Polyrhachis pallipes

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Polyrhachis pallipes
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Aulacomyrma
Species: P. pallipes
Binomial name
Polyrhachis pallipes
Donisthorpe, 1948

Polyrhachis pallipes castype06955 profile 1.jpg

Polyrhachis pallipes castype06955 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Little is known about the biology of Polyrhachis pallipes. Specimens have been collected from rainforest.


Kohout (2007) - The head and mesosoma of the holotype have almost completely lost the silvery or pale golden pubescence, that is still evident on the propodeal declivity and gastral dorsum. The anterodorsal process of the first gastral segment is well developed, almost as prominent as in Polyrhachis porcata. Specimens from Kokoda differ in several aspects, notably in the color of the antennal scapes, joints of the femora, tibiae and basal tarsal segments which are very dark brown.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: New Guinea (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The subgenus this species is a member of, Aulacomyrma, is poorly colected. Kohout (2007) summarized what is known about their biology in a revision of the species in the subgenus. This offers an explanation as to why most Aulacomyrma are known from few collections and specimens. There are only two records of nests being found. A small colony of Polyrhachis dohrni was collected by Kohout from a dry hollow twig on a living tree at the edge of lowland rainforest. The internal walls of the twig cavity were lined with a little silk. Ward collected a nest of Polyrhachis wardi from a dry twig of a rainforest tree. The colonies of both species were rather small, with only a few workers (5 and 11 respectively, including 2 and 3 alate queens and a single male). If such a nesting pattern is the norm for other species of the subgenus, that might explain the general scarcity of Aulacomyrma material even in the best collections. Many Aulacomyrma species are described and only known from a holotype.


Known only from the worker caste.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • pallipes. Polyrhachis (Aulacomyrma) pallipes Donisthorpe, 1948d: 603 (w.) NEW GUINEA. See also: Kohout, 2007a: 203.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Kohout (2007) - TL c. 4.48-4.98 (4.98); HL 1.15-1.28 (1.25); HW 1.03-1.12 (1.12); CI 87-91 (90); SL 1.22-1.31 (1.31); SI 114-118 (117); PW 0.94-1.06 (1.03); MTL 1.12-1.22 (1.18) (6 measured).

Anterior clypeal margin arcuate, with shallow notch medially; in lateral view basal margin only weakly impressed, indicated by hairline break in cephalic sculpture. Frontal triangle indistinct. Frontal carinae with strongly sinuate, laminate lobes. Sides of head weakly converging anteriorly; convex and more strongly converging posteriorly into preoccipital margin. Eyes weakly convex, in full face view not or only just reaching lateral cephalic outline. Mesosoma marginate along entire length. Pronotal dorsum armed with broad-based, anteriorly pointed teeth, their lateral margins shallowly emarginate at bases. Promesonotal suture distinct; metanotal groove lacking, position indicated by shallow emarginations in lateral margins. Propodeal dorsum descending into declivity in medially uninterrupted curve; lateral margins terminating posteriorly in short, blunt, processes resembling teeth in lateral view. Petiole with dorsal margin entire, acute; lateral spines relatively long, curved backwards and upwards. First gastral segment concave anteriorly, dorsal margin of concavity sharp and produced dorso-medially above dorsal surface of segment.

Sculpture of head consisting of somewhat irregularly spaced, mostly longitudinal striae, rather flat on clypeus and preoccipital margin, becoming stronger laterally. Mesosomal dorsum with mostly longitudinal striae, anteriorly converging on pronotal dorsum, V-shaped on propodeal dorsum. Anterior and posterior face of petiole shagreened. Gaster finely longitudinally striate; concavity of first gastral segment smooth and shiny.

Medium length, mostly erect, yellow to golden hairs scattered over entire body surfaces, longest on head and apically and ventrally on gaster, hairs shorter on mesosomal dorsum; only a few, short hairs on dorsum of first gastral segment. Appressed, mostly silvery pubescence on head, mesosoma and petiole; rich golden and dense pubescence on dorsum of first gastral segment, largely obscuring underlying sculpture.

Black; mandibular masticatory margin, distal ends of scapes and basal segments of funiculi light reddish brown; funicular segments becoming gradually lighter towards apex of antennae, apical segments light yellow. Trochanters, femora, tibiae and tarsi light yellow, except distal ends of femora and basal ends of tibiae and tarsi narrowly reddish-brown.

Type Material

Kohout (2007) - Holotype worker. Type locality: NEW GUINEA, Finschhafen (E. S. Ross), California Academy of Sciences (examined).