A Guide to the Insects of the Coal Oil Point Reserve

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Funded in part by the UCSB Pearl Chase Fund

Last updated 08/15/2005
      Insects of Coal Oil Point > Guide > Isoptera - Termites 

Isoptera - Termites

Termites are well known pests for eating dead wood, often damaging buildings, fences and other wooden structures. While this can be more than a frustration for humans, the termites’ role in processing and decomposing dead wood and vegetable material is tremendously important for recycling these nutrients so that they can be used for new plant tissue. Much of the breaking down of the wood is actually done by symbiotic bacteria that live inside the termites’ guts. Termites live in social colonies in nests of anywhere from several hundred to several thousand individuals, which usually include a queen, and both worker and soldier castes.

The Coal Oil Point Reserve collection contains two species of termites.

Termite Photos
(click to enlarge)

Dampwood termite soldier

Dampwood termite worker


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