Termites commonly found in the Sydney area. Species identification is via the soldiers castes.
Nasutitermes spp – Two commonly encountered species are N. walkeri and N. exitiosus. They have a preference for hardwood timber. The soldiers do not have mandibles but a pointy snout (nasute) – see diagramme. Their heads are medium brown to very dark (almost black) and bodies mid brown in colour.
N. walkeri build the familiar large dark nest within the tree canopy. They are not considered a pest species normally however under conducive conditions (moisture + damp and rotting timber) these termites can attack.
N. exitiosus is a mound builder. Experience with this species in the Sydney region, their mounds can either be above ground or under. These termites are considered a pest of timber in service (buildings etc). They are difficult to differentiate from other Nasutitermes of similar size and looking for the nest is a reliable confirmation of their identity.
Coptotermes spp: Again two commonly encountered species C. acinaciformis and C. frenchi. Both species typically are found in the root crown or lower trunk area. They are easily identified as the soldiers produce a “milky” exudate from the top of the head and sometimes a tapping noise can be heard when disturbed in built structures. They form very populous colonies and will consume both softwoods (pines) and hardwood timbers.
Bother species are classified as serious pests of timber in service. If found within a built structure, correct identification and advice sought from a pest control technician is required.
Schedorhinotermes intermedius although common in the environment, it is less often encountered. This termite is easily identified by the two differing sized soldiers. They are considered pests of timber in service.
The average size of all these termites is 5mm in length.