The sternal glands of termites: segmental pattern, phylogenetic implications


In Mastotermitidae, 3 sternal glands are observed on the 3rd, 4th and 5th abdominal segments. All other families only bear one gland, set on the 4th segment in Termopsidae and Hodotermitidae, and on the 5th in Kalotermitidae, Rhinotermitidae, Serritermitidae and Termitidae. This character may be useful for a phylogenetic analysis.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Ahmad, M., 1950. The phylogeny of termite genera based on imago-worker mandibles.Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 95:37–86.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Emerson, A. E., 1955. Geographical origins and dispersions of termite genera.Fieldiana: Zoology 37:465–521.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Emerson, A. E. and K. Krishna, 1975. The termite family Serritermitidae (Isoptera).Amer. Mus. Novit. 2570:1–31.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Grassé, P.-P., 1949. Ordre des Isoptères ou Termites. In: Traité de Zoologie (P.-P. Grassé edit.), Masson, Paris. Vol. 9:pp. 408–544.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Krishna, K., 1970. Taxonomy, phylogeny, and distribution of termites. In:Biology of termites (K. Krishna and F. M. Weesner edit.), Academic Press, New York, London: Vol. 2: pp. 127–152.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Noirot, Ch., 1969. Glands and secretions. In:Biology of termites (K. Krishna and F. M. Weesner edit.), Academic Press, New York, London. Vol. 1: pp. 89–123.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Noirot, Ch., 1995. The gut of termites (Isoptera). Comparative anatomy, systematics, phylogeny. I. Lower termites.Ann. Soc. entomol. France: in press.

  8. Noirot, Ch. and C. Noirot-Timothée, 1965. La glande sternale dans l'évolution des Termites.Ins. Soc. 12:265–272.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Pasteels, J. M., 1972. Sex-specific pheromones in a termite.Experientia 28:105–106.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Quennedey, A., 1978. Les glandes exocrines des Termites. Ultrastructure comparée des glandes sternales et frontales. Thesis Univ. Dijon: 254

  11. Snyder, T. E., 1949. Catalog of the termites (Isoptera) of the world.Smith. Miscell. Coll. 112:1–490.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Stuart, A. M., 1964. The structure and function of the sternal gland inZootermopsis nevadensis (Isoptera).Proc. Zool. Soc. London 143:43–52.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Thorne, B. L. and J. M. Carpenter, 1992. Phylogeny of the Dictyoptera.System. Entomol. 17:253–268.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Noirot, C. The sternal glands of termites: segmental pattern, phylogenetic implications. Ins. Soc 42, 321–323 (1995).

Download citation

Key words

  • Isoptera
  • sternal glands
  • phytogeny