Getting to Know Termites – Coptotermes






  • Subterranean occurring Australia wide
  • Identification of soldier caste can be assisted by size, nesting habits and region of species occurrence
  • All species of this genus have mandibles present and produce a milky latex material called “exudate” from a pore on the head called a “fontanelle”
  • Workings can be hard mud packing, often a lighter colour than surrounding soil
  • Some species will form sub nests within buildings but primary Queen and colony are not mobile
  • Colonies of this genus are large
  • The genus contains the most widespread and thereby destructive species



  • Occurring Australia wide
  • In tropical regions (Cairns) will form mounds
  • Can be identified from soldier caste and workings
  • Length 5.8 0.8mm
  • Colonies in trees have mud pack above nest
  • Will form sub-colonies in buildings and will mud pack in and around timber damage
  • Workings can appear fluted in areas of active feeding



  • Mostly occurring in eastern States and South Australia
  • Mature soldiers and workers smaller than Coptotermes acinaciformis
  • Length 4.60 0.6mm
  • Colonies in trees have no mud pack above nest
  • Will evacuate high timber workings during hot/dry periods
  • Sub nests in buildings also form mud pack
  • A major pest species around Canberra


SILK’S PEST CONTROL – Your Brisbane Termite Experts