Subterranean Termites
Mastotermes darwiniensis
     
 

Commonly found in tropical Northern Territory, parts of QLD and WA - generally north of the tropic of Capricorn.


Nest location - Mastotermes darwiniensis build their nest (secretively) totally below the soil surface; or in the trunks and root crowns of trees and stumps. Once a nest is mature (over 100,000 or much higher) they can " split off " to form other nests over a wide ranging area. These sub nests are formed constantly and can sustain life for along period of time without contact to the original nest.
Highly destructive nature - Mastotermes darwiniensis is one of the world's most destructive termite species, often causing severe damage to houses, buildings, bridges, posts, poles, and many other plant and animal products. Mastotermes darwiniensis is also an agricultural pest, responsible for ringbarking and killing living trees, shrubs, fruit, vegetable crops, sugarcane and rubber trees.
Anything for dinner - Mastotermes darwiniensis is reported to attack rubber tyres on tractors and cause damage to leather, hide, plastic or lead-sheathed cables, bitumen, bagged salt, flour, glass and various metals. Mastotermes darwiniensis is the most ancient of all the termites in the world - they occur only in Australia - a termite to be feared.
 
     
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