Termites (Isoptera) from the Australian region.

A systematic study of the termites found in Australia, New Guinea, and in islands south of the equator between longitudes 140° E. and 170° W. The author recognizes 4 families, 14 genera, 11 subgenera (inclusive of 1 new subgenus and exclusive of a gaggle of Calotermes species to which no name or names are given), 193 species and eight subspecies. The four recognized families of termites are Mastotermitidae, Calotermitidae, Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae. The distinguishing characters of every family are outlined, and every one species with synonyms are listed as are the described castes. Thirty-two of the species are described as new, 13 of them within the winged adult and soldier castes, 5 within the winged adult caste only, and 14 within the soldier caste only. [1]

Morphological phylogenetics of termites (Isoptera)

Isoptera (termites) are an ecologically important order, with both a high abundance and biomass in tropical ecosystems. However, there are few phylogenetic hypotheses for termites, and that we present here the primary comprehensive cladistic analysis for the group. We analysed relationships between all seven termite families, including representatives of all known feeding group, plus variety of systematically critical taxa. Termite species richness is biased towards the upper termites (Termitidae), and our taxon sampling reflects this. Our analysis was based essentially on morphological characters (96 workers, 93 soldiers) plus seven biological characters. [2]

Family-Group Names for Termites (Isoptera)

Thirty-nine available family-group names are identified within the insect Isoptera (termites). For all names the right author, date, genus, and mixing stem are provided for the primary time. This nomenclatural compilation is completed to stabilize the usage of family- group names within the Isoptera beforehand of a world catalog. Several problems of priority are identified and discussed. the small understood subfamily Foraminitermitinae is diagnosed; while generally believed by many authors to be a replacement, unnamed subfamily, it had been actually established by Holmgren nearly a century ago. The subfamilies Syntermitinae and Sphaerotermitinae are newly proposed for the mandibulate genera of nasute termites and for Sphaerotermes, respectively. The classification of Isoptera is briefly outlined. [3]

Molecular phylogeny of Polyneoptera (Insecta) inferred from expanded mitogenomic data

The Polyneoptera represents one among the earliest insect radiations, comprising the bulk of hemimetabolous orders, during which many species have great economic importance. Here, we sequenced eleven mitochondrial genomes of the polyneopteran insects by using high throughput pooled sequencing technology, and presented a phylogenetic reconstruction for this group supported expanded mitochondrial genome data. Our analyses included 189 taxa, of which 139 species represent all the main polyneopteran lineages. Multiple results support the monophyly of Polyneoptera, the monophyly of Dictyoptera, and therefore the monophyly of Orthoptera. [4]

Impacts and Management of Termites (Isoptera: Termitidae) among Smallholder Farmers In East Africa

Effective termite management strategies should involve a minimum of one among the following:
Provision of adequate food to discourage termites from attacking crops.
Enhancing multiplication and proliferation of natural enemies (e.g. nematodes, fungus, bacteria, virus, ants, frogs, beetles and spiders).
Reduce vulnerability of crops through improved crop nutrition and water system for vigorous growth.
Integration of termite-repelling crops and plants within the farms.
Killing of termites e.g. use of termicide, physical destruction of the mound, killing of the queen.
In areas regularly suffering from termites, scouting and control should be incorporated as regular components of seasonal crop production trainings.
Particular emphasis should tend to non-chemical practices which have significant co-benefits like enhanced soil health.
Effective and long-lasting control is predicated on combination of chemical and non-chemical practices – dig out mounds, kill the queen then spray with termicide. For fields which experience termite attacks every season, farmers should dress seed with termicide before planting. These chemicals should be used judiciously to scale back negative impact to the environment and health risks to the farmers. [5]


[1] Hill, G.F., 1942. Termites (Isoptera) from the Australian region. Termites (Isoptera) from the Australian region. (Web Link)

[2] Donovan, S.E., Jones, D.T., Sands, W.A. and Eggleton, P., 2000. Morphological phylogenetics of termites (Isoptera). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 70(3), (Web Link)

[3] Engel, M.S. and Krishna, K., 2004. Family-group names for termites (Isoptera). American Museum Novitates, 2004(3432). (Web Link)

[4] Molecular phylogeny of Polyneoptera (Insecta) inferred from expanded mitogenomic data
Nan Song, Hu Li, Fan Song & Wanzhi Cai
Scientific Reports volume 6, (Web Link)

[5] Otieno, H. M. O. (2018) “Impacts and Management of Termites (Isoptera: Termitidae) among Smallholder Farmers In East Africa”, Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, 16(1), (Web Link)

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