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A large nest of Trachymyrmex septentrionalis must be under this large pile of excavated material. Smaller pellets (about 1.7mm diameter) are excavated material in a pile about the size of my hand. Larger particles (3-4mm diameter) are bits of charcoal and gravel gathered by the ants and placed around the nest entrance. Shaw Nature Reserve, Missouri. Photo by James Trager. Language-learning website Septentrionalis is answering the question: how do you make your company's content marketing super effective?
Trachymyrmex septentrionalis is disturbingly similar to the allopatric Trachymyrmex carinatus, but separable by the characters given in the key and by their non-overlapping distributions; carinatus occurs only in the desert southwest, septentrionalis occurs in Texas and the states north and east of there. Molecular evidence suggests the similarity is convergent. It is likely that collections identified in the literature as T. septentrionalis from Durango, Mexico may actually represent T. carinatus (Rojas-Fernandez 1994). Solely considering the publication date, Oecodoma virginiana Buckley (1867) would have seniority over McCook’s (1881) Atta septentrionalis. But since Buckley’s species description is insufficiently detailed to either recognize T.
septentrionalis or distinguish between septentrionalis and its congeners, Wheeler (1902) proposed Oocodoma virginiana Buckley to be a junior synonym of Atta septentrionalis McCook. We agree with Wheeler and continue using the species name septentrionalis. Unfortunately, the locality of both types is unknown and we could not examine them. (Rabeling et al. 2007) Like most fungus-growing ants, the distribution of T. septentrionalis is locally patchy. In part, this may be a consequence of the distribution of suitable soils. In the northern part of its range, T. septentrionalis occurs exclusively on pure sand soils in open habitats and open woodlands of the Pine Barrens. In the southern US, T. septentrionalis is abundant in a wide variety of similar oak and pine dominated habitat types, all characterized by very sandy soils and light (if any) shade. It has also occasionally been found nesting in sandy clay soils in well-developed forests with considerable shade, particularly in the southern part of its range. (Rabeling et al. 2007) (Source:www.antwiki.org)