Local Government Partner :: ACT GovernmentSupported by :: Australian Native Plants Society (ANPS) Canberra Region :: Gearys Gap/Wamboin Landcare Group
Home Insects Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) Papyrius nitidus

Papyrius nitidus

Shining Coconut Ant

The Shining Coconut Ant is essential to the survival of the nationally rare Small Ant-blue Butterfly, with the butterfly spending its larvae and pupae stages within the ant's nest. The Small Ant-blue is only known from a few locations both in the ACT and nationally, while the Shining Coconut Ant seems quite widespread in the Canberra area. The nests of the Shining Coconut Ant are very distinctive and it is hopped that by mapping the distribution of the ant we may find more breeding colonies of the butterfly. A similar species, the Hairy Coconut Ant also occurs in the ACT and region.

The Coconut Ant build nests in the ground and in dead wood on or near the surface. The nests are readily identified because the ant build a cover of vegetatable and soil matter, with a carboard like consistency, over nests, forage ways, at the base of eucalypt salpings and along tree stems. The material is most obvious on top of cut stumps and in the cracks of fallen timber (see photos).

The clinching test as to whether it is a Coconut Ant nest is to squash one of the few mm long ants and a very strong coconut oil smell should be immediately obvious.

The Coconut Ant feeds on the excretions of leafhoppers and scale incsects, that are feeding on eucalypts and wattles so nests tend to be in areas with much sapling growth. Work in Victoria also suggests that nests are most likely to be found on flatter well drained areas where projected foliage cover is less than 25% and fallen timber and dead wood is present.

Happy ant hunting. Please report any nest to Canberra Nature MAp

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Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Woodstock Nature Reserve - 12 Apr 2021 by Christine Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 18 Mar 2021 by MichaelMulvaney Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 18 Mar 2021 by MichaelMulvaney Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Point Hut to Tharwa - 6 Mar 2021 by michaelb Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 27 Feb 2021 by JackyF Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 24 Feb 2021 by JackyF Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Painter - 21 Jan 2021 by CathB Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Taylor - 16 Jan 2021 by MatthewFrawley Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Hughes, ACT - 11 Jan 2021 by LisaH Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Majura - 7 Jan 2021 by waltraud Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 7 Jan 2021 by JackyF Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 7 Jan 2021 by JackyF Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Tuggeranong DC, ACT - 2 Jan 2021 by HelenCross Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 2 Jan 2021 by MichaelMulvaney Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Melrose - 21 Dec 2020 by patrickharvey Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Theodore, ACT - 6 Dec 2020 by patrickharvey Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Federal Golf Course - 5 Dec 2020 by JackyF Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Federal Golf Course - 5 Dec 2020 by JackyF Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Aranda Bushland - 4 Dec 2020 by CathB Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Aranda Bushland - 4 Dec 2020 by CathB Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Hawker, ACT - 4 Dec 2020 by AlisonMilton Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Mugga Mugga - 25 Nov 2020 by MichaelMulvaney Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Aranda Bushland - 23 Nov 2020 by CathB Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Rugosa at Yass River - 6 Nov 2020 by SenexRugosus Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 20 Oct 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Greenway, ACT - 16 Oct 2020 by patrickharvey Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 12 Oct 2020 by RobParnell Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mulanggari Grasslands - 7 Oct 2020 by tpreston Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 4 Oct 2020 by Ratcliffe Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Point 4372 - 2 Oct 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Cotter Reserve - 29 Sep 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Isaacs Ridge and Nearby - 27 Sep 2020 by Mike Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Isaacs Ridge and Nearby - 27 Sep 2020 by Mike Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Macarthur, ACT - 19 Sep 2020 by RAllen Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Aranda, ACT - 16 Sep 2020 by Jubeyjubes Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 15 Sep 2020 by Roger Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Holt, ACT - 14 Sep 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Higgins, ACT - 10 Sep 2020 by AlisonMilton Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at O'Malley, ACT - 8 Sep 2020 by Mike Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 4 Sep 2020 by rawshorty Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at ANBG - 28 Aug 2020 by TimL Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 24 Aug 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Farrer Ridge - 23 Aug 2020 by rawshorty Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Farrer Ridge - 23 Aug 2020 by rawshorty Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Farrer Ridge - 23 Aug 2020 by rawshorty Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 14 Aug 2020 by JackyF Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at ANBG - 2 Aug 2020 by TimL Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at ANBG - 2 Aug 2020 by TimL Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Piney Ridge - 31 Jul 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Holt, ACT - 30 Jul 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Holt, ACT - 30 Jul 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 28 Jul 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at ANBG - 28 Jul 2020 by TimL Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at ANBG - 28 Jul 2020 by TimL Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 23 Jul 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 23 Jul 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Isaacs Ridge and Nearby - 17 Jul 2020 by Mike Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Isaacs Ridge and Nearby - 16 Jul 2020 by Mike Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 9 Jul 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 5 Jul 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Mugga Mugga - 5 Jul 2020 by Mike Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Mugga Mugga - 29 Jun 2020 by Mike Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 28 Jun 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 24 Jun 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 24 Jun 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 19 Jun 2020 by AlisonMilton Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 18 Jun 2020 by Mike Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 18 Jun 2020 by Mike Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Mugga Mugga - 18 Jun 2020 by Mike Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Mugga Mugga - 18 Jun 2020 by Mike Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 17 Jun 2020 by JackyF Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 15 Jun 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Woodstock Nature Reserve - 2 Jun 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 31 May 2020 by Mike Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 29 May 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Lake Ginninderra - 28 May 2020 by MattM Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Lake Ginninderra - 28 May 2020 by MattM Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Lake Ginninderra - 28 May 2020 by MattM Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 26 May 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Molonglo Valley, ACT - 4 May 2020 by RobSpeirs Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Deakin, ACT - 3 May 2020 by JackyF Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Federal Golf Course - 28 Apr 2020 by kieranh Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Federal Golf Course - 28 Apr 2020 by kieranh Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 12 Apr 2020 by Mike Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 12 Apr 2020 by Mike Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Namadgi National Park - 11 Apr 2020 by nath_kay Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 7 Apr 2020 by selga.harrington@wsp.com Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Hughes Grassy Woodland - 28 Mar 2020 by JackyF Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 20 Mar 2020 by SWishart Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Namadgi National Park - 16 Mar 2020 by nath_kay Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 1 Mar 2020 by LisaH Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Cook, ACT - 29 Feb 2020 by CathB Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Stony Creek - 28 Feb 2020 by Kurt Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Ainslie - 26 Feb 2020 by SilkeSma Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at The Pinnacle - 14 Feb 2020 by AlisonMilton Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 14 Feb 2020 by rawshorty Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Tuggeranong Hill - 13 Feb 2020 by Owen Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Aranda Bushland - 4 Feb 2020 by CathB Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Denman Prospect, ACT - 30 Jan 2020 by Christine Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Painter - 20 Jan 2020 by CathB
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Woodstock Nature Reserve - 12 Apr 2021 by Christine
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 18 Mar 2021 by MichaelMulvaney
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 18 Mar 2021 by MichaelMulvaney
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Point Hut to Tharwa - 6 Mar 2021 by michaelb
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 27 Feb 2021 by JackyF
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 24 Feb 2021 by JackyF
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Painter - 21 Jan 2021 by CathB
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Taylor - 16 Jan 2021 by MatthewFrawley
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Hughes, ACT - 11 Jan 2021 by LisaH
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Majura - 7 Jan 2021 by waltraud
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 7 Jan 2021 by JackyF
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 7 Jan 2021 by JackyF
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Tuggeranong DC, ACT - 2 Jan 2021 by HelenCross
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 2 Jan 2021 by MichaelMulvaney
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Melrose - 21 Dec 2020 by patrickharvey
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Theodore, ACT - 6 Dec 2020 by patrickharvey
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Federal Golf Course - 5 Dec 2020 by JackyF
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Federal Golf Course - 5 Dec 2020 by JackyF
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Aranda Bushland - 4 Dec 2020 by CathB
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Aranda Bushland - 4 Dec 2020 by CathB
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Hawker, ACT - 4 Dec 2020 by AlisonMilton
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Mugga Mugga - 25 Nov 2020 by MichaelMulvaney
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Aranda Bushland - 23 Nov 2020 by CathB
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Rugosa at Yass River - 6 Nov 2020 by SenexRugosus
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 20 Oct 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Greenway, ACT - 16 Oct 2020 by patrickharvey
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 12 Oct 2020 by RobParnell
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mulanggari Grasslands - 7 Oct 2020 by tpreston
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 4 Oct 2020 by Ratcliffe
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Point 4372 - 2 Oct 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Cotter Reserve - 29 Sep 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Isaacs Ridge and Nearby - 27 Sep 2020 by Mike
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Isaacs Ridge and Nearby - 27 Sep 2020 by Mike
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Macarthur, ACT - 19 Sep 2020 by RAllen
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Aranda, ACT - 16 Sep 2020 by Jubeyjubes
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 15 Sep 2020 by Roger
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Holt, ACT - 14 Sep 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Higgins, ACT - 10 Sep 2020 by AlisonMilton
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at O'Malley, ACT - 8 Sep 2020 by Mike
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 4 Sep 2020 by rawshorty
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at ANBG - 28 Aug 2020 by TimL
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 24 Aug 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Farrer Ridge - 23 Aug 2020 by rawshorty
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Farrer Ridge - 23 Aug 2020 by rawshorty
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Farrer Ridge - 23 Aug 2020 by rawshorty
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 14 Aug 2020 by JackyF
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at ANBG - 2 Aug 2020 by TimL
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at ANBG - 2 Aug 2020 by TimL
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Piney Ridge - 31 Jul 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Holt, ACT - 30 Jul 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Holt, ACT - 30 Jul 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 28 Jul 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at ANBG - 28 Jul 2020 by TimL
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at ANBG - 28 Jul 2020 by TimL
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 23 Jul 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 23 Jul 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Isaacs Ridge and Nearby - 17 Jul 2020 by Mike
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Isaacs Ridge and Nearby - 16 Jul 2020 by Mike
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 9 Jul 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 5 Jul 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Mugga Mugga - 5 Jul 2020 by Mike
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Mugga Mugga - 29 Jun 2020 by Mike
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 28 Jun 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 24 Jun 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 24 Jun 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 19 Jun 2020 by AlisonMilton
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 18 Jun 2020 by Mike
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 18 Jun 2020 by Mike
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Mugga Mugga - 18 Jun 2020 by Mike
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Mugga Mugga - 18 Jun 2020 by Mike
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 17 Jun 2020 by JackyF
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 15 Jun 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Woodstock Nature Reserve - 2 Jun 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 31 May 2020 by Mike
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 29 May 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Lake Ginninderra - 28 May 2020 by MattM
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Lake Ginninderra - 28 May 2020 by MattM
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Lake Ginninderra - 28 May 2020 by MattM
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 26 May 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Molonglo Valley, ACT - 4 May 2020 by RobSpeirs
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Deakin, ACT - 3 May 2020 by JackyF
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Federal Golf Course - 28 Apr 2020 by kieranh
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Federal Golf Course - 28 Apr 2020 by kieranh
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 12 Apr 2020 by Mike
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 12 Apr 2020 by Mike
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Namadgi National Park - 11 Apr 2020 by nath_kay
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 7 Apr 2020 by selga.harrington@wsp.com
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Hughes Grassy Woodland - 28 Mar 2020 by JackyF
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Kama - 20 Mar 2020 by SWishart
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Namadgi National Park - 16 Mar 2020 by nath_kay
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Red Hill Nature Reserve - 1 Mar 2020 by LisaH
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Cook, ACT - 29 Feb 2020 by CathB
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Stony Creek - 28 Feb 2020 by Kurt
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Ainslie - 26 Feb 2020 by SilkeSma
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at The Pinnacle - 14 Feb 2020 by AlisonMilton
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Callum Brae - 14 Feb 2020 by rawshorty
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Tuggeranong Hill - 13 Feb 2020 by Owen
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Aranda Bushland - 4 Feb 2020 by CathB
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Denman Prospect, ACT - 30 Jan 2020 by Christine
Papyrius nitidus (Shining Coconut Ant) at Mount Painter - 20 Jan 2020 by CathB

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Coconut Ants are only a few mm long
Twiggy + chewed Cardboard like covering
Material found in timber cracks

Species information

  • Papyrius nitidus Scientific name
  • Shining Coconut Ant Common name
  • Sensitive
  • Local Native
  • Non-Invasive
  • External link More information

Location information

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