Polyrhachis spinicola

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Polyrhachis spinicola
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Myrma
Species group: viscosa
Species: P. spinicola
Binomial name
Polyrhachis spinicola
Forel, 1894

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Specimen Label


The species has been recorded by Arnold (1924:752) as being found in acacia thorns, and is also known from collections of ants found in citrus trees. It is not clear whether the ants nest in the acacias. Alate females have been recorded as follows, South Africa: January, February. (Bolton 1973)


A member of the Polyrhachis viscosa species-group.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Kenya, Mozambique (type locality), South Africa.

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.

  • gallicola. Polyrhachis cubaensis r. gallicola Forel, 1894b: 71 (w.q.) MOZAMBIQUE. Combination in P. (Myrma): Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 994. Junior synonym of spinicola: Bolton, 1973b: 329.
  • spinicola. Polyrhachis spinicola Forel, 1894b: 70 (w.q.) MOZAMBIQUE. Combination in P. (Myrma): Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 1004. Senior synonym of gallicola: Bolton, 1973b: 329. See also: Arnold, 1924: 751.

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



Bolton (1973) - TL 6.1-7.0, HL 1.62-1.78, HW 1.33-1.48, CI 82-86, SL 1.70-1.78, SI 120-127, PW 1.11-1.24, MTL 1.72-1.75. (15 measured.)

Anterior clypeal margin arcuate and entire. Eyes hemispherical, weakly to strongly protuberant. Sides of head in front of eyes convex and convergent anteriorly. Alitrunk marginate throughout its length, with a distinct transverse carina or ridge separating the dorsum of the propodeum from the declivity. Pronotum bispinose; propodeum with a pair of spines or teeth which are curved outwards in dorsal view. Declivity of propodeum strongly concave. Promesonotal suture weakly arched, poorly developed; metanotal groove very weakly developed, represented only by a line which breaks the sculpturation. Petiole armed with four spines of variable length, usually with the dorsal pair slightly longer than the lateral, but sometimes of about the same length. Spines curved over and around the base of the first gastral segment which is concave in the middle of its anterior face.

Erect hairs absent from all dorsal surfaces of the body except for the anterior portion of the clypeus and the apex of the gaster. Pubescence weakly developed, most distinct on the legs and antennae.

Clypeus finely reticulate; dorsum of head finely reticulate-rugose, the interspaces reticulate-punctate.

Sculpturation of dorsum of alitrunk similar to that of the head but varying in intensity. In a series from the same nest the pronotal sculpturation varies from finely and densely punctate with a weak overlying longitudinal rugulation to distinctly reticulate-rugose with punctate interspaces. The rugulation is usually noticeably more coarse on the mesonotal and propodeal dorsa than on the pronotal dorsum. Declivity of propodeum superficially reticulate and smooth. Gaster finely and densely reticulate-punctate. Colour black, with femora, tibiae and apices of tarsal segments red-brown or yellow-brown. Antennae usually brown-black at the bases of the funiculi but tending to become deep red-brown apically.


Bolton (1973) - Answering to the above description except in the development of the alitrunk and in the following respects; dorsal pair of petiolar spines often strongly recurved posteriorly at their apices and somewhat hook-like. All forms occur between the usual worker pattern and a distinct small hook. Sculpturation of the mesoscutal dorsum may be reduced to fine, dense, longitudinal striae with interstitial reticulate-puncturation and with scattered, larger pits, these last usually on the posterior half of the sclerite.

Type Material

Bolton (1973) - Syntype workers, queen. MOZAMBIQUE : Delagoa Bay (Junod) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève).