Blogs updates.

The published pages on this blogs are not static. Aside from publishing new post pages, existing posts of this blog are periodically updated with photos of new species, additional photos of existing species and additional information. All materials published here are the property of the author. Reproduction of any material published here in part or in total without the expressed permission of this author is strictly forbidden.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Golden Ants Polyrhachis

Polyrhachis is another large genus many species of which has the appearance of a metallic sheen coloration. This range from bronze to silver to golden.

This genus is generally monomorphic and in most species the gyne is just noticeably larger than the common worker. Most Polyrhachis species are arboreal and weave a nest of vegetation and ant's silk for their nest. However some species build their nest in the ground. Most Polyrhachis queens are semi-claustral foundress.

The nest entrance to Polyrhachis beccarii.

Polyrhachis beccarii nest.

Polyrhachis beccarii. This species commonly nest in the ground or in fallen tree trunks or large branches.

Typically Polyrhachis are sugar loving ants. Honey dew and plant nectar forms a large part of their diet.

An alate gyne of Polyrhachis beccarii.

The alate and worker are almost of the same size.

The delated gyne of Polyrhachis beccarii with the typically thicker thorax.

With light at the right angle the golden sheen makes this gyne a very golden ant. The ant is black but covered by short dense hairs that gives it a metallic sheen which may be bronze, silver or golden. Even the larvae are covered with short dense hair. In some species of this genus the hair is not as dense.

The gyne with a worker. This species is monomorphic.

The male alate or drone of Polyrhachis beccarii .
The male alate or drone of Polyrhachis beccarii. Top view of Polyrhachis male.

Frontal view of male alate of Polyrhachis.

This species (below) has just a hint of metallic sheen on the abdomen. The colour is reddish rather than golden.

Sp 35

Sp 04

The gyne above and below.

The worker above and below.

Polyrhachis ypsilon
Lateral view of Polyrhachis ypsilon worker.

Polyrhachis ypsilon ant
Polyrhachis ypsilon is the one of the most brillantly golden of the Polyrhachis genus. At 15 millimeter length Polyrhachis ypsilon is one of the larger Polyrhachis species.

Polyrhachis ypsilon is one of the most brilliantly golden of the Polyrhachis genus
Posterior view of Polyrhachis ypsilon worker.  This genus apparently lacking a sting yet I was actually stung by a worker of this species.

Not all Polyrhachis species carry the golden or platinum sheen. Some are just plain black.

Polyrhachis bihamata

Sp 06
A small Polyrhachis species. This gyne is around 8mm

Sp 07
Here is an even smaller species. This delated gyne is only 6mm.

Polyrhachis esuriens

This is an unusual Polyrhachis gyne. Slim and long.

Polyrhachis {slimus???}
This newly mated gyne has not completely broken off all her wings.

Polyrhachis dives.
This is the most Camponotus looked alike of the Polyrhachis species. The workers have a larger head in proportion to body size than the typical Polyrhachis.

Nest of Polyrhachis dives woven with ant silk, grass and leaves. Nest are found in trees, shrubs and even among tall grasses in heavy vegetation.

Sp 10
Here is another Polyrhachis gyne. This species does not have any metallic sheen.

The Gorilla Larva.
A worker from a young nest with some of the brood. Typical among ants and even more so with termites the first brood of workers are much smaller than that of an older nest.

The "gorilla" larva.

Polyrhachis beccarii founding queen and her first brood of workers

Polyrhachis armata

Polyrhachis furcata

Worker of Polyrhachis furcata

Worker of Polyrhachis furcata

A small species of Polyrhachis.

A small species of Polyrhachis.

Sp 22

Polyrhachis cephalotes

Sp 27

Sp 36

Sp 31

Sp 32

Sp 33

Sp 34

Sp 37

See also:
Polyrhachis abdominalis
Polyrhachis armata
Polyrhachis australis 252372
Polyrhachis bihamata
Polyrhachis dives 84555
Polyrhachis furcata 111117
Polyrhachis ypsilon 84558

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum;- Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class:- Insecta
Subclass; Pterygota
Infraclass: Neoptera
Order: Hymenoptera
Suborder; Apocrita
Infraorder; Aculeata
Superfamily; Vespoidea
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily; Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus; Polyrhachis (Smith, 1857)

Last Updated: 2017 01 19
First Posted:2009 09 17
© 2009 – 2017 Quah. All rights reserved.


  1. Hi Quah,
    fantastic pictures, great information, thanks very much.
    I live in London, England and keep some of these species. its great to see how well you do with the Pheidologeton, they are REALLY hard to keep here in cold old England :)

  2. Thanks for this, I just found some of these in my backyard. I was trying to find out what that crazy nest was for...and now i see it's an ant nest! There were little ants around it but I thought they must just be farming or visiting.

  3. Hi , i would like to know how am i able to keep these Polyrhachis beccarii?

    i caught a gyne i suppose as she has bigger thorax then the rest but she seems to be constantly digging through and fiddling with the cotton stuffing in the usual test tube setup.

    is it cause she needs at least a small colony of the same species to start propergating a colony and cannot start on her own?

  4. Hi wi would like to know if Polyrhachis beccarii needs to be starting with at least a part of the colony and cannot start alone .

    i've caught a queen as she has a bigger thorax than the rest but she tends to dig and fiddle on the cotton i used to stuff the exit like a standard test tube setup to keep the queen, is it cause she needs a more natural habitat and more workers to start propergating? thanks alot if u can provide me with this info :D i really love the golden looking ants.

    1. Most Polyrhachis species are semi claustral meaning the founding queen do not seal herself inside the nest craven but actively forages for food for herself as well as any developing brood. Polyrhachis consumes a high percentage of honeydew and plants secretions aside from some protein food source. She will not be able to develop a colony without getting regular food.

  5. icic , so means i can still have her alone but need to provide her the necessities to start up? so i do not have to find her other workers or mates?

    sorry for my spelling :D i'm not good with english.

    1. Yes that is about it but she can be a picky eater and picky about where she nest. Good luck with your queen.

    2. Thanks, i'd try! i've took your advice, i've made a habitat for her to roam abt and forage with the test tube inside so she may nest if she wish to, and i've notice an increase in activity .

      i have no flueon hence i use the talcum + water mixture ard the box, she seems to be able to climb still but wld drop when she goes higher, i hope i will be able to start with this colony :D thanks alot :D


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.