Polyrhachis sulcifera

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Polyrhachis sulcifera
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Aulacomyrma
Species: P. sulcifera
Binomial name
Polyrhachis sulcifera
Kohout, 2007

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Nothing is known about the biology of Polyrhachis sulcifera.


Kohout (2007) - A remarkable species easily recognized by its cephalic and mesosomal striation, that has only about 13 widely spaced striae present across the pronotal dorsum.

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.

  • sulcifera. Polyrhachis (Aulacomyrma) sulcifera Kohout, 2007a: 210, figs. 37, 40, 43 (w.) NEW GUINEA.

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



Holotype: TL c. 5.19; HL 1.28; HW 1.12; CI 87; SL 1.40; SI 125; PW 1.06; MTL 1.28.

Anterior clypeal margin arcuate, entire; in profile clypeus very weakly convex with rather shallow basal margin indicated by hairline break in cephalic sculpture. Sides of head in front of eyes only weakly convex. Eyes strongly convex, in full face view clearly breaking cephalic outline. Mesosomal dorsum laterally marginate along entire length. Pronotal humeri armed with strong, broad-based, acute teeth, with distinctly raised margins. Promesonotal suture distinct; metanotal groove lacking, position indicated laterally by shallow emargination in the mesosomal margin. Propodeal dorsum with laterally widened margin, forming distinct rounded prominences, posteriorly continued as transverse, inwardly bowed ridges that almost completely separate dorsum from declivity, except for very narrow medial gap. Petiole distinctly transverse, with acute, medially jagged dorsal margin and slender, acute, strongly upturned lateral spines. Anterior face of first gastral segment concave with anterodorsal margin acute, but not distinctly raised above dorsal face of segment.

Mandibles finely longitudinally striate. Sculpture of head and body consisting of widely spaced, mostly regular, longitudinal striae, giving dorsal surfaces a “ploughed” appearance. Sides of mesosoma with mostly oblique striae, propodeal declivity rather smooth. Petiole shagreened. Gaster with fine, mostly longitudinal striation, striae on dorsum converging towards anterodorsal margin.

Rather short, mostly erect, silvery and yellowish hairs present on all body surfaces, except inferior edges of antennal scapes, dorsal petiolar margin and extensor surfaces of femora and tibiae. Hairs on gastral dorsum more golden and posteriorly curved, those on apex distinctly longer. Appressed pubescence generally very sparse or absent, somewhat more abundant and yellowish on pronotal and propodeal dorsa, notably on humeral teeth and along posterior propodeal margin, silvery on metapleuron and lateral borders of propodeal declivity. Gastral pubescence more abundant and distinctly golden.

Black, with striae and interspaces rather shiny. Antennal scapes, joints of femora and tibiae and proximal portion of basal tarsal segments black or very dark brown. Funiculi and rest of legs light or medium yellow.

Type Material

HOLOTYPE: PAPUA NEW GUINEA, Wum, Upper Jimmi Valley, 05º25’S, 144º23’E, 840m, 17.vii.1955, J. L. Gressitt (worker). Type distribution: unique holotype in Museum of Comparative Zoology.


Derived from the Latin word sulcus, meaning furrow or groove in reference to the “ploughed” appearance of the dorsal sculpture.