New termite species named Chiraharitae discovered

Oct 10, 2016 13:16 IST

A new termite species, Glyptotermes Chiraharitae, was discovered at Kakkayam in the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala.

The species has been named Chiraharitae after the tropical evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, where it was discovered.

The research paper describing the new species was published last week in Zoosystema, the journal of Natural History Museum, Paris.

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About the newly discovered species

Termites are of three types: damp wood, dry wood and subterranean. Glyptotermes Chiraharitae species are of the damp wood category.

Chiraharitae infest parts of woods with high moisture content, the decaying or rotting areas in particular.

They are exclusively wood dwelling and do not require any contact with soil.

The flying adults of this species are approximately 10 mm long, while the soldiers are around 9.5 mm long.

Its relatives are known to attack mango, sal, Rhododendron, banyan trees, Artocarpus, silver oak, and jamun trees.

In India, there 285 species of termites and among them 61 are documented from Kerala.

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