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Western drywood termite

Scientific Name
Incisitermes minor
Scientific Author
(Isoptera: Kalotermitidae)

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Diagnostic Images

Head side soldier
Found on yacht, Feb 2003
Simon Hinkley & Ken Walker Museum Victoria
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Diagnostic Images (8)
Other Images (4)
Diagnostic Notes

Soldiers –

-     Size 8-12 mm body length

-     Head large, reddish-brown and heavily sclerotized;

-     Forehead slopes down gradually from top of head;

-     Head flattened to slightly rounded in side view

-     Colour is orange to reddish brown with the eye spot whitish

-     Mandibles large and black with unequal number of teeth on each mandible: two prominent teeth visible on the inner margin of the left mandible

-     Antenna with the third segment greatly enlarged and club-like, is as long or longer than the fourth through sixth antennal segments combined.


Another key identifier is that drywood termites lack true workers. Drywood termite workers are called "pseudergates" if they lack wing pads or "nymphs" if wing pads are present. 


May be confused with the West Indian powderpost drywood termite Cryptotermes brevis (Walker): Incisitermes minor is the larger of the two species; The enlarged third antennal segment of I. minor and the phragmotic head of C. brevis separates the soldiers of these two species. The orange-brown head and smoky tinge to the wings of I. minor also distinguishes the alates from those of C. brevis. Western drywood termites infest both natural and structural wood while C. brevis is found only in structural wood.


Alates: About 1 cm long including wings; head and pronotum is orange brown and thes abdomen is dark brown.




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Imago: Medium-sized termites, ~ 11.0-12.5 mm in length, including wings. Head and pronotum ora
More Information
Specimen Contact
Museum Victoria
Walker, K
17/11/2005 12:38 AEST
Last Updated
02/08/2012 15:23 AEST
Walker, K (2005) Western drywood termite (Incisitermes minor) Updated on 8/2/2012 3:23:29 PM Available online: PaDIL -
Image Use
Free for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License