Polyrhachis armarta

Polyrhachis armarta

     The workers of this species are about a cm in size and an unusual deep matt black color. They live in deciduous forest habitats where they form long trails foraging in trees and along the ground. They feed on any dead insects they can find and secretions of sap sucking insects.

     They have two long ‘thorns’ at the back of their thorax which helps protect them from predators such as lizards and birds. If a predator attempts to eat an ant the thorns get stuck in the predator’s mouth and they are then usually spat out.

     The queens are just slightly larger than the workers, and found colonies independently. They will start their colony under a piece of loose bark or in a small chamber in rotten wood. When their eggs hatch the queens will leave their foundation chamber to forage.

     As the colony increases in size, they will move higher up the tree and create a carton type nest, constructed with chewed up bark and pieces of plant debris. Mature nests can be the size of a football and are usually found attached to the side of trees or inside hollow logs.

     Colonies can have multiple queens and mature colonies will have about a thousand workers.   

     Due to their arboreal habit, in captivity their foraging area should be landscaped with small branches. They can adapt to artificial observation nests but these are best supported off the ground - preferably amongst some strong branches.


     An easy species to keep, which is a good size and unusual color.