Termites are a large and diverse group of insects classified in an order of their own, the
3 Isoptera. They were first presented at the Royal Society of London in 1781 by Henry
4 Smeathman (Howse, 1970). There are approximately 3,500 species of termites (Engel 2011).
5 Africa is by far the richest continent in termite diversity (Eggleton, 2000). The most
6 economically important termite genera in agricultural and forest areas in Africa are
7 Macrotermes, Allodontermes, Amitermes, Pseudacanthotermes, Odontotermes,
8 Ancistrotermes, Trinervitermes, Hodotermes and Microtermes (Kumar & Pardeshi, 2011).
9 They dig underground tunnels with a small connection to the aboveground environment
10 (Noirot & Darlington, 2000) through which they reach and attack host plants. Since the major
11 constituent of the diet of termites is cellulose, the insects tunnel through stems and weaken
12 them by consuming the carbohydrates