Polyrhachis aculeata

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Polyrhachis aculeata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Myrma
Species group: aculeata
Species complex: aculeata
Species: P. aculeata
Binomial name
Polyrhachis aculeata
Mayr, 1879



Specimen Label

Nothing is known about the biology of Polyrhachis aculeata.


A member of the Polyrhachis aculeata species group in the subgenus Myrma

Kohout (2008) - Polyrhachis aculeata, Polyrhachis cybele, Polyrhachis gibbosa and Polyrhachis hemiopticoides are all quite similar. The characters separating these four species include the degree to which the posterior blinkers of the eyes are developed, general pilosity and the shape and length of the pronotal and petiolar spines. In P. aculeata and P. hemiopticoides the eyes are strongly truncate and the pronotal and petiolar spines rather long and slender. Polyrhachis aculeata has all the body surfaces covered with numerous, relatively long, erect or semierect hairs and the legs and base of the gaster reddish-brown. In P. hemiopticoides hairs are present only on the head and over the gastral apex, and the gaster and tarsi are black with only the femora and tibiae reddish-brown. Polyrhachis gibbosa differs from both species and also from P. cybele by its distinctly less truncate eyes, stubby body, shorter and thicker petiolar spines and the presence of a distinct pile of short, silvery or whitish, appressed pubescence that is abundant over most of the body surfaces, except the vertex, midline of the mesosoma and gastral dorsum. Polyrhachis gibbosa is apparently limited to Sri Lanka, while P. aculeata and P. hemiopticoides are known from India, with the latter also reported from Laos. Polyrhachis cybele occurs on Borneo, Sumatra and Sulawesi.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Philippines.
Oriental Region: India (type locality), Sri Lanka.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb





The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • aculeata. Polyrhachis aculeata Mayr, 1879: 657 (w.) INDIA. Emery, 1887a: 235 (q.); Forel, 1893c: 28 (m.). Combination in Hemioptica: Bingham, 1903: 382; in P. (Hemioptica): Wheeler, W.M. 1919e: 126; in P. (Myrma): Emery, 1925b: 205; Dorow & Kohout, 1995: 94.



Kohout (2013): Dimensions (holotype cited first): TL c. (gaster missing), 6.40-6.80; HL 1.59, 1.59-1.75; HW 1.43, 1.36-1.43; CI 84, 81-84; SL 1.93, 1.93-2.03; SI 144, 142-149; PW 1.30, 1.12-1.30; MTL 2.06, 2.06-2.21 (1+2 measured).

Type Material

Kohout (2013): I have examined two worker specimens of P. aculeata from the Mayr collection in Vienna (Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna), neither labelled as the type. However, in the original description Mayr noted ‘Ich besitze nur ein Exemplar aus Ostindien, welches ich Herrn Professor Schmidt-Göbel verdanke.’ I have therefore considered the specimen bearing a tag inscribed ‘Ind. or. Schm.’ to be the holotype of P. aculeata and labelled it accordingly. The specimen bears two additional, original labels as follows: ‘P. aculeata det. G. Mayr’ and ‘Collect. G. Mayr’. The specimen is pinned and missing the gaster, but otherwise is in relatively sound condition.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Chapman, J. W., and Capco, S. R. 1951. Check list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Asia. Monogr. Inst. Sci. Technol. Manila 1: 1-327
  • Dias R. K. S. 2002. Current knowledge on ants of Sri Lanka. ANeT Newsletter 4: 17- 21.
  • Emery C. 1886. Saggio di un catalogo sistematico dei generi Camponotus, Polyrhachis e affini. Memorie della Reale Accademia delle Scienze dell'Istituto di Bologna 5: 363-382
  • Emery C. 1887. Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte terza. Formiche della regione Indo-Malese e dell'Australia. [part]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. 24(4): 209-258.
  • Emery C. 1901. Formiciden von Celebes. Zoologische Jahrbücher. Abteilung für Systematik, Geographie und Biologie der Tiere 14:565-580.
  • Emery, C. "Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte terza. Formiche della regione Indo-Malese e dell'Australia." Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria (Genova) (2) 4, no. 24 (1887): 209-258.
  • Forel A. 1893. Les Formicides de l'Empire des Indes et de Ceylan. Part III. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 8: 17-36.
  • Robson Simon Database Polyrhachis -05 Sept 2014
  • Tiwari R. N. 1999. Taxonomic studies on ants of southern India (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Memoirs of the Zoological Survey of India 18(4): 1-96.
  • Tiwari, R.N. 1999. Taxonomic studies on ants of southern India (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Memoirs of the Zoological Survey of India 18(4):1-96