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Hymenoptera - Neivamyrmex swainsonii

Hymenoptera - Neivamyrmex swainsonii
Colorado River, Picacho State Recreation Area, Imperial County, California, USA
September 1, 1989
Collected this hymenoptera at a light trap. We fished and collected insects along the river. One of the best light traps I have ever seen. Insects were so thick I could not approach the trap without safety gear. Most of our specimens were donated to a local University. Tried to take an image through the microscope. If we need more images for identification I can try again.

Nice contribution
You mentioned trying to get a better picture. It would be a good thing if you can do so.

Moved from ID Request.

This is Neivamyrmex swainsoni
This is Neivamyrmex swainsonii, For many years known only from the male caste,we were recently able to associate this with the worker caste which turned out to be another known species, N. fallax. N. fallax is very commonly collected in southern Az during the monsoon season but is not known from California yet. This is due to its reliance on soil moisture to engage in surface activity.

Male army ant
Likely in the genus Neivamyrmex.

species and range
Thank you, do you know of any online keys or members of the BugGuide that could help me get to the species level? I did not know that army ants existed in north america. Very cool! We did not see any of these ants during the day but they were plentiful at the light trap. Do you know how far north these insect exist?

Happy to help
and welcome to Bugguide!

The army ants in the United States are rarely seen due to their subterranean habits. I've only found one colony before by accident from flipping rocks. They're also smaller than the 'iconic' army ants in the genus Eciton. The males are often described as separate species from workers, since males are usually found from being attracted to lights (so there's no way to associate these males with the worker species, unless a nest is found with males present to match the two (or based on distribution records, etc).

Gordon Snelling is our ant expert, he'll likely see the image soon -- here is the link to his excellent paper on the USA species (with range maps at the end)

edit: if you have any more Hymenoptera specimen images, keep 'em coming!

Alex Wild had a blog post wit
Alex Wild had a blog post with a nice distribution map on it if it helps. A couple of studies are cited too I think.

great info
I enjoyed the biological info as well as its identification. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I have many Hymenoptera and look forward to sharing them with the group. Tomorrow I will upload some more images.

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