top of page
Polyrhachis thrinax

Polyrhachis thrinax

     The workers of this species are orange/red in colour and mostly active at night. The workers are 4 mm in size, and the queens are slightly larger at 6 mm. Colonies have a single queen and when mature will have between 400 – 500 workers.

     This species makes its nests on large shrubs/trees, between overlapping leaves, which are then bound together with a mixture of plant debris and silk from their larvae.

     If their nest is disturbed, the majority of the workers will rush out waving their antennae around, and then start jerking back and forth taking up a threatening stance with their abdomens held beneath them pointing forwards towards the threat. They will then knock their abdomens against the plant leaves, creating a rhythmic thumping noise, the collective vibrating red mass tends to shock and discourage most potential predators. This defensive action can be demonstrated in captivity by gently tapping on their nest.

     They mainly eat the sweet secretions from sap-sucking insects, but will also take dead insects.

     They have nuptial flights during the rainy season and the new queens start colonies independently, usually in a curled-up leaf, where they will construct a small ‘leaf chamber’ made from plant debris. During the colony foundation stage, the queens will frequently leave the chamber at night to forage.


     Summary: An easy species to keep, that looks best displayed in a naturally landscaped setup, with plenty of plants and branches for the workers to forage along.


    bottom of page