The Ants of Africa
Genus Polyrhachis
Polyrhachis lestoni Bolton

Polyrhachis lestoni Bolton

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Ghana (Bolton, 1973b: 349, illustrated, full body dorsal view, alitrunk and pedicel profile, anterior petiole); holotype and one other worker from Mt. Atewa (Atewa Forest Reserve), collected by pkd, by D. Leston, 12.vii.1969 - see below; also from Adeiso (P.M. Room, presumably one of his cocoa canopy species, Room, 1971) (Bolton, 1973b) .

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

WORKER - TL 5.5-5.7 mm; dorsum of head and gaster with a few erect white hairs, everywhere with a sparse greyish pubescence.

Rigato (2016: 27) added "This species was known from Ghana only. Yet, some recently collected material strongly increases its known range. It must be pointed out that the weak transverse ridge separating the propodeal dorsum from declivity may be virtually absent in some specimens. In such cases dorsum and declivity are differently sculptured: the dorsum is longitudinally, posteriorly convergently striolate, the declivity superficially reticulate-punctate.
HL 1.25–1.35, HW 1.12–1.19, CI 86–90, SL 1.28–1.35, SI 112–121, FW 0.29–0.34, FI 26–30, PW 1.08–1.11, WL
1.45–1.60, HTL 1.19–1.30. (n=6)". He gave no other information as to the specimens but see the Kenya specimen below and from DRCongo

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

{Polyrhachis lestoni}The photomontage is of a specimen from Ghana, collated from Curiously not listed by Bolton (1973b: 349).

Oxford University Museum specimens

Polyrhachis lestoni
B Taylor det.
E Zassi

03°20'12.0" S
015°28'43.6" E
Wooded Savannah; 24h pitfall trap
Polyrhachis lestoni
B Taylor det.
Rep. of Congo
D De Bakker & JP Michiels
ex Y Braet
05°37'16" S
13°05'54" E
266 m asl
Canopy fogging


{Polyrhachis lestoni queen}The photomontage is of a worker from Congo, Mayombe; collectors De Bakker and Michiels

{Polyrhachis lestoni queen}The photomontage is of a queen from Congo, Réserve de Lésio-Louna; collector Eric Zassi (pitfall trap 11, t 1).

{Polyrhachis lestoni queen}The photomontage is of the queen from Congo after remounting.

{Polyrhachis lestoni}The photomontage is of a specimen from Kenya, compiled from

Note: I suspect this is a closely related species rather than the Ghana type. Overall it is below the size range reported by Bolton (1973b) and the scape index is much lower. From the Antweb photos - HL 1.10, HW 1.02, CI 93; SL 1.10 SI 107; PW 1.07. It also differs in a number of ways. For instance the clypeus of the type has projecting shallow rectangular lobe, the corners of which are minutely dentate and acute; it also has a small U-shaped median notch. The clypeus on this is arcuate with a weak median point. The type has more pronounced pronotal spines. The type has a few erect hairs on the dorsum of the head and gaster, this has no such hairs, and has sparse greyish pubescence.

© 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014. 2016 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.