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Drywood Termites - Incistitermes sp. Help on Maintaining a Captured Colony

drywood termites termite keeping help incistitermes

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#1 Offline Cipher_the_noble - Posted January 12 2024 - 7:19 AM

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Howdy,

 

I recently collected a drywood termite colony from a piece of infested furniture. In Texas for geography. It is an Incistitermes species where the soldiers have a more rounded head than an elongated block shape. Unfortunately no queen or king were observed, but the colony was full of nymphs, a few secondary reproductives, nymphs developing wingpads, many workers, and a few soldiers. I think the total population is around 100. I suspect the wood used to make the furniture had a portion of a full drywood termite colony that did not include the original queen and king.  

 

We sliced up the furniture carefully, following the galleries and tunneling, dumping the termites into a 10 gallon aquarium with a cocofibre substrate. I did not add any moisture to the cocofibre. I also took the cut up pieces (especially ones with galleries already) and placed them in the 10 gallon aquarium. 

 

Can this colony continue to perpetuate itself? Can the younger workers, nymphs, or immature alates develop into proper queen or king reproductives?

 

Aside from what I have already done, is there something else I should do to ensure their survival? Ideal temperature or humidity ranges? New wood substrate?

 

Pictures are attached of the furniture (covered in drywood termite frass), the 10 gallon setup, and microscope images of one of their soldiers. 

 

 

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. I am an experienced antkeeper, but termites are an unexplored territory for me. 

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  • kellakk, Nare, rptraut and 1 other like this

#2 Offline Cipher_the_noble - Posted January 20 2024 - 5:55 AM

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Not enough active termite keepers on here I suppose? 



#3 Offline Full_Frontal_Yeti - Posted January 20 2024 - 8:12 AM

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Not enough active termite keepers on here I suppose? 

true. there are a few that drop in, but they are rare basically.

Consider digging up some termite posts around hare and PMing the posters maybe? It might ping them to get their notice.



#4 Offline ANTdrew - Posted January 20 2024 - 9:41 AM

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Termite keeping is not really a big thing, mostly because almost nobody has success with them long term.
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#5 Offline Nare - Posted January 24 2024 - 12:30 PM

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Howdy,

 

I recently collected a drywood termite colony from a piece of infested furniture. In Texas for geography. It is an Incistitermes species where the soldiers have a more rounded head than an elongated block shape. Unfortunately no queen or king were observed, but the colony was full of nymphs, a few secondary reproductives, nymphs developing wingpads, many workers, and a few soldiers. I think the total population is around 100. I suspect the wood used to make the furniture had a portion of a full drywood termite colony that did not include the original queen and king.  

 

We sliced up the furniture carefully, following the galleries and tunneling, dumping the termites into a 10 gallon aquarium with a cocofibre substrate. I did not add any moisture to the cocofibre. I also took the cut up pieces (especially ones with galleries already) and placed them in the 10 gallon aquarium. 

 

Can this colony continue to perpetuate itself? Can the younger workers, nymphs, or immature alates develop into proper queen or king reproductives?

 

Aside from what I have already done, is there something else I should do to ensure their survival? Ideal temperature or humidity ranges? New wood substrate?

 

Pictures are attached of the furniture (covered in drywood termite frass), the 10 gallon setup, and microscope images of one of their soldiers. 

 

 

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. I am an experienced antkeeper, but termites are an unexplored territory for me. 

The colony should be able to perpetuate itself. Iirc Kalotermids don't have true workers, so any worker (pseudergate?) could become a neotonic/reproductive.

The setup looks fine although I'm not sure the cocohusk is really necessary. I've seen drywood setups that are literally just a piece of wood in a glass jar, though I should warn you probably won't see much going on if you've just got chunks of wood in a tank (they probably won't leave the wood much if at all!). Maybe add a sheet of paper (paper towel, white or brown, or whatever. Leave it dry too.) along the bottom or something so if they fall out they aren't crawling directly on glass. I would generally avoid cocohusk because from my experience with Reticulitermes it's too coarse to be a viable digging substrate, although that's anecdotal. I not sure if it'll really do any harm at the end of the day.

They're pretty hardy. I'd probably keep them in similar conditions to what your house is/the piece of furniture they were found in is.

You might want to look at this journal for some ideas.

Best of luck and let us know if you have any other questions. Keep us updated!







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: drywood termites, termite keeping, help, incistitermes

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