Termitogetoninae

Termitogetoninae are subterranean termites. They are a sub–family of the family Rhinotermitidae. Nils Holmgren was the first to classify them in 1910.

There is one genus in this sub–family. This is the genus Termitogeton. Southeast Asia is home to these termites. The species Termitogeton planus (Havilland) is found in Malaysia where it is a pest of trees. Scientists have reported finding the species T. umbilicatus (Hagen) is in Ceylon.

Scientists are interested in the Termitogetoninae because of special characteristics that they have. The soldiers of some of the Malaysian Rhinotermitidae, including T. planus (Havilland) emit a defensive secretion that is mostly made up of vinyl ketones.

Soldiers of Prorhinotermes flavus, another member of Rhinotermitidae, emit a defensive secretion that is a completely different chemical. Scientists are analyzing these secretions to find out how termites are related.

Scientists suspect that the Termitogetoninae branched off from the rest of the Rhinotermitidae early in their evolution.

Scientists studied Termitogetoninae from New Guinea. They found that Termitogetoninae do not develop in the same way as most other Rhinotermitidae .

The caste distribution in a colony of Termitogetoninae seems to be more similar to Kalotermitidae and Termopsidae. These termites groups do not have a true worker caste.

Subterranean termites make nests in the ground. They attack decaying stumps, fallen trees, and similar wood. They can attack structures by entering through tiny cracks in the foundation. Because they stay hidden, they are often able to cause serious damage without being noticed.

Experts encourage homeowners to have their home inspected for termites periodically. Termite control professionals can identify the signs of termite activity. They can also spot landscaping conditions that might enable termites to get easy access to the home.