Cryptotermes

These termites generally inhabit dry wood, and they are frequently referred to as powderpost termites. The genus is represented in nearly all of the zoogeographic regions. The head of the soldier is nearly as broad as it is long, and it is high in front; the steep frontal area of the head is distinctly concave. Mandibles are large and curved. Wings of the alates are iridescent and the antennae have 14-16 segments. Swarming flights often occur atnight, and the alates are usually attracted to outdoor lights.

Cryptotermes brevis (Fig. 10.1c; 10.3d) Alates are 10-11 mm long with the wings. The body is brown and the width of the head through the eyes is slightly more than 1 mm. Wings are translucent, and the veins are dark brown; the antennae have 16-18 segments. Soldiers are about 5 mm long and the head is brown to reddish brown. Fecal pellets of this species are small, round, and dry. Fecal pellets are usually expelled from the galleries, and they collect in piles below infested wood. This species infests dry wood and does not have a connection to the soil. In the USA, swarming flights occur in May and June. Damage is usually to floors, woodwork, furniture, and small wooden objects. This species has a wide distribution in tropical and neotropical regions, including Central and South America, Mexico, and the West Indies. It has been introduced into Hawaii, and continental USA. In the USA it is only known from structural infestations and not from natural habitats.

Figure 10.2 Isoptera. (a) Neotermes castaneus; (b) Odontotermes sp.; (c) Psammotermes hybostoma; (d) Schedorhinotermes sp.; (e) Reticulitermes lucifugus; (f) Zootermopsis angusticollis; (g) Tenuirostritermes tenuirostris; (h) T. tenuirostris; (i) Coptotermes havilandi, soldier; (j) C. havilandi, worker.

Figure 10.2 Isoptera. (a) Neotermes castaneus; (b) Odontotermes sp.; (c) Psammotermes hybostoma; (d) Schedorhinotermes sp.; (e) Reticulitermes lucifugus; (f) Zootermopsis angusticollis; (g) Tenuirostritermes tenuirostris; (h) T. tenuirostris; (i) Coptotermes havilandi, soldier; (j) C. havilandi, worker.

Anacanthotermes septentrionalis Openings to the subterranean nests may be only small cones of sand 1-3 cm high. Mound nests are built in the eastern part of its geographic range; these are occupied only during summer; during winter the nest is 1-2 m below the surface. This species is distributed in northeastern Iran and Afghanistan.

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