Tunnel Orientation and Search Pattern Sequence of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

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Abstract:

Foraging behavior of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, was studied in the laboratory by using two-dimensional foraging arenas containing multiple foraging sites. Within each arena, 16 foraging sites were arranged in a uniform grid pattern and foragers were introduced into the arena through a central initiation site. Chi-square analysis determined the frequency of tunnels was uniformly distributed around the perimeter of the initiation site but became significantly skewed toward the foraging sites at a distance where the foraging sites could be encountered. Tunnel distribution was similar whether wood was present or absent at the foraging sites, suggesting that foragers respond to structural anomalies in the substrate rather than simply to the presence of food. Also described is the generalized sequence of events as foragers tunnel throughout the arenas.

Keywords: Coptotermes formosanus; foraging behavior; search pattern; subterranean termites

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-94.5.1193

Publication date: October 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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