deserts and semi-deserts of North Africa, South-west Asia and the Middle East.
You are here
Pest species: Anacanthotermes species are important pests of rural housing in Africa, as they remove straw from the mud bricks of rural housing, causing them to collapse. Softer timber and palm thatch are also attacked. In parts of lower Egypt whole villages have had to be abandoned due to Anacanthotermes activities (Kassab et al., 1960). In north east Afghanistan termite damage in traditional flat roofs with wood beams is so bad that instead houses are built with cupola roofs. Great damage can also been done to railway sleepers (Harris, 1970).
Anacanthotermes is a harvesting termite restricted to arid and semi-arid habitats. However, although sandy or gravelly soils are preferred, there must be some clay content in the soil as well as enough groundwater to allow some vegetation to grow (Harris, 1967; Roonwal, 1975).
Nests are always subterranean, with or without surface structures (Harris 1967, 1970; Roonwal, 1969). They consist of diffuse systems of small cells at various depths with interconnecting galleries. Storage cells with dry forage occur within the nest .