Neivamyrmex swainsonii

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Neivamyrmex swainsonii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Neivamyrmex
Species: N. swainsonii
Binomial name
Neivamyrmex swainsonii
(Shuckard, 1840)

Neivamyrmex swainsonii casent0104748 profile 1.jpg

Neivamyrmex swainsonii casent0104748 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label


Due to its large size and relative abundance N. swainsonii is easily one of North America’s most conspicuous army ants.


Keys including this Species


United States: Kansas, Louisiana and Texas, west to California; Mexico: border states south to Chiapas and Yucatán; south to Argentina.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States.
Neotropical Region: Argentina, Brazil (type locality), Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb







The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • swainsonii. Labidus swainsonii Shuckard, 1840a: 201 (m.) BRAZIL. Combination in Eciton: Forel, 1895b: 121; in E. (Acamatus): Emery, 1900a: 187; in E. (Neivamyrmex): Borgmeier, 1948b: 462; in Neivamyrmex: Borgmeier, 1953: 15. Senior synonym of arizonense: Borgmeier, 1955: 454; of fallax, mexicanus: Snelling, G.C. & Snelling, R.R., 2007: 490. .
  • mexicanus. Labidus mexicanus Smith, F. 1859b: 7 (m.) MEXICO. Forel, 1899c: 27 (w.); Reichensperger, 1939: 297 (q.). Combination in Eciton: Dalla Torre, 1893: 4; in E. (Labidus): Emery, 1895c: 260; in E. (Acamatus): Emery, 1900a: 187; in E. (Neivamyrmex): Smith, M.R. 1942c: 544; in Neivamyrmex: Borgmeier, 1953: 8. Subspecies of pilosus: Borgmeier, 1936: 59. Junior synonym of pilosus: Smith, M.R. 1942c: 544. Revived from synonymy as subspecies of pilosus: Borgmeier, 1953: 14; Borgmeier, 1955: 361. Senior synonym of clavicornis: Mayr, 1886b: 120; of subsulcatum: Dalla Torre, 1893: 4; of aztecum: Borgmeier, 1936: 60; of militarium: Borgmeier, 1953: 14. Junior synonym of swainsonii: Snelling, G.C. & Snelling, R.R., 2007: 490. See also: Borgmeier, 1955: 361.
  • aztecum. Eciton aztecum Forel, 1901h: 49 (m.) GUATEMALA. Subspecies of mexicanus: Emery, 1910b: 26; of pilosus: Wheeler, W.M. 1921d: 314. Junior synonym of mexicanus: Borgmeier, 1936: 60.
  • arizonense. Eciton (Acamatus) arizonense Wheeler, W.M. 1908e: 414, pl. 26, fig. 5 (m.) U.S.A. Combination in E. (Neivamyrmex): Smith, M.R. 1942c: 581; in Neivamyrmex: Borgmeier, 1953: 18. Subspecies of swainsonii: Borgmeier, 1953: 19. Junior synonym of swainsonii: Borgmeier, 1955: 454.
  • fallax. Neivamyrmex fallax Borgmeier, 1953: 48, figs. 31, 33 (w.) U.S.A. See also: Borgmeier, 1955: 425. Junior synonym of swainsonii: Snelling, G.C. & Snelling, 2007: 490.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Snelling and Snelling (2007) - We have determined that N. fallax is the worker of N. swainsonii. The evidence for this association is scanty: it is based on a worker of N. fallax found attached to the leg of a male collected in Arizona. Although throughout the United States and Mexico the ranges of these two taxa overlap nicely, N. fallax is unknown south of Guatemala.



Smith (1942), for arizonense - Length 12-13 mm.

Head approximately twice as broad as long. Eye large, strongly convex, protuberant. Ocelli large, placed on high protuberance above general surface of head; from above, appearing as if on a distinctly elevated, transverse ridge; lateral ocellus less than its greatest diameter from inner margin of eye. Frontal carinae elevated, sharply margined, slightly converging posteriorly, with deep groove between them. Antenna short; scape robust, very noticeably wider than base of funiculus, but slightly shorter than combined length of first 4 funicular segments; funiculus distinctly tapering from base to apex. Clypeus excised. Mandible flattened dorsoventrally, very long, strongly curved, especially toward apex, and tapering to form an extremely acute point. Head, from above, remarkably broad and short, not prolonged behind eyes. Thorax very robust, strongly protrudirrg above dorsal surface of head. Mesonotum with distinct anteromedian and parapsidal lines. Epinotum, in profile, concave. Tarsal claws toothed. Petiole with a protuberance beneath. Apex of seventh gastric sternum with 3 teeth; a short, somewhat blunt, median tooth, and 2 rather acute lateral teeth. Paramere, in profile, abruptly enlarged toward apex, and with a dorsal emargination which varies considerably with regard to depth and breadth.

Head and anterior border of each gastric segment smooth and shining; remainder of body more opaque. In some lights, various parts of the body have a glabrous appearance in spite of the dense hairs covering the surface. Thorax, petiole, and gaster very finely punctulate.

Hairs yellowish, rather dense and somewhat appressed; usually longer on lower surface of body, epinotum, petiole, and tip of gaster.

Yellowish brown to reddish brown, with darker head and seventh gastric sternum. Wings distinctly yellowish, pilose, with light-brown or yellowish-brown veins and stigma.

Type Material

Smith (1942) arizonense: Nogales, Ariz.; E. J. Oslar. Male cotypes Museum of Comparative Zoology


  • Borgmeier, T. 1948b. Einige Ameisen aus Argentinien (Hym. Formicidae). Rev. Entomol. (Rio J.) 19: 459-471 (page 462, Combination in E. (Neivamyrmex))
  • Borgmeier, T. 1953. Vorarbeiten zu einer Revision der neotropischen Wanderameisen. Stud. Entomol. 2: 1-51 (page 15, Combination in Neivamyrmex)
  • Borgmeier, T. 1955. Die Wanderameisen der neotropischen Region. Stud. Entomol. 3: 1-720 (page 454, Senior synonym of arizonense)
  • Emery, C. 1900e. Nuovi studi sul genere Eciton. Mem. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna (5)8:173-188 (page 187, Combination in E. (Acamatus))
  • Forel, A. 1895b. A fauna das formigas do Brazil. Bol. Mus. Para. Hist. Nat. Ethnogr. 1: 89-139 (page 121, Combination in Eciton)
  • Shuckard, W. E. 1840a. Monograph of the Dorylidae, a family of the Hymenoptera Heterogyna. Ann. Nat. Hist. 5: 188-201 (page 201, male described)
  • 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