December 6th, 2017

Termites - Fly-Catcher Birds - Echidnas

Today, I found a large termite mound at the Gara River Reserve.


Termites make up a large proportion of the insect world in Australia and are very common. However, what most Australians do not know that there are over 300 species of termites in Australia, and they play a very close roll in their local ecosystems. Most native termites eat wood that is partly decomposing, such as this species of subterranean termites photographed below. The two main types include; tree dwelling termites that build their colonies in the tops of trees, and subterranean termites that prefer to build mounds like the one below. In the New England District, these termites are endangered and pose no threat to local infrastructure. However, the general public will attack and disturbed these colonies out of fear. Doing so can have an effect on the local echidna population, and have further effects far-reaching effects on ecosystems.

Most Australians are familiar with the termite species 'coptotermes frenchi' - known as the "white ant". Which is a destructive pest that is commonly associated with eating the internal structure of wooden houses? However, these destructive species are limited, and they are not actually part of the 'ant family'. These destructive termites belong to a small selection of species. These include; Cryptotermes and Heterotermes.


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