Rudolf H. Scheffrahn

Professor of Entomology

University of Florida

Created in 2019

Peru 2014.JPG

Crossing the Andes: Peru 2014.  My last major termite expedition.

 

My graduate studies focused on the chemical ecology of drywood termite feeding deterrents and the defensive secretions of desert termites. My first taxonomic paper on termites (with Dr. Mike Rust) was a 1983 redescription of Tenuirostritermes cinereus from Texas. Since then, I have authored or coauthored dozens of taxonomic works on many termite groups from all over the world. Unbelievably for such an important insect Order, I am currently the only termite taxonomist in North American.  Other research directly or indirectly related to termites includes fumigant efficacy and residue analysis, termite prevention and control, and cooperative research projects with many colleagues in disciplines other than Entomology including Molecular Taxonomy, Nematology, Protozoology, Microbiology, Geomatics, Primatology, and Archeology (see references below).

Termite Collection
I have had the opportunity to assemble the largest contemporary collection (post-1985) in the world with over 44,000 colony samples (University of Florida Termite Collection, Davie, FL) acquired during over 100 expeditions to 39 countries. Without the great field support of many colleagues this collection would not have been possible. Professionals from the pest control industry have also contributed many valuable structure-infesting specimens to the collection. Collection data are digitized and can be sorted and mapped for any purpose. Over 1,000 samples have been submitted for CO1 sequencing to the Barcode of Life Data Systems for clarification of morphological variation within new termite genera and species.

 

School of Structural Fumigation
From 2004 to 2017, I coordinated the UF School of Structural Fumigation which is biannual week-long professional training program. Over 1,200 students have attended this unique program from all over the world.

http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/fumigation

UF Termite Collection Localities

UF Termite localities.JPG
 

EDUCATION

  • University of California, Riverside, BS Entomology, 1978

  • University of California, Riverside, MS Entomology, 1981

  • University of California, Riverside, PhD Entomology (Chemistry minor), 1984

 

Drywood vs. Subterranean Termites

Coptotermes heads
Coptotermes heads

Asian vs. Formosan

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Subterranean soldiers
Subterranean soldiers

Major Economic Genera

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West Indian vs. Western Drywoods
West Indian vs. Western Drywoods

Major Economic Genera

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Coptotermes wings
Coptotermes wings

Asian vs. Formosan

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Drywood vs Sub. Workers
Drywood vs Sub. Workers

Drywood workers move slower, occur only inside wood

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snyderi v flavipes
snyderi v flavipes
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 Evidence and Damage: Drywood Termites

brevis damage
brevis damage
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brevis wings
brevis wings
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brevis tubes
brevis tubes
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more damage
more damage
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S. Florida drywood fumes
S. Florida drywood fumes
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pellet color range
pellet color range
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drywood galleries X-ray
drywood galleries X-ray
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black pellets fed by white paper
black pellets fed by white paper
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old picture
old picture
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 Evidence and Damage: Subterranean Termites

C. gestroi in tree drill hole
C. gestroi in tree drill hole
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C. gestroi carton on laural oak
C. gestroi carton on laural oak
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C. gestroi in pine
C. gestroi in pine
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C. formosanus in schefflera trunk
C. formosanus in schefflera trunk
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C. gestroi soldiers from laural oak
C. gestroi soldiers from laural oak
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Retic damage 2
Retic damage 2
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Retic damage
Retic damage
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Retic tube 2
Retic tube 2
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R. flavipes flight NC
R. flavipes flight NC
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 Evidence and Damage: Wood Decay

 Evidence and Damage: Arboreal (Nasute) Termites

Slab
Slab
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Molding
Molding
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Under paint
Under paint
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Bath window
Bath window
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Storage door
Storage door
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Roof
Roof
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Boat
Boat
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Exterior
Exterior
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Crawl space
Crawl space
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Nasutitermes foraging tubes
Nasutitermes foraging tubes
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Nasutitermes open foraging
Nasutitermes open foraging
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carton and nests
carton and nests
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Keys to Florida Termite Genera based on the soldier (A) or the winged imago (B)

 

A. Soldiers.

1. Nasutiform, i.e., head distinctly modified by long frontal projection; mandibles  

    reduced to non-functional stubs; arboreal; Termitidae: Nasutitermitinae (Fig.1)      ……..…………………………………….………………………….....................….Nasutitermes

- Head not distinctly modified by long frontal projection; mandibles well developed;

   subterranean or wood dwelling (Figs. 2-9) ….……………………………..….......………...2

2. Pronotum as wide as head; wood-nesting; Kalotermitidae (Figs. 2-6)…….........…….….3

-  Pronotum narrower than head; Rhinotermitidae or Termitidae (Figs. 7-9)……...……..…7

3. Head blackish, subquadrate or phragmotic, (Figs. 2,3).……………………...….....…..…4

-  Head orangish, rectangular; mandibles projecting far beyond labrum (Figs. 3-6).….….5

4. Fore tibia lacking large spur (Fig. 2)…………………………………........…. Cryptotermes

- Fore tibia with large spur; pseudergates with mesonotal rasp (Fig. 3)...…...Calcaritermes

5.  Soldier large; third antennal article not or only slightly enlarged; pronotum collar-like,      much wider than long (Fig. 4).……………………………………...…............…….Neotermes

Soldier intermediate in size, third antennal article enlarged, club-like; pronotum about as      wide as high (Figs. 5-6)………………………………………….………...............……….….....6 

6. Bases of mandibles slightly humped; pronotum anterior incised into a “V” shape, about      as wide as long (Fig. 5)………………..………………………………............…..Incisitermes

-  Bases of mandibles with large angular humps; anterior of pronotum evenly concave

(Fig 6)………………………………………….………………......……….…….......…Kalotermes

7.  Pronotum saddle-shaped in lateral view (Termitidae: Termitinae), blade of each

mandible with single marginal tooth (Fig. 9)………………...............…….………..Amitermes

  • Pronotum flat, not saddle-shaped (Rhinotermitidae), blade of each mandible without marginal teeth (Figs. 7-8)………………………………………………………….........……8

8.  Head capsule rectangular; fontanelle faint or absent, opening dorsally; mandible

blades straight except for ~ 30-60º curvature in distal one-fourth (Fig. 7A, B)..….…...........9

  • Head capsule narrowed anteriorly; fontanelle distinct, opening to anterior or

     to dorsum; mandibles curved ~ 70º in distal one-fourth (Figs. 8A,B).………….....….....10

9.  Bases of mandibles slender, blades rather straight (Fig. 7A)…...………..…Heterotermes

-    Bases of mandibles broad, left blade S-curved (Fig. 7B)……….......………Reticulitermes

10.  Fontanelle large, opens to anterior above labrum (Fig. 8A)…………..…...Coptotermes

-   Fontanelle minute, opens to dorsum on vertex (Fig. 8B)…………....….…Prorhinotermes

 

B. Winged Imagos.

1. Three or four pigmented and sclerotized veins in costal margin of fore wing; radial

sector with several diagonal anterior branches (except in Calcaritermes); wing membrane

without setae, Kalotermitidae (Figs. 10, 12-15).……………………….……………….…….....2

-   2 pigmented and sclerotized veins in costal margin of wing; setae on wing

     membrane absent to heavy, Rhinotermitidae & Termitidae (Figs. 17-21)……….......…....4

2. Median vein of fore wing recurved toward and intersecting radial sector at about

half of wing length, except for Cr. brevis (Figs. 10B, 12)..…………….……......Cryptotermes

  • Median vein of fore wing extending to near wing apex, not intersecting radial

     sector (Figs. 10,11) .……………………………………………………............….…………..3

3. Media pigmented and sclerotized with anterior branches; large species, head width

at  eyes > 1.4 mm (Figs. 10A,13).…………………………………………….............Neotermes

  • Media pigmented without anterior branches, media running very close to radial    sector; smaller species, head width < 1mm (Fig. 15)……….……………...Calcaritermes

  • Media unpigmented and unsclerotized, frons convex and smooth; smaller species,  head width at eyes < 1.4 mm (Fig. 14.).…………...…………Incisitermes or Kalotermes

4. Scales of anterior wing noticeably larger than, and overlapping posterior scales

     (Rhinotermitidae, Fig. 16A); membrane light brown to unpigmented.………..…….…..5

-   Scales on anterior and posterior wings about equal; anterior scale not overlapping posterior scale (Termitidae: Nasutitermitinae or Termitinae, Fig. 16B); wing membrane smoky blackish…….…...........................................................................................................….8

5.  Forewing membrane reticulate (Figs. 17-18).…………………...….........……...…….……6

  • Forewing membrane smooth (Figs. 19-21)………………………………....……....….….7

6.  Costal margin straight in middle; median vein present (Fig. 17)…..…...…Reticulitermes

-  Costal margin arched in middle; median vein absent (Fig. 18)……..….....Prorhinotermes

7.  Wing membrane with few hairs; smaller species (Fig. 19)…..……..……....Heterotermes

  • Wing membrane with many hairs; larger species (Fig. 20)……...….……..Coptotermes

8. Larger species; right fore wing length ca. 11 mm (Fig. 21A)………..…........Nasutitermes

-  Smaller species; right fore wing length ca. 7 mm (Fig. 21B)……..…..….....…..Amitermes

 
 

Florida Termite Key Figures

Fig 1
Fig 1
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Fig 2
Fig 2
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Fig 3
Fig 3
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Fig 4
Fig 4
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Fig 5
Fig 5
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Fig 6
Fig 6
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Fig 7AB
Fig 7AB
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Fig 8AB
Fig 8AB
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Fig 9
Fig 9
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Termites of the United States

Archotermopsidae, primitive dampwood termites

Zootermopsis angusticollis
Zootermopsis angusticollis
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Family Kalotermitidae ("drywood" termites)

Cryptotermes brevis
Cryptotermes brevis

dealates colonize wood

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Cryptotermes brevis
Cryptotermes brevis
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Cryptotermes cavifrons
Cryptotermes cavifrons
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Cryptotermes cynocephalus HI69
Cryptotermes cynocephalus HI69

Hawaii only

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Incisitermes minor
Incisitermes minor
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Incisitermes schwarzi
Incisitermes schwarzi
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Incisitermes banksi
Incisitermes banksi

Eagle Pass, TX

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Incisitermes snyderi alate
Incisitermes snyderi alate

Photo: Thomas Chouvenc

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Incisitermes snyderi
Incisitermes snyderi
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Family Rhinotermitidae (subterranean termites)

Formosan sub. termite
Formosan sub. termite
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Eastern sub. termite
Eastern sub. termite
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southern sub. termite
southern sub. termite
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Reticulitermes tibialis
Reticulitermes tibialis
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Asian sub. termite
Asian sub. termite
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Prorhinotermes simplex
Prorhinotermes simplex
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Heterotermes cardini
Heterotermes cardini
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blank
blank
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blank
blank
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Family Termitidae (higher termites)

Gnathamitermes tubiformans
Gnathamitermes tubiformans
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Gnathamitermes perplexus
Gnathamitermes perplexus
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Amitermes wheeleri
Amitermes wheeleri
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xSchwaritermes fumosus
xSchwaritermes fumosus
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Nasutitermes corniger
Nasutitermes corniger
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Tenuirostritermes tenuirostris
Tenuirostritermes tenuirostris
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Tenuirostritermes cinerius
Tenuirostritermes cinerius
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Gnathamitermes morph 6
Gnathamitermes morph 6
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Gnathamitermes morph 1
Gnathamitermes morph 1
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Some of my favorite field photos

Tenuirostritermes n. sp.
Tenuirostritermes n. sp.
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Angularitermes Peru
Angularitermes Peru
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Cahuallitermes intermedius
Cahuallitermes intermedius
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Labiotermes Ecuador
Labiotermes Ecuador
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Rhynchotermes bulbinasus
Rhynchotermes bulbinasus
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Rhynchotermes perarmatus
Rhynchotermes perarmatus
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Uncitermes almerie
Uncitermes almerie
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Comatermes imago
Comatermes imago
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Termes fatalis
Termes fatalis
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High-Res Montage Photomicrographs

Amitermes cryptodon GUA53
Amitermes cryptodon GUA53
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Basidentitermes AFR178.D
Basidentitermes AFR178.D
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Constrictotermes cavifrons VZ1425
Constrictotermes cavifrons VZ1425
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Dihoplotermes PA129
Dihoplotermes PA129
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Eucryptotermes hagenii SA452
Eucryptotermes hagenii SA452
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Fastigitermes AFR1834
Fastigitermes AFR1834
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Glyptotermes bilobatus PN1310
Glyptotermes bilobatus PN1310
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Heterotermes cardini BA1
Heterotermes cardini BA1
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Ibitermes PA611.D
Ibitermes PA611.D
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Expedition Posters

Venezuela 2007
Venezuela 2007
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Panama 2010
Panama 2010
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Ecuador 2011
Ecuador 2011
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Paraguay 2012
Paraguay 2012
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Bolivia 2013
Bolivia 2013
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Peru 2014
Peru 2014
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Panama 2005

Field macrophotography becomes practical

Glyptotermes angustus
Glyptotermes angustus
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Coatitermes clevelandi
Coatitermes clevelandi
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Calcaritermes guatemalae
Calcaritermes guatemalae
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Comatermes perfectus
Comatermes perfectus
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Cornitermes walkeri
Cornitermes walkeri
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Embiratermes chagresi
Embiratermes chagresi
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Incisitermes schwarzi
Incisitermes schwarzi
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Longustitermes manni
Longustitermes manni
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Nasutitermes ephratae nest
Nasutitermes ephratae nest
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Guatemala 2006

Amitermes beaumonti
Amitermes beaumonti
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Cahuallitermes intermedius
Cahuallitermes intermedius
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Calcaritermes emarginicollis
Calcaritermes emarginicollis
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Coptototermes testaceus
Coptototermes testaceus
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Glyptotermes angustus
Glyptotermes angustus
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Glyptotermes nr. liberatus sp. n
Glyptotermes nr. liberatus sp. n
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Hoplotermes amplus
Hoplotermes amplus
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Cryptotermes longicollis
Cryptotermes longicollis
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Incisitermes platycephalus
Incisitermes platycephalus
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Honduras 2007

Amitermes beaumonti
Amitermes beaumonti
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Anoplotermes parvus
Anoplotermes parvus
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Apicotermitinae n. gen. 2
Apicotermitinae n. gen. 2
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Apicotermitinae n. gen. 3
Apicotermitinae n. gen. 3
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Apicotermitinae n. gen. workers
Apicotermitinae n. gen. workers
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Apicotermitinae n. gen.
Apicotermitinae n. gen.
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Cahualitermes intermedius
Cahualitermes intermedius
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Calcaritermes guatemalae
Calcaritermes guatemalae
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Calcaritermes snyderi
Calcaritermes snyderi
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Venezuela 2007

Glyptotermes barbouri
Glyptotermes barbouri
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Cryptotermes cylindroceps
Cryptotermes cylindroceps
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Coptotermes testaceus
Coptotermes testaceus
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Aparatermes silvestrii
Aparatermes silvestrii
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Comatermes perfectus
Comatermes perfectus
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Apicotermitinae n. gen. 2
Apicotermitinae n. gen. 2
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Apicotermitinae gen. n
Apicotermitinae gen. n
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Tenuirostritermes n. sp.
Tenuirostritermes n. sp.
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Mochima 27SEP07
Mochima 27SEP07
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Venezuela 2008

Dihoplotermes inusitatus
Dihoplotermes inusitatus
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Cryptotermes aequacornis
Cryptotermes aequacornis
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Comatermes perfectus
Comatermes perfectus
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Calcaritermes temnocephalus
Calcaritermes temnocephalus
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Calcaritermes rioensis
Calcaritermes rioensis
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Calcaritermes nigriceps
Calcaritermes nigriceps
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Calcaritermes nigriceps 2
Calcaritermes nigriceps 2
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Apicotermitinae gen. n.
Apicotermitinae gen. n.
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Amitermes forelius mound Sol
Amitermes forelius mound Sol
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Colombia 2009

7JUN2009
7JUN2009
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Amitermes foreli mounds
Amitermes foreli mounds
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Amitermes foreli
Amitermes foreli
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Calcaritermes nigriceps
Calcaritermes nigriceps
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Calcaritermesnigriceps2
Calcaritermesnigriceps2
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Cornitermes pugnax
Cornitermes pugnax
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Cryptotermes cylindroceps
Cryptotermes cylindroceps
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Heterotermes convexinotatus
Heterotermes convexinotatus
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Macuxitermes colombicus
Macuxitermes colombicus
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Panama 2010

Amitermes beaumonti
Amitermes beaumonti
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Anoplotermes parvus
Anoplotermes parvus
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Cornitermes walkeri
Cornitermes walkeri
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Cryptotermes dudleyi
Cryptotermes dudleyi

mistaken for Cr. domesticus in lit.

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Cylindrotermes macrognathus
Cylindrotermes macrognathus
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Embiratermes chagresi
Embiratermes chagresi
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Glyptotermes contracticornis
Glyptotermes contracticornis
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Glyptotermes sp.
Glyptotermes sp.
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Incisitermes schwarzi
Incisitermes schwarzi
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Ecuador 2011

Cylindrotermes parvignathus
Cylindrotermes parvignathus
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Coptotermes testaceus
Coptotermes testaceus
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Constrictotermes cavifrons
Constrictotermes cavifrons
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Coatitermes sp.
Coatitermes sp.
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Calcaritermes nr. rioensis
Calcaritermes nr. rioensis
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Calcaritermes n. sp.
Calcaritermes n. sp.
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Atlantitermes sp.
Atlantitermes sp.
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Apicotermitinae2
Apicotermitinae2

very long alate nymphs

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Apicotermitinae
Apicotermitinae

foraging through wood

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Paraguay 2012

2012 group
2012 group
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Amitermes amifer
Amitermes amifer
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Aparatermes abbreviatus
Aparatermes abbreviatus
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Constrictotermes cyphergaster galleries.
Constrictotermes cyphergaster galleries.
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Constrictotermes cyphergaster nest
Constrictotermes cyphergaster nest
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Constrictotermes cyphergaster
Constrictotermes cyphergaster
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Cornitermes bequaerti
Cornitermes bequaerti
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Cornitermes cumulans Bob Hickman
Cornitermes cumulans Bob Hickman
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Cornitermes cumulans
Cornitermes cumulans
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Bolivia 2013

2013 group near Chochis
2013 group near Chochis
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Amitermes amifer
Amitermes amifer
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Aparatermes abbreviatus
Aparatermes abbreviatus
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Aparatermes cingulatus
Aparatermes cingulatus
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Atlantitermes osborni
Atlantitermes osborni
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Bolivia 2018 group near Trinidad
Bolivia 2018 group near Trinidad
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Calcaritermes n. sp.
Calcaritermes n. sp.
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Coatitermes pallidus
Coatitermes pallidus
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Coca farmers
Coca farmers
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Peru 2014

2014 Peru group
2014 Peru group
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Acorhino Peru
Acorhino Peru
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Acorhinotermes subfusciceps queen
Acorhinotermes subfusciceps queen
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Angularitermes pinocchio and queen
Angularitermes pinocchio and queen
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Anoplotermes banksi
Anoplotermes banksi
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Anoplotermes banksi2
Anoplotermes banksi2
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Apico
Apico
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Apict
Apict
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Calcaritermes rioensis
Calcaritermes rioensis
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Enteric valve armature of New World soldierless termites (Apicotermitinae)

(names with "x" prefix are my unpublished manuscript names)

Echinotermes biriba PU144 1
Echinotermes biriba PU144 1
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Grigiotermes hageni VZ1332
Grigiotermes hageni VZ1332
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xEstrellatermes PU393
xEstrellatermes PU393
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xFringitermes PU666
xFringitermes PU666
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Compositermes vindae PU709
Compositermes vindae PU709
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Anoplotermes janus TT2154
Anoplotermes janus TT2154
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xCactitermes PU579
xCactitermes PU579
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Anoplotermes parvus GUA505
Anoplotermes parvus GUA505
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Compositermes bani BO482
Compositermes bani BO482
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