Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Asian subterranean termite (384)

Click/tap on images to enlarge
  • Worldwide distribution. In Oceania, recorded from Fiji (Lautoka only), and French Polynesia (Marquesas Islands).
  • Damage: destructive, feeding on paper, clothes, living trees (preference) - mango, citrus, coconut, cassava. Mostly, lives underground.
  • Colonies are started by king and queen - queen laying 1000 eggs/day; eggs produce blind workers (dig tunnels, collect food, care for brood), and soldiers (large, defend colony, emit toxic substances); colonies up to 1 million.
  • Spread: (i) each year swarms of 'reproductive' occur and pairs of kings and queens seek new places to start colonies; (ii) colonies move long distances in e.g., wooden shipping pallets.
  • Cultural control: Fiji has eradication plan: surveys, containment, community surveillance ( Where established, measures needed concerning drainage, ventilation, treatment of timber, treatment of swarms.
  • Chemical control: Chemicals for preservation of timber; soil barriers to prevent termite invasions beneath houses; and monitoring baits, need be applied by professional pest control operators.
Common Name

Asian subterranean termite

Scientific Name

Coptotermes gestroi. It was previously known as Coptotermes havilandi.

AUTHOR Graham Jackson
Information from Rudolf  H Scheffrahn, Nan-Yao Su (2017) Coptotermes gestroi (=havilandi) (Wasmann). Asian subterranean termite. Featured Creatures, Entomology & Nematology. UF/IFAS. University of Florida. (; and Biosecurity Authority Fiji. Asian subterranean termites. (; and Coptotermes gestroi. Wikipedia. (; and from Nan-Yao Su, Rudolf H Scheffrahn (2019) Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Featured Creatures. Entomology & Nematology. UF/IFAS. University of Florida. ( Photos 1-3 Walker K (2011) Asian subterranean termite (Coptotermes gestroi). PaDIL -

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/18: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Pacific Community.

Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved.