Messor smithi (Cole)


Messor smithi head view  Messor smithi, side view
Messor workers from the Navajo Reservation resemble Pogonomyrmex workers when seen in the field. The workers are large and have a a distinctive psammaphore. Differentiating this species from its co-occurring congener, the head of the worker is rugose in just a few areas while workers have distinct longitudinally rugae in Messor lobognathus. The epinotal spines are shorter than the distance between their base, which is notably shorter than what is found in Messor lobognathus.
The biology of this harvester ant is not well understood. Cole reported the following in his notes about the type locality in his description: "Nest was in open sandy desert of mixed vegetation, at an elevation of 3,300 ft., and was surmounted by a circular sand crater about 5 in. in diameter."
additional biology notes...
United States. Known from Nevada and California.
Navajo Reservation Records
Samples being processed.

Patronym. Named after the American myrmecologist M. R. Smith.

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Original Combination - Veromessor smithi - Cole (1963).

the original species description for Messor smithi (first page) species description for Messor smithi (second page) Messor smithi description (third page)

Disposition of type material.- Long series of paratypic workers, males, and females will be deposited in the U. S. National Museum, where Dr. M. R. Smith, after whom the new species is affectionately named, has spent so many dedicated years in a meticulous study of ants; in the Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard); in the American Museum of Natural History; and in the collections of Dr. W. S. Creighton, Dr. R. E. Gregg, and Drs. G. C. and J. Wheeler. The holotype and the remaining paratypes will be consigned to my collection. As reported in Cole (1963).
Reported by Creighton (1963).
Type Locality
Mercury, Nye County, Nevada.

Cole, A. C., Jr. 1963. A new species of Veromessor from the Nevada Test Site and notes on related species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 56:678-682.

A note about these publications. The literature cited here is not meant to be an exhaustive list of papers published about this species.

Page authored by David Lubertazzi and Gary Alpert

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