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Research Article Open Access
Termite fauna of Kerala has never been studied in its entirety despite of contributions by many scientists since Wasmann in 1896. The present paper provides a preliminary checklist and pest status of the termites of Kerala based on published records. 58 species of termites are now recorded in Kerala. They belong to three family (Kalotermitidae, Rhinotermitidae Termitidae), six subfamily (Coptotermitinae, Heterotermitinae, Apicotermitinae, Macrotermitinae, Nasutitermitinae, Termitinae) and 28 genera. Of the 58 termites identified from the state 11 (18.9%) including two genus are endemic. 27 are minor pest and 10 are major pests. Cryptotermes domesticus, Macrotermes convulsionarius and Coptotermes heimi are causing severe damage to the wood works in buildings. Cryptotermes roonwali, Coptotermes ceylonicus, Coptotermes kishori, Heterotermes malabaricus, Odontotermes feae, Odontotermes obesus, Odontotermes redemanni are causing severe damage to the forest and the cultivated crops. The number of termites identified from Kerala is less compared to the diversity of other insects due to the lack of serious study in this field. Serious efforts may lead to the identification of many new termites from this region.
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Author(s): Jobin Mathew