New termite species named Chiraharitae discovered
A new termite species Glyptotermes Chiraharitae was discovered at Kakkayam in the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala.
It has been named ‘Chiraharitae’ after the tropical evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, where it was spotted.
- Termites are of three types —damp wood, dry wood and subterranean. Glyptotermes Chiraharitae species are of the damp wood category.
- They 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.
Compared with other insect groups, termites are not a multifarious speciose. In India there 285 species of termites and among them 61 are documented from Kerala.