Polyrhachis decemdentata

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Polyrhachis decemdentata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Myrma
Species group: militaris
Species: P. decemdentata
Binomial name
Polyrhachis decemdentata
André, 1889

Polyrhachis decemdentata casent0227571 p 1 high.jpg

Polyrhachis decemdentata casent0227571 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


The nests of decemdentata are usually constructed in rotten parts of standing trees, often a considerable distance above the ground. Branches which have previously suffered termite attack appear to be preferred, but the species has been recorded in Ghana nesting in the stump of a fallen cocoa tree. The species is arboreal and very rarely comes to ground level; it is apparently tolerated in trees by dominant species of the genera Oecophylla and Crematogaster. (Bolton 1973)


A member of the Polyrhachis militaris species-group.

Bolton (1973) - The presence of six spines or teeth on the petiole distinguishes this species from all others in the regional fauna except Polyrhachis andrei, which is known only from the female.The female closely resembles P. andrei, the characters for their separation are given under that species.

The varieties and subspecies in synonymy were mostly founded upon quite trivial variations in colouration or in sculptural intensity. Material examined embraces all the described infraspecific forms, with numerous intermediates, and places the previously described forms well within the limits of variation of the species. The limits in sculptural reduction are perhaps best shown by a female in the BMNH collection, from Uganda. In this specimen the mesoscutum is devoid of sculpturation except for a faint superficial reticulation; the scutellum and the propodeal dorsum are weakly reticulate-rugose and the whole body is very shiny.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 6.283333333° to -5.3119°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Sierra Leone (type locality), Uganda.

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.



Bolton (1973) - Alate females of Polyrhachis decemdentata have been recorded as follows. GHANA : October. NIGERIA : March, July, August. SIERRA LEONE : August. UGANDA: August, December.

Association with Other Organisms

  • This species is a host for the fungus Akanthomyces gracilis (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).
  • This species is a host for the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).
  • This species is a host for the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (a pathogen) (Shrestha et al., 2017).
  • This species is a host for the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).





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

  • decemdentata. Polyrhachis decemdentata André, 1889: 219 (w.) SIERRA LEONE. Emery, 1892d: 567 (q.); Forel, 1915c: 351 (m.). Combination in P. (Myrma): Forel, 1916: 450. Senior synonym of fernandensis, flavipes, gustavi, tenuistriata: Bolton, 1973b: 302.
  • fernandensis. Polyrhachis decemdentata var. fernandensis Forel, 1901e: 377 (w.) EQUATORIAL GUINEA. Santschi, 1910c: 396 (q.). Junior synonym of decemdentata: Bolton, 1973b: 302.
  • flavipes. Polyrhachis decemdentata var. flavipes Stitz, 1910: 149 (w.q.) CAMEROUN. Junior synonym of decemdentata: Bolton, 1973b: 302.
  • gustavi. Polyrhachis (Myrma) decemdentata var. gustavi Emery, 1921e: 22 (q.) EQUATORIAL GUINEA (Bioko I.). Junior synonym of decemdentata: Bolton, 1973b: 302.
  • tenuistriata. Polyrhachis (Myrma) decemdentata subsp. tenuistriata Menozzi, 1933a: 114 (w.) UGANDA. Santschi, 1937g: 85 (q.). Junior synonym of decemdentata: Bolton, 1973b: 302.

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



Bolton (1973) - TL 4.7-6.7, HL 1.18-1.59, HW 1.07-1.48, CI 87-93, SL 1.15-1.55, SI 105-114, PW 0.85-1.33, MTL 1.22-1.74. (28 measured)

Anterior clypeal margin arcuate, convex to shallowly concave medially. Eyes convex, moderately protuberant. Sides of head in front of eyes convex and convergent anteriorly; behind the eyes the sides round into the very shallowly convex occipital margin. Alitrunk marginate throughout its length, the margination interrupted at the sutures. All dorsal surfaces transversely convex, the propodeum somewhat more markedly so than the pronotum or mesonotum. Pronotum armed with a pair of broad, flattened, triangular spines; propodeum with a pair of short upcurved spines or teeth. Promesonotal suture distinct; metanotal groove developed and deeply impressed. Petiole with six spines or teeth; a lateral pair of long spines directed upwards and weakly backwards, a dorsal pair of broad, acute teeth which are usually short and dentiform but occasionally projecting as distinct spines, and a pair of teeth or short spines situated below and behind the long lateral spines and directed backwards and upwards. The last mentioned pair are sometimes reduced to small tubercles. Anterior face of first gastral segment concave medially.

All dorsal surfaces of the body and appendages with numerous erect hairs, white or yellowish in colour. Pubescence sparse, grey or off-white.

Sculpturation variable, usually with the head and the dorsum of the alitrunk finely longitudinally rugose or striate-rugose with shining or weakly reticulate-punctate interspaces. Sometimes the sculpture is very much effaced or more distinctly reticulate-rugose, especially on the dorsum of the alitrunk. On the propodeal dorsum the rugae may be transverse or, in some individuals, diagonal. Gaster usually finely and densely reticulate-punctate but with all intergrades to the possession of a fine superficial reticulation only. Colour black, often entirely so but sometimes the legs (especially the fore tibiae) lighter, brown or yellow-brown.


Bolton (1973) - As worker, answering to the above description except in the structure of the alitrunk. The pronotal spines are reduced and the sculpturation of the scutellar dorsum is usually distinctly reticulate-rugose.

Type Material

Bolton (1973) - Holotype worker, SIERRA LEONE (Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • André E. 1895. Formicides de l'Ogooué (Congo français). Rev. Entomol. (Caen) 14: 1-5.
  • Belshaw R., and B. Bolton. 1994. A survey of the leaf litter ant fauna in Ghana, West Africa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 3: 5-16.
  • Belshaw R., and B. Bolton. 1994. A survey of the leaf litter ant fauna in Ghana, West Africa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 3: 5-16.
  • Bernard F. 1953. La réserve naturelle intégrale du Mt Nimba. XI. Hyménoptères Formicidae. Mémoires de l'Institut Français d'Afrique Noire 19: 165-270.
  • Bolton B. 1973. The ant genus Polyrhachis F. Smith in the Ethiopian region (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 28: 283-369.
  • Braet Y., and B. Taylor. 2008. Mission entomologique au Parc National de Pongara (Gabon). Bilan des Formicidae (Hymenoptera) recoltes. Bulletin S. R. B. E./K.B.V.E. 144: 157-169.
  • Eidmann H. 1944. Die Ameisenfauna von Fernando Poo. 27. Beitrag zu den Ergebnissen der Westafrika-Expedition. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Ökol. Geogr. Tiere 76: 413-490.
  • Emery C. 1892. Voyage de M. Ch. Alluaud dans le territoire d'Assinie (Afrique occidentale) en juillet et août 1886. Formicides. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 60: 553-574.
  • Emery C. 1921. Le genre Polyrhachis. Classification; espèces nouvelles ou critiques. Bulletin de la Société Vaudoise des Sciences Naturelles 54: 17-25.
  • Forel A. 1901. Variétés myrmécologiques. Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique 45: 334-382.
  • Forel A. 1913. Quelques fourmis des Indes, du Japon et d'Afrique. Rev. Suisse Zool. 21: 659-673
  • IZIKO South Africa Museum Collection
  • Lévieux J. 1972. Les fourmis de la savane de Lamto (Côte d'Ivoire): éléments de taxonomie. Bulletin de l'Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire. Série A. Sciences Naturelles 34: 611-654.
  • Medler J. T. 1980: Insects of Nigeria - Check list and bibliography. Mem. Amer. Ent. Inst. 30: i-vii, 1-919.
  • Menozzi C. 1942. Formiche dell'isola Fernando Poo e del territorio del Rio Muni (Guinea Spagnola). 24. Beitrag zu den wissenschaftlichen Ergebnissen der Forschungsreise H. Eidmann nach Spanisch-Guinea 1939 bis 1940. Zoologischer Anzeiger 140: 164-182.
  • Robson Simon Database Polyrhachis -05 Sept 2014
  • Tadu Z., C. Djieto-Lordon, R. Babin, Yede, E. B. Messop-Youbi, and A. Fomena. 2013. Influence of insecticide treatment on ant diversity in tropical agroforestry system: some aspect of the recolonization process. International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation 5(12): 832-844.
  • Taylor B. 1978. Ants of the Nigerian Forest Zone (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). II. Formicinae, Dolichoderinae. Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria Research Bulletin 5: 1-57.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1922. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. II. The ants collected by the American Museum Congo Expedition. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45: 39-269.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1922. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VIII. A synonymic list of the ants of the Ethiopian region. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45: 711-1004
  • Yeo K., L. M. M. Kouakou, W. Dekoninck, K. Ouattara, and S. Konate. 2016. Detecting intruders: assessment of the anthropophilic ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the city of Abidjan and along access roads in Banco National Park (Côte d’Ivoire). Journal of Entomology and Zoological Studies 4(4): 351-359.
  • Yeo K., and A. Hormenyo. 2007. A Rapid Survey of Ants in Ajenjua Bepo and Mamang River Forest Reserves, Eastern Region of Ghana. Pp 27-29. In McCullough, J., P. Hoke, P. Naskrecki, and Y. Osei-Owusu (eds.). 2008. A Rapid Biological Assessment of the Ajenjua Bepo and Mamang River Forest Reserves, Ghana. RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 50. Conservation International, Arlington, VA, USA.