Identification, Geographical Distribution and Hosts of Subterranean Termites in the United Arab Emirates Arid Ecosystem

W. Kaakeh


Six termite species, belonging to five genera and three families (Hodotermitidae, Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae) were identified in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Termite species recorded were the harvester termites Anacanthotermes ochraceus (Burmeister) and Anacanthotermes ubachi (Navas), the sand termite Psammotermes hypostoma (Desneux) and the small waxy termites Microcerotermes diversus (Silvestri), Heterotermes aethiopicus (Sjostedt), and Microtermes najdensis (Harris). Except for a previous record of H. aethiopicus, the other five species were recorded for the first time in the UAE. All species were subterranean in habitat and reach wood sources through earthen gallery systems. Termites were available in areas with varied conditions of climate, vegetation and soil types. Termites showed host preference for dead, living, or decaying plant materials and non-cellulose materials. The dominant termite species recorded was A. ochraceus, followed by P. hypostoma and M. diversus. The distributions of the six termite species varied in each of the seven Emirates. All species were present in the two largest Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.



Anacanthotermes ochraceus, Psammotermes hypostoma, Arabian region, termite distribution, Isoptera, Rhinotermitidae, Hodotermitidae.

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