Polyrhachis pirata

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Polyrhachis pirata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Myrma
Species: P. pirata
Binomial name
Polyrhachis pirata
Sorger & Zettel, 2009



Specimen Label

Habitats are very similar to those of Polyrhachis cyaniventris and syntopic occurrence was observed in the Quezon National Park and in an abandoned coconut grove in Northern Samar.. However, based on its infrequent occurrence relative to P. cyaniventris and the habitats where it has been found, P. pirata probably prefers more natural habitats with higher tree coverage and is possibly restricted to lower altitudes. Although the majority of specimens (Zettel collection #165) were collected on the ground, other individual workers were found foraging on leaves and twigs of small trees and bushes. Nesting habits of P. pirata are unknown. (Sorger and Zettel 2009)


A member of the Polyrhachis cyaniventris species-group. Sorger and Zettel (2009) - Some intraspecific variation has been observed in P. pirata. Compared with specimens from Luzon, the ants from Northern Samar are smaller, appear more gracile, and have a distinctly more bluish shimmer on gaster.

Keys including this Species


Philippines: Central and Southern Luzon, Mindoro and Samar.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Philippines (type locality).

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.

  • pirata. Polyrhachis (Myrma) pirata Sorger & Zettel, 2009: 33, figs. 7-10, 12 (w.) PHILIPPINES (Luzon I.).

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



Holotype: TL 10.8 mm, HW 2.33 mm, HL 2.83 mm, CI 82, SL 3.33 mm, SI 143, PSPD 3.28 mm, PPL 1.34 mm, PPW 1.71 mm, PPI 128, PTW 3.00 mm, MTL 3.66 mm. Paratype workers (n = 10): TL 10.1–10.8–11.5 mm, HW 2.19–2.37–2.50 mm, HL 2.60–2.83–2.98 mm, CI 81–84–86, SL 3.15–3.34–3.50 mm, SI 130–141–146, PSPD 2.90–3.19–3.50 mm, PPL 1.23–1.38–1.49 mm, PPW 1.49–1.75–1.94 mm, PPI 114–127–137, PTW 2.49–2.93–3.23 mm, MTL 3.18–3.47–3.64 mm.

Head and mesosoma with bluish green, in some specimens slightly coppery shimmer; petiole and gaster often appearing darker and more bluish than mesosoma. Antennae and legs (except femora) black.

Head dorsum with some fine rugae between eyes, sides without rugae. Venter without setae. Vertex usually without setae (except in one specimen with two setae). Frons with fine median furrow and 4–7 setae. Genae without setae. Clypeus on disk with 5–7 setae.

Mesosoma dorsally without setae; in addition to microsculpture on disk of pronotum and – more distinct – on propodeum with very fine longitudinal rugae. Pronotal spines long and massive, in cross-section approximately triangular, their bases conspicuously elevated over anterior pronotal disk. Ridge separating dorsal and posterior face of propodeum sinuate, medially slightly depressed. Sides of propodeum dorsal of stigma with strong longitudinal rugae overlaying microsculpture. Femora and tibiae without setae.

Sculpture of gaster with isodiametric reticulum; tergite 1 without setae, tergite 2 usually without setae (except in five specimens with few setae at hind margin), following tergites and all sternites with numerous setae increasing in length towards apex of abdomen.

Type Material

Holotype (worker) Philippines, Luzon Island, Quezon Province, Quezon National Park near Atimonan, dipterocarp forest near Old Zigzag Road. labelled "Philippinen: Luzon, Quezon\ Atimonan, Quezon NP\ Old Zigzag Rd., 24.-30.3.\ 1998, leg. Zettel (#165)" (University of the Philippines). Paratypes: Luzon Isl.: Zambales Prov. [erroneously labelled “Bataan”]: Olongapo, Subic Bay, "Jungle Educational Survival Training" area, 4.XII.1993, leg. H. Zettel (#37h), 1 worker (Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna). Quezon Prov.: Atimonan, Quezon National Park, Old Zigzag Road, 24.-30.III.1998, leg. H. Zettel (#165), 31 workers (Herbert and S.V. Zettel, CSW, NHMW, Queensland Museum, University of the Philippines, USC–EC), 16.III.1999, leg. H. Zettel (#202), 2 workers (NHMW). Camarines Norte Prov.: Labo, Tulay na Lupa, Mt. Labo - Mt. Bayabas area, 17.-18.III.2004, leg. H. Zettel & C. V. Pangantihon (#382), 1 worker (CZW). Mindoro Isl.: Occidental Mindoro: [San Jose,] Mangarin, 12.[19?]17, unknown collector, 1 worker (MCZL). Samar Isl.: Northern Samar Prov.: San Joaquin, Lologayan Falls, 4.-6.III.2003, leg. H. Zettel (#345), 1 worker (CZW), 1.- 5.III.2004, leg. H. Zettel (#377), 9 workers (CZW, NHMW, UPLB).


Latin for “pirate,” used as a noun in apposition. The name pirata is an homage to the mythic world of ancient pirates. The stoutness, distinct colours and massive spines of this species – in comparison to related species – served as an inspiration for this name.