First Record of the Soil-feeding Higher Termites (Isoptera: Termitidae) from Okinawa Island, the Central Ryukyus, Japan


  • Tomonari Nozaki National Institute for Basic Biology
  • Masaru Hojo Global Education Institute, University of the Ryukyus
  • Toshihisa Yashiro Laboratory of Insect Ecology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University
  • Kenji Matsuura Laboratory of Insect Ecology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University



termites, biological invasions, Pericapritermes nitobei, social insects, the Ryukyu Archipelago


Some of termites have been introduced outside their native ranges, and it has been suggested that both wood-eating and wood-nesting lifestyles are critical for the transportation of propagules. Here, we present the first record of the soil-feeding and soil-nesting termite Pericapritermes nitobei (Isoptera: Termitidae) in the Motobu Peninsula on the northern part of Okinawa Island in the Central Ryukyus. The fact that the previous extensive surveys of termites in the Ryukyu Archipelago did not detect P. nitobei in the Central Ryukyus, including the Motobu Peninsula, and its discontinuous distribution, indicate that P. nitobei has been recently introduced into the Motobu Peninsula of Okinawa Island from the Yaeyama Islands, similar to the fungus-growing and soil-nesting termite Odontotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Termitidae). Together with O. formosanus in the southern part of Okinawa Island, our findings in this study raise the possibility that non-wood-feeding and non-wood-nesting termites can be introduced and established outside their native ranges by human activities.


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How to Cite

Nozaki, T., Hojo, M., Yashiro, T., & Matsuura, K. (2021). First Record of the Soil-feeding Higher Termites (Isoptera: Termitidae) from Okinawa Island, the Central Ryukyus, Japan. Sociobiology, 68(2), e6159.



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