Developmental Stages and Caste Composition of a Mature and Incipient Colony of the Drywood Termite, Cryptotermes dudleyi (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae)

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Abstract:

The caste composition and sex ratio in a mature and an incipient colony of Cryptotermes dudleyi Banks (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae) was studied. Biometric descriptors of both immature and sexual castes were developed. Morphometric analysis revealed that there are four larval instars, a pseudergate, and three nymphal instars in the development of C. dudleyi. To differentiate between the fourth larval instars and the pseudergate, pronotal width and tibial length must be taken into account, because the head width overlaps between the two groups. The number of antennal segments increases in parallel with instar development. The mature colony was headed by a pair of physogastric nymphoid neotenics; the colony also contained multiple pairs of nonphysogastric de-alates and wing-torn alates. The majority of eggs and larvae were confined to galleries that connected to locations where nymphoid neotenics were found, whereas in general only pseudergates and nymphs were found together with de-alates and wing-torn alates. In contrast, the incipient colony contained only a pair of primary reproductives. Nymphs formed a major group in both mature and incipient colonies, as did pseudergates. The sex ratio of the mature colony was slightly but significantly biased in favor of females, whereas it was skewed toward males in the incipient colony. The data also suggested that the soldier caste was female skewed.

Keywords: Cryptotermes; de-alates; nymphoid; sex determination; sex ratio

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC10346

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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  • 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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