Termite

This image is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the Agricultural Research Service, the research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture.

6 legs, straight antenna, white, small

Formosan termites have long been a pest in Hawaii, first collected in 1896 but not correctly identified until 1905. They were first discovered in the continental stated in 1956 in Charleston, S.C., then in Houston, Texas, in 1965, and the nest year in Galveston.

About ½” (12-13 mm) long including wings. Body pale yellow to brownish yellow. Fontanelle (frontal gland pore) present, on a slight tubercle (vry short tube) toward front of head. Wing with 2 dark, heavily sclerotized (hardened) veins in front portion, other veins unpigmented except for basal third. Wing translucent (slightly milky), densely covered with hairs (setae). Front wing scale distinctly larger that hind wing scale, may overlap basal portion of hind wing scale.

These are essentially the same as for the eastern subterranean termite. Formosans do have the habit of establishing secondary nests above ground if a constant moisture supply is available. Such a nest is made of a material called carton. It consists of soil and wood cemented together with saliva and feces. Such large nests typically cause walls to bulge. True aerial nests (never ground contact) are more often encountered than for the eastern subterranean termites, but are not common.

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