Termite species in the Azores. A holistic approach to the problem.

  • Estado
  • Nome
    Orlando Manuel Labrusco Félix Guerreiro
  • Entidade de acolhimento
    GBA – Grupo da Biodiversidade dos Açores (Azorean Biodiversity Group)


The main strategy for a successful termite control and management in Azores implies the implementation of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan. Thus, I will conduct research that will allow the improvement of a number of techniques for fighting the spread of termite species using a multidisciplinary approach and sustainable environmental strategies.

Monitoring of areas affected by all the termite species occurring in the Azorean archipelago;

  • Monitor the drywood termite Cryptotermes brevis using chromotropic sticky traps in the buildings inside its known area of distribution;
  • Monitor the subterranean termites Reticulitermes grassei and R. flavipes within its known area of distribution, using subterranean traps and different attracting baits;
  • Monitor the dampwood termite Kalotermes flavicollis using chromotropic sticky traps in Terceira island;

Develop and apply theoretical models to understand the evolution and spread of termite species;

  • Simulation of the probability of occurrence of species using ecological niche models for the species Reticulitermes grassei, R. flavipes, Kalotermes flavicollis (species present in the Azores) and a potential new invasive termite species, Coptotermes formosanus;
  • Improvement of the Cellular Automata Model developed in Guerreiro (2009) to simulate the spread of the C. brevis in the major cities of the Azorean archipelago
  • Development of a model to determine the climate influence on the swarming of the species C. brevis;

Regarding the termite C. brevis, to detect, analyse and identify semiochemicals that might act upon the behaviour and/or physiology of this serious and widespread pest, namely:

  • To collect adults during the aerial phase, to obtain virgin insects as well as freshly mated ones.
  • To extract, analyse and identify the volatile substances emitted by these insects, that might act as pheromones.
  • To test the effect of some of these substances upon the colonization behaviour of C. brevis, aiming at their potential use to bait traps for the capture of alates.

To study the effect of some natural insecticides containing essential oils, to protect wood structures, from termite colonisation by C. brevis, namely:

  • To compare the efficiency of some of these insecticides, in preventing the colonization of wood by termites.
  • For the most successful ones, to collect, analyse and identify the volatile substances emitted by the wood after application of the insecticides.
  • To test the effect of these substances upon the behaviour of C. brevis.

Contribute for the implementation of an Urban Integrate Pest Management (IPM) for the management of Azorean termite species.


  • Monitorização da espécie de térmita de madeira seca Cryptotermes brevis no arquipélago dos Açores (2010- 2015)
  • Monitorização da espécie de térmita de madeira seca C. brevis no arquipélago dos Açores (2010-2014)
  • Cryptotermes brevis - a silent earthquake for the wood structures in a World Heritage city in the Azores Islands