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     Dorymyrmex 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.


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Date of this version 18, October 2003
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