Hi, I am looking for a confirmation of species. I found a nest yesterday with workers foraging around and caught one for identification purposes. I believe she is a Novomessor cockerelli but I read they are very similar to N. albisetosus. I was hoping someone with more knowledge could help. Sorry about the quality of some of the photos, I do not have a macro lens for my cameras yet and in the straight on sideways picture she was grooming her antennae instead of posing nicely. Thanks!!
1. Location (on a map) of collection: Hills near Morristown, Arizona , northwest of Phoenix towards Wickenburg
2. Date of collection: 1/6/2018
3. Habitat of collection: hilly desert scrub, next to a dried up wash , over cast sky and temps near 65-70 degrees F
4. Length (from head to gaster): 8mm
5. Color, hue, pattern and texture: dark- medium red head and thorax, black shiny gastor with red patches at attachment to petiole nodes, hairs on gastor
6. Distinguishing characteristics: Very long legs, two petiole nodes, 2 backwards curving spines near the caudal end of the thorax, very thin waist, Thorax sections seem fused maybe?
7. Distinguishing behavior: none really, they were foraging around and 3 workers were carrying a honey bee back to the nest.
8. Nest description: A large hole between some rocks with pebbles spread out at about a foot around the entrance, Near an old wash that is used as a road.