A Preliminary Survey of Species Composition of Termites (Insecta: Isoptera) in Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak

Main Article Content

Norsyarizan Jamil
Wan Nurainie Wan Ismail
Siti Shamimi Abidin
Mazdan Ali Amaran
Ratnawati Hazali


A survey on termite species composition was conducted in Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak in February, 2015. Overall 19 species of termite belonging to 13 genera and 8 subfamilies was found in the sanctuary. It was recorded the subfamily of Termitinae had the highest number of species (6 species, equal to 31.58% of total species), followed by Nasutermitinae (3 species, 15.79%), Macrotermitinae, Amitermitinae, Rhinotermitinae, Coptotermitinae, (2 species, 10.53% respectively), and Heterotermitinae, Termitogetoninae (1 species, 5.26% respectively). Since this rapid survey is the first termite assemblage representation in Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary, the premilinary result may serve as the baseline data for termite composition in the area. Therefore, a whole coverage for the area within this sanctuary would definitely increase the number of termite species found in the sanctuary.


Satu tinjauan mengenai komposisi spesies anai-anai telah dijalankan di Kawasan Perlindungan Hidupan Liar Samunsam, Sarawak pada bulan Februari 2015. Secara keseluruhannya, 19 spesies anai-anai daripada 13 genera dan 8 subfamili ditemui di kawasan perlindungan ini. Subfamili Termitinae direkodkan mempunyai bilangan spesies tertinggi (6 spesies, sama dengan 31.58% daripada jumlah spesies), diikuti oleh Nasutermitinae (3 spesies, 15.79%), Macrotermitinae, Amitermitinae, Rhinotermitinae, Coptotermitinae, (2 spesies, 10.53 % masing-masing), dan Heterotermitinae, Termitogetoninae (1 spesies, 5.26% masing-masing). Oleh kerana kajian pantas ini adalah mewakili pengumpulan awal anai-anai di Kawasan Perlindungan Hidupan Liar Samunsam, keputusan awal dapat berfungsi sebagai data dasar untuk komposisi anai-anai di kawasan tersebut. Oleh yang demikian, satu liputan menyeluruh untuk kawasan di dalam tempat perlindungan ini sudah pasti akan meningkatkan bilangan spesies anai-anai yang terdapat di kawasan perlindungan ini.

Article Details

How to Cite
A Preliminary Survey of Species Composition of Termites (Insecta: Isoptera) in Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak. (2017). Tropical Life Sciences Research, 28(2), 201–213. https://doi.org/10.21315/tlsr2017.28.2.15
Short Communication


Abe T, Bignell, D E and Higashi M. (eds.). (2000). Termites: Evolution, sociality, symbioses, ecology. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Axelson E P and Anderson J. (2012). A case study of termite mound occurrence in relation to forest edges and canopy cover within the Baradabhar forest corridor in Nepal. International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation 41(15): 633–641.

Bennett E L and Sebastian A C. (1988). Social organization and ecology of proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) in mixed coastal forest in Sarawak. International Journal of Primatology 9(3): 233-255. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02737402

Bong J C F, King P J H, Ong K H and Mahadi N M. (2012). Termite assemblages in oil palm plantation in Sarawak, Malaysia. Journal of Entomology, 9(2): 68–78.

Chao G -D, Wu H -J and Chow Y -S. (1989). Investigation and ecological analysis of pests on historical buildings. Council for Cultural Affairs, Taipei, Taiwan.

Collins N M. (1979). Observations on the foraging activity of Hospitalitermes umbrinus (Haviland) (Isoptera: Termitidae) in the Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak. Ecological Entomology 4: 231–238. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2311.1979.tb00580.x

Collins N M. (1984). The termites (Isoptera) of the Gunung Mulu National Park, with a key to the genera known from Sarawak. Sarawak Museum Journal 30: 65–87.

Davies R G. (2002). Feeding group responses of Neotropical termite assemblage to rain forest fragmentation. Oceologia 133: 233–242. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442- 002-1011-8

Dibog L, Eggleton P and Forzi F. (2000). Seasonality of soil termites in a humid tropical forest, Mbalmayo southern Cameroon. Journal of Tropical Ecology 14: 841–850. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266467498000601

Eggleton P. (2000). Global patterns of termite diversity. In: Termites: Evolution, sociality, symbioses, ecology. Netherland: Springer.

Eggleton P and Tayasu I. (2000). Feeding groups, lifetypes and the global ecology of termites. Ecological Research 16(5): 941–960.

Eggleton P, Bignell D E, Sands W A, Mawdsley N S, Lawton J H, Wood T G and Bignell N C. (1996). The diversity, abundance and biomass of termites under differing levels of disturbance in the Mbalmayo Forest Reserve, Southern Cameroon. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B 351: 51–68. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.1996.0004

Eggleton P, Homathevi R, Jeeva D, Jones D T, Davies R G and Maryati M. (1997). The species richness and composition of termites (Isoptera) in primary and regenerating lowland dipterocarp forest in Sabah, East Malaysia. Ecotropica 3: 119–128.

Elizabeth L B. (1986). Wetland forest conservation in Sarawak. Kuala Lumpur: WWF Malaysia.

Gathorne-Hardy F J. (2001). A review of the South East Asian Nasutitermitinae (Isoptera:Termitidae) with descriptions of one new genus and a new species and including key to the genera. Journal of Natural History 35: 1486–1506. https://doi.org/10.1080/002229301317067647

Gathorne-Hardy F J. (2004) The termites of Sundaland: a taxonomic review. Sarawak Museum Journal 60(81): 89–133.

Gathorne-Hardy F J, Syaukani, Davies R G, Eggleton P and Jones D T. (2002). Quartenary rainforest refugia in South-East Asia: using termites (Isoptera) as indicators. Biological Journal of the Linnean Sociey 75: 453–466. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1095-8312.2002.00031.x

Hanis A, Abu Hassan A, Nurita A T and Che Salmah M R. (2014). Community structure of termites in a hill dipterocarp forest of Belum–Temengor Forest Complex, Malaysia: emergence of pest species. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 62: 3–11.

Hazebroek H P and Abang Kashim A M. (2000). National Park of Sarawak. Kota Kinabalu: Natural History Publications (Borneo).

Ibrahim B U and Adebote D A. (2012). Appraisal of the economic activities of termites: A review. Bayero Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, 5(1): 84–89. https://doi.org/10.4314/bajopas.v5i1.16

Jones D T and Eggleton P. (2000). Sampling termite assemblages in tropical forest: testing a rapid biodiversity assessment protocol. Journal of Applied Ecology 37: 191–203. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2664.2000.00464.x

Jones D T and Prasetyo A H. (2002). A Survey of the Termites (Insecta: Isoptera) of Tab Along District, South Kalimantan, Indonesia. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 50(1): 117–128.

Jones D T, Susilo F X, Bignell D E, Hardiwinoto S, Gillison A N and Eggleton P. (2003). Termite assemblage collapse along a land use intensification gradient in lowland central Sumatra, Indonesia. Journal of Applied Ecology 40: 380–391. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2664.2003.00794.x

Lee C Y. (2002). Subterranean termite pests and their control in the urban environment in Malaysia. Sociobiology 40: 3–9.

Lee K E and Wood T G. (1971). Termites and soils. London, UK: Academic Press.

Pearce M J. (2006). Termites: Biology and pest management. Wallingford, England: CAB International.

Syaukani and Thompson G J. (2011). Taxonomic notes on Nasutitermes and Bulbitermes (Termitidae, Nasutitermitinae) from the Sunda region of Southeast Asia based on morphological and molecular characters. ZooKeys 148: 135–160. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.148.2055

Swift M J, Heal O W and Anderson J M. (1979). Decomposition in terrestrial ecosystem (Vol. 5). Berkeley: University of California Press.

Thapa R S. (1981). Termites of Sabah. Sabah Forest Record 12: 1–374.

Tho Y P. (1992). Termites of Peninsular Malaysia. In: Kirton LG (ed.) Malayan Forest Records 36. Kepong: Forest Research Institute of Malaysia.

Vaessen T, Verwer C, Demies M, Kaliang H. and Van Der Meer P J. (2011). Comparison of termite assemblages along a landuse gradient on peat areas in Sarawak, Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Forest Science 23(2): 196–203.

Van Quang N, Hai Huyen N, Mai Duyen T T andVan Hoan N. (2014). Data on species composition and distribution of termites (Insecta: Isoptera) in different habitats of Xuan Mai area, Hanoi. In Proceeding of the 10th Pacific-Termites Rearch Group Conference, Kuala Lumpur.

Wood T G and Johnson R A. (1986). The biology, physiology and ecology of termites. In S B Vinson (ed.). The economic impact and control of social insects. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1–68.