New species of termite discovered in Malabar, Kerala

Facts

  • A new termite species has been discovered by senior scientists of Zoological survey of India. It has been published in the Journal of National History Museum, Paris.
  • There are only 285 termite species in India.
  • It has been named chiraharitae after the Western Ghats.
  • The flying adults of these species are 10 mm long whereas the soldiers are 9.5 mm long

Background

  • There are three kinds of termites- drywood, dampwood and subterrean ones. Glypototermes chiraharitae are dampwood ones.
  • The eating habits of the termites vary from one another.
  • Termites usually feed on dead matter. They get nutrients from cellulose, and organic matter found in wood and plant matter.
  • Dampwood termites infest parts of wood with high moisture content. They are wood dwelling and do not make contact with the soil. They usually stay near the ground and will eat decaying wood found anywhere.

Sources

 The Hindu, The Times of India and www.orkin.com

 

News item compiled by Shiren Panjolia & Poorthi Balakrishnan

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