Termite pictures – Coptotermes gestroi

Coptotermes gestroi or the Asian Subterranean Termite is one of the most destructive termites in Asia (along with the Formosan Subterranean Termite), responsible for much of the termite damage statistics reported. Small and hardy, Coptotermes gestroi has been reported in new countries outside of its native range, including Australia and parts of USA, indicating an ability to adapt to new environments easily.

Their nests are located deep underground, but they have been reported as able to nest inside moist wood with no soil contact (which is likely how they spread across oceans).

In Malaysia and Singapore, Coptotermes gestroi alone is responsible for at least 80-90% of damage to human built structures, based on past statistics, and it is the most common termite species in all urban areas. They (do) have a voracious appetite for anything wood or paper, and may even attack fabric, if left to their own devices.

In terms of appearance, Coptotermes gestroi looks like most other Coptotermes, but it is pretty small in size, with the main difference being in the head shape, mandibles, fontanelle, and postmentum of the soldier. The workers may sometimes have a very pale pinkish tint to their abdomen when viewed from the top.

Coptotermes gestroi

(Above) A Coptotermes gestroi termite group.

Coptotermes gestroi worker.

(Above) A Coptotermes gestroi worker. Keep an eye out for them if you value your furniture.

Coptotermes gestroi worker.

(Above) Another view of the worker.

Coptotermes gestroi soldier

(Above) Coptotermes gestroi soldier. They secrete a white, sticky liquid upon biting, through the fontanelle.

Hollowed out wood from termite damage

(Above) Termite damage – The handiwork of C. gestroi inside a wooden beam.

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