Polyrhachis yorkana

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Polyrhachis yorkana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Cyrtomyrma
Species: P. yorkana
Binomial name
Polyrhachis yorkana
Forel, 1915

MCZ-ENT 001 Polyrhachis-yorkana hal.jpg

MCZ-ENT 001 Polyrhachis-yorkana had.jpg

Specimen Label

An arboreal species with all colonies observed occupying polydomous silk nests built between the leaves of lowland rainforest trees.


Kohout (2006): Polyrhachis yorkana is somewhat similar to Polyrhachis debilis from New Guinea, with both displaying considerable variability in the development of the propodeal spines which range from inconspicuous tuberculae to short spines. However, they differ in numerous characters, including the shape of the head, which in P. debilis is as wide or even wider than long (CI 100-103), while in P. yorkana it is distinctly longer than wide (CI 96-98). In full face view, the eyes of P. debilis do not reach the sides of the head, while in P. yorkana they clearly break the cephalic outline. In lateral view, the pronotum is distinctly convex in P. debilis and rather flat in P. yorkana. In dorsal view, the pronotum in P. debilis is relatively narrow with evenly rounded shoulders, while in P. yorkana the pronotum is distinctly widest just behind the shoulders and, in the majority of specimens examined, the pronotal humeri are subangular or distinctly angular. They also differ in their relative size, with P. debilis distinctly smaller (HL 1.34-1.47 verus HL 1.56-1.62).

Keys including this Species


Polyrhachis yorkana is largely confined to the Wet Tropics of north Queensland, but it has occasionally been collected further north on Cape York Peninsula (Kohout 2006).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • yorkana. Polyrhachis (Cyrtomyrma) rastellata var. yorkana Forel, 1915b: 110 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Raised to species: Kohout & Taylor, 1990: 521. See also: Kohout, 2006b: 105.

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

Type Material



L: 4, 9-5, 6 mm. Unterscheidet sich von der Rasse laevior Rog. durch den vollstandigen Mangel der Dornen am Epinotum. Die mittleren Dornen der Schuppe sind kurzer als beim Arttypus und der Kopf hinten breiter; sonst gliech.

Type Material

QUEENSLAND, Cape York Peninsula, col. E. Mjöberg. Syntype workers Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, Berlin Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität, The Natural History Museum, Australian National Insect Collection and Queensland Museum - as reported by Kohout (2006).


  • Forel, A. 1915b. Results of Dr. E. Mjöbergs Swedish Scientific Expeditions to Australia 1910-13. 2. Ameisen. Ark. Zool. 9(1 16: 1-119 (page 110, worker described)
  • Kohout, R. J. 2006. Review of Polyrhachis (Cyrtomyrma) Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae) of Australia, Borneo, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands with descriptions of new species. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 52:87-146.
  • Kohout, R. J.; Taylor, R. W. 1990. Notes on Australian ants of the genus Polyrhachis Fr. Smith, with a synonymic list of the species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae). Mem. Qld. Mus. 28: 509-522 (page 521, Raised to species)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Taylor R. W. 1987. A checklist of the ants of Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) Division of Entomology Report 41: 1-92.