It is not an everyday occurrence to find live termites. I found this colony on a routine pre-purchase building and pest inspection in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. While inspecting the sub floor area we found a rotten stump that appeared to be holding a lot of water. The water source was another defect to discuss another day. Upon probing the stump with my sounding devise the bark fell away to uncover a termite colony.
The termites discovered appeared to be from the Termopsidae family. The identification needs at least a 10X hand lens or preferably a low power microscope. However the only way of being sure of a species is to collect specimens and refer them to a scientific authority with a termite specialist. It is also important to document the date, geographic location, collector’s name and reference number.
Glass or plastic vials or sealable containers with a solution of 70% methylated spirits and 30% water is the recommend storage vessel. Ethyl alcohol is better than methylated spirits but it is much harder to obtain.
The Termopsidae family is a Dampwood species. The soldier have a very flattened head and body. The mandibles are strait rather than curved, the nest are most commonly found in stumps or logs that are rotting or moist. This species of termite are found in Victoria, NSW, southern Queensland and NT.
The species is difficult to find and is seldom discovered. There are two other species of the genus Stolotermes occur in Queensland and one other in Tasmania. In all areas of occurrence the species are of no economic significance.
If you want to make sure that your future house is termite free book in a pre-purchase building and pest inspection with us at Inspect East. Call us on (03) 8657 0007 or email us at [email protected]