Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Termites on Ceylon tea estates.

Abstract

Numerous species of termites are injurious on tea estates in Ceylon, and in this paper the author summarises information on the 17 commoner ones, giving notes on their bionomics and a field key for the identification of the soldier termites. The species that injure tea bushes directly are Neotermes militaris (Desn.) and N. greeni {Desn.), which are dry-wood termites, Glyptotermes dilatatus (Bugnion & Popoff), and Coptotermes ceylonicus Hlmgr. All these also attack shade trees grown among tea and some of them other trees, and shade trees are likewise attacked by Kalotermes (G.) jepsoni Kemner; C. formosanus Shir., a recent introduction to Ceylon, is included among the termites directly attacking plants. Species of secondary importance that attack mainly dead wood on tea bushes or are scavengers comprise Hospitalitermes monoceros (Koenig), Hypotermes obscuriceps (Wasm.), Nasutitermes ceylonicus (Hlmgr.), Odontotermes redmanni (Wasm.), O. ceylonicus (Wasm.), O. horni (Wasm.) and Microcerotermes greeni (Hlmgr.). Species that attack woodwork in buildings on tea estates comprise C. ceylonicus, which is a common subterranean termite, Heterotermes ceylonicus (Hlmgr.), Hypotermes obscuriceps, O. redemanni, N. ceylonicus, O. horni, O. ceylonicus, Cryptotermes dudleyi Banks (the commonest and most destructive dry-wood termite of Ceylon), C. perforans Kemner and a species of Cryptotermes collected by Kemner and mentioned by Pinto (1941) for which the manuscript name C. ceylonicus is used. Control measures for all these various groups of termites are discussed.