How many termite species are there in Australia?
Of around three hundred species of termite in Australia, only about twenty are of economic importance in there own regions.
There are 3 main groups of structural timber destroying termites in Australia:
Subterranean, Drywood, & Dampwood termites
Dampwood termites belong to the family Kalotermitidae. These termites live inside the wood they eat and are rarely encountered in domestic homes.
Subterranean termites (families Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae) are much more common in urban areas, usually live in the soil & randomly forage for wood to eat.
Below are pictures of termite soldier caste heads of the important species that attack building structures in Australia
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Differences between ants and termites
Picture of Nasutitermes Termites
Nasutitermes soldier caste
Soldier body length: From 3.6mm to 4.8mm
Occurring throughout Australia
Builds mounds or arboreal (in trees). All species have Nasute soldiers, head is drawn to a point with fused mandibles. Infests timber & timber in ground contact. Prefers hardwoods. Most destructive of timber in service is Nasutitermes exitiosus. Sub-colonies in buildings often formed from supplementary queens.
Identification is from soldier caste with assistance from worker caste, nest habit and region of occurrence.
There are 4 different castes of adults for Nasutitermes termites;
- Queen & King
Species of Nasutitermes termites include.
Nasutitermes exitiosus, Nasutitermes walkeri, Nasutitermes graveolus and Nasutitermes fumigatus