The Ants of Africa
Genus Polyrhachis
Polyrhachis gagates F. Smith

Polyrhachis gagates F. Smith

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location South Africa (Polyrhachis Gagates, F. Smith, 1858b: 71, illustrated, worker; Forel, 1886f: 194, queen) Port Natal - see below
junior synonyms
clariseta (Polyrhachis nigriseta var. clariseta nov., Santschi, 1910c: 400, worker) from Congo, Mandouga, Weiss - see
congolensis ( Polyrhachis gagates Sm. var. congolensis nov., Santschi, 1910c: 399, worker) from Congo, Mandouga, Weiss - see
nigriseta (Polyrhachis nigriseta n. sp., Santschi, 1910c: 399, worker) from Congo, Mindouli, Weiss - see
indefinata (Polyrhachis gagates Sm. r. indefinita n. stirps, Forel, 1913b: 349, worker) from Zaïre, Sankisia, Katanga - see
obsidiana (Polyrhachis (myrma) gagates F. Sm. subsp. obsidiana n., Emery, 1921e: 21, worker) from Gabon - see
unavailable name acheron (Polyrhachis schistacea race indefinita var. acheron, Arnold, 1924: 746, worker) from Zimbabwe - see
Revised Bolton (1973b: 305, not illustrated), also see Bolton, 1995) .

{Polyrhachis gagates} F Smith's (1858b) description is at {original description}. Forel 1879a) gave a full description, this is at {original description}. Arnold (1924) gave an illustrated translation, this, with his description of acheron is at {original description}. Santschi's (1910c) descriptions of congolensis (as a gagates variety) and nigriseta, with clariseta as a variety, are at {original description}. Forel's (1913b) description of indefinita is at {original description}. Emery's (1921e) description of obsidiana is at {original description}.

{Polyrhachis gagates}Bolton's modern description (1973b) is at {original description}.

Polyrhachis gagates nestWORKER - TL 11.3-13.2 mm, HL 2.66-3.03, HW 2.04-2.40, SL 3.34-3.56, PW 1.59-1.74
Variable species, separable from the other large species by a relative lack of erect hairs - on dorsal alitrunk only on pronotum; and gaster highly polished. Colour black, head and alitrunk dull or shining, gaster always highly polished; no more than very fine pubescence.

Ground nesting species of dryish savannah and scrub, whose nesting habit was illustrated by Wheeler (1922), see right and "click" for enlarged view.

Forel (1911f) found specimens of congolensis in the Congo Museum from Zaïre, Congo da Lemba, by Mayné. It is a widespread and very plastic species, found through east and southern Africa.

{Polyrhachis gagates}The photomontage of the holotype worker is collated from

{Polyrhachis gagates}The photomontage of a worker from Tanzania is collated from

© 2007, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2018 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
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