Let’s Hope That This New Drywood Termite Species Does Not Invade America
If you have ever thought that the world needs more termites, then you should be happy to hear that a new termite species was discovered in Colombia last year. German and Colombian Termitologists were responsible for discovering this particular drywood termite, and they have agreed to name the species Proneotermes macondianus. Many Americans would believe that finding a termite pest located so close to North America is cause for alarm. The recent invasion of “conehead” termites in southern Florida proves that termites native to South America can invade the American mainland. However, populations of conehead termites are more abundant than the macondianus, as coneheads likely arrived in Florida from cargo ships departing the Caribbean islands. Also, many termites that are native to South and Central America have never become invasive pests with the United States.
This recently discovered termite species forms small colonies that include as few as twenty members. The soldiers of this species have noticeably elongated rectangular heads that measure around five to seven millimeters. These termites have voracious appetites, even when compared to other species of termites. The macondianus is considered a pest in some urban areas, but these termites mostly stick to living within tropical forested regions.
Researchers discovered this termite living within the Colombian Caribbean around twenty five kilometers inland. This species of termite is only the third known type belonging to the Proneotermes genus. The other two termites belonging to this particular family are the Proneotermes latifrons from Venezuela and the Proneotermes perezi from Costa Rica.
The Proneotermes macondianus was named in honor of the famed author and Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez. In Marquez’s book entitled One Hundred Years of Solitude the fictional town of “Macando” serves as the basis for the name of “macondianus”. Also, the spanish term “Macondianoa” means “incredible,” or “rare”. This term also suits the rarely seen macondianus termite.
Do you think that global warming will cause a greater amount of tropical termites to survive climatic conditions within the southern United States?