Current View: All Antweb
Change View
Cite this page

Citing AntWeb


To cite this page, please use the following:

· For print: . Accessed

· For web:

Genus: Polyrhachis   Smith, 1857 


Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2018)

Extant: 700 species, 82 subspecies

Fossil: 1 species

Polyrhachis Smith, 1857a PDF: 58. Type-species: Formica bihamata, by original designation. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

[Polyrhachis Shuckard, in Swainson & Shuckard, 1840: 172, nomen nudum.].
Polyrhachis in Camponotinae: Forel, 1878c PDF: 367 [Camponotidae]; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 257.
Polyrhachis in Formicinae, Camponotini: Wheeler, 1922: 701; Emery, 1925d PDF: 175; all subsequent authors except the following.
Polyrhachis as subgenus of Myrma: Wheeler, 1911c PDF: 860; Wheeler, 1911g PDF: 170. [Myrma as subgenus of Polyrhachis: Forel, 1915b PDF: 106; Forel, 1917 PDF: 251; Wheeler, 1922: 702, 993; Emery, 1925d PDF: 198; all subsequent authors (see note under Myrma).].
[Polyrachis Arnold, 1924: 741, incorrect subsequent spelling.].
Genus Polyrhachis references
Smith, 1858a PDF: 58 (diagnosis); Roger, 1863b: 6 (catalogue); Mayr, 1863a PDF: 422, 443 (Hemioptica, Polyrhachis catalogues); Mayr, 1865 PDF: 6 (Polyrhachis, Hemioptica diagnoses); Mayr, 1867a PDF: 40, 41 (diagnosis, species groups (as "turmae")); Mayr, 1876 PDF: 68 (Australia species key); Forel, 1878c PDF: 368 (diagnosis); Mayr, 1879 PDF: 648 (species groups); André, 1887 PDF: 286 (Afrotropical species key); Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 257, 271 (Polyrhachis, Hemioptica catalogues); Forel, 1893e PDF: 17 (India & Sri Lanka species key); Emery, 1896j: 378 (catalogue); Emery, 1897: 579, 582 (Polyrhachis relucens & Polyrhachis guerini groups, keys); Emery, 1898a PDF: 227 (additions to 1896a catalogue); Bingham, 1903 PDF: 383 (India, Sri Lanka & Burma species key); Santschi, 1910h: 284 (Polyrhachis rastellata group, key); Viehmeyer, 1914b PDF: 50, 54 (Polyrhachis rastellata & Polyrhachis hostilis groups, keys); Wheeler, 1922: 256, 701, 992 (diagnosis, subgenera key, Afrotropical catalogue); Arnold, 1924: 741 (diagnosis, South Africa species key); Emery, 1925d PDF: 175 (diagnosis, subgenera key, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 178 (Polyrhachis (Campomyrma) diagnosis, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 180 (Polyrhachis (Myrmatopa) diagnosis, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 181 (Polyrhachis (Polyrhachis) diagnosis, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 182 (Polyrhachis (Myrmothrinax) diagnosis, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 184 (Polyrhachis (Hagiomyrma) diagnosis, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 185 (Polyrhachis (Chariomyrma) diagnosis, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 188 (Polyrhachis (Dolichorhachis) diagnosis, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 189 (Polyrhachis (Hedomyrma) diagnosis, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 190 (Polyrhachis (Myrmhopla) diagnosis, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 197 (Polyrhachis (Aulacomyrma) diagnosis, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 198 (Polyrhachis (Myrma) diagnosis, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 206 (Polyrhachis (Pseudocyrtomyrma) diagnosis, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 207 (Polyrhachis (Cyrtomyrma) diagnosis, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 209 (Hemioptica diagnosis, catalogue); Donisthorpe, 1938c: 246 (Polyrhachis (Cyrtomyrma) review); Santschi, 1939c PDF: 13 (Polyrhachis (Pseudocyrtomyrma) species key); Chapman & Capco, 1951 PDF: 186, 255, 256 (Asia Irenea, Hemioptica, Polyrhachis checklists); Hung, 1962: 24 (Taiwan species key); Hung, 1967b PDF: 395 (review of subgenera); Hung, 1970 PDF: 5 (Polyrhachis (Polyrhachis) species revision, key); Bolton, 1973b PDF: 289 (Afrotropical species revision, key); Bolton, 1975c PDF: 1 (Polyrhachis sexspinosa group, key); Taylor & Brown, 1985: 131 (Australia catalogue); Taylor, 1987a PDF: 59 (Australia, New Caledonia checklist); Kohout, 1987 PDF: 169 (Philippines Polyrhachis sexspinosa group, key); Kohout, 1989 PDF: 515 (Australia Polyrhachis relucens group, key); Kohout, 1990: 500 (Polyrhachis viehmeyeri group, key); Kohout & Taylor, 1990 PDF: 509 (Australia checklist); Morisita, Kubota, Onoyama, et al., 1991: 45 (Japan species key); Wang C. & Wu, 1991: 596 (China species key); Dorow & Kohout, 1995 PDF: 96 (Polyrhachis (Hemioptica) species key); Bolton, 1994: 50 (synoptic classification); Bolton, 1995a PDF: 1052 (census); Bolton, 1995b: 342 (catalogue); Dorow, 1995 PDF: 9 (subgenera revision, subgenera key, catalogue); Dorow, 1995 PDF: 10-11 (Polyrhachis (Myrmhopla) species groups, key; Polyrhachis arachne-, Polyrhachis cryptoceroides- Polyrhachis flavoflagellata-, Polyrhachis furcata- and Polyrhachis hector species groups, keys); Dorow, 1995 PDF: 12 (Polyrhachis (Aulacomyrma) synopsis); Dorow, 1995 PDF: 13 (Polyrhachis (Campomoyrma) synopsis); Dorow, 1995 PDF: 16 (Polyrhachis (Chariomyrma) synopsis); Dorow, 1995 PDF: 21 (Polyrhachis (Cyrtomyrma) synopsis); Dorow, 1995 PDF: 24 (Polyrhachis (Hagiomyrma) synopsis); Dorow, 1995 PDF: 26 (Polyrhachis (Hedomyrma) synopsis); Dorow, 1995 PDF: 28 (Polyrhachis (Hemioptica) synopsis); Dorow, 1995 PDF: 30 (Polyrhachis (Myrma) synopsis); Dorow, 1995 PDF: 42 (Polyrhachis (Myrmatopa) synopsis); Dorow, 1995 PDF: 45 (Polyrhachis (Myrmhopla) synopsis); Dorow, 1995 PDF: 61 (Polyrhachis (Myrmothrinax) synopsis); Dorow, 1995 PDF: 63 (Polyrhachis (Polyrhachis) synopsis); Wu & Wang, 1995a: 159 (China species key); Zhou & Zheng, 1997 PDF (Guangxi China species); Shattuck, 1999: 107 (Australia synopsis); Zhou, 2001A PDF: 190 (China, Guangxi species key); Xu, 2002B: 523 (China Polyrhachis (Cyrtomyrma) species key; Bolton, 2003 PDF: 122 (synopsis); Karmaly, 2004 PDF: 542 (India species key); Kohout, 2006C PDF: 146 (Polyrhachis cryptoceroides group, key); Kohout, 2006D PDF: 87 (Cyrtomyrma) Kohout, 2007C: 189 (Kohout, 2007B PDF: 8 (Polyrhachis (Campomyrma) Borneo, [no year], key); Kohout, 2008A PDF: 255 (Sulawesi species, keys); Kohout, 2008B PDF: 298 (Polyrhachis vestita group key); Kohout, 2008D PDF: 12 (Polyrhachis flavoflagellata group key); Kohout, 2009 PDF: 40, 44 (modifications to Kohout 2006b key); Terayama, 2009 PDF: 218 (Taiwan species key); Heterick, 2009 PDF: 106 (south-western Australia species key); Kohout, 2010 PDF: 169, 171, 200 (Australia subgenera key, Australia Polyrhachis (Myrmhopla) species key, Australia Polyrhachis (Hirtomyrma) species key); Kohout, 2012 PDF: 38, 43, 50 (Australia Polyrhachis (Myrma), Polyrhachis (Myrmatopa) and Polyrhachis (Myrmothrinax) keys); Kohout, 2012 PDF (Polyrhachis hexacantha complex species key); Kohout, 2013 PDF (Polyrhachis xiphias species-group diagnosis, species revision, key); Kohout, 2013 PDF (Polyrhachis aculeata species-group diagnosis, review, key); Kohout, 2013 PDF (Polyrhachis (Hagiomyrma) revision, species key, species-group definition and diagnosis); Kohout, 2013 PDF (Polyrhachis (Campomyrma) gravis and micans species-group diagnosis, review, species key); Kohout, 2014 PDF (Mezger & Moreau, 2016 10.1111/syen.12163: 1 (phylogeny); Rigato, 2016 10.11646/zootaxa.4088.1.1 PDF: 1 (Sub-Saharan Africa keys to species-groups and species); Cantone, 2017 PDF: 170 (brief male diagnosis)

Taxon Page Images:

When threatened, a Polyrhachis militaris worker hunkers down with her protective spines thrust upward. Kibale forest, Uganda.
Image © Alex Wild.


   (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists)   Genus is native to: Afrotropical, Australasia, Indomalaya, Oceania, Palearctic bioregions (based on species list records).

Afrotropical Region: Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Australasia Region: Australia, Barrow Island, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu
Indomalaya Region: Bangladesh, Borneo, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Krakatau Islands, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicobar Island, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
Nearctic Region: United States
Oceania Region: Fiji, Guam, Micronesia, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau
Palearctic Region: Afghanistan, China, Greece, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, North Korea, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Polyrhachis   Smith, F., 1859, Catalogue of hymenopterous insects collected by Mr. A. R. Wallace at the Islands of Aru and Key., Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology 3, pp. 132-158: 142, (download) 142 10342
Polyrhachis   Forel, A., 1891, Histoire naturelle des Hymenopteres. Deuxieme partie: Les Formicides., Histoire Physique, Naturelle et Politique de Madagascar., Paris: L'Imprimerie Nationale, pp. 1-231: 78-79, (download) 78-79 6734
Polyrhachis   Smith, F., 1857, Catalogue of the hymenopterous insects collected at Sarawak, Borneo; Mount Ophir, Malacca; and at Singapore, by A. R. Wallace., Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology 2, pp. 42-88: 58-59, (download) 58-59 2588
Polyrhachis   Wheeler, W. M., 1922, The ants collected by the American Museum Congo Expedition., Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45, pp. 39-269: 256-258, (download) 256-258 20597
Polyrhachis   Forel, A., 1891, Histoire naturelle des Hymenopteres. Deuxieme partie: Les Formicides., Histoire Physique, Naturelle et Politique de Madagascar., Paris: L'Imprimerie Nationale, pp. 1-231: 77-78, (download) 77-78 6734
Polyrhachis   Kohout, R. J., 2007, Revision of the subgenus Aulacomyrma Emery of the genus Polyrhachis F. Smith, with descriptions of new species., Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Homage to E. O. Wilson - 50 years of contributions. (Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80), pp. 186-253: 189, (download) 189 21282

See something amiss? Send us an email.
Enlarge Map