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.
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Picture of Schedorhinotermes intermedius Termites
Nests in tree stumps, root crowns, under in-fill patios, under houses and timber retaining walls.
Schedorhinotermes intermedius Soldier Caste:
Have mandibles with teeth on inner faces, the Labrum is grooved centrally with Fontanelle present. The Tarsi has 4 segments, abdominal cerci has 2 segments.
The main identifier of this species of termite is that there are 2 types of soldier castes, Major & Minor.
Major Soldier: from 5.0mm to7.5mm in body length, it has a rather bulbous head.
Minor Soldier: from 3.0mm to 5.0mm in body length (it is approximately two thirds the length of Major Soldier). They have a narrower head, and their mandibles are more slender.
Nymphs lasts fro approximately 2-3 months. No pupal stage. Soldiers & Workers live for around 1-2 years. Kings and Queens live often over 20 years.
There are 4 different castes of adults:
- Queen & King
Schedorhinotermes intermedius are extremely destructive to timber structures. They are known to be very skittish so powdering must be undertaken with care not to disturb them too much. Known in the pest control industry as “Schedos”. Found only in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia & the Northern Territory.
They are nearly as destructive as Coptotermes acinaciformis.