Polyrhachis spitteleri

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Polyrhachis spitteleri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Myrma
Species group: monista
Species: P. spitteleri
Binomial name
Polyrhachis spitteleri
Forel, 1916

Polyrhachis spitteleri casent0906823 p 1 high.jpg

Polyrhachis spitteleri casent0906823 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The nesting behaviour of spitteleri is not known, but that it is completely arboreal in habit is suggested by its collection in pyrethrum knock-down samples from trees when it has not been found by more normal collecting methods in the same area. (Bolton 1973)


Rigato (2016) - A member of the monista group species with hardly impressed promesonotal suture and a tubercoliform prominence between the propodeal spines. I assign to this species a gyne from Central African Rep. It has a weak median prominence between the long propodeal spines as reported for the worker caste (Bolton, 1973). The dorsum of mesosoma is mostly longitudinally rugulose with reticulate-punctate ground sculpture. The remaining of the body is more or less strongly reticulate-punctate and subopaque; mandibles, clypeus and gaster are superficially sculptured and shining.

Bolton (1973) - Very closely related to Polyrhachis monista, this species is easily separated by the presence of a median propodeal prominence between the spines, and the slight development of the promesonotal suture in the species as compared to the broad, deep cleft noted in monista. In the original description Forel failed to notice the presence of the median propodeal prominence, and although this is smaller in the type than in the Ghanaian material examined, it is still quite distinct.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (type locality), Ghana.

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.

  • spitteleri. Polyrhachis (Myrma) spitelleri Forel, 1916: 450, fig. 6 (w.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. Combination in P. (Pseudocyrtomyrma): Emery, 1925b: 207. See also: Bolton, 1973b: 344.

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



Bolton (1973) - TL 4.8-5.6, HL 1.14-1.37, HW 1.00-1.22, CI 87-89, SL 1.21-1.40, SI 114-121, PW 0.81-0.96, MTL 1.26-1.52. (5 measured.)

Anterior clypeal margin arcuate, entire. Eyes convex, the sides of the head converging in front. Alitrunk not marginate, the sides rounding evenly into the dorsum. Pronotum armed with a pair of spines; propodeum with a pair of long, curved spines, between which is a median dorsal tubercle or prominence. In the type specimen this prominence is low, but in other specimens it is higher and distinct. Between this median prominence and the spine on either side the propodeal dorsum rounds into the declivity. Promesonotal suture distinct and incised, but shallow. Metanotal groove broad and impressed. Petiole with four spines of approximately equal size, the laterals tending to be somewhat longer and more stout than the dorsals. Anterior face of the first gastral segment concave medially.

Thick, yellowish hairs with a waxy appearance abundant on the dorsum of the alitrunk; most dense on the mesonotum. Similar hairs are present on the gaster, but those on the head are usually shorter and paler in colour.

Clypeus, head to level of eyes, and gaster reticulate-punctate, the last more coarsely so than the head. Remainder of head longitudinally striate-rugose. Dorsum of alitrunk longitudinally striate-rugose, noticeably more coarsely so than on the head; the rugae of the mesonotum and more especially the propodeum tending to converge posteriorly. Sides of pronotum sculptured as dorsum but the pleurae, sides of propodeum and declivity of the latter covered with a fine rugoreticulum. Colour black, the appendages usually lighter, black-brown or dark brown.

Rigato (2016) - HL 1.42, HW 1.30, CI 92, SL 1.43, SI 110, FW 0.55, FI 42, ScW 1.40, MnL 1.65, WL 2.24, HTL 1.68.

Type Material

Bolton (1973) - Holotype worker, CONGO (KINSHASA) (H. Kohl) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève) [examined].


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bolton B. 1973. The ant genus Polyrhachis F. Smith in the Ethiopian region (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 28: 283-369.
  • Rigato F. 2016. The ant genus Polyrhachis F. Smith in sub-Saharan Africa, with descriptions of ten new species. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 4088: 1-50.