Stylotermitinae

Stylotermitinae are subterranean termites. They are a sub–family or the family Rhinotermitidae.

Scientists are interested in the Stylotermitinae because of special characteristics that they have. Scientists suspect that the Stylotermitinae could be links between the lower termites, Kalotermitidae, and the Rhinotermitidae.

Karin and Nils Holmgren first established the genus Stylotermes as a separate group of termites in 1917. They found a living species of Stylotermitinae in Eastern India.

Before 1917, fossils of Stylotermitinae had been discovered in Baltic Sea amber. Other fossil species were discovered during the early 20th Century. Thomas E. Snyder identified a new fossil species in 1931.

In 1959, Mathur and Chotani reported 2 species of Stylotermes in India. One of these was a new species. Stylotermes had been identified in Northern, Eastern, and Southern parts of India.

In 1983, entomologists announced that they had discovered two living species of Stylotermes in China. In total there have been announcements of more than nine species in China.

Subterranean termites are able to cause damage to crops and buildings because they stay hidden. They make their nest under the ground. They move in underground tunnels to find tree roots or other buried wood.

Subterranean termites can enter buildings through tiny cracks in the foundation. If they must travel in the open, they cover their trails with tubes of dirt. These tubes help keep the environment humid. The tubes also keep out predatory ants.

Experts recommend that homeowners get periodic termite inspections. Termite control professionals can recognize the signs of termite activity. They can also point out structural or landscaping conditions that might allow termites to have easy access to the home.