Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Intrusion pathway of invasive Asian subterranean termite, Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) from the neotropics into the Indian mainland.

Abstract

Coptotermes is one of the most widespread subterranean termite genus of economic significance with few species considered as truly invasive. Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) is also known to be invasive and has taxonomic confusion on its correct identity. Originally described from Myanmar, it is considered to occur in North East India and Thailand. However, it is found to cause serious economic losses in some Asian countries, Brazil, the Caribbean islands and peninsular Florida, USA. In the present study, the insect specimens which were recovered from imported wooden packaging material of a consignment at Goa, India, received from Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA have been reported. The termite species received was identified as C. gestroi through morphological characters and DNA barcoding. The possible infliction caused if invasive populations of C. gestroi enters India, in particular southern India, is discussed.