The Ants of Africa
Genus Polyrhachis
Polyrhachis weissi Santschi

Polyrhachis weissi Santschi

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Congo (Polyrhachis Weissi n. sp., Santschi, 1910c: 395, illustrated, worker), collected at Brazzaville, by A. Weiss - see below
junior synonyms
balli (Polyrhachis (Pseudocyrtomyrma) revoili André stirps balli n. st., Santschi, 1939c: 10, worker) from Zaïre, collected at Gazi, by Beinaert, xii.1937  - see  http://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?code=casent0912143
conduensis (Polyrhachis (Myrma) Revoili André v. conduensis n., Forel, 1915c: 351, worker) from Zaïre, collected at Kasai, Kondue, by E. Luja - see http://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?name=casent0910955
crassa (Polyrhachis (Pseudocyrtomyrma) Revoili Ern. André subsp. crassa, Emery, 1921e: 23, illustrated, worker & queen) from Cameroun, collector L. Conradt, 1895 - see below
unavailable name phaenogaster (Polyrhachis (Pseudocyrtomyrma) Revoili Ern. André var. phaenogaster n., Emery, 1921e: 24, queen) from Cameroun - see below
(see Bolton, 1995) .


{Polyrhachis weissi}Santschi's (1910c) description is at {original description}. Forel's (1916) description - as revoili correction implied by Bolton (1973) - is at {original description}. Emery's (1921e) description of crassa and the phaenogaster queen is at {original description}. Santschi's (1939c) description of balli is at {original description}. Bolton's modern description (1973b) is at {original description}.

Forel (1915c) noted the conduensis worker as having a longer narrower head than the type, with straighter sides and more convex eyes; overall the striations on head and alitrunk are more pronounced.


{Polyrhachis weissi}Nigeria specimens (Taylor, 1978: 25). WORKER. TL 5.7-6.1 mm, HL 1.40-1.48, HW 1.29-1.40, SL 1.66-1.74, PW 1.18-1.26
Head and body with numerous erect white to grey hairs; pubescence generally sparse and greyish. Head and dorsum finely longitudinally striate-rugose. Antennal funiculi with apical five or six segments light brown. Alitrunk not marginate and dorsum convex. Promesonotal suture faint but distinct, metanotal groove marked only by a line. Pronotum very broad, more than twice the width of the propodeum measured across the teeth. Pronotum with short acute spines and propodeum with small teeth. Petiole with moderately long dorsal and shorter lateral spines. Anterior face of first gastral segment shallowly concave.
We found it on cocoa at the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Idi Ayunre, Onipe 1/1 Block, a vegetable tent/nest on a cocoa leaf, tree 58-26; and at Ibule, the first Nigerian records.

Note: Unlike the Bolton (1973b) statement this and all the specimens shown below have numerous, albeit short, hairs on the scapes. As yet there are no type images of Polyrhachis revoili available on Antweb.  There are images of specimens from Gabon and the Central African Republic diagnosed as "revoili", see http://www.antweb.org/images.do?name=revoili. The queen shown there is an exact match for phaenogaster and the worker for my specimens and crassa. The collection locations lie in the reported range of weissi and not of revoil. It seems likely that all the reported forms are conspecific, most (see above) being denoted as revoil, and the weissi should be reduced to the rank of junior synonym of Polyrhachis revoili André 1887.


Arboreal species constructing nests of silk and vegetable particles under or between leaves.

Bolton (1973b: 342, not illustrated) listed findings in Ghana, at CRIG (G.S. Cotterell; P.M. Room, July 1970); Aburi and Berekuso (P.M. Room), and Akuadom (A.H. Strickland). Found in 13/168 canopy samples, as Polyrhachis revoili by Room (1971). A single worker was collected by canopy pkd from a block of mature Amelonado cocoa at CRIG by Bigger (1981a). Later found by Belshaw & Bolton (1994b), who collected a single worker, as a 'tourist' in leaf litter under primary forest at Old Tafo.

Other references to it as Polyrhachis revoili include the report of Strickland (1951a), from Ghana cocoa, as an arboreal species making small circular carton nests on the underside of leaves, which is common in relatively restricted areas but rare elsewhere. Later found by Room, from cocoa mistletoe and his cocoa canopy samples (Room, 1971, 1975) but all these reports seem more likely to be Polyrhachis weissi (see above).

Earlier Bernard (1952, not referenced by Bolton, 1973b) noting it was a primarily eastern species, unknown from north of Cameroun, had recorded it from Guinea, one worker of the typical form labelled "Nimba, Lamotte"; and one worker of the congolese variety conduensis of Polyrhachis revoili. He also separately listed 4 workers, 2 males and 2 queens from area F 43, Nion, deep forest, land of Elaeis (toads); close to "revoili", but probably new, for restudy.


Polyrhachis weissiThe photomontage of the type worker is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0912142.


Oxford University Museum specimens

Polyrhachis weissi
B Taylor det.
Liberia
E Poirier
Liabala
SLAM 2
2.iv.2013
Nimba County
07°31’06" N
08°35’34" E
SLAM trap
Secondary forest
473 m asl
1
{album}
Polyrhachis weissi
B Taylor det.
Liberia
E Poirier
Liabala
SLAM C 2
2.iv.2013
Nimba County
07°31’06" N
08°35’34" E
SLAM Canopy trap
Secondary forest
473 m asl
1
{album}
Polyrhachis weissi
B Taylor det.
Ivory Coast
Erena Dupont
iii.2014
Taï National Park
5˚45'00" N
7˚07'00" W
14
3
{album}
Polyrhachis weissi
B Taylor det.
Ivory Coast
Erena Dupont
iv.2014
Taï National Park
5˚45'00" N
7˚07'00" W
06
6
{album}
Polyrhachis weissi
B Taylor det.
Ivory Coast
Erena Dupont
v.2014
Taï National Park
5˚45'00" N
7˚07'00" W
03
9
{album}
Polyrhachis weissi
B Taylor det.

Rep. of Congo
D De Bakker & JP Michiels
ex Y Braet
18.ix.2007
Mayombe
05°37'16" S
13°05'54" E
266 m asl
Canopy fogging


1
{album}

{Polyrhachis weissi}

The photomontage is of a worker from Congo, Mayombe; collectors De Bakker & Michiels.


{Polyrhachis weissi}

The photomontage is of a worker from Liberia, Liabala; collector E Poiriet (Liabala SLAM CANOPY 2). Again, there are numerous, albeit short, hairs on the scapes.


{Polyrhachis weissi}

The photomontage is of a worker from Ivory Coast, Tai National Park; collector Erena Dupont, iii.2014.


Polyrhachis weissi crassaThe photomontage of the type worker of crassa is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=0905623.


Polyrhachis playtyommaThe photomontage of the type queen of phaenogaster is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=0905624.

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© 2007, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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