Polyrhachis phidias

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Polyrhachis phidias
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. phidias
Binomial name
Polyrhachis phidias
Forel, 1910

Polyrhachis phidias casent0906825 p 1 high.jpg

Polyrhachis phidias casent0906825 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The habits of the species are probably similar to those of fissa or decemdentata and its range probably covers the same area as these two species, that is, the forest zones of West and Central Africa. (Bolton 1973)


Rigato (2016) - A small militaris group species with trapezoidal head, the lateral pair of petiolar spines a little longer than the dorsal pair, and scape devoid of standing hairs.

Bolton (1973) - P. phidias is most closely related to Polyrhachis fissa and its immediate allies as is shown by the petiolar structure and the development of the pronotal spines. It differs from them in details of sculpturation and petiolar structure.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 6.216667° to -4.42°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, 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.




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

  • phidias. Polyrhachis phidias Forel, 1910e: 450 (w.) "Equatorial Africa". Combination in P. (Myrma): Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 999. See also: Bolton, 1973b: 316.

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



Bolton (1973) - TL 4.9-5.1, HL 1.18-1.26, HW 1.03-1.08, CI 85-87, SL 1.18-1.26, SI 114-116, PW 1.08-1.13, MTL 1.16-1.21. (2 measured.)

Anterior clypeal margin entire, somewhat flattened medially. Sides of head in front of the strongly convex eyes shallowly convex. Behind the eyes the sides are nearly straight and meet the convex occipital margin almost in a right-angle. Alitrunk marginate laterally throughout its length, the marginations broken only at the sutures. Constituent segments of the dorsum of the alitrunk shallowly transversely convex. Pronotum armed with a pair of broad, flattened, triangular spines, the outer edges of which form a continuous convexity with the lateral marginations. Sutures well developed on the dorsum, the metanotal groove impressed. Propodeum armed with a pair of small, blunt, upturned teeth. Petiole with a pair of long, acute, lateral spines and a pair of short, triangular, dorsal teeth. Anterior face of first gastral segment strongly concave medially.

Erect hairs present on all dorsal surfaces of the body, but absent from the antennal scapes. Pubescence short and grey in colour.

Head and dorsum of alitrunk finely longitudinally striate-rugose. The first gastral segment similarly but more finely sculptured and with numerous small punctures between the rugae.

Rigato (2016) - (n=20). HL 1.13–1.30, HW 0.97–1.13, CI 83–91, SL 1.15–1.28, SI 109–119, FW 0.42–0.47, FI 40–44, PW 1.08–1.24, WL 1.37–1.66, HTL 1.11–1.30.


Rigato (2016) - (n=6). HL 1.30–1.40, HW 1.15–1.20, CI 83–89, SL 1.27–1.35, SI 110–117, FW 0.46–0.52, FI 40–44, ScW 1.30–1.37, MnL 1.57–1.70, WL 2.13–2.21, HTL 1.32–1.50.

Type Material

Bolton (1973) - Syntype workers, Equatorial Africa (locality unknown) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève) [examined]. In the original description Forel stated that the locality in which the type series was captured was unknown, although “certainly in Equatorial Africa”. This last information is also included upon the data labels of the type specimens.


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.
  • 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.
  • Taylor B. 1978. Ants of the Nigerian Forest Zone (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). II. Formicinae, Dolichoderinae. Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria Research Bulletin 5: 1-57.
  • Yeo K., T. Delsinne, S. Komate, L. L. Alonso, D. Aidara, and C. Peeters. 2016. Diversity and distribution of ant assemblages above and below ground in a West African forest–savannah mosaic (Lamto, Cote d’Ivoire). Insectes Sociaux DOI 10.1007/s00040-016-0527-6