Cryptotermes cavifrons interacts with a number of other organisms. C. cavifrons has a very interesting symbiotic relationship with up to several species of protozoans that make their home in C.cavifron’s gut. These protozoans live here because they require an anaerobic environment to survive, and in return they help C.cavifron’s metabolize and digest cellulose that comes from its wood diet. These protozoans are able to break down cellulose using enzymes cellulase and cellobiase into energy compounds to be used for the termite.  (O'Brien et al. 2006).

Photo courtesy of Stan Gillam

  A predator interaction that C.cavifrons has, is with its main enemy, ants. Ants view termites as a plentiful resource and will often attack termite colonies that they discover. The relatively soft body along with the stationary colony of the termite with high concentrations in a small area makes them an easy target for the hard bodied capable ants. The main line of protection that termites have evolved in response is the soldier caste that use their large mandibles to tear up prey and block the entrance of the tunnels to combat these invaders (Buczkowski and Bennet 2007).

Another interaction this dry-wood termites has is with humans. This termites makes it home in dry-wood and when there is no forest, houses make a great target. Termites will make their home in furniture, wood siding, attics, anything dry and woody will suffice for these insects. The damage caused by these insects annually globally is quite impressive at a whopping 22 billion dollars, these insects are huge pests with most homeowners not realizing the damage before it’s too late (University of Colorado 2003).  There are many ways to deal with these pests and some can be quite imaginative here are a few fumigate, electrocute, use liquid nitrogen, and microwave these insects to kill them with varying rates of success (Baker et al. 2001).



Continue to Facts

See Contacts