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Taxonomy terms

Nasutitermes

Nasutitermes are easily recognised by the snout (nasute) of the soldiers. The colonies can get very large and can cause significant damage if undetected for a long period of time.

  • Nasutitermes exitiosis
  • Nasutitermes walkeri
  • Nasutitermes graveolous
  • Nasutitermes exitiosus – Across the southern half of Australia
  • Nasutitermes walkeri – Coastal belt from tropical north Queensland to just south of Sydney
  • Nasutitermes graveolous – Northern coastal regions of Northern Territory and Queensland (north of Mackay)

From small dome-shaped mounds to huge 7m tall cathedrals and arboreal tree nests, Nasutitermes are the true mound builders.

  • Nasutitermes exitiosus – Builds dome shaped mounds up to a metre in height
  • Nasutitermes walkeri – Builds distinctive arboreal nests on the trunks or branch forks of trees (nests often house birds, lizards and other animals)
  • Nasutitermes graveolous – Builds basketball-shaped arboreal mounds in the branches of trees

  • Central nester – meaning they tend to have one central nest where the queen resides.
  • Pest species generally form small to medium sized colonies that can number many thousands of termites, although N. exitiosis mounds may contain up to a million termites.
  • Nasutitermes can be easily identified by the pointed snout or nasus at the front of the soldier’s head.
  • Identification between species can be difficult; however, the geography of where they are found, and the presence and type of mound can be useful

Strongly and at times exclusively favouring hardwood timbers

Mudding/leads are usually very dark to jet black in colour no matter what the soil type

Can cause severe damage to timber in service if undetected for a long period of time however, mostly a grazer of decayed/weathered external timber e.g. fences, power poles and landscaping timber

  • Stage 1 treatment (curative) – dusting and foaming work well
  • Stage 2 treatment (preventative) – soil applied liquids applied correctly work well

Baiting Nasutitermes colonies can produce variable results and when success is achieved it can often take longer than other species. The exact reason for this is unknown but it is likely to be due to differences in behaviour and biology.

  • Nasutitermes is the most evolutionary advanced termite genus
  • One of the few termites that forage/move over open ground during daylight hours