Psammotermes allocerus

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Psammotermes allocerus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Blattodea
Family: Rhinotermitidae
Genus: Psammotermes
Species: P. allocerus
Binomial name
Psammotermes allocerus
Silvestri, 1908

Psammotermes allocerus Silvestri, 1908[1] is a sand termite that lives in the deserts of Namibia and neighboring countries. They were thought to be responsible for the creation of fairy circles,[2][3] until that theory was disproven in 2013.[4]

Psammotermes is essentially a desert-dwelling termite, and seems to replace Anacanthotermes in drier areas. Well-adapted to very dry conditions, it may be found in areas where there is little evidence of other arthropods. The species even inhabits areas where there are no vegetation: in those cases, it is thought to survive on the wind blown accumulation of organic debris. It is also found in the dry regions of the southern African interior that are almost devoid of soil. Coaton & Sheasby (1973).[5]


  1. ^ Silvestri, F. (1908). "B. Archiptera (I.). Termitidae". Denkschriften der Medicinisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft zu Jena. 13: 69–82. 
  2. ^ Mysterious Desert 'Fairy Circles' Caused By Termites, Scientific America
  3. ^ Juergens, N. (2013). "The Biological Underpinnings of Namib Desert Fairy Circles". Science. 339 (6127): 1618–1621. PMID 23539605. doi:10.1126/science.1222999. 
  4. ^ Tschinkel, W.R. (2012). "The Life Cycle and Life Span of Namibian Fairy Circles". PLoS ONE. 7 (6): e38056. PMC 3384657Freely accessible. PMID 22761663. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038056. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  5. ^