Poecilomyrma senirewae

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Poecilomyrma senirewae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Poecilomyrma
Species: P. senirewae
Binomial name
Poecilomyrma senirewae
Mann, 1921

Poecilomyrma senirewae casent0101901 profile 1.jpg

Poecilomyrma senirewae casent0101901 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Sarnat and Economo (2012) discovered that Mann (1921) mistakenly mixed two species in his description of this form (see the nomenclature section below). From this it is unclear what of the following from Mann's original treatment applies to Poecilomyrma senirewae: Described from a series taken from a small colony that was nesting in a hollow twig of a recently felled kauri tree, and a couple of individuals found on leaves. It is evidently arboreal and may, like the species of Podomyrma that I found in the Solomons, be widely distributed though locally very hard to find.


Sarnat and Economo (2012) - Poecilomyrma senirewae is a large reddish species with darker appendages and a black gaster. The mesosomal sculpture is strongly reticulated, and the pronotal humeri project as acute teeth. Specimens matching the type series are known from the Nadarivatu area, Mt. Tomanivi and Koroyanitu (all Viti Levu). It is sympatric with Poecilomyrma myrmecodiae at Mt. Tomanivi and with Poecilomyrma sp. FJ05 at Nadarivatu and Koroyanitu. Poecilomyrma sp. FJ03 (Gau) has a similar color pattern, but differs in its uniformly longitudinal and non-reticulated mesosomal sculpture and reduced pronotal humeri. There is a specimen collected by E. O. Wilson from Nadala that may represent the ergatoid queen of this species. The pilosity is longer and more flexous, and the carinae and rugae are more strongly margined.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -17.61806° to -18.03°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Fiji (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.


Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.





The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • senirewae. Poecilomyrma senirewae Mann, 1921: 446, fig. 16 (w.) FIJI IS.

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


Sarnat and Economo (2012) - The cotype series originally described by Mann consists of two species: a larger species with a head the same red color as the mesosoma (described as the major worker, and the description found just below this paragraph), and a smaller species with a darker red black head contrasting with the red mesosoma (described as the minor worker, and treated here as Poecilomyrma sp. FJ05). The description of the larger specimens appeared first in the publication on page 446, followed by the smaller specimens on page 448. Therefore, one specimen of the larger red-headed species is hereby designated as the lectotype, and the four workers of the same species from the same locality are designated as paralectotypes. The discussion of P. senirewae provided here is restricted only to the larger species with the red head described by Mann as the major worker. The smaller species with the darker head described by Mann as the minor worker is treated here as Poecilomyrma sp. FJ05.


Length 5 mm.

Head about as long as broad, as broad in front as behind, with convex sides, broadly posterior corners, and straight border. Mandibles rather thick, their blades with six stout triangular teeth, the anterior two of which are longer than the other and acuminate apically. Clypeus moderately convex at middle, very faintly concave at middle of anterior border. Frontal area large, triangular, and very distinct. Frontal carinae little elevated, parallel basally rather than divergent and extending up the front as crenulate carinae. Antennal scapes extending to occipital corners; first funicular joint longer than the second, but shorter than the second and third together, second joint distinctly longer than broad and longer than the third, joints 3-8 very slightly broader than long; last three joints forming a poorly differentiated club, with the first two about one and one third times as broad as long and together a little longer than the terminal joint. Eyes convex, situated at middle of sides of head. Thorax and epinotum without sutures above, broadest and with convex sides in the pronotal region, which is broader than long and separated from mesonotum by narrow lateral incisions; humeri produced into triangular teeth, which are flat above and a little broader at base than long; mesoepinotum broadest in front, gradually narrowing behind, rounding into the flattened declivous portion. Epinotal spines a little shorter than their distance apart at base, straight, thick, blunt apically, extending upward and backward and moderately divergent; basal spines much longer and curved, thick at apical third, slender above. Peduncle of petiole from above three times as long as broad, rather strongly margined at sides, the margin roundedly elevated at middle; node elongate oval, nearly twice as long as broad; in profile, much longer than high, with the rather straight dorsal surface elevated behind, and longer than the anterior and a little shorter than the posterior surface. Postpetiole in profile longer than high; from above, about as long as broad, with convex sides, twice as broad at posterior border as in front. Gaster eggshaped. Sting strong. Legs long and rather stout.

Shining. Mandibles coarsely striate and with scattered punctures. Clypeus with nine strong striae at middle. Head, thorax, epinotum (except tip of basal portion and the declivity) with very coarse, tortuous, irregularly reticulate costae. Postpetiole smooth above, with one or two punctures at the sides and basally with finer costae. Gaster with very regular and distinct piligerous punctures and a few broad and shallow punctures.

White, erect hairs abundant, on 'head, thorax, petiole, and postpetiole, longer and more regularly distributed on gaster, shorter on appendages.

Color rich reddish brown, mandibles, antennae, and legs darker, gaster black.

Type Material

Sarnat and Economo (2012) - FIJI, Viti Levu, Nadarivatu (W. M. Mann). USNM worker here designated Lectotype. Paralectotypes: 2 workers (Museum of Comparative Zoology, type no. 20999, designated); 4 workers (National Museum of Natural History, designated).


This beautiful species is dedicated to Senirewa, a native princess.


  • Mann, W. M. 1921. The ants of the Fiji Islands. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 64: 401-499 (page 446, fig. 16 worker described)
  • Sarnat, E.M. & Economo, E.P. 2012. The ants of Fiji: 384 pp. UC Publications in Entomology, University of California Press.

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Dlussky G.M. 1994. Zoogeography of southwestern Oceania. Zhivotnoe naselenie ostrovov Iugo-Zapadnoi Okeanii ekologo-geograficheskie issledovanii 48-93.
  • Mann W. M. 1921. The ants of the Fiji Islands. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 64: 401-499.
  • Sarnat Eli M. 2009. The Ants [Hymenoptera: Formicdiae] of Fiji: Systematics, Biogeography and Conservation of an Island Arc Fauna. 80-252
  • Ward, Darren F. and James K. Wetterer. 2006. Checklist of the Ants of Fiji. Fiji Arthropods III 85: 23-47.
  • Wheeler W.M. 1935. Check list of the ants of Oceania. Occasional Papers of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum 11(11):1-56.
  • Wheeler, William Morton.1935.Checklist of the Ants of Oceania.Occasional Papers 11(11): 3-56
  • Wilson E.O., and G.L. Hunt. 1967. Ant fauna of Futuna and Wallis islands, stepping stones to Polynesia. Pacific Insects 9(4): 563-584.
  • Wilson, Edward O. and George L. Hunt. 1967. Ant Fauna of Futuna and Wallis Islands, Stepping Stones To Polynesia. Pacific Insects. 9(4):563-584.
  • Wilson, Edward O. and Hunt, George L. Jr. 1967. Ant Fauna of Futuna and Wallis Islands, Stepping Stones to Polynesia. Pacific Insects. 9(4):563-584