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Yavapai County, AZ Id please

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#1 Offline Dukagora - Posted April 9 2019 - 12:46 PM



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                As the title says I live in Yavapai County. This was a cable reel I moved and one of many that sit for a while and eventually, when I move them, I see termites underneath them. After seeing some videos on youtube and just browsing around I have decided to try and keep some termites. I am hoping someone can tell me if these are the subterranean type. Finding non pest resources, particularly for termites, is challenging.


I was basing Subterranean on this link. https://www.blueskyp...izona-termites/


The termites are always between the concrete and the cable reels and when a reel is picked up, it is clear that moisture remains trapped under the reel and keeps things humid. Does anyone know wood preference for whatever this species is, or termites in general? The few discussions I have seen didn’t leave me confident one way or another but appeared to suggest softwood was preferable. I have a well aged piece of oak about 3 feet long that I was going to burn off but I could cut this up for them if Oak is a wood they would use. Interestingly in the last 2 weeks I moved another reel that had a bunch of termites under it. What made this one different was that there was at least a handful of golden or yellow ants, very clearly ants, and notably larger than the termites within the same space. I assume either the ant species preferred wood and lived alongside these termites or farmed them for food. Not sure which. Though farming seems more likely than cohabitation.


                I do have a 40 gallon tank that has been sitting around my house forever. The lid had a screen on it and was intended for reptiles but I repurposed the lid for a Brazilian Rainbow Boa so the tank would hold the humidty. I figure this would be ideal for these termites.


                Nare I did read your guide to keeping Subterranean Termites. I am not sure if this is a species where the absence of a King and Queen will cause one of them to step up to the missing role and start a colony. I would say I was able to round up 100 workers. But maybe its more like 50? Either way seemed like a grabbed a lot of them. Does it sound like there is any chance of this evolving into anything or will they just end up dying out? 


Also, I was going to use native soil from my backyard and maybe mix in some coconut coir. I assume at least native soil would be fine as it is what they were living in anyway....maybe?


                Thanks for the help!


Pics - If better are needed please let me know!








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#2 Online Nare - Posted April 14 2019 - 12:27 PM


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Looks like you do indeed have subterranean termites - not entirely sure what species live out in Arizona, but they look like Reticulitermes or possibly Heterotermes to me, both of which should be able to form secondary reproductives (I think I see some soldiers, the ones with the big orange heads and the mandibles. If you can isolate one and get some good pictures, I'd be able to ID them more certainly. LC3'll probably ID em anyways with these pictures alone). As for food, oak wood should work fine, but any type of coarse paper will work too. Native soil should be okay, if adding the coco coir allows it to retain moisture better, then go for it. Looks to me like you've got more than enough termites to start a colony, but the more the merrier for species that create secondary reproductives.


As for putting them in the tank, be aware that you won't see much. They don't need any foraging space, so a setup like what you've got them in now should be fine. You could play around with different containers or whatnot if you wanted.

I keep termites - check them out! I've also made a guide...

#3 Offline Dukagora - Posted April 19 2019 - 11:40 AM



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Ya so that night I took the 40 gallon and dumped a lot of native soil into the tank. I took the well aged oak I had and dumped it in the ta k with a couple pieces of pine as well so I guess we will see what happens.....though I bet I won't see for a very long time. I can confirm there were soldiers. I am pretty sure I actually got closer to 200 maybe more of them. As they settled in that container they started migrating together and that made it much easier to see just how many were present. When my wife saw this tank and I confessed what was in it she wasnt too thrilled so hopefully they really are as bad at climbing as I have read but it also sounds like even if they got out the home is too dry for them to thrive. Over the weekend I will try to take some time to post the set up.

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