Polyrhachis penelope

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Polyrhachis penelope
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Hagiomyrma
Species group: penelope
Species: P. penelope
Binomial name
Polyrhachis penelope
Forel, 1895

Polyrhachis penelope casent0903337 p 1 high.jpg

Polyrhachis penelope casent0903337 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Polyrhachis penelope is an uncommon species with its distribution centred on Mackay and extending along the Queensland coast from about Rockhampton as far north as Cairns. It is an inhabitant of open eucalypt forests and woodlands that mostly nests in the ground although one nest was located in a rotten tree stump.


A member of the penelope species-group in the Polyrhachis subgenus Hagiomyrma.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Male unknown. Immature stages present in the QM collection.


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

  • penelope. Polyrhachis penelope Forel, 1895a: 46 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Forel, 1901b: 31 (q.m.). Combination in P. (Hagiomyrma): Forel, 1915b: 108.

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



Kohout (2013) - (syntypes cited first): TL c. 6.65-7.61, 6.50-7.61; HL 1.68-1.75, 1.65-1.78; HW 1.40-1.46, 1.34-1.59; CI 80-81, 80- 85; SL 2.03-2.09, 2.03-2.15; SI 145-149, 135-151; PW 1.28-1.40, 1.28-1.47; MW 0.90-1.03, 0.84-1.03; PMI 139-142, 139-154; MTL 2.06-2.18, 2.06-2.34 (5+10 measured).

Anterior clypeal margin with denticulate median flange, laterally flanked by acute angles. Clypeus with distinct median carina; sinuate in profile, posteriorly rounding into moderately impressed basal margin. Frontal triangle weakly indicated. Frontal carinae sinuate with only weakly raised margins; central area flat. Sides of head in front of eyes converging towards mandibular bases in weakly convex line; behind eyes, sides rounding into convex occipital margin. Eyes moderately convex, in full face view marginally exceeding lateral cephalic outline. Ocelli lacking. Pronotal humeri widely rounded with anterior margins weakly raised; pronotal margins weakly emarginate medially before terminating at well impressed promesonotal suture. Mesonotal dorsum with lateral margins converging towards indistinct with moderately long, weakly divergent spines with tips weakly curved outwards. Petiole with posterior face descending towards base in weakly convex line; dorsum weakly concave medially, laterally armed with pair of broad-based, horizontal, divergent spines. Anterior face of first gastral tergite distinctly higher than full height of petiole, widely rounding onto dorsum.

Mandibles longitudinally striate with numerous piliferous pits. Head, mesosoma and petiole distinctly, more-or-less regularly reticulate-punctate, with punctures very smooth, polished. Spines sculptured at bases, smooth and polished towards tips. Gaster finely shagreened.

Mandibular masticatory borders with numerous, curved, golden hairs. Anterior clypeal margin with a few, anteriorly projecting setae medially and several very short setae fringing margin laterally. Dorsa of head, mesosoma and petiole with numerous, rather short, erect, bristle-like hairs; a few hairs fringing anterior face of fore coxae and venter of mid and hind coxae and femora. Gaster with more abundant, golden hairs on dorsum; distinctly longer, posteriorly directed hairs around apex and on venter. Rather diluted, closely appressed, silvery pubescence on dorsa of head and mesosoma; pubescence more abundant on sides of mesosoma, declivity and petiole, except its smooth and polished anterior face. Gaster with abundant golden pubescence on dorsum, hiding underlying sculpturation; pubescence much diluted and silvery on venter of gaster.

Black; mandibular teeth reddish-brown.


Kohout (2013) - TL c. 8.52; HL 1.81; HW 1.53; CI 84; SL 2.03; SI 133; PW 1.72; MTL 2.18 (1 measured).

Apart from sexual characters, very similar to worker except: mesoscutum as wide as long; relatively low in lateral view, anteriorly rounding onto very weakly convex dorsum; median line bifurcate anteriorly; parapsides weakly raised. Mesoscutellum only marginally raised above dorsal plane of mesosoma. Propodeal and petiolar spines similar to worker, but shorter. Sculpturation, pilosity, pubescence and colour identical to worker, except pilosity on dorsum of mesoscutum completely lacking.

Type Material


  • Forel, A. 1895a. Nouvelles fourmis de diverses provenances, surtout d'Australie. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 39: 41-49 (page 46, worker described)
  • Forel, A. 1901c. Formiciden aus dem Bismarck-Archipel, auf Grundlage des von Prof. Dr. F. Dahl gesammelten Materials. Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berl. 2: 4-37 (page 31, queen, male described)
  • Forel, A. 1915b. Results of Dr. E. Mjöbergs Swedish Scientific Expeditions to Australia 1910-13. 2. Ameisen. Ark. Zool. 9(1 16: 1-119 (page 108, Combination in P. (Hagiomyrma))
  • Kohout, R.J. 2013. Revision of Polyrhachis (Hagiomyrma) Wheeler, 1911 (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, Nature 56, 487-577.