Termitoidae (Termites and White Ants) Formerly Isoptera

The termites are a relatively small order and are closely related to the cockroaches. Until recently they were placed in the Order Isoptera.  They live in large colonies and use division of labour by having a series of castes; the Kings and Queens, soldiers, and workers.  Termites are mainly found in in tropical and sub-tropical regions.  In Australia the reproductive castes have two main flight periods: late spring to early summer, and autumn.  The flights enable the distribution of the new colonies and also genetic variability.  The wings are shed soon after landing.

Only one fifth of the termite species build mounds.  The rest nest underground or within moist or dry wood.

Composed of five Australian families.

Family Archotermopsidae
Dampwood termites.

cf. Porotermes adamsoni

     IMG 5209

Family Kalotermitidae,
Drywood termites.
(Currently empty)

Family Rhinotermitidae.
Wood feeding and cause damage to buildings.
Not found in Tasmania.

Family Termitidae
Higher termites. Mound building.
Not found in Tasmania.

Family Mastotermitidae
Contains a single living species that is only found in Northern Australia.
Not found in Tasmania.

Family Termopsidae
(all extinct)

Pending ID – Isoptera
#1. Mid June 2012
Bridport Forest Trail
Under fallen wood

#2. Late February 2011

#3. Mid February 2012

#4. Mid February 2012

#5. Late December 2015
Sisters Beach
Attracted to light.


CSIRO, 1990. Insects of Australia, Volume  1: A Textbook for Students and Research Workers. 2nd Edition. Melbourne University Publishing.