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Genus Cryptotermes - Powderpost Termites

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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 Cryptotermes (Powderpost Termites)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Planocryptotermes Light, 1921
Explanation of Names
Cryptotermes Banks, 1906
71 species worldwide(1)
3 species in our region, 1 unique to Hawaii.
Small, body length typically around 5mm, give or take
Like all Kalotermitidae, the pronotum tends to be large and is roughly equal in width to the head.
Cryptotermes soldiers possess highly modified, dark plug shaped heads for use in phragmosis. They can be distinguished from Calcaritermes soldiers by the wrinkled concave anterior. The heads of Calcaritermes are smooth in contrast.

Found on all continents except Antarctica with patchy distribution. Subtropical/tropical genus. Some members of the genera (e.g C. brevis, C. cyanocephalis, C. domesticus) are pest species establishing themselves via human activity.
Although the specific moisture requirements for each species may differ, Cryptotermes generally tend to nest in sound dry wood.
Swarming season varies from species to species.
Cryptotermes like most drywoods feed on the wood they nest in.
Life Cycle
Typical to members of Kalotermitidae and lower termites, Cryptotermes do not possess true workers and labour is carried out via juveniles (aka pseudergates). However in C. secundus it has been demonstrated that pseudergates do not partake in the rearing of their younger siblings, i.e the larvae are self sufficient.(2)
Works Cited
1.Constantino R. (2002-2012) On-line termite database
2.Workers of a drywood termite do not work
Korb, J., and K. Schneider. 2007. Frontiers in Zoology 4.