Family - Rhinotermitidae


Coptotermes Acinaciformis is basically present over the entire Australian mainland. Found commonly throughout Melbourne this is the most destructive, economically significant termite species in Australia. It attacks all timber in service accounting for more than 70% of the serious damage to buildings.

Soil contact is desirable for this species, but not essential, provided that it has an assured moisture supply. Colonies have been found on the top of multistorey buildings where there is a constant water supply, but no ground contact. This species has caused fires by shorting out electrical wiring, in fact Coptotermes lacteus and Coptotermes frenchi are also very destructive pests in their own right but cause far less damaged to established properties than Coptotermes acinaciformis.

Coptotermes acinaciformis tend to respond strongly to new food sources which make them susceptible to baits. The soldier caste of Coptotermes is mandibulate with simple brown saber-like jaws. Soldiers measure between 3.5mm and 6.5mm in length. When disturbed these soldiers eject a white rubbery glue-like substance from the fontanels on their heads as a defence mechanism.