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Australian Wildlife

  Subterranean Termite (Coptotermes frenchi)





Subterranean Termite | Coptotermes frenchi photo
Winged alates of the related Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus), which is not found in Australia

Image by United States Department of Agriculture - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)



INSECT FACTS

Identification
These subterranean termites are highly destructive. Soldier termites produce milky liquid from a gland on their head when disturbed. They may travel underground up to 70m from the colony in search of food. The termite has saber shaped mandibles. The head is pear shaped. There is an obvious fontanelle on the front part of the head.

Size
Soldier length: 4mm

Habitat
Found in living and dead tree trunks, tree stumps, and underground.

Food
cellulose from wood

Breeding
Coptotermes frenchi usually build their nest in the root crown or lower trunk area of living eucalypt trees. In dryer areas, they may build their nest as a mound.

Range
Coastal Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. This species is responsible for most timber termite pest damage in the ACT region

Notes
This termite causes damage to Eucalyptus trees, power poles, fence posts, timber building structures. Coptotermes frenchi can cause severe damage to building structures, often devouring the timber and only leaving a thin veneer. They are reclusive and will retreat temporarily from a location if disturbed. If you suspect that you have these termites, then arrange a termite inspection with a one of your local termite extermination companies.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Isoptera
Family:Rhinotermitidae
Genus:Coptotermes
Species:frenchi
Common Name:Subterranean Termite

Relatives in same Genus
  Subterranean Termite (C. acinaciformis)