Polyrhachis latispina

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Polyrhachis latispina
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. latispina
Binomial name
Polyrhachis latispina
Emery, 1925

Polyrhachis latispina casent0178251 profile 1.jpg

Polyrhachis latispina casent0178251 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Specimen label records show this species has been collected from: fogging of Teclea nobilis, equatorial rainforest in a dead, hollow vine, primary forest and a rainforest edge in a dead twig.


A member of the Polyrhachis militaris species-group. Bolton (1973) - The construction of the propodeum, with its complete margination and transverse ridge between the spines separates it from the above species.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 0.516667° to -5.1°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (type locality), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Kenya, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania.

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) - Eidmann (1944:466) records the nesting site as follows. “I found this [species] only a single time at our experimental area at Musola, where they were nesting in some hollow petioles of dead and fallen leaves of a tree fern. The gaps and openings in the inhabited stems were closed off with a coarse carton mass.”

Association with Other Organisms

  • 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).



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

  • atalanta. Polyrhachis atalanta Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 263, fig. 71 (q.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. [Junior primary homonym of atalanta Emery, above.] Replacement name: latispina Emery, 1925b: 206.
  • latispina. Polyrhachis (Myrma) latispina Emery, 1925b: 206. Replacement name for atalanta Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 263. [Junior primary homonym of atalanta Emery, 1898b: 243.] Senior synonym of iperpunctata: Bolton, 1973b: 309.
  • iperpunctata. Polyrhachis (Myrma) iperpunctata Menozzi, 1942: 181, fig. 4 (w.) EQUATORIAL GUINEA (Bioko I.). [Also given as new in Eidmann, 1944: 466. Misspelled as iperstriata by Eidmann, 1944: 424.] Junior synonym of latispina: Bolton, 1973b: 310.

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



Bolton (1973) - TL 9.4-11.2, HL 2.26-2.40, HW 1.88-2.12, CI 83-88, SL 2.30-2.44, SI 115-122, PW 1.58-1.76, MTL 2.48-2.52. (3 measured.)

Anterior clypeal margin arcuate and entire. Eyes convex, the sides of the head in front of the eyes convex and somewhat convergent anteriorly. Behind the eyes the sides round into the shallowly convex occipital margin. Alitrunk marginate throughout its length, the margination interrupted at the sutures. Pronotum armed with a pair of flattened triangular teeth; the propodeum with a pair of upcurved short spines between which runs a strongly arched transverse ridge separating the dorsum from the declivity. Promesonotal suture distinct; metanotal groove impressed. Petiole armed with four spines; the dorsal pair long, recurving over the base of the first gastral tergite and very broad at their bases. The lateral pair narrow, markedly shorter than the dorsals, somewhat upcurved. Anterior face of first gastral segment shallowly concave medially.

Head, body and appendages equipped with numerous fine, whitish, erect hairs; pubescence sparse, short and scattered.

Clypeus finely reticulate-punctate, overlaid by a loose rugosity. Head finely and densely longitudinally rugose, the spaces between the rugae finely reticulate-punctate. On the sides of the head the rugae are less regular and tend to form a rugoreticulum, especially below and behind the eyes. Dorsum of alitrunk sculptured as head, the sides predominantly reticulate-rugose but with some longitudinal rugulation on the pronotum and propodeum. Declivity of propodeum extremely finely reticulate and shining, forming a marked contrast to the heavily sculptured dorsum. Petiole transversely rugose on the lower part of its anterior surface, longitudinally so above and between the spines. First gastral tergite reticulate-punctate, overlaid by a fine, dense, longitudinal rugulation which tends to peter out on the posterior half of the segment.

Colour black, with parts of the legs and extreme apex of funiculus brown or yellow-brown.


Bolton (1973) - Female answering to the above description apart from the normal modifications of the alitrunk, but differing as follows:

1. Longitudinal rugosity everywhere tending to be coarser and less regular.

2. On the pronotum and mesoscutum the rugae appear to diverge from an anteromedian point. This is more pronounced on the pronotum and is accounted for by the foreshortening of the segment in this caste.

3. The fine longitudinal rugae of the first gastral tergite occupy approximately one-third of the length of the segment.

4. Dorsal petiolar spines shorter with respect to the laterals than in the worker.

Type Material

Bolton (1973) - Holotype queen, CONGO (KINSHASA): Stanleyville [ =Kisangani] (Lang and Chapin) (probably in Museum of Comparative Zoology, Boston).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • 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.
  • Garcia F.H., Wiesel E. and Fischer G. 2013.The Ants of Kenya (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)—Faunal Overview, First Species Checklist, Bibliography, Accounts for All Genera, and Discussion on Taxonomy and Zoogeography. Journal of East African Natural History, 101(2): 127-222
  • 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.
  • Rigato F. 2016. The ant genus Polyrhachis F. Smith in sub-Saharan Africa, with descriptions of ten new species. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 4088: 1-50.
  • Robson Simon Database Polyrhachis -05 Sept 2014
  • 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.