Polyrhachis cybele

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Polyrhachis cybele
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Myrma
Species group: aculeata
Species complex: aculeata
Species: P. cybele
Binomial name
Polyrhachis cybele
Wheeler, W.M., 1919

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Specimen labels

Polyrhachis cybele is a relatively uncommon species.


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

Kohout (2008) - Polyrhachis aculeata, P. cybele, Polyrhachis gibbosa and Polyrhachis hemiopticoides are all quite similar. The characters separating these four species include the degree to which the posterior blinkers of the eyes are developed, general pilosity and the shape and length of the pronotal and petiolar spines. In P. aculeata and P. hemiopticoides the eyes are strongly truncate and the pronotal and petiolar spines rather long and slender. Polyrhachis aculeata has all the body surfaces covered with numerous, relatively long, erect or semierect hairs and the legs and base of the gaster reddish-brown. In P. hemiopticoides hairs are present only on the head and over the gastral apex, and the gaster and tarsi are black with only the femora and tibiae reddish-brown. Polyrhachis gibbosa differs from both species and also from P. cybele by its distinctly less truncate eyes, stubby body, shorter and thicker petiolar spines and the presence of a distinct pile of short, silvery or whitish, appressed pubescence that is abundant over most of the body surfaces, except the vertex, midline of the mesosoma and gastral dorsum. Polyrhachis gibbosa is apparently limited to Sri Lanka, while P. aculeata and P. hemiopticoides are known from India, with the latter also reported from Laos. Polyrhachis cybele occurs on Borneo, Sumatra and Sulawesi.

Kohout (2013) - The distinguishing characters separating P. cybele from the closely similar species Polyrhachis dimoculata are given in the identification section of that species.

Keys including this Species


Borneo, Sumatra and Java to Sulawesi and the Philippines

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo (type locality), Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines.

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.

  • cybele. Polyrhachis (Hemioptica) aculeata subsp. cybele Wheeler, W.M. 1919e: 126 (w.) BORNEO. Combination in P. (Myrma): Emery, 1925b: 205. Raised to species: Kohout, 2008a: 271.

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

Kohout (2013) - Specimens from Sumatra are rather similar to those of the Bornean population, but those from Sulawesi and Java differ in a number of characters. Sulawesi specimens are characterised by a distinctly broader pronotal dorsum and shorter antennal scapes (SI 133-140 versus 144-150 in other populations). In contrast, the single available series of specimens from Java (Kebun Raya, Bogor), differ markedly from other populations by their distinctly more slender body (PW 1.06-1.18 versus 1.22-1.50 in specimens from Borneo, Sumatra and Sulawesi). The Bogor specimens also have the body hairs distinctly less abundant and virtually absent from the antennal scapes, vertex of the head, dorsum of the mesosoma and most of the gastral dorsum, except the apex. However, specimens from across the entire distribution are closely similar in their general appearance and I believe all the examined populations are conspecific.



Kohout (2013) - Dimensions (syntype cited first): TL c. 7.00, 5.95-7.96; HL 1.68, 1.53-1.87; HW 1.43, 1.28-1.56; CI 85, 75-85; SL 2.09, 1.81-2.28; SI 146, 133-150; PW 1.22, 1.06-1.50; MTL 2.15, 1.96-2.46 (1+25 measured).


Kohout (2013) - Dimensions: TL c. 8.26; HL 1.84; HW 1.59; CI 86; SL 2.18; SI 137; PW 1.72; MTL 2.34 (1 measured).

Queen larger than worker with usual characters identifying full sexuality, including three ocelli, complete thoracic structure and wings. Pronotal spines distinctly shorter, only marginally longer than their basal width, anteriorly directed. Mesoscutum somewhat wider than long; lateral margins converging anteriorly into smoothly rounded anterior margin; median line distinct; parapsides only weakly raised posteriorly; mesoscutum in profile with widely rounded anterior face and almost flat dorsum posteriorly. Mesoscutellum moderately convex, only marginally elevated above dorsal plane of mesosoma. Propodeal dorsum convex in outline with lateral margins terminating in narrowly rounded, medially continuous ridges that form rather thin, transverse, medially bowed line dividing propodeal dorsum from declivity. Petiole biconvex in profile, dorsolateral spines reduced to rather blunt, wide-based teeth, only marginally longer than acute lateral teeth; dorsal margin very shallowly, medially notched. Rather smooth and highly polished dorsal body surfaces, pilosity, pubescence and colour, very similar to worker.

Type Material

Kohout (2008) - Syntype workers. BORNEO, SARAWAK, Kuching (J. Hewitt), Museum of Comparative Zoology (examined).