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Coptotermes Acinaciformis Termite – Identification & Overview

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Coptotermes acinaciformis is a native Australian species of subterranean termite.

Structure, Appearance and Characteristics

This destructive species resembles a white ant, but is slightly larger in size – approximately 5-7mm in length.

  • Like ants, subterranean termites colonies consist of several different castes.
  • Workers are entirely white in colour and have no eyes.
  • Soldiers are also eyeless but have brown heads and large jaws.
  • Soldiers are aggressive in nature and they may make a loud ticking sound when disturbed.
  • In summertime, there is also a winged form of Coptotermes acinaciformis known as alates. Alates are larger at around 12mm long. They are brown, with compound eyes and have four wings of equal size.

Life Cycle

The lifecycle of Coptotermes acinaciformis begins when male and female members of the winged reproductive caste (or alates) are released from an established nest. Pairs will mate and start seeking a location to start a new colony.

The release of winged reproductives occurs annually and they leave the nest in great numbers, but lots will not survive long enough to be successful.

Once a suitable location has been found, the female or ‘queen’ lays eggs, which then hatch into nymphs. The nymph will then moult approximately 4 – 7 times over a period of 2-3 months before maturing into a worker, soldier or winged reproductive. The lifespan of a soldier or worker is typically 2 – 3 years.


Coptotermes acinaciformis will typically build their nest underground, under patios, below concrete slabs & flooring or in the base of a tree trunk. They especially favor certain trees. Subterranean termites require close contact with soil or moisture and a tree-dwelling colony will construct a mud pack above the nest.


Like all termites, Coptotermes acinaciformis feeds on cellulose, which can be found in timber framing in homes and buildings including plants, trees and logs. They forage for food constantly and will travel as far as 50 metres from the nest. They tend to stay out of the light and will pack mud around the feeding area to maintain a dark and moist environment. Wood used as a food source for Coptotermes acinaciformis will have a honeycomb texture and contain dirt and faeces.

Destructive Nature

Coptotermes acinaciformis is widely distributed across Australia and because of this is classed as the nation’s most destructive termite species. They are potentially a threat to any timber structure most commonly houses.

Have a Termite problem? Give us a call

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Pest Ex use the very best in thermal imaging equipment to guarantee the right results every time.  We’ve spared no expense to ensure you receive the best in termite protection. We have a team of experienced technicians who will handle your inspections and provide you with the best recommendations for eradicating infestations and avoiding pests from invading your property.

Watch Coptotermes Termites Eat and Destroy Hardwood

In addition to our state of the art equipment:

  • Our work is 100% Gauranteed
  • We offer unbeatable same day on site service and communication
  • We have serviced over 7,000 satisfied customers
  • We work with home and business owners, and have experience with a wide range of different types of properties
  • All termite treatments we provide are all child and pet friendly
  • Our pest controllers are qualified timber pest inspectors (Cert 3 – Pest management technical)

For the best in pest control and termite treatment solutions, contact Pest Ex today.

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Kent Bailey
11 months ago
Just had my home barrier treatment for termites by Pest Ex. In every way a brilliant job and fantastic friendly service unlike...read more anything else I have struck on the Gold Coast. This is a very professional company and every person involved was excellent in every way. Strongly recommend them to all who read this review because you won't do better.
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Christie McCabe
a year ago
On time. Efficient. Friendly. Informative. Well priced. Our experience with Pest-Ex was easy from the moment Reception answered our call. Our routine...read more pest inspection could be done the next day (a Saturday which is most convenient for full time workers). Karl arrived at 7am with a smile to complete the service and carried out the work efficiently informing us of the process where required. Thanks team.
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Chris Burt
2 years ago
Very professional and able to identify our pest problem on the spot. Was on time and great communication with admin girls via...read more phone. Very conscious of keeping our pet safe after the treatment which was a classy touch. Highly recommend!
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6 months ago
Great people and always helpful and providing a good service.
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Lorrie Cruickshanks
a year ago
Thank you to Garyn who first identified the issues, he was extremely thorough and prompt and then to John and Janine and...read more the team who treated and area and placed the baits. The process was fully explained and they were extremely courteous and very professional. Thank you to all the team. The office also kept us up to date with when their representatives would be visiting and this is very much appreciated. Great work.
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Donna Hamerton
a year ago
After reading reviews, I'm glad that I chose Pest-Ex. Maria in the office was more than understanding to accommodate me and times....read more I was able to get a booking the same day I made the enquiry. Garyn my technician was even able to come earlier. When he arrived he was happy to explain everything that was going to happen and how to work around my pets and children. Need pest control done - hire these guys.
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Phoebe Worth
2 years ago
Impressed with the service. The technician Steve was on time, friendly and thorough - you could tell he was not rushing the...read more job. Will be using Pest-Ex again. Thanks guys!
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Mickey Ketch
a year ago
This company actually investigates the problem instead of just spraying your place and leaving. Very HIGH knowledge and experience in what they...read more do. They took the time to investigate the cause, the source of the problem and elimnated it completely which included going through every cupboard, cracks hiding spots the lot. We had a cochroach problem in our apartment for 3 months and we had 4 different companies come out and NONE of them investigated they only sprayed. After we called PestEx, Mr. Phillips was very knowledgeable and experienced eliminating our problem entirely. We also use PestEx in our shop and both Mr Phillips and Marty are EXCELLENT in resolving and maintaining pest problems. HIGHLY RECOMMEND PEST EX. BEST I'VE SEEN IN QUEENSLAND.