Effect of Wood Hardness and Secondary Compounds on Feeding Preference of Odontotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Termitidae)

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Odontotermes formosanus (Shiraki) (Isoptera: Termitidae) is one of the most destructive plant pests in China, which control relies mainly on baits strategies. Baits made from the wood of eight different tree species were used to study the feeding preference of this termite, and conversely wood protection strategies of the tree species. Three bait types were used to identify wood protection strategies: solid wood (physical and chemical protection), crude flour (chemical protection) made from ground wood, and extracted flour (no protection) made by extracting crude flour with ethanol and toluene. Feeding preference was influenced by wood species and bait type. For solid wood, Magnolia denudata Desr (75%) and Elaeocarpus glabripetalus Merr (41%) were most preferred; for crude flour, E. glabripetalus (97%) and Quercus variabilis Blume (92%) were most preferred; and for extracted flour, there were no significant differences between wood species, demonstrating the influence of chemical defense. The greatest contrast between bait types was for Platanus orientalis L, the least preferred as solid wood and crude flour, suggesting that chemical defense compounds are particularly important in this species. Solid wood consumption was inversely correlated with wood density. Extracted flour consumption was positively correlated with glucose concentration. There was no direct effect of holocellulose and other components tested. O. formosanus preferred to fed on soft wood with low chemical protection (M. denudata); conversely trees protected their wood either physically [e.g., E. glabripetalus, Q. variabilis, Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Presl, and Ligustrum lucidum Aiton] or chemically (Populus bonati Levl) or a combination of both strategies (Liquidamba formosana Hance and P. orientalis).

Keywords: Klason lignin; Odontotermes formosanus; termite feeding; wood extractive; wood hardness

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC10216

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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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