Desert Dampwood Termites
Paraneotermes simplicicornis

Area of Distribution: This species prefers the arid and semi-arid regions of the southwest, from Texas through California and Mexico.
Identification of Swarmers and Soldiers: The swarmers of this species are dark brown, swarming during the daytime.
Identification of Timber Damage: This species infests wood at or below ground level in the southwestern United States. It sometimes girdles young citrus trees and grapevines below the soil line in desert areas.
In the southwest it attacks living trees and bushes and is a problem for citrus groves. Is a pest of timbers in service, infesting moist timbers that are in contact with he soil. Untreated posts, poles, and fences are attacked below ground level.
Biology and Habits: This species does not build mud shelter tubes above the ground in order to reach wood. This is an unusual dampwood termite in several respects.

The colonies extend from the wood into the soil, they sometimes kill living shrubs and trees, frass is cone-shaped rather than cylindrical, and the termites have a pungent odour. They also have directed trail-following behaviour, unlike other dampwood termites.

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