Your are here:

Drywood termite

Scientific Name
Cryptotermes hilli
Scientific Author
Gay & Watson
(Isoptera: Kalotermitidae)
Native Australian Pest Species

Page menu options:

Diagnostic Images

Image Options
Diagnostic Images (7)
Diagnostic Notes

Soldier body length 4.10-6.80mm, head width exceeding 1mm; frontal flange complete across head, frons falling almost vertically to clypeal region, frontal flange extending above and beyond frons in middle, elevated anteriorly and surface dull; frontal horns boss-like, with broad bases, genal horns short, shorter than frontals, narrower with rounded tips; first marginal tooth on right mandible acutely pointed, left mandible 0.72-0.85mm long;  pronotum as wide as head, anterior margin thickened, broadly and shallowly V-shaped; finely and irregularly serrate.


Gay, F. and Watson, T. (1982). The Genus Cryptotermes in Australia (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae). Australian Journal of Zoology Supp. Series 88: 1-64.


Imago: Head, thorax and abdomen mid-brown; abdominal sternites paler than the tergites; antennae darkening distally; tibiae and tarsi pale yellow-brown, femora creamy white, pronotum with conspicuous transverse pale irregular band in anterior 1/3. Wings hyaline with poorly defined nodules; anterior veins light brown. Epicranial sutures moderately distinct; eyes small, not prominent, irregularly oval; ocelli small, oval, contiguous with eyes; antennae of 16-20 segments, usually 16-18. Pronotum slightly wider than head, anterior margin broadly and moderately concave; sides convex, widest at posterior 2/3, narrowing sharply to sinuate posterior margin. Rs of forewing with 6-9 branches; M joining Rs close to or just beyond middle of wing. Arolium present. Head and pronotum with sparse short hairs.

Soldier: Head rusty-brown posteriorly, anterior 2/3 black, antennae and labrum orange-yellow. Head slightly longer than wide, almost parallel-sided or with sides widening slightly anteriorly or sometimes concave in anterior half; posterior margin flatly rounded; with shallow depression on vertex behind dorsal flange; in profile, dorsal margin weakly concave or flat; frontal flange complete across head, slightly raised; concave, either roundly or shallowly V-shaped with small median notch; in frontal view, bi-convex and slightly overhanging frons; frontal horns short, stout, broadly based, inner margin of horns orientated at ~ 45° outwards from long axis of head; genal horns short, stouter than frontals, narrower with rounded tips; almost completely obscured by the frontals in dorsal view; frons falling almost vertically to clypeus, moderately rugose and with poorly defined oval depressions above frontal horns; mandibles short, strongly angled, humped externally at basal 1/3; teeth well developed; eyes moderately to weakly developed; antennae of 10-16 segments, usually 12-14, number may differ on each side. Pronotum ~ as wide as head; anterior margin thickened, broadly and shallowly V-shaped; finely and irregularly serrate, occasionally with 1-3 coarse serrations.

- This species occurs throughout coastal and sub-coastal Queensland from the Tropic of Capricorn to the south-eastern corner.

- Colony sizes are not recorded.

- C. hilli has been collected from dead scar tissue, stumps, dead branches and fallen logs but not from structural timber. It is not regarded as a pest. Its galleries have been recorded associated with those of C. primus, Schedorhinotermes intermedius (Brauer) and Microcerotermes sp..

The imago may be separated from other pale-coloured species of Cryptotermes by the combination of pale body colour, hyaline wings, distal darkening of the antennae and conspicuous irregular pale band across the anterior 1/3 of the pronotum. The soldier is similar to that of C. primus from which it may be
More Information
Specimen Contact
Museum Victoria
Walker, K.
11/10/2006 12:04 AEST
Last Updated
02/08/2012 14:28 AEST
Walker, K. (2006) Drywood termite (Cryptotermes hilli) Updated on 8/2/2012 2:28:48 PM Available online: PaDIL -
Image Use
Free for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License