Rhytidoponera taurus

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Rhytidoponera taurus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ectatomminae
Tribe: Ectatommini
Genus: Rhytidoponera
Species: R. taurus
Binomial name
Rhytidoponera taurus
(Forel, 1910)

Rhytidoponera taurus casent0281277 p 1 high.jpg

Rhytidoponera taurus casent0281277 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Photo Gallery

  • Rhytidoponera taurus from Millstream-Chichester National Park, Western Australia. Photo by Farhan Bokhari, 16 June 2011.
  • Rhytidoponera taurus from Millstream-Chichester National Park, Western Australia. Photo by Farhan Bokhari, 16 June 2011.
  • Rhytidoponera taurus from Millstream-Chichester National Park, Western Australia. Photo by Farhan Bokhari, 16 June 2011.


Large ants that, like Rhytidoponera mayri, have workers that are easily distinguished from other Rhytidoponera workers in the SWBP by their occipital cornicles.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 22.5045° to -30.33333015°.

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.

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.




Images from AntWeb

Rhytidoponera taurus casent0281818 h 1 high.jpgRhytidoponera taurus casent0281818 p 1 high.jpgRhytidoponera taurus casent0281818 d 1 high.jpgRhytidoponera taurus casent0281818 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0281818. Photographer Shannon Hartman, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMUK, London, UK.
Rhytidoponera taurus casent0907142 h 1 high.jpgRhytidoponera taurus casent0907142 p 1 high.jpgRhytidoponera taurus casent0907142 d 1 high.jpgRhytidoponera taurus casent0907142 l 1 high.jpg
Syntype of Rhytidoponera taurusWorker. Specimen code casent0907142. Photographer Will Ericson, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MHNG, Geneva, Switzerland.


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

  • taurus. Ectatomma (Rhytidoponera) cornutum subsp. taurus Forel, 1910b: 12 (w.) AUSTRALIA (Northern Territory).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Australia: Central Australia, Tennants Creek (Field).
    • Type-depositories: ANIC, MHNG, NHMB.
    • Forel, 1915b: 12 (m.).
    • Combination in Rhytidoponera: Emery, 1911d: 38.
    • Subspecies of cornuta: Emery, 1911d: 38; Wheeler, W.M. 1915g: 805; Forel, 1915b: 12.
    • Status as species: Clark, 1936: 25 (redescription); Brown, 1958g: 205; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 48; Taylor, 1987a: 71; Bolton, 1995b: 381; Heterick, 2009: 137.
    • Senior synonym of brevior: Clark, 1936: 25; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 48; Taylor, 1987a: 71; Bolton, 1995b: 381.
    • Senior synonym of fusciventris: Clark, 1936: 25; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 48; Taylor, 1987a: 71; Bolton, 1995b: 381.
    • Distribution: Australia.
  • brevior. Rhytidoponera cerastes var. brevior Crawley, 1925b: 586 (w.m.) AUSTRALIA (Western Australia).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated), 1 syntype male.
    • Type-locality: Australia: N Western Australia, Derby, no. 396 (J. Campbell).
    • Type-depositories: NHMB, OXUM.
    • Junior synonym of taurus: Clark, 1936: 25; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 48; Taylor, 1987a: 71; Bolton, 1995b: 378.
  • fusciventris. Rhytidoponera cornuta var. fusciventris Stitz, 1911a: 352 (w.) AUSTRALIA (South Australia).
    • Type-material: 2 syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: Australia: South Australia, Adelaide (Schomburgk).
    • Type-depository: MNHU.
    • Junior synonym of taurus: Clark, 1936: 25; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 48; Taylor, 1987a: 71; Bolton, 1995b: 379.

Type Material

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



Crawley (1925) - Length 10.6 mm.

Red-brown, legs and apices of funiculi somewlhat paler.

Larger than the preceding in most specimens, and lighter in colour. Differs also as follows: —mandibles with minute teeth; anterior border of clypeus more broadly rounded; head as broad as long, not narrowing so much at occiput; frontal carinae wider behind; scapes slightly longer, passing the occipital border by one-half their length. Horns like those of cornuta, shorter than in cerastes, the space between not evenly excavate, but widely angular, and the points turn more outwards, but in profile the points do not curve forwards as in cornuta.

Petiole higher and thinner than in cerastes, descending rapidly behind, and concave in front, so as to appear to lean forward; from above it is longer and narrower. Dorsum of thorax similar. The constriction between postpetiole and gaster is more pronounced. The sculpture is coarser, the head and thorax being entirely reticulate-punctate, the punctures not well-defined and circular as in the type; there is no ground-sculpture. The space between the horns has irregular transverse ridges and punctures. The declivity of the epinotum, which is less defined, is transversely rugose.

The postpetiole is finely concentrically striate with scattered points, the first segment of gaster has longitudinal strire curving inwards at the apex of the segment and scattered points. The legs are covered with short stiff erect hairs and are more coarsely sculptured.


Crawley (1925) - Length 9.2 mm.

Russet-brown; petiole, gaster, coxre, trochanters, and femora, lighter; apical segments of gaster edged with golden-yellow. Wings yellowish brown, iridescent, the nervures brown. Abundantly provided with fine erect yellowish pilosity, including the legs and antennae. Pubescence almost nil,. except on funiculi, tibiae, and tarsi.

Mandibles as convex in centre, the anterior border depressed. Frontal carinae short, almost parallel. Eyes prominent, placed in centre of the sides, and equal in length to one-half the side of the head. Head as long as broad, as broad in front as behind, the occiput rounded. Antennae 13-jointed, the scape equals the first and second joints together, all joints very long, diminishing in length to the apical.

Pronotum high and arched, the Mayrian furrows visible but faint, the scutellum very prominent, longitudinally incised. Epinotum evenly convex, the declivity slightly flattened.

Petiole from above nearly twice as long as broad, slightly broader behind, in front there is a small projection on each side. In profile it rises gradually to its highest point, which is one-third from the posterior border, but it is only about one-sixth higher than in front.

Postpetiole narrow in front, longer and narrower than the first segment of gaster, which is broader than long and only slightly broader behind. Legs and antennae long and slender.

Shining; mandibles finely striate with a few minute punctures; scapes superficially striate. Whole of head and thorax closely and coarsely rugose-punctate, more densely than in the worker; the declivity of epinotum transversely rugose. Legs almost entirely smooth and shining. Upper surface of petiole transversely ridged, the sides reticulate-rugose. Postpetiole transversely striate above, the apical border and sides reticulate; the first two segments of gaster finely and evenly longitudinally striate.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Fisher J., L. Beames, B. J. Rangers, N. N. Rangers, J. Majer, and B. Heterick. 2014. Using ants to monitor changes within and surrounding the endangered Monsoon Vine Thickets of the tropical Dampier Peninsula, north Western Australia. Forest Ecology and Management 318: 78–90.
  • Heterick B. E., B. Durrant, and N. R. Gunawardene. 2010. The ant fauna of the Pilbara Bioregion, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 78: 157-167.
  • 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.
  • Taylor R. W., and D. R. Brown. 1985. Formicoidea. Zoological Catalogue of Australia 2: 1-149. 
  • Wheeler W. M. 1915. Hymenoptera. [In Scientific notes on an expedition into the north-western regions of South Australia.]. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 39:805-823.