Desert Subterranean Termite

subterranean termiteScientific name “Heterotermes aures.” The common name reflects its southwestern United States distribution, where it is almost entirely restricted to the Colorado and Gila deserts of southern Arizona and California and into Lower/Baja California.

It lives in desert plants including dead cactus, but can severely damage posts, utility poles and wood of buildings.

The body is pale yellowish to pale yellowish brown, about 3/8″ (10 mm) long including wings.

Mature colony size in their natural habitat is typically about 150,000 workers. Each colony contains a large number of secondary queens. They can form secondary colonies when their ground connection is interrupted. They readily build mud tubes to transverse in penetrable materials or adverse conditions to reach wood.

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