Post date: Feb 20, 2018 11:41:39 AM

Read Part 1 here

6: Odontotermes feae (Wasmann)

There is dimorphic working caste (1) worker major and (2) worker minor.

This is mainly a subterranean, burrowing termite.When disturbed; the soldiers emit s white silky emission, which sets to a gummy mass. Though they are subterranean occasionally they build mound above the ground. They cultivate fungus.This termite is commercially known as one of the most important wood-destroying termites.

7: Odontotermes brunneus (Hagen)

There are dimorphic working caste (1) worker major and (2) worker minor.

8: Trinervitermes nigrirostris Mathur and sen-sarma

This species is having two soldier caste (1) Soldier major and (2) Soldier minor

1. Soldier Major

2. Soldier Minor

Present Status:

After a gap of 3 years, a curatorial observation in the above said locations resulted in absence of few species. The effects of change in urban lifestyle, in addition to the rain pattern, seem to be the main reason for the decline in known termite species. In Roopa Nagara, residents have switched over to insecticides for maintenance of kitchen gardens & lawns. The vacant sites studded with numerous termite mounds were either destroyed by bulldozing or filled with pesticides to get rid of termites and reptiles. Repetitive massive cleaning of vegetation by burning is depriving dampness and organic-rich topsoil for ground and surface termite dwellers. A similar condition is prevailing in RMNH campus. The garden maintenance is inclined towards modern garden trends - lawns and few plant hybrids that are fully depending on synthetic manure and insecticides. Moreover, burning the bio waste -dry leaves, sticks, etc., is detrimental to microfauna. A major shift in priority of garden maintenance, from traditional, that supported a number of life forms to an aesthetically looking modern garden is clearly visible. Thus many species of local plants, insects, amphibians etc., are on the verge of exodus in addition to termites in both the study area.


    • Fauna of India ISOPTERA Vol-I and II. M.L.Roonwal and O.B.Chotani.
    • The south Asian wood-destroying termite, Odontotermes feae (indicus). Identity, biology and economic importance. Occasional paper-129, ZSI, M.L.Roonwal, and S.C.Verma.
    • Termite Fauna of Southern India by Geeta Bose.A miscellaneous publication. ZSI and other occasional publications.


I am highly in debt to Dr.P.Ray, Scientist, instrumental in encouraging me as a science educator with continuous guidance. I am indebted to Dr. Nivedita Saha, Scientist-Isoptera and her team at Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata for the needful guidance and the literature sources.

Photo of head of Odontotermesfeae from Internet source


S.J.Srinivasa, Senior Exhibit Preparator, Regional Museum of Natural History, Siddhartha nagara, Mysore-570011

Termite mound of Odontotermes obesus at Roopa Nagara