Termites of the West Indies: The Bahamas, and Bermuda

How to Cite

Snyder, T. E. (1956). Termites of the West Indies: The Bahamas, and Bermuda. The Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico, 40(3), 189–202. https://doi.org/10.46429/jaupr.v40i3.13800


Many of the termites of the West Indies are endemic, and so far as known, have a very limited distribution, often recorded from only a few islands. Kalotermes mona Banks is endemic to Mona Island and is found nowhere else. By contrast, many of the termites occuring in Cuba are also found in the United States, those of Jamaica in Panamá and Central America, and those of Trinidad in South America. The truly tropicosmopolitan Cryptotermes brevis (Walker) and Nasutitermes costalis (Holmgren) readily become established in new localities, islands or countries in which the environmental conditions are at all suitable. The comparatively large island of Trinidad, close to the mainland of South America and mostly with a continental fauna, has the largest number of species of termites of any of the West Indies: 31. The island of Curacao, also near the coast of South America, but small and arid has but 2, and none is recorded from Aruba, Margarita or the other smaller islands off the north coast of Venezuela. The comparatively small island of Tobago, northeast from Trinidad, has 8 species of termites recorded, and Barbados 7, but none is listed from St. Vincent, and most of the other Lesser Antilles have at most but 3 or 4. None is reported from Nevis, Saba, or St. John, but St. Croix of the U. S. Virgin Islands has 10, St. Thomas 5, and Culebra and Vieques 1 each. Fifteen species of termites are recorded from Puerto Rico, and 4 from Mona. In the large island of Hispaniola, only 8 species of termites are recorded from the eastern portion: the Dominican Republic, while 18 are known from Haiti. Sixteen species of termites are known in Jamaica, and 9 from the widely dispersed islands of the Bahamas. The large island of Cuba, closest of any to continental North America, has 22; the comparatively minute, and most distant Bermuda has 4. All recorded species may be identified by means of keys based on the characters of the soldiers, or of the winged adults.


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