Open main menu

Philidris nagasau

Philidris nagasau is a species of ant in the genus Philidris. Described by Mann in 1921, the species is endemic to Fiji.[1]

Philidris nagasau
Scientific classification
P. nagasau
Binomial name
Philidris nagasau
(Mann, 1921)
  • Philidris nagasau agnatus Mann, 1921
  • Philidris nagasau alticola Mann, 1921

Philidris nagasau makes its living by planting seeds of epiphytes such as Squamellaria in the bark of host trees and tending them like a garden. Their planting habits share a remarkable similarity to that of humans. They are able to identify the seeds of their preferred plant, plant these seeds, guard their plots from potential predators, and finally use their own feces to fertilize the young seedling. There is also evidence that these ants lost their ability to nest before Squamellaria developed domatia for these ants to reside. This suggests that P. nagasau selectively breed Squamellaria with wider openings that eventually developed into domatia. [2][3]


  1. ^ Shattuck, S. O. 1992a. Review of the dolichoderine ant genus Iridomyrmex Mayr with descriptions of three new genera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Australian Journal of Entomological Society 31: 13-18 (page 18, Combination in Philidris)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Chomicki, Guillaume; Renner, Susanne S. (21 November 2016). "Obligate plant farming by a specialized ant". Nature Plants. 2: 16181. doi:10.1038/nplants.2016.181.