Polyrhachis rufipes

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Polyrhachis rufipes
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Myrmhopla
Species: P. rufipes
Binomial name
Polyrhachis rufipes
Smith, F., 1858

Polyrhachis rufipes casent0901869 p 1 high.jpg

Polyrhachis rufipes casent0901869 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels



A member of the Polyrhachis furcata species group.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo (type locality), Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines.
Oriental Region: Laos, Myanmar.
Palaearctic Region: China.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Workers of P. rufipes use the trails of Gnamptogenys menadensis to gain access to sugar sources. When they encounter Gnamptogenys foragers, P . rufipes workers show a typical aggressive antennal boxing, to which Gnamptogenys reacts submissively (Gobin, Peeters, and Billen 1998). This is the only known instance of commensalism between a ponerine and a formicine ant.





The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • rufipes. Polyrhachis rufipes Smith, F. 1858b: 66, pl. 4, fig. 28 (w.) BORNEO. Combination in P. (Myrmhopla): Emery, 1925b: 196. Senior synonym of exasperatus, oblisa, phipsoni: Bolton, 1974b: 178.
  • exasperatus. Polyrhachis exasperatus Smith, F. 1861b: 41, pl. 1, fig. 16 (w.) INDONESIA (Sulawesi). Viehmeyer, 1916b: 288 (q.). Combination in P. (Myrmhopla): Emery, 1925b: 193. Junior synonym of rufipes: Bolton, 1974b: 178.
  • phipsoni. Polyrhachis phipsoni Forel, 1894c: 399 (w.) MYANMAR. Combination in P. (Myrmhopla): Emery, 1925b: 193. Subspecies of rufipes: Forel, 1911e: 297; Emery, 1925b: 193. Junior synonym of rufipes: Bolton, 1974b: 178.
  • oblisa. Polyrhachis exasperata var. oblisa Forel, 1911d: 395 (w.) WEST MALAYSIA. Combination in P. (Myrmhopla): Emery, 1925b: 193. Junior synonym of rufipes: Bolton, 1974b: 178.

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


Type Material

Kohout (2008) - Holotype worker. BORNEO, SARAWAK, The Natural History Museum (examined).

The following notes on F. Smith type specimens have been provided by Barry Bolton (details):

Polyrhachis exasperatus

One worker syntype in Oxford University Museum of Natural History; one worker syntype in The Natural History Museum. Labelled “Tond.” (= Tondano, Sulawesi), and with the figure “2” written in pencil, bottom right on the stage card. Oxford University Museum of Natural History syntype with a Donisthorpe type-label.