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Information about the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

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Genus Calcaritermes

Drywood Termite (Calcaritermes nearcticus) - Calcaritermes nearcticus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Blattodea (Cockroaches and Termites)
Superfamily Blattoidea
No Taxon (Epifamily Termitoidae - Termites)
Family Kalotermitidae (Drywood and Dampwood Termites)
Genus Calcaritermes
Numbers
13 species in total
1 extinct species
1 species in our area
Identification
Workers, presoldiers and some nymphs and soldiers can be differentiated from a small “rasp” behind the pronotum, with the exception of C. temnocephalus. (1)

Soldiers posses phragmotic heads (heads designed for blocking/plugging) and features that come with it, such as heavy pigmentation and shortened mandibles.
Range
Distribution is primarily central America, northern South America and coastal eastern South America.

One species in the United States being restricted to central and northeastern Florida to southeastern Georgia(1)
Food
Feeds in damp dead wood via tunneling, either in the canopy or forest floor. Has the habit of covering galleries in wet frass that may contain microbes or fungi that help break down wood.(1)(2)
Life Cycle
C. temnocephalus is known to be physogastric (abdomen swells to imense sizes),a rare phemomenom in Kalotermids. Along with C. brevicollis are also disproportionately large.(1)

Remarks
All Calcaritermes (with the exception of C. temnocephalus) posses a raised patch of scales on the pseudergate, soldier and nymph castes that is located behind the pronotum. It is speculated that this may be used to hold microbes to aid in the breakdown of the wood they infest similar to bark beetles and their relationship with fungi. It has also been noted that these Calcaritermes use their frass to line gallery walls.(1)
See Also
Calcaritermes nearcticus, the only species native to our area.