Distribution of Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in Mississippi

J Econ Entomol. 2007 Aug;100(4):1400-8. doi: 10.1603/0022-0493(2007)100[1400:dofsti]2.0.co;2.


An extensive monitoring and survey program in Mississippi was conducted from 2000 to 2004 to investigate the distribution of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Seventy-two towns from 22 counties in southern Mississippi were monitored with a total of 3914 traps that catch alates during the swarming season. In addition, 259 licensed pest management professionals in Mississippi were surveyed to determine the locations of termite infestations treated. The alates of C. formosanus were recovered in 12 counties with light traps, and termite infestations were documented in an additional 13 from data collected in the termite survey. Infestations of C. formosanus have been documented in urban, urban cluster, rural, and forested areas of Mississippi. However, the distribution in mean total capture of alates for 4 yr differed significantly among the four ecological areas with the highest percentage in forested areas (31%) and the lowest percentage in urban cluster areas (17%). Most of the infestations of C. formosanus were geographically distributed along the coastal areas of southern Mississippi from Gulfport to Pascagoula. The greatest total number of alates captured in light traps was documented in Pearl River County. Mass swarming of C. formosanus occurred primarily in May or June, depending on weather conditions. The number of documented counties with the evidence of large and widely dispersed swarms of C. formosanus in different ecological areas, and the increase in total annual alate captures from 2000 to 2003, suggest that this invasive termite species is now firmly established in Mississippi.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ecosystem
  • Isoptera / growth & development
  • Isoptera / physiology*
  • Life Cycle Stages
  • Mississippi
  • Population Density
  • Population Dynamics