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Australian Wildlife

  Magnetic Termite (Amitermes meridionalis)





Magnetic Termite | Amitermes meridionalis photo
Magnetic termite mounds, Northern Territory

Image by NeilsPhotography - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



MAGNETIC TERMITE FACTS

Identification
The Magnetic termite soldiers have incurved mandibles with a single tooth. They get there name because they build their large wedge-shaped mounds with the long side aligned north-south. These large mounds are familiar to tourists.

Size
Soldier: length 4mm - 6mm

Habitat
found on seasonally flooded plains. Colonies are generally isolated from each other.

Food
feeds on grass and vegetation

Breeding
Amitermes meridionalis builds wedge-shaped mounds, called compass mounds or magnetic mounds. These large termite mounds are 3m - 4m high, and up to 2.5m wide and 1m thick at the ground.

Range
found in northern parts of Northern Territory around Darwin

Notes
This termite does not damage buildings and is of little economic importance. Where the mounds are a problem, they can be knocked down and sprayed with insecticide.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Isoptera
Family:Termitidae
Genus:Amitermes
Species:meridionalis
Common Name:Magnetic Termite