Vol. 42 No. 1, May 1930
No. of Page: 54




Notes on Philippine Termites, IV

By S.F. Light

University of California, Berkeley, USA


Since the publication of my second note on Philippine termites (1921) much time has been devoted to the study of my extensive collection from the Archipelago, consisting of some two thousand vials. This study has been directed to not merely towards classification of this material but also towards a search for more satisfactory bases for specific diagnosis. One results has been the development of a system of characters of proportion (Light, 1927) rather than the mere measurements so much relied upon in the past, and the second a ripening of the impression, early gained of the very extensive range of variation to be expected within a termite species. This variation is to be found not only between members of the same colony. It affects not only size but also position of parts, such as the position of the ocelli in the reproductives, etc. A study of the Chinese and the Philippine species of the genus Termes (Odontotermes) soon to be published will present this situation.

As a result of these studies, I am convinced that many of the described termite species are not valid and that only by the study of extensive collections can the taxonomy of the species be revised. The refinements of investigation found necessary to a satisfactory determination and description of species has and will delay the appearance of my reports on the various genera of Philippine termites.

It seems worth while, therefore, for the convenience of entomologists, zoologists, and others interested, to take stock of our present knowledge of Philippine termites; to describe species that represent genera new to the Islands, and others long described in manuscript, using the older method in order to make them available without long delay; to make certain corrections in previous work; and to present . . . . read more