Zootermopsis angusticollis

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Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Anthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Isoptera

Family: Termopsidae

Genus: Zootermopsis

Species: Zootermopsis angusticollis


Zootermopsis angusticollis, is a subfamily of termites (Isoptera) in the family Termopsidae, a group known as the dampwood termites. As their name suggests, the dampwood termites can only survive by living off of wood that contains high amounts of moisture. Unlike the more common drywood termites, the dampwood termites are very tolerant of wet conditions and build their colonies in damp wood such as rotting stumps and logs. They have even been found in areas of tidal flooding. They are common in wet coastal areas like the Pacific coast of North America. Most are found in the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Montana and in southern British Columbia. Termites are well known to be destroyers of wood, and although the dampwood termites can cause some damage, they are not as notoriously known to cause as much damage to buildings as the drywood termites. They tend to stick to dense forest areas with heavy amounts of decaying wood. A dampwood colony can easily be found by peeling the bark away from rotten stumps. The dampwood termites are also known for possessing intestinal flagellate protozoa with which they have a symbiotic relationship.


Like all other termites, the dampwood termites live in colonies that contain workers, soldiers, nymphs (semi-mature young), and both male and female reproductive individuals. Every colony has a queen that lays eggs. Some colonies have several queens at once. The “queen” is a female who has flown, mated and can produce eggs. A male and a female excavate a nest and the colony is started when the queen lays her eggs. When a colony is found, it is typically the nymphs that are observed. They have white bodies with reddish brown heads. The soldiers have large heads with pinchers that are reddish or brown in color. The dampwood termites are some of the largest termites in North America.