Polyrhachis pubescens

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Polyrhachis pubescens
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: pubescens
Species: P. pubescens
Binomial name
Polyrhachis pubescens
Mayr, 1879

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Specimen Labels

Polyrhachis pubescens is recorded from India, Myanmar, Thailand and West Malaysia. Only very recently it has been identified from Borneo (Sabah); it was not included by Wheeler (1919) or Kohout (in Pfeiffer et al. 2011) in their lists of Bornean ants (Kohout, 2013).


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

The specimens from Kinabalu Park in Sabah are very similar to material from continental Malaysia and differ mainly in their marginally larger size (HL >1.68 in Bornean specimens versus <1.68 in continental specimens). The longitudinal body striation is also more distinct, due to the somewhat less abundant silvery pubescence which, in continental specimens, is richer and partly obscures the underlying sculpturation.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia (type locality), Philippines.
Oriental Region: India, Thailand.
Palaearctic Region: China.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Males and immature stages in private collection of Fuminori Ito.


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

  • pubescens. Polyrhachis pubescens Mayr, 1879: 657 (w.) INDIA. Combination in Hemioptica: Bingham, 1903: 381; in P. (Myrma): Emery, 1925b: 205; Dorow & Kohout, 1995: 94.

Type Material

  • Neotype (designated by Kohout, 2013: 154), worker, Selangor, Ulu Gombak, Malaysia, 15.xii.2004, Fuminori Ito, FI 04-49, Queensland Museum.

Neotype designation. Polyrhachis pubescens was originally described from a single worker collected in ‘Ostindien’. The specimen was presented to Mayr by Prof. Schmidt-Göbel and, like that of Polyrhachis aculeata, the holotype should be lodged in the Mayr collection in Vienna (Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna). However, in spite of an extensive search, the specimen cannot be located there or in any other collection examined and is considered lost. To establish the nomenclatural stability of the species, I here designate, in accordance with Article 75.3.5 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (Fourth Edition: 1999), a worker specimen as the neotype of Polyrhachis pubescens Mayr. The specimen was selected from a nest series that also includes queens and a male, with part of the colony donated to Queensland Museum, where the neotype has also been deposited. The specimen bears the following label: ‘FI 04-49, Ulu Gombak, W-Malaysia, 15.xii.2004, ITO Fuminori’, plus an additional red label: ‘NEOTYPE, QMT 183497, Polyrhachis pubescens Mayr, 1879, designated by R.J. Kohout, 2013’.



Kohout (2013): Dimensions: TL c. 6.05-7.31; HL 1.59-1.72; HW 1.22-1.34; CI 75-79; SL 2.00-2.18; SI 156-169; PW 1.18-1.25; MTL 1.96-2.09 (11 measured).


Kohout (2013): Dimensions: TL c. 7.61-7.71; HL 1.72; HW 1.34-1.37; CI 78-79; SL 2.09; SI 152-156; PW 1.56-1.59; MTL 2.03-2.09 (2 measured).

Queen larger than worker with usual characters identifying full sexuality, including three ocelli, complete thoracic structure and wings. Pronotal spines shorter. Mesoscutum wider than long; lateral margins converging anteriorly into moderately rounded anterior margin; median line distinct, bifurcate anteriorly; parapsides flat, only weakly raised posteriorly; mesoscutum in profile with relatively low anterior face and posteriorly flat dorsum. Mesoscutellum only weakly convex, not elevated above dorsal plane of mesosoma. Propodeal dorsum weakly convex in outline, with lateral margins somewhat angular at midlength and terminating in short ridges that extend medially, forming transverse carina dividing propodeal dorsum from concave declivity. Petiole with dorsal margin convex, dorsolaterally armed on each side with two teeth of virtually equal length. Sculpturation, pilosity, pubescence and colour very similar to worker.


  • Baltazar, C. R. 1966. A catalogue of Philippine Hymenoptera (with a bibliography, 1758-1963). Pac. Insects Monogr. 8: 1-488 (page 277, listed)
  • Bingham, C. T. 1903. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Hymenoptera, Vol. II. Ants and Cuckoo-wasps. London: Taylor and Francis, 506 pp. (page 381, Combination in Hemioptica)
  • Dorow, W. H. O.; Kohout, R. J. 1995. A review of the subgenus Hemioptica Roger of the genus Polyrhachis Fr. Smith with description of a new species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae). Zool. Meded. (Leiden) 69: 93-104 (page 94, Combination in P. (Myrma))
  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 205, Combination in P. (Myrma))
  • Kohout, R. J. 2013. A review of the Polyrhacis aculeata species-group of the subgenus Myrma Billberg (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with keys and descriptions of new species. Australian Entomologist. 40:137-171.
  • Mayr, G. 1879. Beiträge zur Ameisen-Fauna Asiens. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 28: 645-686 (page 657, worker described)

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
  • Emery C. 1893. Voyage de M. E. Simon aux îles Philippines (mars et avril 1890). Formicides. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 62: 259-270.
  • Fontanilla A. M., A. Nakamura, Z. Xu, M. Cao, R. L. Kitching, Y. Tang, and C. J. Burwell. 2019. Taxonomic and functional ant diversity along tropical, subtropical, and subalpine elevational transects in southwest China. Insects 10, 128; doi:10.3390/insects10050128
  • Guénard B., and R. R. Dunn. 2012. A checklist of the ants of China. Zootaxa 3558: 1-77.
  • Kohout R. J. 2013. A review of the Polyrhachis aculeata species-group of the subgenus Myrma Billberg (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae), with keys and descriptions of new species. Australian Entomologist 40(3): 137-171.
  • Li Z.h. 2006. List of Chinese Insects. Volume 4. Sun Yat-sen University Press
  • Nelson X.J., R. R. Jackson, S.D. Pollard, G.B. Edwards, A.T. Barrion. 2004. Predation by ants on jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) in the Philippines. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 31: 45-56.
  • Ran H., and S. Y. Zhou. 2013. Checklist of Chinese Ants: Formicomorph Subfamilies ( Hymenoptera: Formicidae) (III). Journal of Guangxi Normal University : Natural Science Edition 31(1): 104-111.
  • Robson Simon Database Polyrhachis -05 Sept 2014
  • Shuang Zhao. 2006. Ant of Guangdong Province (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): A taxonomic study of the ants of Guangdong (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Master's thesis in Agriculture Insects and Pest Control. Supervisor Fenglong Jia. 115 pages.
  • Tang J., Li S., Huang E., Zhang B. and Chen Y. 1995. Hymenoptera: Formicidae (1). Economic Insect Fauna of China 47: 1-133.