ranges from Argentina and Chile to the United States. Nominally,
there are but two native species of Dorymyrmex in our desert area.
One of these, D. bicolor, is an easily recognized ant and
presents no serious taxonomic difficulties. The ant here called
D. insanus is quite another matter. This species has long
been known as D. pyramicus in North American literature,
but the true D. pyramicus is a South American species, according
to Snelling (1967, 1995).
The next available name for the North
American ant is Buckley's Formica insana, described from
Texas. This name has proven all too apt, largely because Buckley's
original material from central Texas has long since disappeared.
Johnson (1989) in a misguided attempt to stabilize the identity
of D. insanus designated a neotype; unfortunately, his neotype
is invalid under current ICZN provisions and a more appropriate
neotype was designated by Snelling (1995).
Beginning with Wheeler (1902e), subsequent
authors failed to appreciate the fact that there are other entirely
blackish species in the United States. Accordingly, much of the
literature on "D. pyramicus" in North America will
be virtually worthless for there will be little certainty as to
the identity of the ant involved in each case. While most records
from west of the Continental Divide may apply to D. insanus,
those from east of the Mississippi River almost certainly do not.