Western Drywood Termite
( Incisitermes minor )


2011-1009-01080149-BLA00099-Incisitermes_minor[1140h02s,F,I,frass]{EXD}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Incisitermes minor
(Hagen ,1858 )
Common Name:Western Drywood Termite
Life Stage:(I) indeterminate/irrelevant

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Polyneoptera
Order:Blattodea
Family:Kalotermitidae
Genus:Incisitermes
Taxon Code:BLA00099
ITIS/TSN:623959

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Sycamore Grove/Veteran's Park, Sycamore Grove/Veteran's Park, 5211 Arroyo Road, Livermore
County:Alameda County
ECI Site#:CA01080149

RECOGNITION
Description
Drywood termites colonies are divided into and recognized by having an alate, soldier and pseudergate castes. Caste descriptions: Alate (winged reproductive) - The head is round in dorsal view. In winged individuals 3 veins are highly sclerotized at the forward margins of the first pair of wings. Soldier - The large, black mandibles readily distinguish soldiers from the other castes. In dorsal view the head is more rectangular than rounded. Pseudergate (false worker): Bodies are never sclerotized as in the other castes, and individuals have the coloration of fly maggots. Heads are rounded. This caste has the highest ratio to other castes in a colony. Species description: Alate and soldier castes are used for recognition of the species. Alate: Heads are rounded, orangish to brown in color. Body Length is 11-12.5 mm, including wings. Soldier - In lateral view, heads are flattened on top with the forehead sloping gradually to meet the mandibles. In dorsal view the head is rectangular with margins slightly rounded. Pseudergates - Bodies of not readily distinguishable from other species, but are comparatively more plump.
Body Length
Alate: 11-12.5 mm, including wings. Soldier: 8-12 mm.
Diversity
Native to California, Washington, Utah and Arizona. However, since it can be transported in wood products, it is often found outside its normal range and habitat with infestations occurring throughout the United States, Canada, China and Japan.

BIOLOGY
Food
Wood with little water content. Wood may be in use by humans or in nature.
Habitat
Habitat also is a clue to recognizing this species. It colonizes dry wood, rather than in damp wood; and it lives above ground. It is not subterranean. Drywood termites inhabit the more arid regions of the Bay Area and are not as common in the foggier climates.
Nesting Preferences
They live in wood that has little water content, including wood that is warmed and in direct sunlight. They infest dry wood in structures or dry parts of trees, including living trees.
Importance
In California and Arizona alone its economic impact is estimated to be about $250 million per year. In California forests, woodlands, and deserts termites commonly feed on felled trees and stumps, grasses, bushes, or other pieces of dead or decaying wood. Termites can be highly beneficial as they degrade woody debris, return nutrients to the soil, and provide an energy-rich food source to a variety of predators.
Diversity
Native to California, Washington, Utah and Arizona. However, since it can be transported in wood products, it is often found outside its normal range and habitat with infestations occurring throughout the United States, Canada, China and Japan.
Active Period
Active year-round. Swarming occurs in late afternoons from late September through November.
Importance
In California and Arizona alone its economic impact is estimated to be about $250 million per year. In California forests, woodlands, and deserts termites commonly feed on felled trees and stumps, grasses, bushes, or other pieces of dead or decaying wood. Termites can be highly beneficial as they degrade woody debris, return nutrients to the soil, and provide an energy-rich food source to a variety of predators.
Development
In California, colonies may contain hundreds (rarely more than 1,000) of individuals. However, Arizona Cooperative Exentions references a record of a single colony with more than 9,000 individuals. Similar to other social insects, termite colonies are characterized by 1) division of labor, 2) care of young and 3) overlapping generations. Alates (reproductive males and females) swarm to establish new colonies. They are winged, initially, but shed them. Pseudergates build living space and care for the young. Soldiers defend the colony. Members of this caste are not sterile and may mature into a soldier, supplementary reproductive or an alate.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
Species Incisitermes minor - Western Drywood Termite. (bugguide.net/node/view/469117). Accessed August 16, 2016. .
ITIS.
western drywood termite. (entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/termites/western_drywood_termite.htm). Accessed July 3, 2017.
Drywood Termites. (ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7440.html). Accessed July 3, 2017.
Arizona Termites of Economic Importance. Cooperative Extension. The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Baker, Paul B. and Ruben J. Marchosky, Jr. June 2005.
Incisitermes minor. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incisitermes_minor). Accessed July 3, 2017.


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