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Exotic Kalotermitid termite

Scientific Name
Cryptotermes havilandi
Scientific Author
(Sjostedt, 1900)
(Isoptera: Kalotermitidae)
Exotic species - absent from Australia

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Diagnostic Images

Dorsal Image - Soldier
Antigua Barbuda Antigua, Factory Road, 28 August 1996, Chase, Maharai.
Sarah McCaffrey Museum Victoria
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Diagnostic Images (10)
Diagnostic Notes
Cryptotermes generic characters:

Soldier: Head not distinctly modified by long frontal projection; Left mandible with marginal teeth in distal half; Head blackish, strongly phragmotic, truncate, cuboidal; mandibles not projecting much beyond labrum.

Alate: Three or four pigmented and sclerotized veins in costal margin of fore wing.

C. havilandi characters:

Soldier: Rugosity of head capsule faint or absent; Head capsule smooth; frontal horns much smaller than genal horns.

Alate: Arolia between tarsal claws present

C. brevis differs as:

Soldier: Rugosity of head capsule conspicuous and robust ; length of left apical tooth of mandible equal to basal width; maximum head width equal or greater than 1.19 mm.

Alate: Arolia between tarsal claws present


Imago: Head capsule yellowish to pale brown to brown, somewhat paler anteriorly; clypeus yellow-white, labrum and antennae uniformly coloured, yellowish to pale brown, paler than head capsule; mandibles pale brown with dark brown toothed margins; body slightly paler than head capsule. Head capsule with posterior margin evenly rounded, with a few short, distinct setae, dorsum with stem of Y-suture visible only; eyes black, medium-sized, oval – nearly round; ocelli either contiguous with eyes or nearly so; antennae of 14-17 segments, segment 1 longer than segment 2, segments 2-4 or 2-5 equal in length. Pronotum moderately pilose, with median suture, as wide as, wider than or narrower than head with across the eyes, anterior margin concave, sides convex, posterior margin moderately emarginate; mesonotum and metanotum with distinct median suture. Wings hyaline with faint brownish tinge; C, Sc, R and Rs brownish and strongly chitinised; M and Cu faint and weakly chitinised; forewing scales large, shield-like, covering hindwing scales entirely or partly; all veins arising from the same scale independently. Rs of 5-6 branches in forewing, M joining Rs in middle of wing. Legs short and pilose; prolegs shortest, hindlegs longest; arolium present.

Soldier: Head capsule black, dark reddish-dark brown posteriorly; mandibles black, labrum and antennae yellowish-pale brown; thorax, body and legs pale yellow-pale brown. Head sparsely and body moderately pilose, subrectangular to moderately constricted laterally at anterior third, posterior margin evenly rounded; frontal ridge variably prominent, overhanging frons, lying generally a little behind the lateral base of the mandibles or at level of mandibles; anterior margin of ridge weakly to fairly prominently concave; vertex with weak median depression just behind the frontal ridge; frons sharply inclined and concave, frontal horns short, broadly rounded, shorter than genal horns which are prominent and thumb-like; mandibles short and stout, with prominent hump a little above the base on the outer margin, each with two weak-prominent marginal teeth; two oval eye spots; antennae of 11-14 segments, segment 4 smallest. Pronotum slightly narrower than or as wide as head capsule; sides convex; anterior margin deeply and broadly concave, smooth or serrated; posterior margin weakly convex to almost straight. Legs short, thick and hairy; femora incrassate.

Exotic. Although endemic to east Africa, this species is now widely distributed and has been recorded from Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Africa south of the equator, Madagascar, Comoros Islands and North and South America, including several Caribbean nations*. It is very variable in appearance but although it closely resembles C. domesticus and C. dudleyi, it may be distinguished from these species by the characters described. In particular, the head capsule of C. havilandi is apilose and appears very smooth compared to Australian species of the genus.

- Colony sizes are not recorded.

- Records refer to the termites living in hardwoods such as mahogany and the soft woods of structural timbers, furniture, mangrove st
More Information
Specimen Contact
Museum Victoria
Caroline Harding
05/08/2010 10:04 AEST
Last Updated
02/08/2012 14:24 AEST
Caroline Harding (2010) Exotic Kalotermitid termite (Cryptotermes havilandi) Updated on 8/2/2012 2:24:05 PM Available online: PaDIL -
Image Use
Free for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License