Rhytidoponera castanea

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Rhytidoponera castanea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ectatomminae
Tribe: Ectatommini
Genus: Rhytidoponera
Species: R. castanea
Binomial name
Rhytidoponera castanea
Crawley, 1925

Rhytidoponera carinata casent0281279 p 1 high.jpg

Rhytidoponera carinata casent0281279 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels




Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -12.18333333° to -17.4°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

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.




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

  • castanea. Rhytidoponera castanea Crawley, 1925b: 589 (w.) AUSTRALIA (New South Wales).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Australia: New South Wales, Derby, no. 398 (J. Campbell).
    • Type-depository: OXUM.
    • Junior synonym of rufiventris: Clark, 1936: 83; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 47; Taylor, 1987a: 70; Bolton, 1995b: 378.
    • Status as species: Heterick, 2021: 5.
    • Senior synonym of carinata: Heterick, 2021: 5.
    • Distribution: Australia.
  • carinata. Rhytidoponera carinata Clark, 1936: 54, pl. 4, fig. 32 (w.) AUSTRALIA (Northern Territory).
    • Type-material: holotype (?) worker.
    • [Note: no indication of number of specimens is given.]
    • Type-locality: Australia: Northern Territory, Borroloola, 1911 (G.F. Hill).
    • Type-depository: MVMA.
    • Status as species: Brown, 1958g: 202; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 41; Taylor, 1987a: 67; Bolton, 1995b: 378.
    • Junior synonym of castanea: Heterick, 2021: 5.

Type Material

Taxonomic Notes

Heterick (2021): Reichel (2003) removes R. castanea from synonym under Rhytidoponera rufiventris, and I agree this is justified; hence R. castanea is given revived status in this work. However, I can also see no clear distinction between R. castanea and R. carinata. Colour alone seems to be the reason the two taxa are separated and unless some other character can be found, or molecular evidence proves otherwise these seem very feeble grounds to posit two distinct species. The morphometrics supplied by Reichel all overlap considerably for both putative species, and colour variation among specimens in the WAM, ANIC and JDM collections is huge across a continuous spectrum — from a pin of light yellow-orange specimens identified by P. S. Ward as ‘R. carinata’ to dark reddish-black workers. Most are bicoloured (fitting castanea), while others are concolourous. Rhytidoponera carinata is therefore treated as a junior synonym in this work.