Low, Son & Co., 487 pp. (page 368, pl. 9, figs. 7-9 male described)
- Mayr, G. 1886d. Die Formiciden der Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 36: 419-464 (page 442, Combination in Eciton (Labidus))
- Smith, M. R. 1942c. The legionary ants of the United States belonging to Eciton subgenus Neivamyrmex Borgmeier. Am. Midl. Nat. 27: 537-590 (page 576, Combination in E. (Neivamyrmex))
- Snelling, G. C.; Snelling, R. R. 2007. New synonymy, new species, new keys to Neivamyrmex army ants of the United States. In Snelling, R. R., B. L. Fisher, and P. S. Ward (eds). Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): homage to E. O. Wilson - 50 years of contributions. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80:459-550. PDF