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Formosan Subterranean Termite

Formosan Subterranean Termite

Animal's Behavior

Formosan termites typically live in the ground and a large mature nest will periodically emit swarmers in large numbers over a wide area to find mates from another colony nest to start up a new colony. A suitable location for nesting should provide a constant moisture source and a readily available timber food source.

Eating Habits

Formosan termites eat mainly the springwood of susceptible timbers, most often leaving the summer wood sections.


Within the United States, Formosan Subterranean Termites are found in California, Arizona, and New Mexico; eastern Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana east to North Carolina and Florida. They are also found in Hawaii. They are originally from southern China to Taiwan.

Animal Facts

  • Formosan termites are the most aggressive and destructive timber pests in the United States.

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Quick Facts

Scientific Name

Coptotermes formosanus


Animalia, Arthropoda, Insecta, Isoptera, Rhinotermitidae, Coptotermes, C. formosanus

Place of Birth

Southern China to Formosa and Japan


0.25 - 0.75 inches


Soldier termites are pale gray to yellow with black mandibles. Workers are pale gray or white. Reproductive males and females are yellow-brown.


Termite queens live extraordinarily long lives; 15-30 years.

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Mailing address: Audubon Nature Institute 6500 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA 70118
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