Rhytidoponera purpurea

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Rhytidoponera purpurea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ectatomminae
Tribe: Ectatommini
Genus: Rhytidoponera
Species: R. purpurea
Binomial name
Rhytidoponera purpurea
(Emery, 1887)

Rhytidoponera purpurea casent0217495 p 1 high.jpg

Rhytidoponera purpurea casent0217495 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels




Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).
Indo-Australian Region: Indonesia (type locality), New Guinea.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


This is the only species in the genus where gamergates (mated reproductive workers) do not occur (Ward 1981b), unlike the closely related Rhytidoponera confusa (Molet et al. 2008)




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

  • purpurea. Ectatomma impressum var. purpureum Emery, 1887b: 444 (w.q.) NEW GUINEA. Imai, Crozier & Taylor, 1977: 347 (k.). Combination in Rhytidoponera (Chalcoponera): Emery, 1897d: 549. Raised to species and senior synonym of splendidum: Brown, 1954g: 7.
  • splendidum. Ectatomma (Rhytidoponera) impressum var. splendidum Forel, 1910b: 12 (w.) AUSTRALIA. [Unresolved junior primary homonym of Ectatomma rimulosum var. splendidum Pergande, 1896: 871.] Combination in Rhytidoponera (Chalcoponera): Emery, 1911d: 39. Junior synonym of purpurea: Brown, 1954g: 7.

Type Material



  • 2n = 38 (Australia) (Imai et al., 1977).


  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1954g. Systematic and other notes on some of the smaller species of the ant genus Rhytidoponera Mayr. Breviora 33: 1-11 (page 7, Raised to species, and senior synonym of splendidum)
  • Emery, C. 1887f. Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte terza. Formiche della regione Indo-Malese e dell'Australia (continuazione e fine). [part]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. 25[=(2)(5): 433-448 (page 444, worker, queen described)
  • Emery, C. 1897d. Viaggio di Lamberto Loria nella Papuasia orientale. XVIII. Formiche raccolte nella Nuova Guinea dal Dott. Lamberto Loria. [part]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. 38[=(2(18): 546-576 (page 549, Combination in Rhytidoponera (Chalcoponera))
  • Imai, H. T.; Crozier, R. H.; Taylor, R. W. 1977. Karyotype evolution in Australian ants. Chromosoma (Berl.) 59: 341-393 (page 347, karyotype described)
  • Molet, M., M. van Baalen & C. Peeters 2008. Shift in colonial reproductive strategy associated with a tropical-temperate gradient in Rhytidoponera ants. The American Naturalist 172: 75-87. PDF
  • Ward, P. S. 1981b. Ecology and life history of the Rhytidoponera impressa group. II. Colony origin, seasonal cycles, and reproduction. Psyche 88:109–126.