Rhytidoponera chalybaea

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Rhytidoponera chalybaea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ectatomminae
Tribe: Ectatommini
Genus: Rhytidoponera
Species: R. chalybaea
Binomial name
Rhytidoponera chalybaea
Emery, 1901

Rhytidoponera chalybaea casent0172343 profile 1.jpg

Rhytidoponera chalybaea casent0172343 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

At a Glance • Polygynous  • Limited invasive  



Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -26.66666667° to -35.083°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality), New Zealand.
Indo-Australian Region: Solomon Islands.

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.

Elevation Range

Occurrence at collecting sites during elevational surveys of rainforest in the Eungella region, Queensland, Australia (Burwell et al., 2020).
Species Elevation (m asl)
200 400 600 800 1000 1200
Rhytidoponera chalybaea 90-100 80-90
Shading indicates the bands of elevation where species was recorded.
Numbers are the percentage of total samples containing this species.


Association with Other Organisms

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  • This species is a host for the eucharitid wasp Chalcura sp. nr. polita (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (multiple encounter modes; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).

Life History Traits

  • Queen number: polygynous (Ward, 1983; Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)
  • Queen mating frequency: single (Ward, 1983; Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)



Images from AntWeb

Rhytidoponera chalybaea casent0172344 head 1.jpgRhytidoponera chalybaea casent0172344 profile 1.jpgRhytidoponera chalybaea casent0172344 profile 2.jpgRhytidoponera chalybaea casent0172344 dorsal 1.jpgRhytidoponera chalybaea casent0172344 label 1.jpg
Male (alate). Specimen code casent0172344. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by ANIC, Canberra, Australia.


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

  • chalybaea. Rhytidoponera impressa var. chalybaea Emery, 1901a: 51 (w.) AUSTRALIA (New South Wales).
    • Type-material: holotype worker.
    • Type-locality: Australia: New South Wales (Staudinger).
    • Type-depository: MSNG.
    • Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1971b: 1201 (l.); Imai, Crozier & Taylor, 1977: 347 (k.).
    • Combination in R. (Chalcoponera): Emery, 1911d: 39.
    • Subspecies of impressa: Emery, 1911d: 39.
    • Status as species: Brown, 1954g: 4; Brown, 1958g: 202; Ward, 1980: 478 (redescription); Taylor & Brown, 1985: 41; Taylor, 1987a: 67; Bolton, 1995b: 378; Don, 2007: 77; Sarnat, et al. 2013: 69.
    • Senior synonym of cyrus: Brown, 1954g: 4; Ward, 1980: 478; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 41; Taylor, 1987a: 68; Bolton, 1995b: 378.
    • Distribution: Australia.
  • cyrus. Ectatomma (Rhytidoponera) cyrus Forel, 1910b: 13 (w.q.) AUSTRALIA (New South Wales).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated), 1 syntype queen.
    • Type-locality: Australia: New South Wales, Ballina, 1897 (Froggatt).
    • Type-depositories: ANIC, MHNG.
    • Combination in Rhytidoponera (Chalcoponera): Emery, 1911d: 39.
    • Status as species: Emery, 1911d: 39; Emery, 1912a: 77 (in key); Forel, 1915b: 14.
    • Junior synonym of chalybaea: Brown, 1954g: 4; Ward, 1980: 478; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 41; Taylor, 1987a: 68; Bolton, 1995b: 379.

Type Material



  • n = 21, 2n = 42, karyotype = 6M + 36A (Australia) (Imai et al., 1977; Mariano et al., 2015).

Worker Morphology

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  • Caste: monomorphic (Ward, 1983)


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Brown W. L., Jr. 1954. Systematic and other notes on some of the smaller species of the ant genus Rhytidoponera Mayr. Breviora 33: 1-11.
  • Emery C. 1901. Notes sur les sous-familles des Dorylines et Ponérines (Famille des Formicides). Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique 45: 32-54.
  • Forel A. 1915. Results of Dr. E. Mjöbergs Swedish Scientific Expeditions to Australia 1910-13. 2. Ameisen. Ark. Zool. 9(16): 1-119
  • Nakamura A., C. P. Catterall, A. P. N. House, R. L. Kitching, and C. J. Burwell. 2007. The use of ants and other soil and litter arthropods as bio-indicators of the impacts of rainforest clearing and subsequent land use. Journal of Insect Conservation 11: 177-186.
  • 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.
  • Ward P. S. 1980. A systematic revision of the Rhytidoponera impressa group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Australia and New Guinea. Aust. J. Zool. 28: 475-498.