Polyrhachis spinifera

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Polyrhachis spinifera
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Myrma
Species: P. spinifera
Binomial name
Polyrhachis spinifera
Stitz, 1911

Polyrhachis spinifera casent0905618 p 1 high.jpg

Polyrhachis spinifera casent0905618 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels



A member of the Polyrhachis continua species group in the subgenus Myrma

Differs from Polyrhachis conops and Polyrhachis continua by a distinctly wider pronotal dorsum and rather abundant semierect to erect pilosity which is almost completely lacking in these other two species.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Male and immature stages unknown.


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

  • hirsutula. Polyrhachis continua var. hirsutula Emery, 1911c: 256 (w.) NEW GUINEA. Combination in P. (Myrma): Emery, 1925b: 200. Junior synonym of spinifera: Kohout, 1998: 520.
  • spinifera. Polyrhachis conops var. spinifera Stitz, 1911a: 376, fig. 22 (w.) NEW GUINEA. Combination in P. (Myrma): Emery, 1922b: 200. Raised to species and senior synonym of hirsutula: Kohout, 1998: 520.

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



Kohout (2013) - Dimensions of conops spinifera and continua hirsutula syntypes: TL c. 11.44-12.20; HL 2.81-2.96; HW 2.04-2.15; CI 72-75; SL 3.88-3.96; SI 183-194; PW 1.96-2.31; MTL 3.93-4.03 (3 measured).


Kohout (2013) - (not previously described). Dimensions: TL c. 12.50-12.60; HL 2.84-2.93; HW 2.06-2.15; CI 72-73; SL 3.78-3.83; SI 178-183; PW 2.53-2.62; MTL 3.68-3.83 (2 measured).

Larger than worker with usual characters identifying full sexuality, including three ocelli, complete thoracic structure and wings. Pronotal spines shorter. Mesoscutum only marginally wider than long; lateral margins strongly converging anteriorly into narrowly rounded anterior margin; median line distinct; parapsides virtually flat, only weakly raised posteriorly; mesoscutum in profile with widely rounded anterior face and weakly convex, posteriorly almost flat, dorsum. Mesoscutellum only weakly convex, marginally elevated above dorsal plane of mesosoma. Propodeum with lateral margins distinctly rounded anteriorly and weakly raised towards middle of their length; margins terminating posteriorly in short ridges that extend medially for a short distance with dorsum between them descending into declivity in medially uninterrupted line. Petiole with dorsal spines distinctly shorter. Sculpturation, pilosity, pubescence and colour scheme virtually identical to worker.

Type Material

Syntype workers. Type locality: New Guinea, Tana (Moszkowski), Berlin Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève (examined).

Polyrhachis continua var. hirsutula Emery, 1911: 256. Syntype workers. Type locality: New Guinea, R. Digul (Digool on locality label) (= Digoel River), Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa (examined).


  • Emery, C. 1922c. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [part]. Genera Insectorum 174B: 95-206 (page 200, Combination in P. (Myrma))
  • Kohout, R. J. 1998. New synonyms and nomenclatural changes in the ant genus Polyrhachis Fr. Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae). Mem. Qld. Mus. 42: 505-531 (page 520, Raised to species and senior synonym of hirsutula)
  • Kohout, R.J. 2013. A review of the Polyrhachis continua species-group of the subgenus Myrma Billberg (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae) with keys and descriptions of new species. Australian Entomologist 40(1), 13-46.
  • Stitz, H. 1911a. Australische Ameisen. (Neu-Guinea und Salomons-Inseln, Festland, Neu-Seeland). Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturforsch. Freunde Berl. 1911: 351-381 (page 376, fig. 22 worker described)