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

Subterranean soldiers
Subterranean soldiers

Major Economic Genera

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

Major Economic Genera

Coptotermes wings
Coptotermes wings

Asian vs. Formosan

Drywood vs Sub. Workers
Drywood vs Sub. Workers

Drywood workers move slower, occur only inside wood

snyderi v flavipes
snyderi v flavipes

 Evidence and Damage: Drywood Termites

brevis damage
brevis damage
brevis wings
brevis wings
brevis tubes
brevis tubes
more damage
more damage
S. Florida drywood fumes
S. Florida drywood fumes
pellet color range
pellet color range
combined board high res
combined board high res
black pellets fed by white paper
black pellets fed by white paper
old picture
old picture

 Evidence and Damage: Subterranean Termites

Retic damage 2
Retic damage 2
Retic damage
Retic damage
Retic tube 2
Retic tube 2
R. flavipes flight NC
R. flavipes flight NC
R. flavipes flight NJ
R. flavipes flight NJ
Retic tube
Retic tube
Hetero tube
Hetero tube
overhanging balcony
overhanging balcony
Hetero tube, decay
Hetero tube, decay

 Evidence and Damage: Wood Decay

 Evidence and Damage: Arboreal (Nasute) Termites

Slab
Slab
Molding
Molding
Under paint
Under paint
Bath window
Bath window
Storage door
Storage door
Roof
Roof
Boat
Boat
Exterior
Exterior
Crawl space
Crawl space
Nasutitermes foraging tubes
Nasutitermes foraging tubes
Nasutitermes open foraging
Nasutitermes open foraging
carton and nests
carton and nests
 

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
Fig 2
Fig 2
Fig 3
Fig 3
Fig 4
Fig 4
Fig 5
Fig 5
Fig 6
Fig 6
Fig 7AB
Fig 7AB
Fig 8AB
Fig 8AB
Fig 9
Fig 9

Termites of the United States

Archotermopsidae, primitive dampwood termites

Zootermopsis angusticollis
Zootermopsis angusticollis

Family Kalotermitidae ("drywood" termites)

Cryptotermes brevis
Cryptotermes brevis

dealates colonize wood

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

Hawaii only

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

Eagle Pass, TX

Incisitermes snyderi
Incisitermes snyderi
Incisitermes milleri
Incisitermes milleri

Family Rhinotermitidae (subterranean termites)

Formosan sub. termite
Formosan sub. termite
Eastern sub. termite
Eastern sub. termite
southern sub. termite
southern sub. termite
Reticulitermes tibialis
Reticulitermes tibialis
Asian sub. termite
Asian sub. termite
Prorhinotermes simplex
Prorhinotermes simplex
Heterotermes cardini
Heterotermes cardini
blank
blank
blank
blank

Family Termitidae (higher termites)

Gnathamitermes tubiformans
Gnathamitermes tubiformans
Gnathamitermes perplexus
Gnathamitermes perplexus
Amitermes wheeleri
Amitermes wheeleri
xSchwaritermes fumosus
xSchwaritermes fumosus
Nasutitermes corniger
Nasutitermes corniger
Tenuirostritermes tenuirostris
Tenuirostritermes tenuirostris
Tenuirostritermes cinerius
Tenuirostritermes cinerius
Gnathamitermes morph 6
Gnathamitermes morph 6
Gnathamitermes morph 1
Gnathamitermes morph 1

Some of my favorite field photos

Tenuirostritermes n. sp.
Tenuirostritermes n. sp.
Angularitermes Peru
Angularitermes Peru
Cahuallitermes intermedius
Cahuallitermes intermedius
Labiotermes Ecuador
Labiotermes Ecuador
Rhynchotermes bulbinasus
Rhynchotermes bulbinasus
Rhynchotermes perarmatus
Rhynchotermes perarmatus
Uncitermes almerie
Uncitermes almerie
Comatermes imago
Comatermes imago
Termes fatalis
Termes fatalis

High-Res Montage Photomicrographs

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

Expedition Posters

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

Panama 2005

Field macrophotography becomes practical

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

Guatemala 2006

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

Honduras 2007

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

Venezuela 2007

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

Venezuela 2008

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

Colombia 2009

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

Panama 2010

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

mistaken for Cr. domesticus in lit.

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

Ecuador 2011

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

very long alate nymphs

Apicotermitinae
Apicotermitinae

foraging through wood

Paraguay 2012

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

Bolivia 2013

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

Peru 2014

2014 Peru group
2014 Peru group
Acorhino Peru
Acorhino Peru
Acorhinotermes subfusciceps queen
Acorhinotermes subfusciceps queen
Angularitermes pinocchio and queen
Angularitermes pinocchio and queen
Anoplotermes banksi
Anoplotermes banksi
Anoplotermes banksi2
Anoplotermes banksi2
Apico
Apico
Apict
Apict
Calcaritermes rioensis
Calcaritermes rioensis

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

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