Termite Biology and Behavior by 6983Shf6

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									Termite Biology and Behavior

      Dr. Richard M. Houseman
      Assistant Professor of Entomology
          Division of Plant Sciences
            University of Missouri


               Kansas IPM Education
                  October 2005
Termites
• Isoptera
  – 40-50 species in the U.S.

• Social Insects
• Incomplete
  metamorphosis
• Feed on cellulose


                          Kansas IPM Education
                             October 2005
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   October 2005
Subterranean Termite Development

   After Buchli 1958




                       Kansas IPM Education
                          October 2005
Developmental Stages
White Immatures
• Larvae
    •   Not sclerotized (hardened)
    •   Fed a liquid diet
    •   little work
    •   develop into other forms




                     Kansas IPM Education
                        October 2005
Developmental Stages
Other Immatures
• Worker
    •   most numerous caste
    •   Work to maintain colony
    •   No wing buds
    •   Head and mandibles sclerotized
    •   May become secondary reproductives (rarely)


                     Kansas IPM Education
                        October 2005
Developmental Stages
Other Immatures
• Nymphs
    •   Wing buds
    •   Brain, sex organs developed
    •   Future alates
    •   May become secondary reproductives
        (commonly)



                    Kansas IPM Education
                       October 2005
                           N



                               W




L



                                   W




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       October 2005
Developmental Stages
Adults
• Soldier
     •   Sterile
     •   No further molting
     •   Modified for defense
     •   Depend on a liquid diet




                      Kansas IPM Education
                         October 2005
Developmental Stages
Adults
• Primary Reproductives
    •   develop wings and darkened body (swarmers)
    •   leave to start new colonies
    •   definite time of year
    •   Highest egg production




                    Kansas IPM Education
                       October 2005
Developmental Stages
Adults
• Secondary Reproductives
    •   from workers (rarely) or nymphs (commonly)
    •   no wing development
    •   Develop in absence of primary reproductives
    •   stay within current colony and produce eggs
    •   Lower egg production but higher number


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                       2R




Kansas IPM Education
   October 2005
Subterranean Termite Development

   Buchli 1958




                 Kansas IPM Education
                    October 2005
Termite Behavior
• Termites exhibit social behavior
  – Use the same nest
  – Cooperation (Communication)
  – Overlapping generations
  – Division of labor
     • Division of labor = Division of Behavior



                     Kansas IPM Education
                        October 2005
Termite Communication
• Touch, Taste, Smell
  – Tactile stimuli
     • Touching of antennae, mouthparts
     • Head tapping
     • Vibration of substrate
  – Chemical stimuli called pheromones
     • Alarm, Trail, Sex pheromones
     • Many others

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                         October 2005
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Termite Behavior
• Division Labor/Behavior
  – Workers
    • Building; Feeding; Foraging;
      Grooming
  – Soldiers
    • Defending; Alarm
  – Reproductives
    • Swarming; Pairing; Mating

                    Kansas IPM Education
                       October 2005
Building
• Subterranean nest
  – Need a moisture source
  – Maintain soil contact
  – Construct mud tubes




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                    October 2005
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Building
Excavation and Construction
• Excavation of tunnels
  – Soil particles picked up in mandibles
  – Choose favorable areas in the landscape
  – Consistent searching




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                       October 2005
Building
• Construction of tubes
  – Low-level alarm stimulus
     • Air movement
     • Odor, Heat, humidity change
  – Response
     • Jerk backwards
     • 180° turn and place fecal cement
     • warn nestmates

                    Kansas IPM Education
                       October 2005
Feeding
• Obtain nutrition/feed the colony
  – Cellulose
  – Digested by microorganisms
  – Nitrogen fixation
• Behaviors
  – Consumption
  – Trophollaxis

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                      October 2005
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Trophollaxis
• Mutual food exchange within the colony
• Functions
  – Nutrition
  – Communication
  – Regulation




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                   October 2005
Trophollaxis
• Types
  – Stomodeal
    • Mouth-to-mouth transfer
    • Contains cellulose and salivary secretions
  – Proctodeal
    • Anus-to-mouth transfer
    • Contains microorganisms, cellulose, anal
      secretions
    • Most important
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                      October 2005
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   October 2005
Feeding
• Cellulose in different forms
  – Finicky if have choices.
     • Softer-spring rings softer than summer rings
     • Sapwood-young trees possess more sapwood
       than heartwood
     • Fungus-can be good or bad
  – Opportunistic if without choices.
     • Redwood, cedar, cypress
     • Peanuts, apples, strawberries

                    Kansas IPM Education
                       October 2005
Foraging
• Tunneling
    • Areas of favorable soil
      temp and moisture
    • Follow guidelines
• Locating food
    • Wood that is associated
      with moist, dark places
    • Direct nestmates toward
      suitable food sources
                    Kansas IPM Education
                       October 2005
Foraging
• Rate varies with soil porosity (Houseman
  and Gold 2003)
• Location varies with soil temperature
  and moisture (Houseman 1999, Long et al.
  2001)
• Consistent conditions more important
  than ‘peak’ values
     • Landscaping influences consistency

                   Kansas IPM Education
                      October 2005
                The number of cardboard monitoring stations discovered by termites
                in mulch and the underlying soil. (Long et al. 2001)
                      0.5

                             Underground
                             Within mulch
                      0.4
Monitors discovered




                      0.3




                      0.2




                      0.1




                      0.0
                            Control   Eucalyptus   Hardwood         Pine Bark   Pea Gravel

                                                Treatments
                                             Kansas IPM Education
                                                October 2005
                          The number of termites observed within monitoring stations
                          in mulch and the underlying soil. (Long et al. 2001)
                     25

                                                                                     Underground
                                                                                     Within mulch
                     20
Number of Termites




                     15




                     10




                     5




                     0
                                 Control   Eucalyptus   Hardwood        Pine Bark   Pea Gravel

                                                     Treatments
                                                 Kansas IPM Education
                                                    October 2005
    The quantity of cardboard monitoring stations consumed by termites
    in mulch and the underlying soil. (Long et al. 2001)
                         6

                              Underground
                         5    Within mulch
Cardboard consumed (g)




                         4



                         3



                         2



                         1



                         0
                             Control   Eucalyptus   Hardwood          Pine Bark   Pea Gravel

                                                 Treatments
                                               Kansas IPM Education
                                                  October 2005
Grooming
• Removal of pathogens from nestmates
  – Studies with powders
  – Complete removal usually less than 24h




                 Kansas IPM Education
                    October 2005
Swarming
• Dispersal Flight
  – NOT a mating flight
  – In response to seasonal environmental
    conditions
     • Light, Temperature, Moisture, Wind
  – Each species has own dispersal period



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                       October 2005
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  Swarm Periods for Reticulitermes species
  in Missouri


R.tibialis

R.flavipes

R.virginicus

R.arenicola

R.hageni




               Jan   Feb   Mar Apr   May Jun     Jul    Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec

                                     Kansas IPM Education
                                        October 2005
Mating
• Shed wings after landing
  – Females
    • If touched;
       – Walk, abdomen down, looking for nest site
    • If not touched;
       – Stop, abdomen up, emit pheromones
  – Males
    • Touch and follow

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                        October 2005
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Nesting
• Copularium
  – 1x2cm; next to objects on the soil
    • Cooperate in construction
  – Mate after constructed
  – Raise first batch of eggs together
    • First year: 30-50
    • Second year: 100-900 (µ=387±226)
  – Female with large abdomen, but mobile
                   Kansas IPM Education
                      October 2005

								
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