Global elevational, latitudinal, and climatic limits for termites and the redescription of Rugitermes laticollis Snyder (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae) from the Andean Highlands


  • Rudolf H Scheffrahn Florida University



Elevation, Latitude, Temperature, Precipitation, Biogeographical Regions


We compile, map, and discuss global elevational, latitudinal, thermal, and rainfall extremes of termite localities from literature sources and unpublished records. Rugitermes laticollis from Ecuador and Bolivia occurs at higher elevation (2700-3600 m) than any other termite species.  Termites span the globe from 54.3°N (Zootermopsis angusticollis in British Columbia (B.C.), Canada) to 48.9°S (Porotermes quadricollis in Magdalena, Chile).  The coldest locality supporting termites (Reticulitermes sp.) is at Churn Creek, B.C., where the mean annual temperature is 4°C.   Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where Heterotermes aureus and Gnathamitermes perplexus occur, has the highest recorded temperature maximum (52°C) for a termite locality.  Cryptotermes brevis and Neotermes chilensis are endemic to the Pacific Coast of Peru and Chile where rain is essentially absent.  We further provide locality extremes for six termite families from six zoogeographical regions.  In addition, the winged imago of Ru. laticollis is redescribed and the soldier is described for the first time.


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Author Biography

Rudolf H Scheffrahn, Florida University

Professor of Entomology


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How to Cite

Scheffrahn, R. H. (2015). Global elevational, latitudinal, and climatic limits for termites and the redescription of Rugitermes laticollis Snyder (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae) from the Andean Highlands. Sociobiology, 62(3), 426–438.



Research Article - Termites