Drywood termites (left)and subterranean termites (right), (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae). Photo by Drees.
Common name: TermiteScientific Name: VariesOrder: Isoptera
Description:Drywood termites are light yellow to black with clear to smoky gray wings, about 7/16 inch long. Worker termites (nymphs), and are up to 3/8 inch long, wingless, white to grayish with white to yellowish-brown heads, and soldiers are similar but with large rectangular darker heads bearing well developed jaws (mandibles) used to defend the colony.
Termites are occasionally confused with winged ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): termites have body segments that are similar in width, hair-like (filiform) antennae and, when present, four wings of equal length; ants have narrow waists, elbowed antennae and forewings that are longer than hind wings.
The differences between drywood termites (Kalotermitidae) and subterranean (Rhinotermitidae) are easiest to see in the venation of the wings of the adult reproductive caste. Wings of drywood termites have three heavy veins along the basal part of the front edge of the forewing and the crossveins near the wing tip are angled, making trapezoidal cells. Subterranean termite wings have just two major veins along the front edge of the forewing and the cross veins towards the wingtip are perpendicular to theseveins, making square and rectangular cells. Soldier and worker castes are more difficult to distinguish, but are generally larger than subterranean termites. However, other characteristics of infested wood can be used for identification.
Soldier termites and worker termites, Reticulitermes sp. (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Photo by H. A. Turney.
Subterranean termites, Reticulitermes virginicus (in east Texas to Uvalde and Tom Green Counties) and R. hageni (in east Texas to Bexar and Eastland Counties), are social insects. There are three types (castes) of
termite adults in a colony; 1) reproductives; 2) workers; and 3) soldiers. Reproductives can be winged, primary reproductives called alates or swarmers or wingless, secondary reproductives. Winged reproductives have 1/4 to 3/8 inch long pale yellow-brown to black bodies and bear four wings of equal size that may be smoky gray to brown and have few wing veins. Termite workers are white and soft bodied. Soldiers resemble worker termites, except that they have enlarged brownish heads and strong, well-developed jaws. Soldiers defend the colony from invaders, primarily ants.
The Formosan termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, found primarily in the greater Houston-Galveston area and Beaumont-Port Arthur, is another subterranean species. It is larger than the
subterranean termite and has a pale yellow body color; the head shape of the soldier cast is more oval; and the wings of reproductives are hairy. Colonies, found in spaces such as wall voids or in hollows dug in wood both in or on the ground, are built of a mixture of chewed wood and soil cemented together, called carton. Reproductives swarm in late afternoon and evening, and are attracted to lights.
A termite queen, Reticulitermes sp. (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Photo by Drees.
Life Cycle:Drywood termites: Simple metamorphosis. Winged male and female termites swarm and mate, usually in late summer and early fall. Males and females remain together to start a new colony and mate periodically thereafter to assure continued egg production. Eggs, produced by the mated female reproductive or queen, hatch in about two weeks.
Nymphs develop through two stages (instars) and become workers (nymphs). Additional molts produce adults including soldiers, winged forms called alates or primary reproductives, and wingless forms (dealates, secondary reproductives) which are capable of replacing deceased primary reproductives in an existing colony. A colony requires several years to become mature, an event marked by the production of winged reproductives. Mature colonies may contain up to 10,000 individuals.
Subterranean termites: Simple metamorphosis. Subterranean termites nest in the soil. Winged male and female reproductives swarm from the nest in daylight during the spring, usually after a rain when proper conditions (heat, temperature and light) occur. Male (king) and female (queen) termites mate and seek a colony site and stay together because periodic mating is required for continuous egg production. Development from egg to adult takes 2 to 7 weeks. Eggs, produced by the queen develop into wingless nymphs that develop through three stages (instars), requiring 10-14 days, 2-3 weeks and 3-4 weeks, respectively. At first, only worker termites are produced. Thereafter, there can be three types of nymphs: 1) false workers or pseudergates with no wing pads that molt continuously; 2) nymphs with wing pads that develop into winged male and female reproductives; and 3) soldier nymphs. Reproductive termites can develop from nymphs with wing pads (primary reproductives) as well as from false worker nymphs (secondary nymphoid repro- ductives or tertiary ergatoid reproductives) in the absence of primary reproductives due to the death of the queen or colony fractionation. A termite colony matures in 2 to 4 years and may contain 21,000 to 365,000 termites.
A winged reproductive termite, Reticulitermes sp. (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Photo by J. Hamer.
Habitat, Food Source(s), Damage: Colonies of this social insect occur in sound, dry wood. Swarming occurs at dusk or early evening and the swarmers are attracted to lights. The mated pair starting a colony seeks a crack and crevice in wood, such as the spaces between wood shingles. The queen and male (king) produce and tend the first brood. Afterwards, worker termites care for the queen and male, tend the brood (eggs and immature forms), gather food, build and maintain the colony. Termite workers eat cellulose-containing materials found in plant products, which is digested by a one-celled animal (Protozoan) living in their digestive system. Workers share food with the other members of the colony. Tunnels or galleries which house the colony are produced by workers in dry, cured wood are clean and free of debris. Tunnels can run across the grain of the wood. Those reaching the woodsurface end in kick holes, where unique fecal pellets are expelled from the colony and pile up below infested timbers. These pellets are hard, 1/25 inch long, elongated seed-like particles with six lengthwise ridges between depressed surfaces. Soldier termites defend the colony from intruders.Subterranean termites: Worker termites gather food, maintain the nest, and feed and care forother members of the colony. Paper, cotton, burlap and other plant products as well as the stems of some plants (e.g. okra) serve as food sources. Workers returning to the colony share food with the rest of the colony. Workers feeding above ground construct tunnels or tubes made of soil and wood particles and salivary secretions. These tubes protect the workers and retain moisture in the nest.
Pest Status: Drywood termites: Termites occur in Texas coastal counties, with western spot infestations in Uvalde and San Antonio and north to Collin County, causing a great deal of concern to homeowners when discovered. Biology differs from the more common subterranean termite because it does not nest in the ground and thus requires a different, more expensive treatment approach. Termites are medically harmless.
Subterranean termites: Worker termites tunnel into structural timbers and other sources of cellulose on which they feed. Termites are harmless to man and animals although soldier termites can bite. They occur throughout Texas, but are more prevalent in coastal regions.
Management: See Subterranean Termites. See also How to Select a Termite Control Service and Household and Structural Pests.
For additional information, contact your local Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent or search for other state Extension offices.
Literature: Drywood termites: Borror et al. 1989; Hamman and Gold 1992.Literature: Subterranean termites: Ebeling 1978; Hamman 1989; Haney 1993; Howell et al. 1987; Pawson 1995.
Read the original:
Termite - Field Guide to Common Texas Insects
- Longview Baptist to celebrate with open house on Sunday - Shelbyville Times-Gazette - January 20th, 2020
- J Rock's swing in the Banana hammock Boxing News Boxing, UFC and MMA News, Fight Results, Schedule, Rankings, Videos and More - 15rounds.com - January 20th, 2020
- Letters to the Editor: Leave devices at home - msnNOW - January 20th, 2020
- Termite Control Products Market Expected To Grow Share, Size, Forecast CAGR Ratio [2020-2029] BASF SE, The Dow Chemical Company, Bayer CropScience AG... - January 20th, 2020
- Edible Insects/ Market 2020 Global Industry Analysis, Growth Opportunities, Detailed Analysis And Forecast To 2026| Esticast Research and Consulting ... - January 20th, 2020
- You've seen the Big 5 on safari? In Zambia, you see them and the amazing Little 5 - Los Angeles Times - January 20th, 2020
- This Thailand Termite Spray Commercial is Absolutely Insane - TVOvermind - January 18th, 2020
- Photo gallery: Longview Baptist to celebrate with open house on Sunday (1/18/20) - Shelbyville Times-Gazette - January 18th, 2020
- Twitter Suspends, Then REINSTATES, Anti-Semitic Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan Claims Suspension Was an 'Error' - The Union Journal - January 18th, 2020
- First Evidence That Social Interactions of Ants Affect Pathogen Competition - SciTechDaily - January 18th, 2020
- Termite Bait System Products Market: Quantitative Analysis from 2019 to 2025 to Enable the Stakeholders to Capitalize on the Prevailing Termite Bait... - January 18th, 2020
- National Review Shouldn't Join The Left In Blaming Jews For Antisemitism - The Federalist - January 18th, 2020
- Thailand termite spray commercial - Boing Boing - January 16th, 2020
- Why is this Women's March different from all the others? - Washington Jewish Week - January 16th, 2020
- Bill Kirby Jr.: Once the bulldozers and excavators roar on South Main in Hope Mills ... - The Fayetteville Observer - January 16th, 2020
- A Cockroach vs. Water Bug: Here's How to Tell the Difference & Get Rid of Them for Good - Prevention.com - January 16th, 2020
- Becky Thatcher home preserved - Hannibal.net - January 14th, 2020
- Who Are The 2020 Womens March Speakers? The Organization Says No One. - Sara A. Carter - January 14th, 2020
- Letters to the editor Monday: - Savannah Morning News - January 14th, 2020
- Similarities between humans and chimpanzees include the ability to teach, F&M researchers say - LancasterOnline - January 12th, 2020
- Keeping house in your absence - The Tribune - January 12th, 2020
- Column: To the grocery store - every day - Milford Daily News - January 12th, 2020
- Your Environment This Week: Future green crusaders, land use change in Jammu & Kashmir, new termites - Mongabay-India - January 10th, 2020
- Termite Bait Systems Market 2019: Analysis And Forecast By The Dow Chemical Company, BASF, Bayer, Sumitomo Chemical, Syngenta, Rentokil Initial,... - January 10th, 2020
- Termite Control Market Advance Technology And New Innovations 2020 To 2027 - Food & Beverage Herald - January 10th, 2020
- Anti-Semitism won't be cured by education, but it's a first step - Washington Examiner - January 10th, 2020
- Monkeys smashing nuts with stones hint at how human tool use evolved - The Conversation US - January 10th, 2020
- Global Termite Control System Market 2019 Trends, Market Share, Industry Size, Opportunities, Analysis and Forecast To 2025 - Food & Beverage... - January 9th, 2020
- Termite Bait Systems Market Report by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application Forecast 2019 2025 - Expert Recorder - January 9th, 2020
- Viance offers environmentally advanced utility pole and crossarm preservative alternative to penta - Utility Products - January 9th, 2020
- Young and fearless give hope for protecting rights in India - Chicago Daily Herald - January 9th, 2020
- Rollins, Inc. Schedules Date For Release Of Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2019 Results - Yahoo Finance - January 7th, 2020
- Chimps share tools when tasks gets tough - Cosmos - January 7th, 2020
- Perspective on Knowledge: The challenge of emergence - KMWorld Magazine - January 4th, 2020
- The Great British Bake Offs Prue Leith says we may eat more insects in future - The Independent - January 4th, 2020
- Termite Control Services Market Report (2019-2025) | The demand for the Market will drastically increase in the Future - Chief Analyst - January 4th, 2020
- Ab Rogers returns to Wonderfruit festival in Thailand - Wallpaper* - January 2nd, 2020
- Why the New Year has begun on a depressing note - Yahoo Finance UK - January 2nd, 2020
- Florida Matters 2019 In Review: Honey Bees, Coral Reefs, And The Environment - WUSF News - January 1st, 2020
- Memories live on during the holiday season | Commentary - Olean Times Herald - January 1st, 2020
- Termites eating into green cover of City Beautiful - The Tribune - December 29th, 2019
- Open Letter Protesting CAA | Letters to the Editor - India West - December 29th, 2019
- Goualougo chimpanzees more likely to teach and share tools for complex tasks - English Forward - December 29th, 2019
- No progress visible at the blighted Buddy Bolden house, but work may begin soon - NOLA.com - December 29th, 2019
- Protestors in non-BJP states cooking biryani and singing songs; in BJP-ruled states why are they 'violent'? - TheTrends24 - December 29th, 2019
- Trends in the Termite Control Market 2019-2027 - Market Research Sheets - December 27th, 2019
- Is There Mold in Your House? | Millionacres - Motley Fool - December 26th, 2019
- Chimpanzees more likely to share tools, teach skills when task is complex - Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom - December 26th, 2019
- Chimp study may give insight into the evolution of human complexity - Haaretz - December 24th, 2019
- The global household insecticides market is accounted to US$ 11,785.9 Mn in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period... - December 24th, 2019
- Future use of East Hampton town hall could be fun but remains a mystery - Middletown Press - December 24th, 2019
- Chlorpyrifos Market New Innovations, Research and Growth Factor till 2024 - Market Reports Observer - December 24th, 2019
- In India, Thousands Protest Citizenship Law That Excludes Muslims - The Organization for World Peace - December 22nd, 2019
- Termite Bait Systems Market 2019: Global Opportunity And Growth Analysis By The Dow Chemical Company, BASF, Bayer, Sumitomo Chemical, Syngenta,... - December 21st, 2019
- A new law in India could put Muslims at greater risk of persecution, like the Rohingya - The Conversation AU - December 19th, 2019
- The Ant, the Woodpecker, and the 3-D Printer: A Tale of Interdepartmental Collaboration - Newswise - December 19th, 2019
- Termites And Expansion Of Sharia Law In Nigerian Constitution By Frederick Odorige - SaharaReporters.com - December 18th, 2019
- Viance Offers Environmentally Advanced Utility Pole and Crossarm Preservative Alternative to Penta - PRNewswire - December 18th, 2019
- The marvellous mystery of the fairy circles - Particle - December 18th, 2019
- Finance board approves sale of East Hampton town hall building - Middletown Press - December 18th, 2019
- Viance Offers Environmentally Advanced Utility Pole and Crossarm Preservative Alternative to Penta - Yahoo Finance - December 17th, 2019
- Believe it or not, this Vietnam homes design is inspired by termites - Architectural Digest India - December 16th, 2019
- Termite Control Products and Services Market Future Scope With Upcoming Opportunities 2025 (Terminix, Rollins, Rentokil Initial, Anticimex and many... - December 16th, 2019
- Hows the Market? Intermittent Inspections - Ukiah Daily Journal - December 16th, 2019
- Know what are the driving factors of Global Termite Control Products and Services Market growth by key players: Terminix, Rollins, Rentokil Initial -... - December 14th, 2019
- Hows the Market? Intermittent Inspections - Lake County Record-Bee - December 14th, 2019
- Attractive Market Opportunities in the Termite Control Market By 2029 - Neptune Pine - December 14th, 2019
- In Hindu-nationalist India, Muslims risk being branded infiltrators in their own country - CNN - December 14th, 2019
- What Will Be Driving Growth Factor of Termite Control Products and Services Market Near Future - News Description - December 13th, 2019
- The termites eating up India - indica News - December 12th, 2019
- Termite Control Market Size 2019 Focuses on Top Companies, Research Methodology, Drivers and Forecast to 2026 - Drnewsindustry - December 12th, 2019
- Are You Worried About Human Termites Too? - Dunya News - December 10th, 2019
- Swarm Bot Series Part One: Heres What Bees are Teaching Us About the Future of the IoT - IoT For All - December 10th, 2019
- Pheromones and social lives are becoming a liability for insects in changing climates - Salon - December 9th, 2019
- 10 Creepy Things That Are Actually in Beloved Christmas Movies - Screen Rant - December 9th, 2019
- CAB a majoritarian exercise to prove Muslims have lesser place in the new India - The Indian Express - December 8th, 2019
- TONY MELTON: Home on the farm - SCNow - December 8th, 2019
- Hastings celebrates 115 years of the public library - KSNB Local 4 - December 8th, 2019
- Breathing life into classrooms with STEM - NKU The Northerner Online - December 5th, 2019
- Global Termite Treatment Chemical Products Market Status, Company Profiles, Gross Margin and Future Scenario Forecast till 2024 - The Market... - December 5th, 2019