Planning a field trip to the Chaco, looking for termites

I read an article by an entomologist that collected 18 species of termites from 16 genera in a single land reserve, in the Northeast of the Santiago del Estero province.

The author (Carolina Cuezzo) gives several details on how to look for termites. Thus, I decided that this is my best bet for a field trip. It is 1400 km from my city, and it is a completely desertic tropical area.

I plan to spend 3 days driving and 2-3 days collecting termites. The cost of the trip is estimated in $600. I will take photos and bring all the possible termites, in separate containers, to my home lab or to a University lab. Some of them will be available for experts abroad willing to pay shipping costs.

I plan to use my own car, rather old but still reliable. I will take my camping gear and extra water and fuel, because the area is quite remote and weather is torrid in mid summer. The towns nearby are properly named:

Resistencia (Resistance) – Pampa del Infierno (Hell’s Pampa) – La Escondida (The Hidden One) – Monte Quemado (Burnt Mount) – Río Muerto (Dead River).

The Copo National Park is situated in a remote area of the dry Chaco:

Santiago del Estero - Copo Park

Santiago del Estero - Copo Park

More details to follow.

Abstract of the paper, published at

Scientific paper

: The termite fauna of an environment of the argentinean semiarid Chaco was sampled at the end of the dry season. Sixteen genera and 18 species representing three families (Kalotermitidae, Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae) are cited for Santiago del Estero. Eleven genera are new records for the mentioned province. Biological data are given for some species.

Here I list the species reported by that author. In the original publication are shown as an image, here I transcribe them as text:

Family: Kalotermitidae
Neotermes hirtellus (Silvestri)

Family: Rhinotermitidae


Heterotermes longiceps (Snyder)

Family Termitidae


Anoplotermes sp.
Aparatermes abbreviatus (Silvestri)
Ruptitermes reconditus (Silvestri)


Constrictotermes sp.
Diversitermes diversimiles (Silvestri)
Nasutitermes nordenskioeldi
Paracornitermes sp.
Procornitermes striatus
Procornitermes triacifer (Silvestri)
Rhynchotermes nasutissimus (Silvestri)
Syntermes bolivianus Holmgren
Syntermes nanus Constantino


Amitermes amifer Silvestri
Dihoplotermes inusitatus Araujo
Onkotermes brevicorniger (Silvestri)
Termes sp.