Polyrhachis fervens

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Polyrhachis fervens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Hedomyrma
Species: P. fervens
Binomial name
Polyrhachis fervens
Smith, F., 1860

Polyrhachis fervens casent0901844 p 1 high.jpg

Polyrhachis fervens casent0901844 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Can be found nesting in the dry hollow stems of bamboo.


Kohout (2008) - There are two members of the subgenus Hedomyrma present in Sulawesi:

  • Distinctly bicoloured; head and tarsi black with mesosoma, petiole and femora light reddish-brown; gaster and tibiae distinctly darker . . . . . Polyrhachis fervens


The distribution of P. fervens extends from eastern Indonesia (Halmahera, Seram and Ambon Is) to New Guinea and south to Cape York Peninsula, Queensland. It is known from lowland rainforests at Bamaga near the tip of Cape York Peninsula and at Iron Range.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).
Indo-Australian Region: Indonesia (type locality), New Guinea, Sulawesi.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb





The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • fervens. Polyrhachis fervens Smith, F. 1860b: 101, pl. 1, fig. 26 (w.) INDONESIA (Ambon I.). Combination in P. (Dolichorhachis): Emery, 1925b: 189; in P. (Hedomyrma): Dorow, 1995: 27; Bolton, 1995b: 348. Senior synonym of indocilis, kershawi, valerus: Kohout, 1988c: 434.
  • valerus. Polyrhachis valerus Smith, F. 1861b: 40, pl. 1, fig. 10 (w.) INDONESIA (Sulawesi). Combination in P. (Hedomyrma): Emery, 1925b: 190. Junior synonym of fervens: Kohout, 1988c: 434.
  • bicolor. Polyrhachis (Hedomyrma) bicolor Karavaiev, 1927e: 21, fig. 11 (w.) INDONESIA (Ambon I.). [Junior primary homonym of bicolor Smith, above.] Replacement name: indocilis Santschi, 1928h: 139.
  • indocilis. Polyrhachis (Hedomyrma) indocilis Santschi, 1928h: 139. Replacement name for bicolor Karavaiev, 1927e: 21. [Junior primary homonym of bicolor Smith, F. 1858b: 65.] Junior synonym of fervens: Kohout, 1988c: 434.
  • kershawi. Polyrhachis (Hedomyrma) kershawi Clark, 1930c: 12, fig. 1 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Junior synonym of fervens: Kohout, 1988a: 434.

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


Type Material

Kohout (2008) - Holotype worker. INDONESIA, Ambon I. (A. R. Wallace), Oxford University Museum of Natural History(examined).

  • Polyrhachis fervens: Syntype, worker(s), Amboyna, Indonesia.
  • Polyrhachis (Hedomyrma) kershawi Clark, 1930: Syntype, worker(s), Claudie River, Queensland, Australia, Australian Museum.
  • Polyrhachis (Hedomyrma) kershawi Clark, 1930: Syntype, worker(s), Claudie River, Queensland, Australia, Museum Victoria, Melbourne.

Kohout (1988) - Prof. Radchenko of the Zoological Institute, Kiev, informs me that the unique holotype of Karawajew's homonym P. bicolor cannot be found in the Karawajew collection, and is presumed lost. However, the original description and illustration are sufficient to establish its synonymy beyond reasonable doubt.

The following notes on F. Smith type specimens have been provided by Barry Bolton (details):

Polyrhachis fervens

Holotype worker in Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Labelled “Amb.” (= Ambon I.) and with a Donisthorpe type-label.

Polyrhachis valerus

The specimen in Oxford University Museum of Natural History labelled as type by Donisthorpe matches the rather poor description well, but the data label upon it reads “Men.” (= Manado, Sulawesi). The type-loclaity recorded by Smith is “Celebes, Tondano.”


  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 348, Combination in P. (Hedomyrma))
  • Dorow, W. H. O. 1995. Revision of the ant genus Polyrhachis Smith, 1857 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae) on subgenus level with keys, checklist of species and bibliography. Cour. Forschungsinst. Senckenb. 185: 1-113 (page 27, Combination in P. (Hedomyrma))
  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 189, Combination in P. (Dolichorhachis))
  • Kohout, R. J. 1988c. Nomenclatural changes and new Australian records in the ant genus Polyrhachis Fr. Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae). Mem. Qld. Mus. 25: 429-438 (page 434, Senior synonym of indocilis, kershawi and valerus)
  • Kohout, R.J. 2008a. A review of the Polyrhachis ants of Sulawesi with keys and descriptions of new species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 52:255-317. PDF
  • Smith, F. 1860b. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects collected by Mr. A. R. Wallace in the islands of Bachian, Kaisaa, Amboyna, Gilolo, and at Dory in New Guinea. J. Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. Zool. 5(17b)(suppl. to vol. 4 4: 93-143 (page 101, pl. 1, fig. 26 worker described)