New termite species discovered


  1. A new termite species, Glyptotermes Chiraharitae, has been discovered at Kakkayam in the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary.
  2. The species are named ‘Chiraharitae’, after the tropical evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, where the termite was spotted.
  3. The flying adults of this species are approximately 10 mm long, while the soldiers are around 9.5 mm long.
  4.  Amina Poovoli and K. Rajmohana, Senior Scientists, Zoological Survey of India, discovered the species.
  5. Immature nymphs termed ‘pseudergates’, could develop into winged adults.
  6.  Termites were of three types — dry wood, damp wood, and subterranean.
  7. The new species are of the damp wood category, and they infest parts of woods with high moisture content, the decaying or rotting areas in particular. They are exclusively wood dwelling and do not require any contact with soil.
  8.  Compared with other insect groups, termites are not a multifarious speciose. 9. We have only 285 species in India, with just 61 documented from Kerala, and here lies the importance of the new discovery