Influence of Environmental Factors on Activity Patterns of Incisitermes minor (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae) in Naturally Infested Logs

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Acoustic emission (AE) activity patterns were measured from seven loquat [Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl.] logs, five containing live western drywood termite [Incisitermes minor (Hagen)] infestations, and two without an active drywood termite infestation. AE activity, as well as temperature, were monitored every 3 min under unrestricted ambient conditions in a small wooden building, under unrestricted ambient conditions but in constant darkness, or in a temperature-controlled cabined under constant darkness. Logs with active drywood termite infestations displayed similar diurnal cycles of AE activity that closely followed temperature with a peak of AE activity late in the afternoon (1700‐1800 hours). When light was excluded from the building, a circadian pattern continued and apparently was driven by temperature. When the seven logs were kept at a relatively constant temperature (≈23 ± 0.9°C) and constant darkness, the pattern of activity was closely correlated with temperature, even with minimal changes in temperature. Temperature is the primary driver of activity of these drywood termites, but the effects are different when temperature is increasing or decreasing. At constant temperature, AE activity was highly correlated with the number of termites in the logs. The possible implications of these findings on our understanding of drywood termite biology and how this information may affect inspections and posttreatment evaluations are discussed.

Keywords: acoustic emissions; drywood termites; feeding periodicity; temperature effects

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2013

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