The three purposes of this study were to conduct a statewide surveillance program for Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Formosan subterranean termite), conduct a concurrent survey of termite species found across Oklahoma, and identify and validate Oklahoma termite species using PCR technology.
Monitoring devices consisting of cylindrical in-ground monitors, soil-surface ground-boards, and elevated light traps were installed across southern Oklahoma to collect termites. County extension agents and pest management professionals cooperated by submitting termite samples. Additionally, inspections of landscaping timbers and railroad crossties were conducted at commercial outlets because these imported products may contain Formosan subterranean termites. Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), R. hageni Banks, R. tibialis Banks, R. virginicus (Banks) and Gnathamitermes tubiformans (Buckley) were collected, expanding the known distribution of these species in Oklahoma. However, C. formosanus Shiraki was not found although its eventual spread into Oklahoma appears certain. Termites were morphologically identified using alates and soldiers. Termites were also identified and validated by DNA sequencing and using BLAST on GENBANK.