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Genus: Polyrhachis   Smith, 1857 


Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Extant: 705 valid species, 82 valid subspecies

Fossil: 1 valid species

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

Taxonomic history

[Polyrhachis Shuckard, 1840e PDF: 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 PDF: 741, incorrect subsequent spelling.]
Genus Polyrhachis references
Smith, 1858a PDF: 58 (diagnosis); Roger, 1863b PDF: 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 PDF: 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 PDF: 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 PDF: 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 et al., 1991: 45 (Japan species key); Wang & Wu, 1991 PDF: 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 (Polyrhachis (Cyrtomyrma)); Kohout, 2007c PDF: 189 (subgenus Aulacomyrma diagnosis, all species revision, key); Kohout, 2007b PDF: 8 (Borneo Polyrhachis (Campomyrma) 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, 2012a PDF: 38, 43, 50 (Australia Polyrhachis (Myrma), Polyrhachis (Myrmatopa) and Polyrhachis (Myrmothrinax) keys); Kohout, 2012b PDF (Polyrhachis hexacantha complex species key); Kohout, 2013c PDF (Polyrhachis xiphias species-group diagnosis, species revision, key); Kohout, 2013f PDF (Polyrhachis aculeata species-group diagnosis, review, key); Kohout, 2013e PDF (Polyrhachis (Hagiomyrma) revision, species key, species-group definition and diagnosis); Kohout, 2013d PDF (Polyrhachis (Campomyrma) gravis and micans species-group diagnosis, review, species key); Kohout, 2014 PDF (subgenus Polyrhachis diagnosis, review, species key); (Mezger & Moreau, 2016 10.1111/syen.12163 PDF: 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); Blanchard et al., 2020 10.1002/ece3.6322 PDF: 5852 (phylogeny, evolution); Wong & Guénard, 2021 10.20362/am.013001 PDF: 10 (Hong Kong, Macau species key); Ward & Boudinot, 2021 10.3897/asp.79.e66978 PDF: 50 (male identification); Blanchard & Moreau, 2022 10.1111/syen.12578 PDF: 1 (phylogeny, evolution); Jaitrong et al., 2023 10.11646/zootaxa.5249.4.3 PDF: 446 (Thailand Polyrhachis flavicornis species group review), 448 (Thailand Polyrhachis flavicornis species group diagnosis, key to workers).

Taxon Page Images:

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


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: 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
    Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Borneo, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Krakatau Islands, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicobar Island, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Yemen
    Europe: Greece
    Oceania: Australia, Fiji, Guam, New Caledonia, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Afrotropical, Australasia, Indomalaya, Oceania, Palearctic
  Native biogeographic regions (according to species list records):
    Afrotropical, Australasia, Indomalaya, Oceania, Palearctic

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

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