Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Riggins, John J.

Committee Member

Londo, Andrew J.

Committee Member

Brown, Richard L.

Committee Member

Ulyshen, Michael D.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology


Subterranean termites are ecologically and economically important insects that play major roles in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling. The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, is an invasive species known to cause significant damage in urban areas through aggressive consumption of wooden structures and infestations of living trees. Little is known about the presence and impact of C. formosanus in forested ecosystems of the southeastern U.S. as the majority of studies have taken place in urban settings. This study investigates the prevalence of C. formosanus in localized forests, as well as the utilization of living trees by C. formosanus and native subterranean termite species (Reticulitermes spp.). Recently harvested timber stumps were inspected for subterranean termite presence on sites throughout Mississippi and Louisiana. Alate light traps were utilized for further C. formosanus detection. Three sites yielded C. formosanus alate catches, while 7,413 stump inspections produced 406 Reticulitermes spp. infestations.