Ancyridris is a small genus of myrmicine ants, with only two described species from New Guinea.
The eyes are well developed. The long and narrow mesosoma is shaped somewhat as in Aphaenogaster
. The propodeum
bears two long, flattened, hooked spines resembling those of Polyrhachis bihamata
. On the pronotum
there are long hairs. The worker of A. polyrhachioides
is almost 6 mm long. Apart from the curious anchor-like spines on its propodeum, Ancyridris
bears a general resemblance to Aphaenogaster
or certain worker forms of Pheidole
. Wheeler suspected some aberrant or archaic group, "another of the living fossils which are continually turning up in the Papuan and Australian Regions".. Ancyridris in fact seems close to Lordomyrma. It is the only ant genus currently thought to be endemic to the island of New Guinea.
A. rupicapra was originally described in the genus Pheidole (Pheidolacanthinus). Its workers are 4 mm long. A. polyrhachioides is black, and A. rupicapra reddish-brown (as implied by its specific name which translates as "red goat", referring as well to the goat-horn like propodeal spines. The sole known rupicapra specimen was collected in the mountains of the Sepik River catchment by the German colonial Kaiserin Augustafluss Expedition(1912-13).
The two original type specimens of A. polyrhachioides were recovered somewhat damaged from the stomach of an Eastern Blue-grey Robin (Peneothello cyanus subcyaneus) which was caught on Mount Misim in the Morobe District of New Guinea.
The genus name is derived from Ancient Greek
" and ιδρις "the knowing/provident one", Hesiod
's name for an ant, probably Messor barbarus
or M. structor
- (1935): Two new genera of myrmicine ants from Papua and the Philippines. Proceedings of the New England Zoological Club 15: 1-9. DjVu fulltext PDF fulltext
- (1938): Neue Ameisen aus dem indo-malayischen Gebiet ["New ants from the Indo-Malayan region"] [Article in German]. Sitzungsberichte der Gesellschaft Naturforschender Freunde zu Berlin 1938: 99-122. PDF fulltext
- ITIS: Genus Ancyridris