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Taxonomy terms

Schedorhinotermes

Schedorhinotermes termite soldiers and workers

Schedorhinotermes are are renowned multi-nester. Although each nest may be relatively small, the large number of nests that can occur in a given area means they can cause significant damage and makes them more challenging to control.

  • Schedorhinotermes intermedius
  • Schedorhinotermes seclusus
  • Schedorhinotermes actuosus
  • Schedorhinotermes breinli
  • Schedorhinotermes intermedius – Coastal areas from southern Queensland to northern Victoria
  • Schedorhinotermes seclusus – Coastal areas from northern Queensland to central coast of NSW
  • Schedorhinotermes actuosus – Most of mainland Australia
  • Schedorhinotermes breinli – Northern regions of Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland

Schedorhinotermes nest almost exclusively underground in the root crown of trees, inside or under logs, tree stumps, under piles of timber, under houses etc.

They do not build above ground mounds but can take over abandoned mounds of other termite species.

  • Multi-site nester – meaning one colony can nest in multiple locations. They can readily form secondary nests with reproductives, in addition to the primary nest
  • Small to medium sized colonies that can number many thousands of termites

Presence of 2 distinctly different sized soldiers. The larger major soldier may be twice the size of the smaller minor soldier. The colony starts out with only the minor soldier present and upon maturity, the major soldiers appear

Happy to consume both hardwoods and softwoods although more commonly found attacking hardwoods in comparison to Coptotermes

  • Tends to have galleries that are covered with faecal material (spotted appearance)
  • Mudding tends to be darker and more granular when compared to Coptotermes
  • On the east coast of Australia, Schedorhinotermes is second only to Coptotermes as the most economically important genus
  • A recent extensive study over a ten-year period in Brisbane showed that Schedorhinotermes was in fact more prevalent than Coptotermes

All registered treatment options can achieve success (situation dependant)

  • Stage 1 treatment (curative) – dusting, foaming and baiting work well but with multiple nesting sites, multiple treatments may be required to achieve control
  • Stage 2 treatment (preventative) – soil applied liquids and a baiting monitoring program are both suitable options
  • If the main nest is destroyed, remnant populations can produce neotenics (secondary reproductives) and start a fully functional colony
  • Schedorhinotermes spp. are likely to respond readily and quickly to changes in surface moisture because they are surface feeders, highly mobile, and can form secondary nests readily.

Image credit: Auswise Pest Control