DAMPWOOD TERMITES

Dampwood Termites are one of the 20 living species from the primitive family of termites. They are larger than other termite species and their colonies do not contain workers. Instead, younger termites called “false workers” do all the colony work. Because they need high density of moisture, Dampwood Termites prefer to live in moist and damp areas such as dying wood or in the house around wet plumbing areas or humid water areas. They typically crawl on damp logs, leaves, paper, cloth or decaying wood matter.

QUICK FACTS

Common name Dampwood Termite
Scientific name Zootermopsis angusticollis
Sizes a) Solders approximate 15-20 mm b) Workers approximate 10-15 mm c) king & queen approximate 23-26 mm
Shape Long, narrow, oval
Colour Brownish
Diet Feed on very moist wood
Habitat Need lot of moisture to live in damp, dying wood or leaking plumbing wood wet, found the top 4 to 6 inches of the soil.

GIST OF HISTORYTermites have a simple metamorphic life cycle including egg and larval stages. They are typically divided into castes of individuals as they are workers, soldiers and reproductive adults.

Worker Termite: Worker termites make up nearly 90-95% of colony and they are the providers and foragers of colony. Without workers, the colony would fail. The workers are sterile, wingless, blind, have pale bodies and lack compound eyes. They can be male or female and the sex is irrelevant because they are immature and do not reproduce. The workers duties are to care for the colony members like the termite eggs, termite larvae or nymphs, secondary reproductive soldiers, king and the queen. They clean the colony, feed the members of the colony and regulate the temperature of the eggs and nymphs. Workers are the sole providers and home keepers of the colony performing a host of tasks as well as collecting food, feeding the queen, soldiers and the young and constructing galleries in the wood.
The average lifespan of a worker is around 2 years.

Soldier Termites:Solder Termites make up nearly 1 to 3% of colony population. They also look like the workers, as they too are wingless, have pale bodies, large jaws, are blind and typically lacking pigment. Much of the soldier’s bodies are soft. They have a modified head region with powerful mandibles. They use the mandibles to secrete a toxin from their head to ward off the invaders. Soldiers are unable to feed themselves and they are defended by workers. Like worker, the average lifespan of a Soldier is about 1 to 2 years.

Reproductive Adults:In other words, they are the king and queen and have dark bodies, compound eyes and wings. Only a few reproductive adults are present in the colony. These adults the swarmers and they swarm to find mates. The king and the queen are the only reproductively active members of the colony

The King:There are usually 5 - 8 kings that mate with the queen throughout her lifetime. The king is present to keep the queen fertilized so that she can lay eggs. The average lifespan of a King is around 21 years.

The Queen:Interestingly, there is usually only one queen in the colony, though large colonies have two or more queens. Once there are sufficient amount of workers to take care of her, she increases her egg production and begins to produce on an average 30,000 eggs in a day. That’s 1,09,50,000 eggs per year.They are dark brown in colour and are fully developed with wings. The average lifespan of a Queen is around 30 to 50 years.