Polyrhachis thrinax

Polyrhachis thrinax

     This is an attractive red colored Polyrhachis which is mostly active at night. The workers are about 4 mm in size, and the queen slightly larger at 6 mm. Colonies have a single queen and between 50 to 200 workers.

     This species makes its nests on large shrubs/trees, between overlapping leaves, which are then bound together with plant debris. They will frequently maintain several interlinked sub nests spread out over the branches of the host tree.

     When disturbed they will knock their abdomens against the plant leaves, creating a rhythmic thumping noise, which then startles and discourages most predators.

     They mainly eat the sweet secretions from sap sucking insects, but will also take any dead insects that they can find.

     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 foundation stage the queens will frequently leave the chamber at night to forage.

     An easy species to keep, that looks best displayed in a natural landscaped set up, with plenty of plants and branches for the workers to forage along.