Friday, September 09, 2011

Termites and Their Pests, Mites and Nematodes (Roundworms)

I found some little termites living large on the fringe of my compost heap so I put one under my Celestron digital LCD microscope and this is what I found. These are mites and nematodes (roundworms) which are both known to parasitize temites (or it may be commensalism in the case of the mite). The roundworms were living in the head of the termite.

Here is a study from Florida Entomologist on "Mites and Nematodes Associated with Three Subterranean Termite Species (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)"

My best guess based on the the above paper and not much else is that the organisms here are as follows:
Eastern Subterranean Termite - Reticulitermes flavipes
Mite - Family Acaridae, Genus Australhypopus
Nematode - Family Rhabditidae, Genus Rhabditis

Anyone with more knowledge of these species please feel free to offer corrections in the comments.

And don't forget to check out Modulator's Friday Ark!

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