A Guide to the Insects of the Coal Oil Point Reserve

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Funded in part by the UCSB Pearl Chase Fund

Last updated 08/15/2005
     Insects of Coal Oil Point > Guide > Isoptera - Termites 

Isoptera - Termites

Termites are well known pestsfor eating dead wood, often damaging buildings, fences and other woodenstructures. While this can be more than a frustration for humans, thetermites’ role in processing and decomposing dead wood and vegetablematerial is tremendously important for recycling these nutrients sothat they can be used for new plant tissue. Much of the breaking downof the wood is actually done by symbiotic bacteria that live inside thetermites’ guts. Termites live in social colonies in nests of anywherefrom several hundred to several thousand individuals, which usuallyinclude a queen, and both worker and soldier castes.

The Coal Oil Point Reserve collection contains two species of termites.

Termite Photos
(click to enlarge)

Dampwood termite soldier

Dampwood termite worker


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