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Molecular Genetic Evidence of Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) Colony Survivorship After Prolonged Inundation

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Levee breaches because of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 inundated 80% of the city of New Orleans, LA. Formosan subterranean termites were observed actively foraging within in-ground monitoring stations within months after this period of flooding. It was unknown if the activity could be attributed to preexisting colonies that survived inundation or to other colonies surviving flooding by being located at higher elevations readily invading these territories. Genotypic profiles of 17 termite colonies collected from eight inundated locations before flooding were compared with termite colonies after flooding from the same locations to determine Formosan subterranean termite survival after sustained flooding. Results indicate that 14 colonies were able to survive inundation for extended periods.

Keywords: Formosan subterranean termite; Hurricane Katrina; inundation; microsatellite genotyping; survival

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC11150

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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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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