The Ants of Africa
Genus Polyrhachis
Polyrhachis bequaerti Wheeler - revived status

Polyrhachis bequaerti Wheeler

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Zaļre (Polyrhachis bequaerti, Wheeler, 1922: 267, illustrated, worker; Santschi, 1923e: 294, queen) from Kinshasa, J Bequaert - see below; here revived from synonymy under Polyrhachis fissa by Bolton (1973b: 304)

{Polyrhachis bequaerti}Wheeler's (1922) description is at {original description}. Santschi (1923e: 294) described the queen of bequaerti as similar to the worker, TL 6.5 mm. Bolton's modern description under fissa (1973b) is at {original description}

Wheeler (1922) listed other findings from Cameroun (at Bibundi by Tessmann, at Mundame by Conradt) and Rio Muni. He described bequaerti as a new species, with an illustration, noting that the nest consisted of two leaves united by a soft tissue comprised of fibrous, gnawed vegetable particles and silk (Bolton examined the type and Wheeler's specimens and found no differences).

Note (April 2015): The type images suggest that Polyrhachis bequaerti merits raising to separate species status.  Bolton's (1973b) note of fissa as being distinguished by "deeply incised and distinct striations on the propodeum" applies to bequaerti and the type fissa has only weakly sculpturation on the propodeum or on the pronotum. P. fissa also has quite abundant erect hairs over the whole alitrunk dorsum and sparse but obvious erect hairs on the gaster dorsum. P. bequaerti has few, very fine, erect hairs on the pronotum dorsum and almost none on the gaster.  The small notch adjacent to the outer insertion of the antennae that Bolton described as separating lauta from P. fissa is small but readily seen in P. bequaerti.

Polyrhachis fissaThe photomontage of the paratype is collated from The Smithsonian Institute images at See also

Oxford University Museum specimens

Polyrhachis lauta
B Taylor det.
Ivory Coast
Erena Dupont
Taļ National Park
5˚45'00" N
7˚07'00" W
YSBCI 2015-31-5-2014


{Polyrhachis bequaerti}The photomontage is of a worker from Ivory Coast, Tai; collector Erena Dupont, 28.i.2014.

© 2015, 2018 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.