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Sample records for eastern subterranean termite

  1. Termite Behavior: Measuring the Postanoxic Consumption Rates of Landscape Mulches by Eastern Subterranean Termites

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collins, D. Parks

    2013-01-01

    Populations of the Eastern subterranean termite, "Reticulitermes flavipes," are widespread throughout most of the eastern United States. Subterranean termites have the ability to survive flooding conditions by lowering their metabolism. This lesson investigates the connection between the ability of termites to lower their metabolism to…

  2. Resistance of insecticide-treated foam board insulation against the eastern subterranean termite and the Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Su, Nan-Yao; Ban, Paul; Scheffrahn, Rudolf H

    2003-10-01

    Three foam board types, one untreated control, one containing 2,000 ppm disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT), and one containing 1,000 ppm deltamethrin, were exposed to field populations of the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), and the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. There was no significant difference in termite damage between foam boards treated with 2,000 ppm DOT and the untreated control. Form boards containing 1,000 ppm deltamethrin were not damaged by R. flavipes, whereas only minor damage occurred after exposure to C. formosanus.

  3. Wood protection by commercial silver formulations against Eastern subterranean termites

    Treesearch

    Frederick Green; Rachel Ann Arango

    2007-01-01

    The scope of this paper is to compare commercial formulations of aqueous products containing silver for their ability to prevent termite damage by Eastern subterranean termites in a no-choice laboratory test. Five commercial products were tested in order to explore a broad range of formulation and silver forms: colloidal, ionic and nanoparticles. Southern pine wood...

  4. Behavioral Ecology of Subterranean Termites and Implications for Control

    Treesearch

    J. Kenneth Grace

    1991-01-01

    Subterranean termites are important structural pests in much of North America, and worldwide. Recent studies of eastern subterranean termite (Reticulitermes flavipes [Kollar]) colonies in Ontario, Canada, indicate that these colonies contain greater foraging populations and forage over larger territories than was previously thought to be the case....

  5. Effects of Disturbance-induced trauma on foraging by subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    Treesearch

    R. J. Woodrow; T. G. Shelton; R. J. Oshiro; J. K. Grace; T. L. Wagner

    2008-01-01

    Toxicant baiting systems are effective at population suppression against both the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, and the Eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar). However, trap shyness (i.e., station abandonment) is often quoted as a confounding factor affecting their success....

  6. Efficacy of Chlorantraniliprole in Controlling Structural Infestations of the Eastern Subterranean Termite in the USA

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Susan C.; Vargo, Edward L.; Keefer, T. Chris; Labadie, Paul; Scherer, Clay W.; Gallagher, Nicola T.; Gold, Roger E.

    2017-01-01

    Subterranean termites are the most economically important structural pests in the USA, and the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Dictyoptera: Rhinotermitidae) is the most widely distributed species. Soil treatment with a liquid termiticide is a widely used method for controlling subterranean termites in structures. We assessed the efficacy of a nonrepellent termiticide, Altriset® (active ingredient: chlorantraniliprole), in controlling structural infestations of R. flavipes in Texas, North Carolina, and Ohio and determined the post-treatment fate of termite colonies in and around the structures. In all three states, microsatellite markers indicated that only one R. flavipes colony was infesting each structure. A single chlorantraniliprole treatment provided effective structural protection as there was no further evidence of termite activity in and on the majority of structures from approximately 1 month to 2 years post-treatment when the study concluded. Additionally, the treatment appeared to either severely reduce the infesting colony’s footprint at monitors in the landscape or eliminate colony members from these monitors. A supplemental spot-treatment was conducted at one house each in Texas and North Carolina at 5 and 6 months post-treatment, respectively; no termites were observed thereafter in these structures and associated landscaping. The number of colonies found exclusively in the landscape (not attacking the structure) varied among the states, with the largest number of colonies in Texas (0–4) and North Carolina (0–5) as compared to 0–1 in Ohio, the most northern state. PMID:28858226

  7. Toxicity and In Vitro Metabolism of t-Permethrin in Eastern Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    Treesearch

    Steven M. Valles; Faith M. Oi; Terence L. Wagner; Richard J. Brenner

    2000-01-01

    Toxicity and metabolism of t-permethrin were evaluated in two colonies (UP and ARS) of the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), collected in Gainesville, FL. The UP colony (LC50 = 1.86 µg per vial) was approximately twofold more tolerant of t-permethrin than the ABS colony (LC50...

  8. Detrimental effects of boric-acid-treated soil against foraging subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    Treesearch

    Bradford M. Kard

    2001-01-01

    111 laboratory bioassays, boric acid (BA) mixed with soil caused significant subterranean termite mortality. In clloice tests, eastern subterranean and Formosan subterranean tennites were exposed to boric acid mixed with soil at concentrations of 0.05, 0.25, 0.50, 1.00, 2.00, and 4.00 percent Al (wt:wt). Termites could choose to remain in their main nests wit13 non-...

  9. Charring does not affect wood infestation by subterranean termites.

    Treesearch

    Christopher Peterson; P. D. Gerard; Terence Wagner

    2008-01-01

    Fire is an important part of forest ecosystems, as is the insect fauna. Changes in wood brought about by fire may alter the ability of termites to use the wood, interrupting the decay cycle of woody debris. The ability of termites to find, infest, and feed upon wood after it had been charred was evaluated in the laboratory and field. Eastern subterranean termites,...

  10. Bioavailability of chlorantraniliprole and indoxacarb to eastern subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in various soils.

    PubMed

    Spomer, Neil A; Kamble, Shripat T; Siegfried, Blair D

    2009-10-01

    A laboratory study was conducted to determine the toxicity of indoxacarb and chlorantraniliprole to Eastern subterranean termites, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) resulting from topical applications and exposure to treated soil. Soils with varying organic matter (0.57-3.64%) and chemical characteristics were used in termiticide bioassays. Lethal dose resulting from topical application indicated that chlorantraniliprole was two- to 11-fold more toxic than indoxacarb. Lethal concentration assays yielded opposite results where concentrations of indoxacarb in soil that caused either 50 or 90% mortality of R. flavipes workers at 48 and 144 h were two- to six-fold lower than chlorantraniliprole. The bioavailability of indoxacarb and chlorantraniliprole was negatively correlated with soil organic matter. Our results suggest that indoxacarb is more bioavailable to termites in soil than chlorantraniliprole based on calculated bioavailability ratios. However, how these laboratory results correlate to actual field application data and termite efficacy is unknown, and more research is needed. These compounds seem to have excellent activity on termites and have potential to provide new modes of action and new chemistry as liquid termiticides.

  11. Delayed toxicity of two chitinolytic enzyme inhibitors (psammaplin a and pentoxifylline) against eastern subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Hiusen, Timothy J; Kamble-Shripat, T

    2013-08-01

    By using a no-choice feeding bioassay, delayed toxicity and concentration-dependent mortality of two chitinolytic enzyme inhibitors, pentoxifylline and psammaplin A, were evaluated by determining LT50, LT90, and LT99 (lethal time) against the economically important eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar). Pentoxifylline- and psammaplin A-incorporated diets (filter paper) were assayed at 0.01, 0.02, 0.04, 0.08, and 0.21% and 0.0375, 0.075, 0.15, and 0.3% active ingredient (wt:wt), respectively. Acetone-only treated filter paper served as diet for the control treatments. Termite workers were allowed to feed on diet until 100% test population mortality occurred (80-95 d). Both chitinase inhibitors were shown to be toxic to R. flavipes. Concentration-dependent toxicity occurred within the pentoxifylline treatments over the range of 0.01-0.08%, with 0.08% treatments producing an LT50 of 32.2 d. However, mortality in response to psammaplin A treatments lacked concentration-dependent toxicity. Treatment with 0.3% psammaplin A produced an LT50 of 21.3 d. Mortality in response to lower psammaplin A treatments displayed no concentration-dependent trends. This study provides the first report on delayed toxicity of chitinolytic enzyme inhibitors against eastern subterranean termites (order Isoptera) and toxicological data on pentoxifylline and psammaplin A over a range of concentrations.

  12. Antimicrobial activity of actinobacteria isolated from the guts of subterranean termites

    Treesearch

    Rachel Arango; C. M. Carlson; C. R. Currie; B. R. McDonald; A. J. Book; Frederick Green; K. F. Raffa; N.K. Lebow

    2016-01-01

    Subterranean termites need to minimize potentially pathogenic and competitive fungi in their environment in order to maintain colony health. We examined the ability of Actinobacteria isolated from termite guts in suppressing microorganisms commonly encountered in a subterranean environment. Guts from two subterranean termite species, Reticulitermes flavipes...

  13. Characterization of Antibacterial Activities of Eastern Subterranean Termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, against Human Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Yuan; Hu, Xing Ping

    2016-01-01

    The emergence and dissemination of multidrug resistant bacterial pathogens necessitate research to find new antimicrobials against these organisms. We investigated antimicrobial production by eastern subterranean termites, Reticulitermes flavipes, against a panel of bacteria including three multidrug resistant (MDR) and four non-MDR human pathogens. We determined that the crude extract of naïve termites had a broad-spectrum activity against the non-MDR bacteria but it was ineffective against the three MDR pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Acinetobacter baumannii. Heat or trypsin treatment resulted in a complete loss of activity suggesting that antibacterial activity was proteinaceous in nature. The antimicrobial activity changed dramatically when the termites were fed with either heat-killed P. aeruginosa or MRSA. Heat-killed P. aeruginosa induced activity against P. aeruginosa and MRSA while maintaining or slightly increasing activity against non-MDR bacteria. Heat-killed MRSA induced activity specifically against MRSA, altered the activity against two other Gram-positive bacteria, and inhibited activity against three Gram-negative bacteria. Neither the naïve termites nor the termites challenged with heat-killed pathogens produced antibacterial activity against A. baumannii. Further investigation demonstrated that hemolymph, not the hindgut, was the primary source of antibiotic activity. This suggests that the termite produces these antibacterial activities and not the hindgut microbiota. Two-dimensional gel electrophoretic analyses of 493 hemolymph protein spots indicated that a total of 38 and 65 proteins were differentially expressed at least 2.5-fold upon being fed with P. aeruginosa and MRSA, respectively. Our results provide the first evidence of constitutive and inducible activities produced by R. flavipes against human bacterial pathogens. PMID:27611223

  14. Survey of subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) utilization of temperate forests

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Both native and invasive subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), including the Formosan subterranean termite, are well known pests of urban areas, but little is known about their distribution or impact in forest ecosystems of the southeastern United States. Recently harvested timber stump...

  15. Subterranean termites in urban forestry: tree preference and management.

    PubMed

    Zorzenon, F J; Campos, A E C

    2015-04-01

    Urban tree deterioration is a common problem all over the world. Inappropriate plant species choice and inadequate planting may lead to micro and macro organism attacks, such as pests and diseases. Subterranean termite damage is common and may promote tree falls. In order to help urban forestry planning, this work was carried out for 9 years on 1477 street trees in a neighborhood in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Plants were identified to species, grouped as native, exotic plants, and palm trees, and their measures of circumference at breast height (CBH) were taken, in order to evaluate if subterranean termite damages are related to tree size and plant group. Four subterranean termite species were identified infesting up to 27% of the plants, with Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) being the most common. Palm trees were not damaged by subterranean termites, while native plants are the most susceptible, especially Caesalpinia pluviosa var. peltophoroides (Fabaceae). Among the native plants monitored C. pluviosa var. peltophoroides, Caesalpinia ferrea var. leiostachya, Erythrina speciosa, Piptadenia gonoacantha (Fabaceae), Gochnatia polymorpha (Asteraceae), Tibouchina granulosa (Melastomataceae), and Handroanthus spp. (Bignoniaceae), the latter was the least damaged. Exotic plants were also susceptible with the exception of Lagerstroemia indica (Lythraceae) and Platanus acerifolia (Platanaceae). Correlation analysis showed that the higher the CBH value, the higher the percentage of internal damage by C. gestroi. Infested trees were treated with imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, and subterranean termites were effectively controlled during the 9-year study.

  16. Preference of Formosan subterranean termites for blue-stained southern yellow pine sapwood.

    PubMed

    Little, N S; Blount, N A; Londo, A J; Kitchens, S C; Schultz, T P; McConnell, T E; Riggins, J J

    2012-10-01

    Little research has been conducted to investigate interactions between the invasive Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, and pine bark beetles native to the southeastern United States. Facilitative interactions between these organisms could alter stand dynamics and impact wood utilization strategies. American Wood Protection Association Standard E1-09 choice tests were carried out to determine the feeding preference of Formosan subterranean termites for blue-stained versus unstained southern yellow pine sapwood. Three separate colonies of Formosan subterranean termites consumed on average twice as much air-dried blue-stained southern yellow pine sapwood over unstained air-dried controls. Additionally, Formosan subterranean termites consumed over five-times more kiln-dried blue-stained sapwood than unstained kiln-dried control wafers. The implications of these results are particularly relevant to pine forest ecology, nutrient cycling, and the utilization of blue-stained southern pine building products in the southeastern United States, where Formosan subterranean termites have become established.

  17. Combined effect of microbial and chemical control agents on subterranean termites

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Subterranean termites are responsible for several billion dollars in damage in the United States annually, including control and repair costs. Formosan subterranean termites (FST) cause a large proportion of this damage. The fungus Paecilomyces fumosoroseus (Pfr) has been previously shown to control...

  18. Landscape Patterns of Colonization by Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in Missouri Neighborhoods.

    PubMed

    Botch, Paul S; Houseman, Richard M

    2016-04-01

    In Missouri, the relative abundances of subterranean termite species differ between undeveloped forest and urban landscapes. Reticulitermes hageni Banks occurs in greater relative proportions in forested landscapes, while Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) occurs in greater relative proportions in urban landscapes. Thus, subterranean termite communities appear to change at some point as landscapes are converted from undeveloped to urban. It is not known if communities change quickly in direct response to urban development, or if changes occur over time in altered urban landscapes. The purpose of this study is to examine how landscape factors are associated with subterranean termite communities and patterns of colonization as subdivisions are constructed and age. Subterranean termites were collected from 25 areas in Columbia, MO, that were classified along a gradient of urbanization to include 1) undeveloped landscapes; 2) recently disturbed transitional landscapes; 3) 10-yr-old subdivisions; and 4) 20-yr-old subdivisions. Subterranean termite communities were assessed by identifying species using polymerase chain reaction-based restriction fragment length polymorphisms. The interactions between landscape features and subterranean termites were examined using GIS software. Relative proportions of Reticulitermes spp. in communities of forest landscapes and urban areas are similar to previous reports for the state of Missouri. Termite communities appear to be locally eliminated after soils are disturbed or removed during subdivision development, although remnant colonies can persist in areas that are not disturbed. Reticulitermes flavipes appears to colonize subdivisions quickly regardless of historical or contemporary landscape; however, R. hageni colonization generally becomes more common as subdivisions age and gradually become more forested.

  19. Subterranean termites - their prevention and control in buildings

    Treesearch

    Chris Peterson; Terence L. Wagner; Joseph E. Mulrooney; Thomas G. Shelton

    2006-01-01

    Subterranean termites are the most important insect pest of wood in the United States. Living in large underground colonies, termites may attack any wood in contact with the soil and may even construct protective shelter tubes over nonwood materials to attack wood above ground. Most damage in the United States is caused by termites in the genus Reticulitermes, but an...

  20. Brief overview of subterranean termite issues in the southern U.S.

    Treesearch

    Thomas G. Shelton; Terence L. Wagner

    2005-01-01

    This paper was given as an introductory presentation to the Formosan subterranean termite technical session at the 2005 American Wood Preserver's Association annual meeting in New Orleans. It provides basic information on current subterranean termite control issues, with particular attention to recent and potential future changes at the Federal and State levels in...

  1. EFFECTS OF HABITAT CHARACTERIZATION ON THE ABUNDANCE AND ACTIVITY OF SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES IN ARID SOUTHEASTERN NEW MEXICO

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amitermes wheeleri was the most abundant termite species in most of the habitats. Gnathamitermes tubiformans was the most abundant subterranean termite species in habitats dominated by creosotebush, Larrea tridentata. Subterranean termite abundance measured by numbers of termit...

  2. Resource competition between two fungal parasites in subterranean termites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chouvenc, Thomas; Efstathion, Caroline A.; Elliott, Monica L.; Su, Nan-Yao

    2012-11-01

    Subterranean termites live in large groups in underground nests where the pathogenic pressure of the soil environment has led to the evolution of a complex interaction among individual and social immune mechanisms in the colonies. However, groups of termites under stress can show increased susceptibility to opportunistic parasites. In this study, an isolate of Aspergillus nomius Kurtzman, Horn & Hessltine was obtained from a collapsed termite laboratory colony. We determined that it was primarily a saprophyte and, secondarily, a facultative parasite if the termite immunity is undergoing a form of stress. This was determined by stressing individuals of the Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki via a co-exposure to the virulent fungal parasite Metarhizium anisopliae (Metch.) Sorokin. We also examined the dynamics of a mixed infection of A. nomius and M. anisopliae in a single termite host. The virulent parasite M. anisopliae debilitated the termite immune system, but the facultative, fast growing parasite A. nomius dominated the mixed infection process. The resource utilization strategy of A. nomius during the infection resulted in successful conidia production, while the chance for M. anisopliae to complete its life cycle was reduced. Our results also suggest that the occurrence of opportunistic parasites such as A. nomius in collapsing termite laboratory colonies is the consequence of a previous stress, not the cause of the stress.

  3. Formosan and native subterranean termite attack of pressure-treated SPF wood species exposed in Louisiana

    Treesearch

    Stan Lebow; Todd Shupe; Bessie Woodward; Douglas Crawford; Brian Via; Cherilyn Hatfield

    2006-01-01

    This study evaluated the relative ability of three types of wood preservatives to inhibit attack by Formosan subterranean termites (FST) (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki) and native subterranean termites (Reticulitermes spp.). The study also evaluated the roles of preservative retention and penetration in preventing termite damage. Sections of boards from six wood...

  4. Tunneling behavior of the formosan subterranean termite (isoptera: rhinotermitadae) in dry soil

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This study examines the effect of dry soil on tunnel construction by the Formosan subterranean termite, Cptotermes formosanus. Termites did not construct tunnels in dry soil in any of the treatments. Termites only constructed tunnels in moist areas in treatments where the soil was partially moistene...

  5. A novel strain of Steinernema riobrave (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) possesses superior virulence to subterranean termites (Isoptera:Rhinotermitidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Subterranean termites are major global pests of wood structures and wood products. Among the most economically important subterranean termite species in the US are Heterotermes aureus, Reticulitermes flavipes, and Coptotermes formosanus. In prior studies, the entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema...

  6. Effect of chemical cues on the foraging and tunneling behavior of Formosan subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Wood rot fungi can cause directional tunneling, aggregation behavior and increased wood consumption by subterranean termites. Because vanillin and guaiacol are byproducts of lignin degradation, these chemicals were tested as potential attractants to Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formo...

  7. When Subterranean Termites Challenge the Rules of Fungal Epizootics

    PubMed Central

    Chouvenc, Thomas; Su, Nan-Yao

    2012-01-01

    Over the past 50 years, repeated attempts have been made to develop biological control technologies for use against economically important species of subterranean termites, focusing primarily on the use of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. However, no successful field implementation of biological control has been reported. Most previous work has been conducted under the assumption that environmental conditions within termite nests would favor the growth and dispersion of entomopathogenic agents, resulting in an epizootic. Epizootics rely on the ability of the pathogenic microorganism to self-replicate and disperse among the host population. However, our study shows that due to multilevel disease resistance mechanisms, the incidence of an epizootic within a group of termites is unlikely. By exposing groups of 50 termites in planar arenas containing sand particles treated with a range of densities of an entomopathogenic fungus, we were able to quantify behavioral patterns as a function of the death ratios resulting from the fungal exposure. The inability of the fungal pathogen M. anisopliae to complete its life cycle within a Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) group was mainly the result of cannibalism and the burial behavior of the nest mates, even when termite mortality reached up to 75%. Because a subterranean termite colony, as a superorganism, can prevent epizootics of M. anisopliae, the traditional concepts of epizootiology may not apply to this social insect when exposed to fungal pathogens, or other pathogen for which termites have evolved behavioral and physiological means of disrupting their life cycle. PMID:22470575

  8. Antimicrobial Activity of Actinobacteria Isolated From the Guts of Subterranean Termites

    PubMed Central

    Arango, R. A.; Carlson, C. M.; Currie, C. R.; McDonald, B. R.; Book, A. J.; Green, F.; Lebow, N. K.; Raffa, K. F.

    2016-01-01

    Subterranean termites need to minimize potentially pathogenic and competitive fungi in their environment in order to maintain colony health. We examined the ability of Actinobacteria isolated from termite guts in suppressing microorganisms commonly encountered in a subterranean environment. Guts from two subterranean termite species, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and Reticulitermes tibialis Banks, were extracted and plated on selective chitin media. A total of 38 Actinobacteria isolates were selected for in vitro growth inhibition assays. Target microbes included three strains of Serratia marcescens Bizio, two mold fungi (Trichoderma sp. and Metarhizium sp.), a yeast fungus (Candida albicans (C.P. Robin) Berkhout), and four basidiomycete fungi (Gloeophyllum trabeum (Persoon) Murrill, Tyromyces palustris (Berkeley & M.A. Curtis) Murrill, Irpex lacteus (Fries) Fries, and Trametes versicolor (L.) Lloyd). Results showed both broad and narrow ranges of antimicrobial activity against the mold fungi, yeast fungus, and S. marcescens isolates by the Actinobacteria selected. This suggests that termite gut-associated Actinobacteria produce secondary antimicrobial compounds that may be important for pathogen inhibition in termites. Basidiomycete fungi were strongly inhibited by the selected Actinobacteria isolates, with G. trabeum and T. versicolor being most inhibited, followed by I. lacteus and T. palustris. The degree of inhibition was correlated with shifts in pH caused by the Actinobacteria. Nearly all Actinobacteria isolates raised pH of the growth medium to basic levels (i.e. pH ∼8.0–9.5). We summarize antimicrobial activity of these termite gut-associated Actinobacteria and examine the implications of these pH shifts. PMID:28028088

  9. Population Suppression of Subterranean Termites by Slow-Acting Toxicants

    Treesearch

    Nan-Yao Su; Rudolf H. Scheffrahn

    1991-01-01

    Historic background and the concept of slow-acting toxicants for population suppression of subterranean termites are reviewed. Information needed for development of bait-toxicants and studies needed to generate such information are summarized.

  10. Occurrence and activity of subterranean termites in temperate forest soils: United States and Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jurgensen, M.; Page-Dumroese, D.; Cerdà, A.; Forschler, B.; Trettin, C.; Cook, S.; Kard, B.

    2009-04-01

    Termites are an important component of many tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate soil invertebrate communities, and they have an impact on soil hydrological, chemical and biological processes. Termites also emit methane and could be an important factor in the production of this important atmospheric greenhouse gas. Many studies have been conducted on mound-building termites in tropical ecosystems, but much less is known on the ecology of subterranean termites in temperate soils. Most of the information about the subterranean termites is derived from work focused on protecting dwellings, which does not necessarily translate to ecosystem-level functions. We have developed an international network across diverse biomes to assess wood decomposition in forests; this presentation will summarize findings on the effects role of termites. Their occurrence is much more prevalent than commonly thought, and their role in mediating wood turnover appears to be significant.

  11. Formosan Subterranean Termites in the Continental United States

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus Shriaki (FST) was introduced into the United States from Asia following World War II, through ports in Galveston, TX, Lake Charles and New Orleans, LA, and Charleston, SC. Populations in this country were first correctly identified in the 196...

  12. Molecular genetic evidence of formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) colony survivorship after prolonged inundation.

    PubMed

    Owens, Carrie B; Su, Nan-Yao; Husseneder, Claudia; Riegel, Claudia; Brown, Kenneth S

    2012-04-01

    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.

  13. Lufenuron suppresses the resistance of Formosan subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) to entomopathogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Wang, Cai; Henderson, Gregg; Gautam, Bal K

    2013-08-01

    Pesticides can negatively affect insect immunity. Although studies show that Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, are resistant to microbial infections, the effects of pesticides on disease resistance is not well studied. In this study, C. formosanus previously fed lufenuron was exposed to each of the three entomopathogenic bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Schroeter) Migula, Serratia marcescens Bizio, and Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner subsp. israelensis. We found that termite mortality was significantly higher and synergistic in the combination of lufenuron and P. aeruginosa compared with treatment of lufenuron or P. aeruginosa alone. Other bacteria and lufenuron combinations were not quite as effective. Interestingly, only in treatments without lufenuron did termites show carcass-burying behavior. The results indicate that lufenuron, a chitin synthesis inhibitor, can suppress Formosan subterranean termite resistance to P. aeruginosa. Possible suppression mechanisms are discussed.

  14. Polyethylene barrier impregnated with lambda-cyhalothrin for exclusion of subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) from structures.

    PubMed

    Su, Nan-Yao; Ban, Paul; Scheffrahn, Rudolf H

    2004-04-01

    Polyethylene film impregnated with lambda-cyhalothrin was placed over a sand plot and covered with a concrete slab to allow insecticide movement into the sand for a period of 5.5 yr. Discs of polyethylene film and sand beneath them were sampled annually for 5 yr and at 5.5 yr for bioassay with the Formosan and eastern subterranean termite. Results demonstrated that sufficient quantities of lambda-cyhalothrin were released from the impregnated polyethylene film into adjacent sand to prevent termite penetration. The impregnated film has less environmental impact than conventional liquid termiticides because the insecticide is held in the polymer. Other advantages include its dual function as a construction moisture barrier and ease in verifying its proper installation.

  15. Antimicrobial Activity of Actinobacteria Isolated From the Guts of Subterranean Termites.

    PubMed

    Arango, R A; Carlson, C M; Currie, C R; McDonald, B R; Book, A J; Green, F; Lebow, N K; Raffa, K F

    2016-12-01

    Subterranean termites need to minimize potentially pathogenic and competitive fungi in their environment in order to maintain colony health. We examined the ability of Actinobacteria isolated from termite guts in suppressing microorganisms commonly encountered in a subterranean environment. Guts from two subterranean termite species, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and Reticulitermes tibialis Banks, were extracted and plated on selective chitin media. A total of 38 Actinobacteria isolates were selected for in vitro growth inhibition assays. Target microbes included three strains of Serratia marcescens Bizio, two mold fungi (Trichoderma sp. and Metarhizium sp.), a yeast fungus (Candida albicans (C.P. Robin) Berkhout), and four basidiomycete fungi (Gloeophyllum trabeum (Persoon) Murrill, Tyromyces palustris (Berkeley & M.A. Curtis) Murrill, Irpex lacteus (Fries) Fries, and Trametes versicolor (L.) Lloyd). Results showed both broad and narrow ranges of antimicrobial activity against the mold fungi, yeast fungus, and S. marcescens isolates by the Actinobacteria selected. This suggests that termite gut-associated Actinobacteria produce secondary antimicrobial compounds that may be important for pathogen inhibition in termites. Basidiomycete fungi were strongly inhibited by the selected Actinobacteria isolates, with G. trabeum and T. versicolor being most inhibited, followed by I. lacteus and T. palustris The degree of inhibition was correlated with shifts in pH caused by the Actinobacteria. Nearly all Actinobacteria isolates raised pH of the growth medium to basic levels (i.e. pH ∼8.0-9.5). We summarize antimicrobial activity of these termite gut-associated Actinobacteria and examine the implications of these pH shifts. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  16. Foreign gene transfer in termite cells using a recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, and the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), are well known for their destruction of human dwellings and flora in the tropics and subtropics. A method to deliver foreign genes in...

  17. Natural resistance of exotic wood species to the formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate survival and wood consumption of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, on ten different species of wood used as commercial lumber. Six of the wood species had natural resistance to termites and caused an average of >75% mortalit...

  18. Myosin gene expression and protein abundance in different castes of the Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) is an important worldwide pest, each year causing millions of dollars in structural damage and control costs. Termite colonies are composed of several phenotypically distinct castes. Termites utilize these multiple castes to efficiently perf...

  19. Correlation between infection by ophiostomatoid fungi and the presence of subterranean termites in Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) roots

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Observations of subterranean termites feeding in pine sapwood containing ophiostomatoid fungi prompted a study to investigate the effect of infection by Leptographium fungi on the probability of encountering subterranean termites in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) roots. Root samples were collected f...

  20. Apparent synergy among defense mechanisms in subterranean termites (Rhinotermitidae) against epizootic events: limits and potential for biological control.

    PubMed

    Chouvenc, Thomas; Su, Nan-Yao

    2010-08-01

    The use of entomopathogens for biological control of subterranean termites (Rhinotermitidae) has attracted attention in the past four decades, and several laboratory studies have shown promising results with fungal agents. This approach was based on the concept of classical biological control with the use of a virulent agent that can self-replicate in a termite nest and be transmitted among individuals, resulting in an epizootic to kill the entire colony. However, the absence of positive results in field studies challenged the potential of fungal pathogens as a realistic approach for subterranean termite control, and the relationship between fungi and subterranean termites remains poorly understood. A multimodal approach of the currently identified defense mechanisms allowed us to show that subterranean termites have the ability to prevent an epizootic from occurring. The defense mechanisms involved in such resistance are reviewed and documented. Finally, the interactions among three major defense mechanisms (grooming, cellular encapsulation, and gut antifungal activity) were analyzed, and it is suggested that these mechanisms act synergistically to produce an efficient defense against the infection of the fungus at the individual and group level so as to protect the colony from epizootics.

  1. Subterranean termite control examinations on current and former experimental forests and ranges

    Treesearch

    T. G. Shelton; T. L. Wagner; C. J Peterson; J. E. Mulrooney

    2014-01-01

    For more than 70 years, the USDA Forest Service’s Termite Team has engaged in research to extend the life of wood in service by studying chemical (and a few nonchemical) subterranean termite control products. These efficacy data are produced in distinct field trials on experimental forests across the USA, and are used by industry cooperators to register their products...

  2. Analysis of hindgut bacterial phyla frequency and diversity in subterranean termites exposed to chitosan-treated wood

    Treesearch

    Olanrewaju Raji; Juliet D. Tang; Telmah Telmadarrehei; Dragica Jeremic

    2017-01-01

    The termite hindgut contains a microbial community that symbiotically aids in digestion of lignocellulosic materials. For better understanding of the dynamics of the bacteria-termite relationship, a species survey of bacterial hindgut microbes in subterranean termites (Reticulitermes flavipes: Kollar) collected from Louisville, Mississippi was...

  3. Response of the formosan subterranean termite to neighboring con-specific populations after baiting with noviflumuron

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki are economically important subterranean termites, particularly in the Southeastern United States where they are considered invasive. Where two C. formosanus populations met, aggressive encounters resulted in blockages in tunnels, but reinvading termites unblocked obstr...

  4. Response of the Formosan subterranean termite to neighboring con-specific populations after baiting with Noviflumuron

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki is an economically important subterranean termite, particularly in the Southeastern United States where it is considered invasive. In studies when two C. formosanus populations met, aggressive encounters resulted in blockages of tunnels; but reinvading termites unb...

  5. Attraction of subterranean termites (Isoptera) to carbon dioxide.

    PubMed

    Bernklau, Elisa Jo; Fromm, Erich A; Judd, Timothy M; Bjostad, Louis B

    2005-04-01

    Subterranean termites, Reticulitermes spp., were attracted to carbon dioxide (CO2) in laboratory and field tests. In behavioral bioassays, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), Reticulitermes tibialis Banks, and Reticulitermes virginicus Banks were attracted to CO2 concentrations between 5 and 50 mmol/mol. In further bioassays, R. tibialis and R. virginicus were attracted to the headspace from polyisocyanurate construction foam that contained 10-12 mmol/mol CO2. In soil bioassays in the laboratory, more termites foraged in chambers containing CO2-generating formulations than in unbaited control chambers. In field tests, stations containing CO2-generating baits attracted R. tibialis away from wooden fence posts at rangeland sites in Colorado. For all of the CO2 formulations tested, termites foraged in significantly more bait stations at treatment fenceposts than in bait stations at the control fenceposts. By the end of the 8-wk study, the number of bait stations located by termites at treatment fenceposts ranged from 40 to 90%. At control fenceposts, termites foraged in only a single station and the one positive station was not located by termites until week 5 of the study. At treatment fenceposts, termites foraged equally in active stations (containing a CO2-generating bait) and passive stations (with no CO2-generating bait), indicating that bait stations may benefit passively from a proximal CO2 source in the soil. CO2 used as an attractant in current baiting systems could improve their effectiveness by allowing earlier exposure of termites to an insecticide.

  6. Toxicity threshold of chitosan for the subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes

    Treesearch

    Olanrewaju Raji; Telmah Telmadarrehei; Juliet D. Tang; Dragica Jeremic

    2015-01-01

    Chitosan is a hydrophilic and biodegradable polysaccharide with antimicrobial properties. It has low toxicity to non-target organisms and is considered an environmentally friendly preservative. In this study, the efficacy of chitosan polymer (> 50 kDa) as a wood preservative was evaluated against the subterranean termites Reticulitermes flavipes...

  7. Survey of subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in a managed silvicultural plantation in Portugal, using a line-intersection method (LIS).

    PubMed

    Nobre, T; Nunes, L; Bignell, D E

    2009-02-01

    Subterranean termites (Reticulitermes grassei) were surveyed over successive seasons in a managed eucalyptus plantation in southeastern Portugal for 26 months. Termite activity in seven diameter categories of lying dead wood was investigated by a modified line intersection method (LIS). Each item sampled was inspected and assessed for termite attack and for general (i.e. fungal) decay status using standard protocols. Line intersection is quantitative to the extent that it can link foraging and decay parameters to woody biovolume. It was found that termites selected items with larger diameter, the observed trend showing an exponential character with greater termite attack as diameter increased. Attack by termites was positively associated with prior decay by fungi. A clear positive relationship was shown between rainfall and total woody biovolume containing live termites, underlining the importance of moisture for termite activity. Subterranean termites appeared to be important wood decomposers in the woodland studied, with an average of 30% of lying dead wood branches showing signs of termite attack.

  8. Clay preference and particle transport behavior of Formosan subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae): a laboratory study.

    PubMed

    Wang, Cai; Henderson, Gregg

    2014-12-01

    Although preference and utilization of clay have been studied in many higher termites, little attention has been paid to lower termites, especially subterranean termites. The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, can modify its habitat by using clay to fill tree cavities. Here, the biological significance of clay on C. formosanus was investigated. Choice tests showed that significantly more termites aggregated in chambers where clay blocks were provided, regardless of colony group, observation period, or nutritional condition (fed or starved). No-choice tests showed that clay had no observable effect on survivorship, live or dry biomass, water content, and tunneling activity after 33-35 d. However, clay appeared to significantly decrease filter paper consumption (dry weight loss). Active particle (sand, paper, and clay) transport behavior was observed in both choice and no-choice tests. When present, clay was preferentially spread on the substrate, attached to the smooth surfaces of the containers, and used to line sand tunnels. Mechanisms and potential application of clay attraction are discussed. © 2013 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  9. Dual origin of gut proteases in Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Sethi, Amit; Xue, Qing-Gang; La Peyre, Jerome F; Delatte, Jennifer; Husseneder, Claudia

    2011-07-01

    Cellulose digestion in lower termites, mediated by carbohydrases originating from both termite and endosymbionts, is well characterized. In contrast, limited information exists on gut proteases of lower termites, their origins and roles in termite nutrition. The objective of this study was to characterize gut proteases of the Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). The protease activity of extracts from gut tissues (fore-, mid- and hindgut) and protozoa isolated from hindguts of termite workers was quantified using hide powder azure as a substrate and further characterized by zymography with gelatin SDS-PAGE. Midgut extracts showed the highest protease activity followed by the protozoa extracts. High level of protease activity was also detected in protozoa culture supernatants after 24 h incubation. Incubation of gut and protozoa extracts with class-specific protease inhibitors revealed that most of the proteases were serine proteases. All proteolytic bands identified after gelatin SDS-PAGE were also inhibited by serine protease inhibitors. Finally, incubation with chromogenic substrates indicated that extracts from fore- and hindgut tissues possessed proteases with almost exclusively trypsin-like activity while both midgut and protozoa extracts possessed proteases with trypsin-like and subtilisin/chymotrypsin-like activities. However, protozoa proteases were distinct from midgut proteases (with different molecular mass). Our results suggest that the Formosan subterranean termite not only produces endogenous proteases in its gut tissues, but also possesses proteases originating from its protozoan symbionts. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. myo-Inositol and Phytate Are Toxic to Formosan Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Veillon, Lucas; Bourgeois, Jared; Leblanc, Amanda; Henderson, Gregg; Marx, Brian D; Muniruzzaman, Syed; Laine, Roger A

    2014-10-01

    Several rare and common monosaccharides were screened for toxic effects on the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, with the aim of identifying environmentally friendly termiticides. myo-Inositol and phytic acid, which are nontoxic to mammals, were identified as potential termite control compounds. Feeding bioassays with termite workers, where both compounds were supplied on filter paper in concentrations from 160.2 to 1,281.7 μg/mm(3), showed concentration-dependent toxicity within 2 wk. Interestingly myo-inositol was nontoxic when administered to termites in agar (40 mg/ml) in the absence of a cellulosic food source, an unexplained phenomenon. In addition, decreased populations of termite hindgut protozoa were observed upon feeding on myo-inositol but not phytate-spiked filter paper. Radiotracer feeding studies using myo-inositol-[2-(3)H] with worker termites showed no metabolism after ingestion over a 2-d feeding period, ruling out metabolites responsible for the selective toxicity. © 2014 Entomological Society of America.

  11. Resistance of borax–copper treated wood in aboveground exposure to attack by Formosan subterranean termites

    Treesearch

    Stan Lebow; Bessie Woodward; Douglas Crawford; William Abbott

    2005-01-01

    The spread of Formosan subterranean termites (FSTs) in the southern United States has increased public interest in finding a preservative treatment to protect framing lumber from termite attack. This study evaluated the use of a borax-based preservative to protect wood from FST attack. Southern Pine and Douglas-fir specimens were pressure-treated with three...

  12. Toxicity of Thiamethoxam Against Philippine Subterranean Termites

    PubMed Central

    Acda, Menandro N.

    2007-01-01

    Thiamethoxam (ACTARA® 25WG) was evaluated for its termiticidal properties against three species of economically important subterranean termites (Isoptera: Termitidae) in the Philippines: Nasutitermes luzonicus Oshima, Macrotermes gilvus Hagen, and Microcerotermes losbanosensis Oshima. Results of the study indicated that exposure to soil or ingestion of paper treated with thiamethoxam at concentration above 0.41 ppm may provide an adequate chemical barrier or induce high mortality against N. luzonicus, M. gilvus and M. losbanosensis after 5–9 days. Feeding bioassays showed that thiamethoxam was not repellent to M. gilvus and M. losbanosensis but had an anti-feeding effect on N. luzonicus. PMID:20302537

  13. Potential of kaolin-based particle film barriers for Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) control

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiltz, B.A.; Woodson, W.D.; Puterka, G.J.

    2010-01-01

    Effects of three particle film products on Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, were evaluated in feeding, tunneling, and contact assays. The particle films, hydrophobic M96-018 and hydrophilic Surround and Surround WP are based on the inert clay mineral kaolin. In 2-week long no-choice feeding tests, significant mortality occurred only with M96-018-coated wood. When a choice was provided, M96-018 and Surround were consumed at higher rates than untreated wood. Surround WP did not differ from controls in either test. In the tunneling assay termites were given the option of crossing a kaolin-sand mixture to reach an alternate food source. After 3-weeks, rates of 1% and 5% M96-018 provided an effective barrier to Formosan termite tunneling, while termites were not stopped by rates as high as 20% Surround and Surround WP. Dust treatments of all three formulations caused significant increases in mortality within 24 h, with mortality rates ranging from 72.0 - 97.3% within 72 h of treatment. The particle films were most effective when moisture levels were low, suggesting that desiccation was the mechanism for mortality. All particle films showed potential for use in above ground applications while hydrophobic M06-018 has the most potential as a soil barrier to subterranean termites.

  14. Evaluation of Chlorfluazuron Against Subterranean Termites Heterotermes indicola (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Manzoor, Farkhanda; Pervez, Mahnoor

    2016-12-01

    Baiting systems have been introduced using slow-acting bait toxicants to provide environment-friendly and target-specific termite management. In the present study, the Exterra termite bait system (USA) with chlorfluazuron, a chitin synthesis inhibitor, as the active ingredient was tested against termite colonies. Ten residential areas of Lahore, infested with subterranean termites were selected for the study. The study period was from 2013 to 2015. In-ground stations were installed at 10 sites and above-ground stations were only installed at four test sites. Requiem termite bait was prepared according to the label instructions. Results showed that the range of termite activity was between 30 and 214 d to first termite activity on underground monitors with a mean of 78.23 ± 6.44. Timeline graphs also show activity of termites and active ingredient placement for each of the stations at each site. As termite feeding activity in the stations increased, there was a decrease in termite activities in wooden structures, followed by cessation of termite feeding and foraging activity noted in the building structures. It was concluded that a termite baiting system in Pakistan has the potential to suppress and reduce termite populations, when foraging termites feed on the active ingredient and share with nest mates through trophallaxis by installing more bait stations and prolonging baiting period. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Targeted versus standard bait station placement affects subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) infestation rates.

    PubMed

    Jones, Susan C

    2003-10-01

    A major challenge to termite baiting in soil habitats is the prolonged time that it may take for subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) to infest stations. The objective of this research study was to determine whether the location of food sources (Sentricon in-ground monitoring stations and wooden monitors) influences the likelihood of infestation by termites. In field trials conducted at 15 structures in central Ohio, standard placement of stations at 3-4.5 m intervals was compared with targeted placements based on evidence of termite activity indoors and outdoors as well as conducive moisture conditions. Termites infested significantly more targeted placements (70/374) than standard placements (35/372) around structures. At the targeted placement sites, termites infested more wooden monitors than Sentricon stations, but this was not statistically significant. This implies that placement, rather than cellulose composition, was the more important factor. Termites first infested stations/monitors an average of 38 d sooner at targeted sites than standard placement sites. This research indicates that evidence of termite activity indoors and outdoors should be a prime consideration when placing in-ground stations.

  16. Effects of Climate Change on Subterranean Termite Territory Size: A Simulation Study

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sang-Hee; Chon, Tae-Soo

    2011-01-01

    In order to study how climate change affects the territory size of subterranean termites, a lattice model was used to simulate the foraging territory of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), and the minimized local rules that are based on empirical data from the development of termites' foraging territory was applied. A landscape was generated by randomly assigning values ranging from 0.0 to 1.0 to each lattice site, which represented the spatially distributed property of the landscape. At the beginning of the simulation run, N territory seeds - one for each founding pair, were randomly distributed on the lattice space. The territories grew during the summer and shrank during the winter. In the model, the effects of climate change were demonstrated by changes in two variables: the period of the summer season, T, and the percentage of the remaining termite cells, σ, after the shrinkage. The territory size distribution was investigated in the size descending order for the values of T (= 10, 15, ... , 50) and σ (= 10, 15, ... , 50) at a steady state after a sufficiently long time period. The distribution was separated into two regions: the larger-sized territories and the smaller-sized territories. The slope, m, of the distribution of territory size on a semi-log scale for the larger-sized territories was maximal with T (45 ≤ T ≤ 50) in the maximal range and with σ in the optimal range (30 ≤ σ ≤ 40), regardless of the value of N. The results suggest that the climate change can influence the termite territory size distribution under the proper balance of T and σ in combination. PMID:21870966

  17. Influence of dry soil on the ability of Formosan Subterranean Termites, Coptotermes formosanus, to locate food sources.

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The effect of barriers of dry soil on the ability of Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, to construct tunnels and find food was evaluated. Termite movement and wood consumption in a three-chambered apparatus were compared for treatments where the soil in the center contai...

  18. Influence of Dry Soil on the Ability of Formosan Subterranean Termites (Coptotermes formosanus) to Locate Food Sources

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The effect of barriers of dry soil on the ability of Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, to construct tunnels and find food was evaluated. Termite movement and wood consumption in a three-chambered apparatus were compared for treatments where the soil in the center contai...

  19. Genetically Engineered Yeast Expressing a Lytic Peptide from Bee Venom (Melittin) Kills Symbiotic Protozoa in the Gut of Formosan Subterranean Termites.

    PubMed

    Husseneder, Claudia; Donaldson, Jennifer R; Foil, Lane D

    2016-01-01

    The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, is a costly invasive urban pest in warm and humid regions around the world. Feeding workers of the Formosan subterranean termite genetically engineered yeast strains that express synthetic protozoacidal lytic peptides has been shown to kill the cellulose digesting termite gut protozoa, which results in death of the termite colony. In this study, we tested if Melittin, a natural lytic peptide from bee venom, could be delivered into the termite gut via genetically engineered yeast and if the expressed Melittin killed termites via lysis of symbiotic protozoa in the gut of termite workers and/or destruction of the gut tissue itself. Melittin expressing yeast did kill protozoa in the termite gut within 56 days of exposure. The expressed Melittin weakened the gut but did not add a synergistic effect to the protozoacidal action by gut necrosis. While Melittin could be applied for termite control via killing the cellulose-digesting protozoa in the termite gut, it is unlikely to be useful as a standalone product to control insects that do not rely on symbiotic protozoa for survival.

  20. Nutritional ecology of the formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae): feeding response to commercial wood species.

    PubMed

    Morales-Ramos, J A; Rojas, M G

    2001-04-01

    The feeding preferences of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, were tested in three separate experiments on 28 different wood species. Experiment 1 was a multiple-choice test designed to test relative preferences among 24 wood species commercially available in New Orleans, LA. Experiment 2 was a similar study designed to test relative preferences among 21 wood species shown or reported to be unpalatable to the Formosan subterranean termite. Experiment 3 was a no-choice test to examine the feeding deterrence of the 10 least preferred wood species. Preference was determined by consumption rates. Birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britton), red gum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.), Parana pine [Araucaria angustifolia (Bert.) 1, sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.), pecan (Carya illinoensis Wangenh.), and northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) were the most preferred species by C. formosanus in order of consumption rate. All of these species were significantly more preferred than southern yellow pine (Pinus taeda L.), widely used for monitoring. Sinker cypress [ = old growth bald cypress, Taxodium distichum (L.)], western red cedar (Thuja plicata Donn), Alaskan yellow cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis D. Don), eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.), sassafras [Sassafras albidum (Nutt.)], Spanish cedar (Cedrella odorata L.), Honduras mahogany (Swietenia macrophyla King), Indian rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia Roxb.), Honduras rosewood (D. stevensonii Standl.), and morado (Machaerium sp.) induced significant feeding deterrence and mortality to C. formosanus. The last eight species produced 100% mortality after 3 mo.

  1. Molting site fidelity accounts for colony elimination of the Formosan subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) by chitin synthesis inhibitor baits.

    PubMed

    Kakkar, G; Osbrink, W; Su, N-Y

    2018-01-19

    Site fidelity by molting termites in Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki colonies is a new addition to our understanding of lower termites' behavior and biology. Our previous studies indicated that workers moved to the central nest to molt in the presence of eggs and reproductives. The current study showed that noviflumuron-affected workers also return to the central nest and died in the vicinity of reproductives and eggs. The aversion to the dead and decaying workers caused reproductives and brood to leave the original central nest site in a colony and refuge at newer sites every few days in response to newly dead workers near them. Because mortality was an event observed only in workers undergoing molting under the effect of noviflumuron- a CSI, the death of molting individuals was observed only around reproductives and brood. This study reveals a previously undiscovered behavior of molting termites and the mechanics behind a successful arsenal; noviflumuron baits used against subterranean termites.

  2. Cytochrome P450 Monooxygenase Activity in the Dark Southern Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    Treesearch

    Steven M. Valles; Weste L.A. Osbrink; Faith M. Oi; Richard J. Brenner; Janine E. Powell

    1998-01-01

    Microsomal oxidases were characterized using surrogate substrates in the economically important dark southern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes virginicus (Banks). Aldrin epoxitlase activity required NADPH and was inhibited by carbon monoxide and piperonyl butoxide (I50 = 4.72 (+,-) 0.31 X 1O-10 M), indicating that...

  3. Control of subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) infesting power poles.

    PubMed

    Horwood, Martin A; Westlake, Terry; Kathuria, Amrit

    2010-12-01

    A trial was conducted to determine the efficacy of termiticidal dusts (arsenic trioxide, triflumuron, and Metarhizium anisopliae), a timber fumigant (dazomet) and liquid termiticides (bifenthrin, chlorfenapyr, chlorpyrifos, fipronil, and imidacloprid) for controlling subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) infesting in-service power poles in New South Wales, Australia. Dusts were applied to parts of the pole where termites were present. Fumigant was inserted into holes drilled into the base of the pole. Liquid termiticides were mixed with soil around the base of the pole and injected into internal voids if present. Poles were inspected for up to 5 yr, and the time taken for reinfestation to occur was recorded. Before the start of the trial, the major Australian pole owners were surveyed to obtain an estimate of the annual national cost of termite infestation to the power supply industry. The annual costs of termite treatment and replacing damaged poles were estimated at AU$2 million and AU$13 million, respectively. Infestation rates were lower for all treatments compared with controls within the first 12 mo of the study. Dazomet, arsenic trioxide, fipronil, and chlorpyrifos were the most efficacious treatments. Efficacy was positively related to the amount of termiticide applied and negatively related to the infestation severity but was unaffected by geographical location. Survival curves were calculated of the time elapsed before the recurrence of termite infestations (survival absence of reinfestation). Survival was highest for poles treated with liquid termiticides.

  4. Tunnel specificity and forager movement in subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae).

    PubMed

    Evans, T A

    2002-06-01

    The movement of foragers of two species of Australian, subterranean, mound-building termites, Coptotermes lacteus (Froggatt) (Rhinotermitidae) and Nasutitermes exitiosus (Hill) (Termitidae), was investigated in their natural habitat using artificial feeding sites along trenches dug to mimic natural forager tunnels that radiate out from the central mound-nests. Termites were dyed by self-feeding on cardboard soaked with histological fat-stains on one or two trenches and then termites were collected from other feeding sites at two and four weeks after the fat-stains were placed. At two and four weeks after marking commenced, 60-75% of marked termites were found in trenches containing the marked paper, and 2-16% were found in trenches on the opposite side of the nest. The proportion of marked termites in a sample was three to eight times greater in the trenches containing the marked paper relative to other trenches. Although difficulties with fat-stains used as markers might explain some of the observed patterns, it is evident that C. lacteus and N. exitiosus foragers do not move randomly between feeding sites in their natural habitat.

  5. Termites eavesdrop to avoid competitors

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Theodore A.; Inta, Ra; Lai, Joseph C. S.; Prueger, Stefan; Foo, Nyuk Wei; Fu, Eugene Wei'en; Lenz, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Competition exclusion, when a single species dominates resources due to superior competitiveness, is seldom observed in nature. Termites compete for resources with deadly consequences, yet more than one species can be found feeding in the same wooden resource. This is especially surprising when drywood species, with colonies of a few hundred, are found cohabiting with subterranean species, with colonies of millions. Termites communicate vibro-acoustically and, as these signals can travel over long distances, they are vulnerable to eavesdropping. We investigated whether drywood termites could eavesdrop on vibration cues from subterranean species. We show, using choice experiments and recordings, that the drywood termite Cryptotermes secundus can distinguish its own species from the dominant competitor in the environment, the subterranean termite Coptotermes acinaciformis. The drywood termite was attracted to its own vibration cues, but was repelled by those of the subterranean species. This response increased with decreasing wood size, corresponding with both increased risk and strength of the cue. The drywood termites appear to avoid confrontation by eavesdropping on the subterranean termites; these results provide further evidence that vibro-acoustic cues are important for termite sensory perception and communication. PMID:19710058

  6. Functional analyses of the digestive ß-Glucosidase of Formosan Subterranean Termites (Coptotermes formosanus)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The research was to elucidate the function of the ß-glucosidase of Formosan subterranean termites in vitro and in vivo. Quantitative RT-PCR analyses indicated that the gene transcript was relatively more abundant in the foraging worker caste than in other castes and salivary glands were the major ex...

  7. Catnip essential oil as a barrier to subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in the laboratory

    Treesearch

    C.J. Peterson; J. Ems-Wilson

    2003-01-01

    The essential oil of catnip, Nepeta cataria (Lamiacae) was evaluated for behavioral effects on two populations of subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and R. virginicus (Banks) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). The catnip essential oil contained =36: 64 E,Z-nepetalactone and Z,E-nepetalactone,...

  8. Potential of natural products and their derivatives to control Formosan subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Raina, Ashok; Bedoukian, Robert; Florane, Chris; Lax, Alan

    2012-10-01

    Twenty-nine natural products and their derivatives were tested for both contact and vapor toxicity against the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Five natural products at 0.5% (wt:wt) in petri dish contact assay caused 100% mortality within 3 d. In vapor form, only three chemicals (styrallyl alcohol, 2-phenyl-2-propanol, and l-carvone) at 0.25 microl/liter air caused > 90% mortality in 3 d when tested on exposed termites: However, when termites were shielded by wood and soil, only one chemical, tetrahydrocarvone at 25 microl/liter air caused 100% mortality in 2 d. Preliminary test with termites in carton nests, exposed to tetrahydrocarvone vapor in desiccators, resulted in an average of 98.6% mortality in 7 d. With further development in the method of delivery, this chemical may be very useful in fumigating confined areas of termite infestation.

  9. Factors Affecting the Tunneling Behavior of the Western Subterranean Termite, Reticulitermes Hesperus Banks

    Treesearch

    James L. Smith; Michael K. Rust

    1991-01-01

    Laboratory studies were conducted to determine factors that affect the tunneling behavior of the western subterranean termite (Reticulitermes hesperus Banks). Soil particle sizes between 2.36 and 0.84 mm prevented tunneling. Exposure to solid layers of calcium, magnesium, or zinc borate did not repel workers, but produced >87 percent kill...

  10. Potential of Kaolin-based Particle Film Barriers for Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) Control

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Effects of three particle film products on Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, were evaluated in feeding, tunneling, and contact assays. The particle films, hydrophobic M96-018 and hydrophilic Surround and Surround WP are based on the inert clay mineral kaolin. In 2-week ...

  11. Toxicity and Transmission of Thiamethoxam in the Asian Subterranean Termite Coptotermes gestroi (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    PubMed Central

    Acda, Menandro N.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The toxicity and horizontal transmission of thiamethoxam was evaluated in the workers of the Asian subterranean termite Coptotermes gestroi Wasmann (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Brief exposure to sand treated with thiamethoxam at concentration ranging from 0.25 to 50 µg/ml resulted in a dose-dependent mortality in C. gestroi . Sand treated with 50 µg/ml thiamethoxam resulted in very high mortality within 30–60 min of exposure. Termites exposed to sand treated with 0.25–25 µg/ml exhibited delayed toxicity and nonrepellency in C. gestroi . A horizontal transmission study using 25 µg/ml of thiamethoxam at donor–recipient ratio of at least 2:5 (treated:untreated) indicated that thiamethoxam can be transferred between exposed and unexposed workers, resulting in significant termite mortality in unexposed termites within 1–3 d post exposure. PMID:25502030

  12. 76 FR 66947 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Comment Request; New Construction Subterranean Termite...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-28

    ... Information Collection: Comment Request; New Construction Subterranean Termite Protection for New Homes AGENCY..., 451 7th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20410, Room 9120 or the number for the Federal Information Relay... Protection for New Homes. OMB Control Number, if applicable: 2502-0525. Description of the need for the...

  13. Feeding, uptake, and utilization of carbohydrates by western subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Saran, Raj K; Rust, Michael K

    2005-08-01

    Western subterranean termite, Reticulitermes hesperus (Banks), prefers various mono-, di-, and trisaccharides, total feeding being the greatest on paper disks treated with 5% ribose followed by 3% xylose, 2% maltose, 2% fructose, 2% arabinose, and 2% ribose. In multiple choice tests, termites were not able to discriminate between 2% ribose, 2% fructose, 2% xylose, and 2% maltose. Termites readily take up [14C] sucrose in feeding studies. Most of the sucrose is used as an energy source for respiration (89.2%), a very small proportion remains within the termite (9.3%), and an even smaller amount is excreted as solid waste (1.5%). The amount of 14C label transferred to other colony members via trophallaxis, body contact, or grooming is small and directly dependent upon the time and numbers of donors and recipients. At day 15 postmixing, the percentage of transfer was highest, 14.4 and 15.1% for both 1:1 and 2:1 donor to recipient mixing ratios, respectively. The mean amount of labeled 14C received by recipients increased from seven disintegrations per minute (dpm) on day 2 to 30 dpm on day 15 for 1:1. Overall mean radioactivity recovered from recipient termites when mixed with donor termites at 1:1 ratio (20 dpm) was significantly less than (28 dpm) when mixed with donor termites at 2:1 ratio. Sugars act as phagostimulants to the termites at concentrations much higher to those that termites naturally encounter in wood. Termites readily metabolize carbohydrates such as sucrose, and thus their use in bait matrices may increase consumption and retention at bait stations.

  14. Formosan subterranean termite resistance to heat treatment of Scots pine and Norway spruce

    Treesearch

    W. Ramsay Smith; Andreas O. Rapp; Christian Welzbacher; Jerrold E. Winandy

    2003-01-01

    New challenges to the durability of wood building materials have arisen in the U.S. The Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki) now infests sizable portions of the U.S. south (Figure 1) and their range is extending. Heat treatments offer a unique opportunity for wood-based composites because many of the process techniques already employ various...

  15. Effect of Flooding on the Survival of Formosan Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in Laboratory Tests

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Underground monitoring stations were active with Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, less than a month after the flood waters receded from an urban park, City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana. This study examines whether the presence of galleries in soil or wood increases su...

  16. CHANGES IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF SUBTERRANEAN TERMITE COLONIES (ISOPTERA: RHINOTERMITIDAE) IN CITY PARK, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA IN THE AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE KATRINA

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Termite activity had been continuously monitored in four sections of City Park since 2002. Between 2002 and 2005, 12 distinct Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, colonies had been delineated using mark-release-recapture techniques. This study examines how the distribution ...

  17. Sustainable Management of Subterranean Termite Populations (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in Armstrong Park, New Orleans, With Durable Baits.

    PubMed

    Su, Nan-Yao; Guidry, Eric; Cottone, Carrie

    2016-03-27

    Durable baits, Recruit HD, were installed in 45 Sentricon stations between September 2010 and July 2014 in the 32-acre Armstrong Park, New Orleans. After eliminating all detectable termite colonies in the Park, 6-12 mo elapsed before new activity was detected. Newly invading termite colonies were usually found near the Park border or were smaller colonies that originated from recently paired alates. After colony elimination, Recruit HD baits were left in the stations to intercept newly invading colonies of subterranean termites, leading to their elimination, and multiple cycles of such interception and elimination events were recorded. Because the presence of Recruit HD baits continues to eliminate incoming colonies with little effort in maintaining and resupplying baits in the target areas, the bait system offers an economically sustainable option for managing subterranean termite populations in a large area. The 32-acre Armstrong Park is a manageable size to carry out an area-wide (AW) project. If the number of such AW projects is gradually increased over time in selected metro areas of New Orleans, we predict that we may be able to turn the tide against the ever-increasing populations ofC. formosanusin the entire city. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Screening method for inhibitors against formosan subterranean termite beta-glucosidases in vivo.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Betty C R; Henderson, Gregg; Laine, Roger A

    2005-02-01

    Cellulose, a main structural constituent of plants, is the major nutritional component for wood-feeding termites. Enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose to glucose occurs by the action of cellulases, a mixture of the three major classes of enzymes including endo-1,4-beta-glucanases, exo-1,4-beta-glucanases, and beta-glucosidase. Lower termites, such as the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, require cellulolytic protozoa to efficiently digest cellulose for survival. Inhibitors developed against any of these cellulase system enzymes would be a potential termite treatment avenue. Our effort was to develop a screening system to determine whether termites could be controlled by administration of cellulase system inhibitors. Some reported compounds such as gluconolactone, conduritol B epoxide, and 1-deoxynojirimycin are potential beta-glucosidase inhibitors, but they have only been tested in vitro. We describe an in vivo method to test the inhibitory ability of the designated chemicals to act on beta-1,4-glucosidases, one member of the cellulase system that is the key step that releases glucose for use as an energy and carbon source for termites. Inhibition in releasing glucose from cellooligosaccharides might be sufficient to starve termites. Fluorescein di-beta-D-glucopyranoside was used as the artificial enzyme substrate and the fluorescent intensity of the reaction product (fluorescein) quantified with an automated fluorescence plate reader. Several known in vitro beta-1,4-glucosidase inhibitors were tested in vivo, and their inhibitory potential was determined. Endogenous and protozoan cellulase activities are both assumed to play a role.

  19. Phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA sequences corroborate taxonomic designations based on cuticular hydrocarbons in subterranean termites

    Treesearch

    Kirsten A. Copren; Lori J. Nelson; Edward L. Vargo; Michael I. Haverty

    2005-01-01

    Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) are valuable characters for the analysis of cryptic insect species with few discernible morphological characters. Yet, their use in insect systematics, speciWcally in subterranean termites in the genus Reticulitermes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), remains controversial. In this paper, we show that taxonomic designations...

  20. Seasonal changes in the caste distribution of foraging populations of formosan subterranean termite in New Orleans, Louisiana

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This study examined the relationship between temperature, precipitation, soil composition and levels of feeding damage and the caste distribution of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, collected in underground monitoring stations over a 12 mo period. In addition, the s...

  1. Task allocation in the tunneling behavior of workers of the formosan subterranean termite, coptotermes formosanus shiraki

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Technical Abstract: There is variation in the tunneling behavior of workers of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, where most of the excavation is conducted by a small number of individuals in a group, while the majority of individuals do little or no excavation. This ...

  2. Resistance of Particleboards Made from Fast-Growing Wood Species to Subterranean Termite Attack

    PubMed Central

    Hermawan, Dede; Hadi, Yusuf S.; Fajriani, Esi.; Massijaya, Muhamad Y.; Hadjib, Nurwati

    2012-01-01

    Laboratory-made particleboards were tested for their resistance to subterranean termite, Coptotermes curvignathus Holmgren (Order Isoptera, Family Termitidae) by Indonesian standard SNI 01.7207–2006, during four weeks and at the end of the test their mass loss percentage and feeding rate were determined. Particleboards consisted of: jabon (Anthocephalus cadamba, Family Rubiacea) with a density of 0.41 g/cm3; sungkai (Peronema canescens, Family Verbenaceae) with a density of 0.46 g/cm3; mangium (Acacia mangium, Family Rhamnaceae) with a density of 0.60 g/cm3 separately and the three species mixture at a rate of 1:1:1. Densities of the boards were targetted at 0.60 g/cm3 and 0.80 g/cm3 by using 12% urea formaldehyde as binder with 2% paraffin as additive based on oven dry wood particle weight. The hand-formed mats and hot-pressing at 130 °C and 2.45 MPa for 10 min were applied. The results showed that particleboards density did not affect mass loss and feeding rate, but the particleboards made from higher density wood resulted in higher resistance to subterranean termite attack. The most resistant particleboards were made of magium, followed by sungkai, mixed species, and jabon. PMID:26466542

  3. Resistance of Particleboards Made from Fast-Growing Wood Species to Subterranean Termite Attack.

    PubMed

    Hermawan, Dede; Hadi, Yusuf S; Fajriani, Esi; Massijaya, Muhamad Y; Hadjib, Nurwati

    2012-05-29

    Laboratory-made particleboards were tested for their resistance to subterranean termite, Coptotermes curvignathus Holmgren (Order Isoptera, Family Termitidae) by Indonesian standard SNI 01.7207-2006, during four weeks and at the end of the test their mass loss percentage and feeding rate were determined. Particleboards consisted of: jabon (Anthocephalus cadamba, Family Rubiacea) with a density of 0.41 g/cm³; sungkai (Peronema canescens, Family Verbenaceae) with a density of 0.46 g/cm³; mangium (Acacia mangium, Family Rhamnaceae) with a density of 0.60 g/cm³ separately and the three species mixture at a rate of 1:1:1. Densities of the boards were targetted at 0.60 g/cm³ and 0.80 g/cm³ by using 12% urea formaldehyde as binder with 2% paraffin as additive based on oven dry wood particle weight. The hand-formed mats and hot-pressing at 130 °C and 2.45 MPa for 10 min were applied. The results showed that particleboards density did not affect mass loss and feeding rate, but the particleboards made from higher density wood resulted in higher resistance to subterranean termite attack. The most resistant particleboards were made of magium, followed by sungkai, mixed species, and jabon.

  4. Influence of temperature on rate of uptake and subsequent horizontal transfer of [14C]fipronil by eastern subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Spomer, Neil A; Kamble, Shripat T; Warriner, Richard A; Davis, Robert W

    2008-06-01

    The effect of temperature on [14C]fipronil uptake and transfer from donor (D) to recipient (R) Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) workers was evaluated. Test chambers used in the fipronil uptake study were constructed from petri dishes containing autoclaved soil treated with 1 ppm [14C]fipronil (1.14 microCi of total radioactivity per petri dish), distilled water, and R. flavipes workers. Test chambers were held in environmental growth chambers preset at 12, 17, 22, 27, and 32 degrees C. For the fipronil transfer study, donor termites stained with Nile blue-A were exposed to soil treated with 1 ppm [14C]fipronil for 2 h. Donors were then combined with unexposed recipient termite workers at either 1D:5R, 1D:10R, or 1D:20R ratios. Test chambers consisted of a nest and feeding chamber connected by a piece of polyethylene tube and held in growth chambers at 12, 17, 22, 27, and 32 degrees C. Worker termites were sampled over time and the amount of [14C]fipronil present was measured by scintillation counting. Some degree of uptake and transfer occurred at all temperatures and ratios in this study. The highest level of uptake occurred by termites held at 22-32 degrees C, followed decreasingly by 17 and 12 degrees C. Maximum transfer of [14C]fipronil occurred at the higher ratios (1:5 > 1:10 > 1:20) of donors to recipients. Data presented in this study suggest that temperature is one of the key factors affecting the rate of uptake and subsequent horizontal transfer of [14C]fipronil in subterranean termites.

  5. Characterization of a new endogenous endo-ß-1,4-glucanase of Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The present work characterized a second endogenous cellulase (endo-ß-1,4-glucanase) gene, CfEG4, uncovered in the transcriptome of Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus). The full-length gene was cloned and sequenced. It is similar to the CfEG3a described earlier (Zhang et al. 2009) ...

  6. United States Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service research on targeted management of the Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Lax, Alan R; Osbrink, Weste L A

    2003-01-01

    The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki is currently one of the most destructive pests in the USA. It is estimated to cost consumers over US dollars 1 billion annually for preventative and remedial treatment and to repair damage caused by this insect. The mission of the Formosan Subterranean Termite Research Unit of the Agricultural Research Service is to demonstrate the most effective existing termite management technologies, integrate them into effective management systems, and provide fundamental problem-solving research for long-term, safe, effective and environmentally friendly new technologies. This article describes the epidemiology of the pest and highlights the research accomplished by the Agricultural Research Service on area-wide management of the termite and fundamental research on its biology that might provide the basis for future management technologies. Fundamental areas that are receiving attention are termite detection, termite colony development, nutrition and foraging, and the search for biological control agents. Other fertile areas include understanding termite symbionts that may provide an additional target for control. Area-wide management of the termite by using population suppression rather than protection of individual structures has been successful; however, much remains to be done to provide long-term sustainable population control. An educational component of the program has provided reliable information to homeowners and pest-control operators that should help slow the spread of this organism and allow rapid intervention in those areas which it infests.

  7. Toxicity, repellency, and transfer of chlorfenapyr against western subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Rust, Michael K; Saran, Raj K

    2006-06-01

    Chlorfenapyr is a slow-acting insecticide against western subterranean termite, Reticulitermes hesperus Banks, when applied to sand. The LD50 at day 7 for workers is 29.98 ng per termite and considerably higher than that of chlorpyrifos (14.01), cypermethrin (3.21), and fipronil (0.16). Brief exposures to sand treated with chlorfenapyr resulted in dose-dependent mortality over a broad range of concentrations. Brief 1-h exposures to > or =75 ppm provided >88% kill of termites at day 7. Chlorfenapyr deposits did not repel termites, even at 300 ppm. Termites tunneled from 0.1 to 1.8 cm into sand treated with 10- to 300-ppm chlorfenapyr deposits, resulting in > or =70% mortality. Within 1 h after being exposed to 50 ppm chlorfenapyr, approximately 17% of the termites exhibited impaired responses to synthetic trail pheromone. By 4 h, nearly 60% of the workers were not able to follow a 10 fg/cm pheromone trail. There was a direct linear relationship of the uptake of [14C]chlorfenapyr as concentration and duration of exposure increased. The percentage of chlorfenapyr transferred to recipients varied from 13.3 to 38.4%. Donors exposed for 1 h transferred a greater percentage of chlorfenapyr than did donors exposed for 4 h. A 1-h exposure on 100-ppm deposits provided sufficient uptake to kill 100% of the donors and sufficient transfer to kill 96% of the recipients. There was not enough transfer for recipients to serve as secondary donors and kill other termites. Horizontal transfer is limited to contact with the original donor and by the decreased mobility of workers within 4-8 h after exposure to treated sand. The effectiveness of chlorfenapyr barrier treatments is primarily due to its nonrepellency and delayed toxicity.

  8. Postecdysis Sclerotization of Mouthparts of the Formosan Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Kakkar, Garima; Chouvenc, Thomas; Su, Nan-Yao

    2016-04-01

    In termites, it is challenging to recognize the incidence of molting in workers because of their successive stationary molt, asynchronous molting among individuals, cryptic behavior, a soft and poorly sclerotized cuticle, and they immediately consume the shed exuvia of nestmates. This study describes a method in which the degree of sclerotization of the mouthparts in newly molted workers of the Formosan subterranean termite can be quantified and used to determine if an individual has recently molted, within a 36-h time frame. Changes in the tanning of mouthparts over time were used as a measure of the index of sclerotization in workers postmolting. Upon ecdysis, the primary point of articulation of the mandible already initiated sclerotization, which may allow the movement of the mandibles during the shedding of the exuvium. The sclerotization of the secondary point of articulation and the mandibular teeth, and the width of sclerotization of the mandibles, progressively increased until reaching a plateau around 36-h postecdysis, which imply that workers can regain some level of activity as early as 2 d after ecdysis. Our observations allowed for the determination of variables for the sclerotization of the mouthparts to easily identify workers that recently molted, and this method will be useful in future studies that focus on the molting activity of workers over time and space within a termite colony, in the scope of improving current control strategies for termite pests.

  9. Identification of a queen and king recognition pheromone in the subterranean termite Reticulitermes flavipes.

    PubMed

    Funaro, Colin F; Böröczky, Katalin; Vargo, Edward L; Schal, Coby

    2018-04-10

    Chemical communication is fundamental to success in social insect colonies. Species-, colony-, and caste-specific blends of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) and other chemicals have been well documented as pheromones, mediating important behavioral and physiological aspects of social insects. More specifically, royal pheromones used by queens (and kings in termites) enable workers to recognize and care for these vital individuals and maintain the reproductive division of labor. In termites, however, no royal-recognition pheromones have been identified to date. In the current study, solvent extracts of the subterranean termite Reticulitermes flavipes were analyzed to assess differences in cuticular compounds among castes. We identified a royal-specific hydrocarbon-heneicosane-and several previously unreported and highly royal enriched long-chain alkanes. When applied to glass dummies, heneicosane elicited worker behavioral responses identical to those elicited by live termite queens, including increased vibratory shaking and antennation. Further, the behavioral effects of heneicosane were amplified when presented with nestmate termite workers' cuticular extracts, underscoring the importance of chemical context in termite royal recognition. Thus, heneicosane is a royal-recognition pheromone that is active in both queens and kings of R. flavipes The use of heneicosane as a queen and king recognition pheromone by termites suggests that CHCs evolved as royal pheromones ∼150 million years ago, ∼50 million years before their first use as queen-recognition pheromones in social Hymenoptera. We therefore infer that termites and social Hymenoptera convergently evolved the use of these ubiquitous compounds in royal recognition. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  10. Feeding response of subterranean termites Coptotermes curvignathus and Coptotermes gestroi (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) to baits supplemented with sugars, amino acids, and cassava.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Venite Pesigan; Sajap, Ahmad Said; Sahri, Mohd Hamami

    2013-08-01

    Feeding responses of subterranean termites Coptotermes curvignathus (Holmgren) and Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) to bait matrices supplemented with various sugars, amino acids, and cassava were evaluated both in the laboratory and field. The results indicated that the two termite species consumed significantly different amount of filter papers that had been treated with various types and concentrations of sugars and amino acids. Based on consumption and survival data, filter papers with 3% glucose and 3% xylose were among the most consumed by C. curvignathus and C. gestroi, respectively. Both termite species consumed more of the filter papers treated with 3% casein than filter papers treated with L-alanine. Both species had a comparable survival rate compared with those in the controls. Results from laboratory and field trials on bait prototypes indicated that C. gestroi consumed more bait prototypes containing cellulose, 3% xylose, 3% casein, and cassava, whereas C curvignathus consumed more bait prototype containing cellulose, 3% glucose, and cassava, than on pure crystalline cellulose baits. Thus, with an improved and cost-effective bait formulation, a much wider control of subterranean termite colonies could be achieved.

  11. Effects of flooding on field populations of Formosan subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    PubMed

    Osbrink, Weste L A; Cornelius, Mary L; Lax, Alan R

    2008-08-01

    Hurricane Katrina (2005) resulted in extensive flooding in the city of New Orleans, LA. Periodic sampling of monitors before the flood, and of different monitors in the same areas after the flood, was used to evaluate the effects of long-term flooding on populations of Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Monitors were located adjacent to buildings and in urban forests. Significant population reductions occurred in areas that flooded 2-3 wk with brackish water, with termite populations associated with pine (Pinus spp.) trees and buildings slower to recover than populations associated with oak trees. Alate production in flooded areas showed no reduction from previous years.

  12. Foraging distance and population size of juvenile colonies of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in laboratory extended arenas

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The relationship between colony size and foraging distance was examined in extended foraging arenas with incipient colonies of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Our results showed that as long as the royal pairs are present, larger colonies foraged at longer distance...

  13. Evaluation of three bait materials and their food transfer efficiency in Formosan subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Cai; Henderson, Gregg

    2012-10-01

    The consumption and food transfer efficiency of two commercially used termite bait materials, southern yellow pine wood and cardboard, and one potential bait material, maize (Zea mays L.) cob, were evaluated for use against the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), in the laboratory. In the no-choice test, the consumption of wood and cob was similar and significantly more than cardboard. Tunneling under the food sources was similar. In the two-choice test, the consumption was cob > wood, wood > cardboard, cob = cardboard, and tunneling under these choices was cob = wood, wood = cardboard, cob > cardboard. In the three-choice test, no significant difference was detected in consumption, but tunnels made under the cob were significantly more than wood and cardboard. Nile blue A was used to study food transfer of bait material among termite cohorts. Dyed cardboard, cob, or wood (0.1% Nile blue A) was provided to termites as food. Termites feeding on wood turned blue in significantly greater number at 6 h compared with cardboard and cob, but there was no significant difference after 12 h. Blue termites feeding on different bait materials were then collected and combined with undyed termites. When undyed (white) termites were placed with blue termites and food (wood block), termites turned blue in the same percentage regardless of original bait material fed on. However, when no food was provided (starvation group), the rate of white termites turning blue was dramatic; in dyed wood treatment, significantly more termites turned blue than that of cardboard, although neither were significantly different from cob. Our study is the first to show that, cob, an otherwise waste product of the food and biofuel industry, is as efficient as wood and cardboard as a termite bait matrix.

  14. Laboratory assays evaluate the influence of physical guidelines on subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) tunneling, bait discovery, and consumption.

    PubMed

    Swoboda, L E; Miller, D M

    2004-08-01

    Laboratory assays were conducted to determine whether physical guidelines could direct subterranean termite foraging behavior. Several materials (wood, plastics, and wood thermoplastic composites) were evaluated for their potential to serve as termite guidelines. Termite tunneling along the different types of guidelines was measured. The proportion of baits discovered when connected by a guideline was compared with the proportion of unconnected baits discovered. Termite consumption of baits also was quantified. Assay results indicated that the termites did not respond to all guideline materials in the same way. Termites built significantly longer tunnels along wood guidelines than they did along any of the plastic guidelines tested. However, tunnel length along the wood and the wood thermoplastic composites was not significantly different. The probability of two baits being discovered when they were connected by wood guidelines was significantly greater than when the baits were connected by plastic guidelines or left unconnected (no guideline). Pairs of baits connected by wood thermoplastic composites were also significantly more likely to be discovered than unconnected baits. Bait consumption was not enhanced by the presence of the guidelines. It is likely that guidelines made of wood competed with the baits as a termite food resource.

  15. Area-Wide Management of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus, Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in the New Orleans French Quarter

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (FST) was first introduced to the continental US after WWII. New Orleans’ French Quarter (FQ) in particular has been severely impacted experiencing reoccurring cycles of damages and repairs since FST was introduced to the region 65 ye...

  16. Improved mortality of the Formosan subterranean termite by fungi, when amended with cuticle-degrading enzymes or eicosanoid biosynthesis inhibitors

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Formosan subterranean termites (FST) were exposed to spores of the fungus Beauveria pseudobassiana (Bpb) strain 8046 to determine virulence of the fungus. Once Bpb was determined to cause mortality of FST it was combined with enzymes capable of degrading the insect cuticle to measure the potential ...

  17. Influence of Dry Soil on the Ability of Formosan Subterranean Termites, Coptotermes formosanus, to Locate Food Sources

    PubMed Central

    Cornelius, Mary L.; Osbrink, Weste L.A.

    2011-01-01

    The effect of barriers of dry soil on the ability of Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), to construct tunnels and find food was evaluated. Termite movement and wood consumption in a three—chambered apparatus were compared between treatments with dry soil in the center container and treatments where the soil in the center container was moist. When a wood block was located in the release container, termites fed significantly more on that block, regardless of treatment or soil type. In the treatment with dry clay, none of the termites tunneled through the dry clay barrier to reach the distal container. When termites had to tunnel through a barrier of dry sand, topsoil, or clay to reach the sole wood block, there was no effect on wood consumption for the sand treatment, but there was significantly less feeding on wood in the treatments with dry topsoil or clay. When foraging arenas had a section of dry sand in the center, the dry sand significantly reduced tunneling in the distal section after 3 days, but not after 10 days. There was a highly significant effect on the ability of termites to colonize food located in dry sand. Only one feeding station located in dry sand was colonized by termites, compared with 11 feeding stations located in moist sand. PMID:22239343

  18. Chemical identification and ethological function of soldier-specific secretion in Japanese subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus (Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Tuan T; Kanaori, Kenji; Hojo, Masaru K; Kawada, Tatsuro; Yamaoka, Ryohei; Akino, Toshiharu

    2011-01-01

    We identified the soldier-specific compounds in the Japanese subterranean termite, Reticulitermes speratus, to clarify their ethological roles. Silica gel column chromatography separated one major soldier-specific compound in the hexane fraction accounting for 70-80% of the total amount of the fraction, while cuticular hydrocarbons constituted the rest. We identified the compound as β-selinene by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Comparative GC analyses of the major exocrine glands detected the compound in the soldier's frontal gland. Both soldiers and workers made aggregation to the hexane fraction, as well as to the crushed heads and head extract of the soldiers. They did not aggregate to cuticular hydrocarbons, making it likely that β-selinene was the aggregation pheromone in this species. The opportunistic predator of this termite, Lasius japonicus, was also attracted to the compounds. The ant workers, therefore, would use the termite aggregation pheromone as a kairomone for hunting them.

  19. Estimating relative decline in populations of subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) due to baiting.

    PubMed

    Evans, T A

    2001-12-01

    Although mark-recapture protocols produce inaccurate population estimates of termite colonies, they might be employed to estimate a relative change in colony size. This possibility was tested using two Australian, mound-building, wood-eating, subterranean Coptotermes species. Three different toxicants delivered in baits were used to decrease (but not eliminate) colony size, and a single mark-recapture protocol was used to estimate pre- and postbaiting population sizes. For both species, the numbers of termites retrieved from bait stations varied widely, resulting in no significant differences in the numbers of termites sampled between treatments in either the pre- or postbaiting protocols. There were significantly fewer termites sampled in all treatments, controls included, in the postbaiting protocol compared with the pre-, suggesting a seasonal change in forager numbers. The comparison of population estimates shows a large decrease in toxicant treated colonies compared with little change in control colonies, which suggests that estimating the relative decline in population size using mark-recapture protocols might to be possible. However, the change in population estimate was due entirely to the significantly lower recapture rate in the control colonies relative to the toxicant treated colonies, as numbers of unmarked termites did not change between treatments. The population estimates should be treated with caution because low recapture rates produce dubious population estimates and, in some cases, postbaiting mark-recapture population estimates could be much greater than those at prebaiting, despite consumption of bait in sufficient quantities to cause population decline. A possible interaction between fat-stain markers and toxicants should be investigated if mark-recapture population estimates are used. Alternative methods of population change are advised, along with other indirect measures.

  20. Effect of Naphthalene, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Dioctyl Phthalate, and Adipic Dioctyl Ester, Chemicals Found in the Nests of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) on a Saprophytic Mucor sp.

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Fungi are commonly found associated with termites and their nests. Four chemicals that have been isolated from the nests of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, were evaluated to determine their effect on a common nest fungus, a saprophytic Mucor sp. Butylated hydroxyto...

  1. Aggregation and feeding behavior of the formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) on wood decayed by three species of wood rot fungi

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Aggregation and feeding behavior of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, was evaluated on wood decayed by three species of fungus that use different enzymatic pathways to degrade lignocellulose, the brown rot fungus, Gloeophyllum trabeum and two white rot fungi, Phanero...

  2. Field Trials With 0.5% Novaluron Insecticide Applied as a Bait to Control Subterranean Termites (Reticulitermes sp. and Coptotermes formosanus [Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae]) on Structures.

    PubMed

    Keefer, T C; Puckett, Robert T; Brown, Ken S; Gold, Roger E

    2015-10-01

    A field study was initiated in 2009 with 0.5% novaluron the BASF Advance Termite Bait System, which was 100% effective in controlling Reticulitermes sp. Holmgren and Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki infestations on 11 structures in the Texas City, TX area. Stations with inspection cartridges (cellulose tablets) and monitoring bases (southern yellow pine) and independent monitoring devices were installed in an alternating pattern around each structure and were inspected every 30 d postinstallation. When subterranean termite activity was confirmed on the inspection cartridge or the monitoring base, the inspection cartridge was removed and replaced with a bait cartridge containing 0.5% novaluron insecticide on a proprietary matrix (124 g/cartridge) in a station. Once the novaluron-treated bait was inserted, inspections of that station were made on a 4-mo cycle until no termite activity was observed. The mean time to achieve control of the subterranean termites on the structures was 10.5 mo post initial installation of bait. Mean time to achieve control of the termites on the structures after the baits were installed was 5.4 mo. Control of the termites on the structures required consumption of a mean of 1.3 bait cartridges (166.2 g) of 0.5% novaluron bait matrix per structure. These results indicate that the baits with 0.5% novaluron were effective in controlling termites on the structures used in this study. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Rapid elimination of field colonies of subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) using bistrifluron solid bait pellets.

    PubMed

    Evans, Theodore A

    2010-04-01

    The efficacy of bistrifluron, a chitin synthesis inhibitor, in cellulose bait pellets was evaluated on the mound-building subterranean termite, Coptotermes acinaciformis (Froggatt). Three concentrations of the bistrifluron were used: 0 (untreated control), 0.5, and 1.0% over an 8 wk period. Both doses of bistrifluron bait eliminated (viz. termites absent from nest or mound) termite colonies: 83% of colonies (10 of 12) were either eliminated or moribund (viz. colony had no reproductive capacity and decreased workforce) after 8 wk, compared with none of the control colonies. The remaining two treated colonies were deemed to be in decline. Early signs that bistrifluron was affecting the colonies included: 3 wk after baiting mound temperatures showed a loss of metabolic heat, 4 wk after baiting foraging activity in feeding stations was reduced or absent, and dissection of two mounds at 4 wk showed they were moribund. Colony elimination was achieved in around half or less the time, and with less bait toxicant, than other bait products tested under similar conditions in the field, because of either the active ingredient, the high surface area of the pellets, or a combination of both. This suggests the sometimes long times reported for control using baits may be reduced significantly. The use of a mound building species demonstrated clearly colony level effects before and after termites stopped foraging in bait stations.

  4. Behavioral Effects and Tunneling Responses of Eastern Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) Exposed to Chlorantraniliprole-Treated Soils.

    PubMed

    Saran, Raj K; Ziegler, Melissa; Kudlie, Sara; Harrison, Danielle; Leva, David M; Scherer, Clay; Coffelt, Mark A

    2014-10-01

    Intrinsic toxicities of chlorantraniliprole, fipronil, and imidacloprid were evaluated with topical applications on worker termites. Worker termites were exposed to substrates treated with formulated chlorantraniliprole to study contact toxicity, tunneling, and postexposure behaviors. The intrinsic toxicities (LD50, ng/termite) of chlorantraniliprole (1.25, 0.96, and 0.44) and fipronil (0.12, 0.11, and 0.13) at 11 d were similar for workers from three termite colonies. Imidacloprid toxicity (LD50) values were highly variable among the workers from three different colonies, values at 11 d ranging from 0.7 to 75 ng/termite. Termite workers exposed to sand and soils treated with chlorantraniliprole at 50 ppm exhibited delayed mortality and, for most of the exposure times, it took >5 d to observe 90-100% mortality in termite workers. Exposure to chlorantraniliprole-treated sand (50 ppm) for as little as 1 min stopped feeding and killed 90-100% of the workers. Tunneling (≈ 2 h) in different soil types treated with chlorantraniliprole at 50 ppm, even those with high organic matter (6.3%) and clay content (30%), caused immediate feeding cessation in worker termites and mortality in the next 7-14 d. Worker termites exposed for 1 and 60 min to sand treated with chlorantraniliprole (50 ppm) were able to walk normally for 4 h after exposure in most cases. Delayed toxicity, increased aggregation, and grooming were observed in exposed termites and discussed in the context of horizontal transfer effects within termite colonies. © 2014 Entomological Society of America.

  5. A Case Study of the Formosan Subterranean Termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki(Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) Transported with a Non-Cellulosic Commercial Carrier in South Mississippi

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, was accidently introduced to south Mississippi and has significantly infested more counties over the past decade. Traditionally, it has been accepted that the movement of infested cellulosic wood products has led to the establishmen...

  6. Effect of Summon Preferred Food Source on feeding, tunneling, and bait station discovery by the formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Cornelius, Mary L; Lax, Alan R

    2005-04-01

    This study evaluated the effect of Summon Preferred Food Source on feeding, tunneling, and bait station discovery by the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Bioassays were conducted to determine whether Summon disks affected the aggregation and feeding behavior of termites and to determine whether the presence of Summon disks caused increased recruitment of termites to wood blocks. When termites encountered the disk, they immediately clustered on top of the disk. Termites were observed aggregating on top of the disk throughout the experiment. Consumption of Summon disks was significantly greater than consumption of cardboard disks in paired choice tests. The presence of a Summon disk on top of a wood block caused a significant increase in consumption of the wood block. Bioassays also were conducted to determine whether water extracts of Summon disks affected termite behavior. Consumption of filter paper disks treated with a water extract of Summon disks was significantly greater than consumption of control filter paper disks. Termites tunneled through sand treated with a water extract of Summon disks faster than they tunneled through untreated sand. In a field test, the rate of infestation of monitoring stations with a Summon disk was 3 times greater than the rate of infestations of stations without a disk.

  7. Seasonal Changes in the Caste Distribution of Foraging Populations of Formosan Subterranean Termite in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    PubMed

    Cornelius, Mary L; Osbrink, Weste L A; Gallatin, Erin M

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the relationship between temperature, precipitation, soil composition, levels of feeding damage, and the caste distribution (workers, soldiers, nymphs) of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, collected in underground monitoring stations over a 12 mo period. Because nymphs are the caste that develops into alates, the seasonal abundance of nymphs was examined over a 5 yr period. Numbers of workers, soldiers, and soldier/worker ratio were significantly affected by month. Recruitment and retention of foraging termites in stations was significantly affected by the level of feeding damage. The number of nymphs collected in monitoring stations was highly variable. In the 12 mo test, there was a significant correlation between numbers of nymphs and level of feeding damage, temperature, precipitation, and soil composition. Over a 5 yr period, significantly more nymphs were collected in 2011 than in 2007 and 2008. Peak nymph collections varied from year to year. Overall, peak nymph collections were more likely to occur in Mar., Sept., and Oct. Increasing our knowledge of the environmental factors that influence recruitment and retention of foraging termites in monitoring stations could influence termite bait placement and improve baiting strategies for termite control. Identifying the key factors that cause aggregations of nymphs in underground stations could increase our ability to predict the intensity and location of alate swarms. © Crown copyright 2015.

  8. Interspecific Responses of Termites to Synthetic Trail-Following Pheromones.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    Various synthetic analogs of the trail-following pheromone were tested against several subterranean and dry- and damp-wood termites . The synthetic... pheromones were found to be generally active against subterranean termites , both under laboratory and semi-field conditions. One of the most active compounds, 4-phenyl-cis-3-butanol, can be synthesized easily. (Author)

  9. The Termite Reticulitermes flavipes (Rhinotermitidae: Isoptera) Can Acquire Micronutrients from Soil.

    PubMed

    Janzow, Micah P; Judd, Timothy M

    2015-06-01

    Micronutrients are important for metabolic processes and structures in insects. How termites obtain micronutrients from the environment is not fully understood. It has been suggested that lower subterranean termites of Rhinotermitidae only gain their nutrients from their food sources. However, for subterranean termites, soil offers a potential source of micronutrients. This study tested the hypothesis that subterranean termites acquire micronutrients from the soil. Laboratory colonies of Reticulitermes flavipes Kollar were reared in arenas in which the levels of micronutrients, food, and soil were varied. The results showed that the micronutrients Ca (Calcium), Fe (Iron), Mg (Magnesium), and Mn (Manganese) were obtained from the soil, Cu (copper) was obtained by the food source, and K (Potassium) and Zn (Zinc) showed no differences between treatments. The results of this experiment suggest that subterranean termites can acquire micronutrients from the soil as well as other food sources. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. The role of particle size of particulate nano-zinc oxide wood preservatives on termite mortality and leach resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clausen, Carol A.; Kartal, S. Nami; Arango, Rachel A.; Green, Frederick

    2011-06-01

    Historically most residential wood preservatives were aqueous soluble metal formulations, but recently metals ground to submicron size and dispersed in water to give particulate formulations have gained importance. In this study, the specific role nano-zinc oxide (ZnO) particle size and leach resistance plays in termite mortality resulting from exposure to particulate ZnO-treated wood was investigated. Southern yellow pine (SYP) sapwood impregnated with three concentrations of two particle sizes (30 and 70 nm) of ZnO were compared to wood treated with soluble zinc sulphate (ZnSO4) preservative for leach resistance and termite resistance. Less than four percent leached from the particulate nano-ZnO-treated specimens, while 13 to 25% of the zinc sulphate leached from the soluble treated wood. Nano-ZnO was essentially non-leachable from wood treated with 5% formulation for the 30-nm particle size. In a no-choice laboratory test, eastern subterranean termites ( Reticulitermes flavipes) consumed less than 10% of the leached nano-ZnO-treated wood with 93 to 100% mortality in all treatment concentrations. In contrast, termites consumed 10 to 12% of the leached ZnSO4-treated wood, but with lower mortality: 29% in the 1% treatment group and less than 10% (5 and 8%, respectively) in the group of wood blocks treated with 2.5 and 5.0% ZnSO4. We conclude that termites were repelled from consuming wood treated with nano-ZnO, but when consumed it was more toxic to eastern subterranean termites than wood treated with the soluble metal oxide formulation. There were no differences in leaching or termite mortality between the two particle sizes of nano-ZnO.

  11. Relative humidity preference and survival of starved Formosan subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) at various temperature and relative humidity conditions.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Bal K; Henderson, Gregg

    2011-10-01

    Foraging groups of Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki were tested for their relative humidity (RH) preference in a humidity gradient arena in the laboratory at a constant temperature of 26°C. Five RH levels (9%, 33%, 53%, 75%, and 98%) were maintained in the test arena comprising of a series of closed containers by using dry silica gel, saturated salt solutions, or distilled water alone. Termites gradually aggregated to the highest RH chamber in the arena. After 1 h, a significantly greater percentage of termites (≈46%) aggregated to the highest RH chamber (98%) than to the lower RH chambers (≤75%). After 12 h, > 97% of the termites aggregated to the 98% RH chamber. In survival tests, where termites were exposed to 15 combinatorial treatments of five RH levels (9%, 33%, 53%, 75%, and 98%) and three temperatures (20°C, 28°C, and 36°C) for a week, the survival was significantly influenced by RH, temperature, and their interaction. A significantly higher mortality was observed on termites exposed to ≤75% RH chambers than to 98% RH chamber at the three temperatures and significantly lower survival was found at 36°C than at 28°C or 20°C. The combination of temperature and RH plays an important role in the survival of C. formosanus.

  12. Foraging in subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae): how do Heterotermes tenuis and Coptotermes gestroi behave when they locate equivalent food resources?

    PubMed

    Lima, J T; Costa-Leonardo, A M

    2014-08-01

    A previous research suggests that when subterranean termites locate equivalent food they consume the initial food resource. However, little is known about the movement of foragers among these food sources. For this reason, this study analyzed the feeding behavior of Heterotermes tenuis and Coptotermes gestroi in the presence of equivalent foods. The experimental arenas were composed of a release chamber connected to food chambers. The consumption of each wood block and percentage of the foraging individuals recruited for the food chambers were observed in relation to the total survival rate. The results showed that in the multiple-choice tests, wood block consumptions and the recruitment of individuals did not differ between replicates of each termite species. However, in different tests of tenacity, the chambers with the first food presented higher feeding rates by both H. tenuis and C. gestroi and resulted in a higher recruitment of workers and soldiers. In these conditions, it may be concluded that foragers of either species do not concentrate their efforts on the consumption of only one food resource when they are able to reach multiple cellulosic sources simultaneously. Additionally, the data concerning tenacity tests suggest that there is a chronologic priority of consumption in relation to the discovery of available food sources. Knowledge about the foraging biology of subterranean termites is important for future studies of their feeding behavior, and it is indispensable for improving control strategies.

  13. Novel free ceramides as components of the soldier defense gland of the Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus).

    PubMed

    Ohta, Masaya; Matsuura, Fumito; Henderson, Gregg; Laine, Roger A

    2007-03-01

    Of the lipid extracts of the defense secretion from the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, on high-performance thin-layer chromatography analysis, no glycolipids or phospholipids were detected, but free fatty acids and three novel ceramides were found (termed TL-1, TL-2, and TL-3). Free fatty acids were confirmed to be lignoceric acid (C24:0) and hexacosanoic acid (C26:0), as described previously [Chen, J., G. Henderson, and R. A. Laine. 1999. Lignoceric acid and hexacosanoic acid: major components of soldier frontal gland secretions of the Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus). J. Chem. Ecol. 25: 817-824]. TL-1, TL-2, and TL-3 were characterized as ceramides differing in hydrophobicity based on results of matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis, mild alkaline treatment, GC-MS analysis of fatty acid methylesters, and GC-MS analysis of sphingoid long-chain bases (LCBs) as trimethylsilyl derivatives. Fatty acids in TL-1 and TL-2 were C18:0, C20:0, and C22:0, and those in TL-3 were 2-hydroxy C18:0, C20:0, and C22:0. The most predominant LCB in TL-2 was a novel trihydroxy C(14)-sphingosine, 1,3,9-trihydroxy-2-amino-6-tetradecene. TL-3 contained C(18)-sphinganine and two kinds of novel sphingadienines, 1,3-dihydroxy-2-amino-7,10-hexadecadiene and 1,3-dihydroxy-2-amino-11,14-eicosadiene. Although examination of the biological activities of these novel ceramides was beyond the scope of these studies, because of the minuscule quantities available from termite secretions, it will be interesting in the future to synthesize these molecules for biological testing.

  14. Individual Behavior of Workers of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) on Consecutive Days of Tunnel Construction

    PubMed Central

    Cornelius, Mary L.

    2012-01-01

    This study examines the individual behavior of workers of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shirkai, on two consecutive days of tunnel construction. In each trial, a group of 30 termite workers was observed continuously during the first 60 min of construction of a new tunnel on two consecutive days. On each day, an average of 68% of individuals did not participate in tunnel construction, 19% spent <25 min tunneling, and 13% spent ≥25 min tunneling. There were specific individuals that did most of the work in the construction of new tunnels on both days. An individual that spent at least 25 min tunneling on Day 1 was significantly more likely to spend at least 25 min tunneling on Day 2 than individuals that spent <25 min tunneling on Day 1. When individuals were ranked based on the time spent tunneling on Day 1 and Day 2, there were individuals ranked as one of the top four excavators on both days in three of the four groups. These results indicate that there is evidence of task allocation by termite workers during the construction of a new tunnel. PMID:26466529

  15. Metatranscriptomic profiles of Eastern subterranean termites, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) fed on second generation feedstocks.

    PubMed

    Rajarapu, Swapna Priya; Shreve, Jacob T; Bhide, Ketaki P; Thimmapuram, Jyothi; Scharf, Michael E

    2015-04-22

    Second generation lignocellulosic feedstocks are being considered as an alternative to first generation biofuels that are derived from grain starches and sugars. However, the current pre-treatment methods for second generation biofuel production are inefficient and expensive due to the recalcitrant nature of lignocellulose. In this study, we used the lower termite Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), as a model to identify potential pretreatment genes/enzymes specifically adapted for use against agricultural feedstocks. Metatranscriptomic profiling was performed on worker termite guts after feeding on corn stover (CS), soybean residue (SR), or 98% pure cellulose (paper) to identify (i) microbial community, (ii) pathway level and (iii) gene-level responses. Microbial community profiles after CS and SR feeding were different from the paper feeding profile, and protist symbiont abundance decreased significantly in termites feeding on SR and CS relative to paper. Functional profiles after CS feeding were similar to paper and SR; whereas paper and SR showed different profiles. Amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism pathways were downregulated in termites feeding on SR relative to paper and CS. Gene expression analyses showed more significant down regulation of genes after SR feeding relative to paper and CS. Stereotypical lignocellulase genes/enzymes were not differentially expressed, but rather were among the most abundant/constitutively-expressed genes. These results suggest that the effect of CS and SR feeding on termite gut lignocellulase composition is minimal and thus, the most abundantly expressed enzymes appear to encode the best candidate catalysts for use in saccharification of these and related second-generation feedstocks. Further, based on these findings we hypothesize that the most abundantly expressed lignocellulases, rather than those that are differentially expressed have the best potential as pretreatment enzymes for CS and SR feedstocks.

  16. Detecting and identifying termites in a structure

    Treesearch

    Rachel Arango; Frederick Green

    2006-01-01

    The threat of insects in or around your home can be alarming, especially when those insects can cause structural damage. It is important to know if insects you find around the house are in fact termites or some other crawling insect. Subterranean termites are found everywhere in the contiguous United States, making the possibility of termite infestation a widespread...

  17. Isolation and assessment of gut bacteria from the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), for paratransgenesis research and application.

    PubMed

    Tikhe, Chinmay V; Sethi, Amit; Delatte, Jennifer; Husseneder, Claudia

    2017-02-01

    Paratransgenesis targeting the gut protozoa is being developed as an alternative method for the control of the Formosan subterranean termite (FST). This method involves killing the cellulose-digesting gut protozoa using a previously developed antiprotozoal peptide consisting of a target specific ligand coupled to an antimicrobial peptide (Hecate). In the future, we intend to genetically engineer termite gut bacteria as "Trojan Horses" to express and spread ligand-Hecate in the termite colony. The aim of this study was to assess the usefulness of bacteria strains isolated from the gut of FST as "Trojan Horses." We isolated 135 bacteria from the guts of workers from 3 termite colonies. Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene identified 20 species. We tested 5 bacteria species that were previously described as part of the termite gut community for their tolerance against Hecate and ligand-Hecate. Results showed that the minimum concentration required to inhibit bacteria growth was always higher than the concentration required to kill the gut protozoa. Out of the 5 bacteria tested, we engineered Trabulsiella odontotermitis, a termite specific bacterium, to express green fluorescent protein as a proof of concept that the bacteria can be engineered to express foreign proteins. Engineered T. odontotermitis was fed to FST to study if the bacteria are ingested. This feeding experiment confirmed that engineered T. odontotermitis is ingested by termites and can survive in the gut for at least 48 h. Here we report that T. odontotermitis is a suitable delivery and expression system for paratransgenesis in a termite species. © 2015 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  18. Testing protozoacidal activity of ligand-lytic peptides against termite gut protozoa in vitro (protozoa culture) and in vivo (microinjection into termite hindgut).

    PubMed

    Husseneder, Claudia; Sethi, Amit; Foil, Lane; Delatte, Jennifer

    2010-12-29

    We are developing a novel approach to subterranean termite control that would lead to reduced reliance on the use of chemical pesticides. Subterranean termites are dependent on protozoa in the hindguts of workers to efficiently digest wood. Lytic peptides have been shown to kill a variety of protozoan parasites (Mutwiri et al. 2000) and also protozoa in the gut of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus (Husseneder and Collier 2009). Lytic peptides are part of the nonspecific immune system of eukaryotes, and destroy the membranes of microorganisms (Leuschner and Hansel 2004). Most lytic peptides are not likely to harm higher eukaryotes, because they do not affect the electrically neutral cholesterol-containing cell membranes of higher eukaryotes (Javadpour et al. 1996). Lytic peptide action can be targeted to specific cell types by the addition of a ligand. For example, Hansel et al. (2007) reported that lytic peptides conjugated with cancer cell membrane receptor ligands could be used to destroy breast cancer cells, while lytic peptides alone or conjugated with non-specific peptides were not effective. Lytic peptides also have been conjugated to human hormones that bind to receptors on tumor cells for targeted destruction of prostate and testicular cancer cells (Leuschner and Hansel 2004). In this article we present techniques used to demonstrate the protozoacidal activity of a lytic peptide (Hecate) coupled to a heptapeptide ligand that binds to the surface membrane of protozoa from the gut of the Formosan subterranean termite. These techniques include extirpation of the gut from termite workers, anaerobic culture of gut protozoa (Pseudotrichonympha grassii, Holomastigotoides hartmanni,Spirotrichonympha leidyi), microscopic confirmation that the ligand marked with a fluorescent dye binds to the termite gut protozoa and other free-living protozoa but not to bacteria or gut tissue. We also demonstrate that the same ligand coupled to a lytic

  19. Use of a bait impact index to assess effects of bait application against populations of Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in a large area.

    PubMed

    Su, Nan-Yao; Ban, Paul; Scheffrahn, Rudolf H

    2004-12-01

    The effects of bait applications on the overall activity of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, in a town of 1.2 km2 were assessed between 2001 and 2003 by using a bait impact index. The index incorporated the amount of baits applied and the distance between bait application loci and the monitoring stations from which termite activity was measured. Even with the collaboration of only 35% of the residents and incomplete treatment records, the bait impact index demonstrated that more baits applied in proximity to monitoring loci significantly caused the decline of C. formosanus activity.

  20. Effect of soil type and exposure duration on mortality and transfer of chlorantraniliprole and fipronil on Formosan subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Gautam, Bal K; Henderson, Gregg

    2011-12-01

    The uptake and potential transfer of chlorantraniliprole and fipronil by the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, was investigated in the laboratory by using donor-recipient model bioassays. Two different types of substrates, sandy loam soil (18.6% organic matter) and sand (0.19% organic matter), were used to evaluate how these treated substrates impact the direct mortality and transfer efficiency of the two nonrepellent termiticides tested at different concentrations. Chlorantraniliprole exhibited a more delayed mortality on termites than fipronil in sand. In soil, chlorantraniliprole did not cause higher mortality to either donor or recipient termite at any of the tested concentrations during a 21-d test period when compared with controls. Compared with the controls, a greater number of donors died in the soil treated with fipronil at 14 h postinteraction, and higher death of recipients occurred at 21 d but only in the 60-ppm concentration tested. Our data showed that chlorantraniliprole performed best in substrate with low organic matter against

  1. Behavioral evidence for multicomponent trail pheromone in the termite,Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Runcie, C D

    1987-09-01

    Evidence is presented for a multicomponent trail pheromone in the eastern subterranean termiteReticulitermes flavipes (Kollar). Choice tests were used to compare strength and persistency of trails made by termites in glass tubes. Tubes connected to termite nests for 24 hr were marked by termites with an extremely long-lasting chemical that persisted for at least one year, and a highly volatile substance that decayed in 15 min. Individual termites varied the trail they deposited under different circumstances. When removed from the nest and placed in a clean tube, they deposited a highly volatile substance. They left stronger and more persistent trails when exploring clean tubes attached to the nest. When they discovered a new food source, they left trails that were more attractive and far more persistent than trails made by exploring or displaced termites. A food trail made by 15 workers was still effective after 24 hr, whereas a trail made by 50 displaced workers, walking one after another through a tube, lasted only 5 min.

  2. Accidental mold/termite testing of high density fiberboard (HDF) treated with borates and N’N-naphthaloylhydroxylamine (NHA)

    Treesearch

    S. Nami Kartal; Harold H. Burdsall; Frederick Green

    2003-01-01

    High density fibreboard (HDF) was made from beech and pine furnish (50:50) and treated with boric acid (0.1-3%), borax (0.1-3%) or N'-N-(1,8- naphthalyl) hydroxylamine (NHA) (0.1-1%) prior to gluing with urea formaldehyde (UF) resin in order to determine resistance to Eastern subterranean termites ( Reticulitermes flavipes Kollar), the most economically important...

  3. Symbiotic flagellate protists as cryptic drivers of adaptation and invasiveness of the subterranean termite Reticulitermes grassei Clément.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Sónia; Nobre, Tânia; Borges, Paulo A V; Nunes, Lina

    2018-06-01

    Changes in flagellate protist communities of subterranean termite Reticulitermes grassei across different locations were evaluated following four predictions: (i) Rural endemic (Portugal mainland) termite populations will exhibit high diversity of symbionts; (ii) invasive urban populations (Horta city, Faial island, Azores), on the contrary, will exhibit lower diversity of symbionts, showing high similarity of symbiont assemblages through environmental filtering; (iii) recent historical colonization of isolated regions-as the case of islands-will imply a loss of symbiont diversity; and (iv) island isolation will trigger a change in colony breeding structure toward a less aggressive behavior. Symbiont flagellate protist communities were morphologically identified, and species richness and relative abundances, as well as biodiversity indices, were used to compare symbiotic communities in colonies from urban and rural environments and between island invasive and mainland endemic populations. To evaluate prediction on the impact of isolation (iv), aggression tests were performed among termites comprising island invasive and mainland endemic populations. A core group of flagellates and secondary facultative symbionts was identified. Termites from rural environments showed, in the majority of observed colonies, more diverse and abundant protist communities, probably confirming prediction (i). Corroborating prediction (ii), the two least diverse communities belong to termites captured inside urban areas. The Azorean invasive termite colonies had more diverse protist communities than expected and prediction (iii) which was not verified within this study. Termites from mainland populations showed a high level of aggressiveness between neighboring colonies, in contrast to the invasive colonies from Horta city, which were not aggressive to neighbors according to prediction (iv). The symbiotic flagellate community of R. grassei showed the ability to change in a way that might

  4. Spatial association of marine dockage with land-borne infestations of invasive termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae: Coptotermes) in urban south Florida.

    PubMed

    Hochmair, Hartwig H; Scheffrahn, Rudolf H

    2010-08-01

    Marine vessels have been implicated in the anthropogenic dispersal of invasive termites for the past 500 yr. It has long been suspected that two invasive termites, the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, and Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), were introduced to and dispersed throughout South Florida by sailboats and yachts. We compared the distances between 190 terrestrial point records for Formosan subterranean termite, 177 records for C. gestroi, and random locations with the nearest marine dockage by using spatial analysis. Results show that the median distance to nearest docks associated with C. gestroi is significantly smaller than for the random points. Results also reveal that the median distance to nearest docks associated with Formosan subterranean termite is significantly smaller than for the random points. These results support the hypothesis that C. gestroi and Formosan subterranean termite are significantly closer to potential infested boat locations, i.e., marine docks, than random points in these urban areas. The results of our study suggest yet another source of aggregation in the context of exotic species, namely, hubs for pleasure boating.

  5. Caste-, sex-, and age-dependent expression of immune-related genes in a Japanese subterranean termite, Reticulitermes speratus

    PubMed Central

    Kobayashi, Kazuya; Matsuura, Kenji

    2017-01-01

    Insects protect themselves from microbial infections through innate immune responses, including pathogen recognition, phagocytosis, the activation of proteolytic cascades, and the synthesis of antimicrobial peptides. Termites, eusocial insects inhabiting microbe-rich wood, live in closely-related family groups that are susceptible to shared pathogen infections. To resist pathogenic infection, termite families have evolved diverse immune adaptations at both individual and societal levels, and a strategy of trade-offs between reproduction and immunity has been suggested. Although termite immune-inducible genes have been identified, few studies have investigated the differential expression of these genes between reproductive and neuter castes, and between sexes in each caste. In this study, we compared the expression levels of immune-related genes among castes, sexes, and ages in a Japanese subterranean termite, Reticulitermes speratus. Using RNA-seq, we found 197 immune-related genes, including 40 pattern recognition proteins, 97 signalling proteins, 60 effectors. Among these genes, 174 showed differential expression among castes. Comparing expression levels between males and females in each caste, we found sexually dimorphic expression of immune-related genes not only in reproductive castes, but also in neuter castes. Moreover, we identified age-related differential expression of 162 genes in male and/or female reproductives. In addition, although R. speratus is known to use the antibacterial peptide C-type lysozyme as an egg recognition pheromone, we determined that R. speratus has not only C-type, but also P-type and I-type lysozymes, as well as other termite species. Our transcriptomic analyses revealed immune response plasticity among all castes, and sex-biased expression of immune genes even in neuter castes, suggesting a sexual division of labor in the immune system of R. speratus. This study heightens the understanding of the evolution of antimicrobial

  6. Caste-, sex-, and age-dependent expression of immune-related genes in a Japanese subterranean termite, Reticulitermes speratus.

    PubMed

    Mitaka, Yuki; Kobayashi, Kazuya; Matsuura, Kenji

    2017-01-01

    Insects protect themselves from microbial infections through innate immune responses, including pathogen recognition, phagocytosis, the activation of proteolytic cascades, and the synthesis of antimicrobial peptides. Termites, eusocial insects inhabiting microbe-rich wood, live in closely-related family groups that are susceptible to shared pathogen infections. To resist pathogenic infection, termite families have evolved diverse immune adaptations at both individual and societal levels, and a strategy of trade-offs between reproduction and immunity has been suggested. Although termite immune-inducible genes have been identified, few studies have investigated the differential expression of these genes between reproductive and neuter castes, and between sexes in each caste. In this study, we compared the expression levels of immune-related genes among castes, sexes, and ages in a Japanese subterranean termite, Reticulitermes speratus. Using RNA-seq, we found 197 immune-related genes, including 40 pattern recognition proteins, 97 signalling proteins, 60 effectors. Among these genes, 174 showed differential expression among castes. Comparing expression levels between males and females in each caste, we found sexually dimorphic expression of immune-related genes not only in reproductive castes, but also in neuter castes. Moreover, we identified age-related differential expression of 162 genes in male and/or female reproductives. In addition, although R. speratus is known to use the antibacterial peptide C-type lysozyme as an egg recognition pheromone, we determined that R. speratus has not only C-type, but also P-type and I-type lysozymes, as well as other termite species. Our transcriptomic analyses revealed immune response plasticity among all castes, and sex-biased expression of immune genes even in neuter castes, suggesting a sexual division of labor in the immune system of R. speratus. This study heightens the understanding of the evolution of antimicrobial

  7. Biosensors for termite control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farkhanda, M.

    2013-12-01

    Termites are major urban pests in Pakistan and cause damage to wooden structures and buildings. Termite management has two parts: prevention and control. The most difficult part of termite control is termite detection as most of them are subterranean in Pakistan and have tunneling habit.Throughout the world, chemical termiticides are going to be replaced by baits, microwave and sensor technology. Termite species are distinct biologically and have specific foraging behaviors. Termite Detection Radar, Moisture meter and Remote Thermal Sensor with Laser are available throughout the world. These can detect termites underground and use fewer chemicals than traditional methods. For wooden buildings, a termite sensor and an intrusion detection system for detecting termites are designed. A pair of electrodes is disposed inside the container. A pair of terminals is connected to these electrodes, these extend outside the container. Termites are detected by a change of conductivity between the electrodes, when termites are detected a warning device generates a warning signal. In Pakistan, there is dire need to develop such biosensoring devices locally, then apply control methods that would save money and protect the environment.

  8. Mesh may fit in as a termite barrier

    Treesearch

    Bradford M. Kard

    1999-01-01

    Stainless steel mesh tests are currently being conducted in an effort to investigate alternatives or supplements to termiticides for control of subterranean termites. Some people are extra sensitive to insecticides or would prefer to use non-insecticidal means to control termites, and stainless steel mesh may provide one such alternative.

  9. Seasonal response of feeding, differentiation, and growth in the eastern subterranean termite Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) in Wisconsin

    Treesearch

    Rachel Ann Arango; Frederick Green; Glenn R. Esenther

    2007-01-01

    In termites, differentiation plasticity in undifferentiated Reticulitermes progresses with growth stages from larvae to workers, which may then differentiate into soldiers, winged nymphs, or neotenics. Although studies have been done on seasonality of the termite life cycle, data appears to vary from location to location. Reticulitermes populations in Wisconsin appear...

  10. Foraging Behavior of Coptotermes formosanus and Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The foraging behavior of two serious structural pests, the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) was examined. Comparative laboratory studies of the trail following, feeding, tunneling behavior, and intera...

  11. Area Wide Field Study on Effect of Three Chitin Synthesis Inhibitor Baits on Populations of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Periodic sampling of 43 independent monitors, initially active with Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, or the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) was conducted to evaluate the effects of cellulose baits containing one of three chitin synthesis i...

  12. Nutritional ecology of the Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae): growth and survival of incipient colonies feeding on preferred wood species.

    PubMed

    Morales-Ramos, Juan A; Rojas, M Guadalupe

    2003-02-01

    The wood of 11 plant species was evaluated as a food source significantly impacting the growth and survival of incipient colonies of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Colonies of C. formosanus feeding on pecan, Carya illinoensis (Wangenh.), and red gum, Liquidambar styraciflua L., produced significantly more progeny than colonies feeding on other wood species tested. Progeny of colonies feeding on pecan and American ash, Fraxinus americana L., had significantly greater survival than progeny of colonies feeding on other wood species. Colonies feeding on a nutritionally supplemented cellulose based matrix showed similar fitness characteristics as colonies feeding on the best wood treatments. These results indicate that differences observed in colony fitness can be partially explained by nutritional value of the food treatment, raising the possibility that wood from different tree species have different nutritional values to the Formosan subterranean termites. Colonies feeding on loblolly pine, Pinus taeda L., and ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa Laws., had significantly lower survival and produced significantly fewer workers and soldiers than colonies feeding on other wood species. Colony survival from 90 to 180 d of age and from 90 to 360 d of age was significantly correlated with the number of workers present at 90 d of colony age, indicating that colony survival depends on the presence of workers. Wood consumption in a multiple-choice study was significantly correlated with colony fitness value. This suggests that feeding preference of C. formosanus is at least partially influenced by the nutritional value of the food source.

  13. How Termite Mounds Breath?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saxena, Saurabh; Yaghoobian, Neda

    2017-11-01

    Fungus-cultivating termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae that are extensively found throughout sub-Saharan Africa and south East Asia are one species of termites that collectively build massive, uninhabited, complex structures. These structures, which are much larger than the size of an individual termite, effectively use natural wind and solar energies and the energy embodied in colony's metabolic activity to maintain the necessary condition for termite survival. These mounds enclose a subterranean nest, where the termite live and cultivate fungus, as well as a complex network of tunnels consisting of a large, vertically oriented central chimney, surface conduits, and lateral connectives that connect the chimney and the surface conduits. In this study, we use computational modeling to explore the combined interaction of geometry, heterogeneous thermal mass, and porosity with the external turbulent wind and solar radiation to investigate the physical principles and fundamental aero-thermodynamics underlying the controlled and stable climate of termite mounds. Exploitation of natural resources of wind and solar energies in these natural systems for the purpose of ventilation will lead to new lessons for improving human habitats conditions.

  14. Exploring the Caste-Specific Multi-Layer Defense Mechanism of Formosan Subterranean Termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki.

    PubMed

    Hussain, Abid; Tian, Ming-Yi; Wen, Shuo-Yang

    2017-12-12

    The survival and foraging of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki in a microbe-rich environment reflect the adaptation of an extraordinary, sophisticated defense mechanism by the nest-mates. We aimed to explore the host pathogen interaction by studying caste-specific volatile chemistry and genes encoding the antioxidant defense of winged imagoes, nymphs, soldiers and workers of Formosan subterranean termites. Qualitative analyses of C. formosanus Shiraki performed by HS-SPME/GC-MS showed considerable variations in the chemical composition of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and their proportions among all the castes. Winged imagoes produced the most important compounds such as naphthalene and n- hexanoic acid. The antifungal activity of these compounds along with nonanal, n -pentadecane, n- tetradecane, n -heptadecane and methyl octanoate against the conidial suspensions of Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana isolates enable us to suggest that the failure of natural fungal infection in the nest is due to the antiseptic environment of the nest, which is mainly controlled by the VOCs of nest-mates. In addition, conidial germination of M. anisopliae and B. bassiana isolates evaluated on the cuticle of each caste showed significant variations among isolates and different castes. Our results showed that the conidia of M. anisopliae 02049 exhibited the highest germination on the cuticle of all the inoculated castes. Moreover, we recorded the lowest germination of the conidia of B. bassiana 200436. Caste-specific germination variations enabled us to report for the first time that the cuticle of winged imagoes was found to be the most resistant cuticle. The analysis of the transcriptome of C. formosanus Shiraki revealed the identification of 17 genes directly involved in antioxidant defense. Expression patterns of the identified antioxidant genes by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) revealed the significantly highest upregulation of CAT , GST , PRXSL , Cu/Zn-SOD2

  15. Effects of Caste on the Expression of Genes Associated with Septic Injury and Xenobiotic Exposure in the Formosan Subterranean Termite

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    As social insects, termites live in densely populated colonies with specialized castes under conditions conducive to microbial growth and transmission. Furthermore, termites are exposed to xenobiotics in soil and their lignocellulose diet. Therefore, termites are valuable models for studying gene expression involved in response to septic injury, immunity and detoxification in relation to caste membership. In this study, workers and soldiers of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus, were challenged by bacterial injection or by no-choice feeding with a sublethal concentration (0.5%) of phenobarbital. Constitutive and induced expression of six putative immune response genes (two encoding for lectin-like proteins, one for a ficolin-precursor, one for the Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule, one for a chitin binding protein, and one for the gram-negative binding protein 2) and four putative detoxification genes (two encoding for cytochrome P450s, one for glutathione S-transferase, and one for the multi antimicrobial extrusion protein), were measured via quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction and compared within and among 1) colonies, 2) treatment types and 3) castes via ANOVA. Eight genes were inducible by septic injury, feeding with phenobarbital or both. Colony origin had no effect on inducibility or differential gene expression. However, treatment type showed significant effects on the expression of the eight inducible genes. Caste effects on expression levels were significant in five of the eight inducible genes with constitutive and induced expression of most target genes being higher in workers than in soldiers. PMID:25141339

  16. Sex-specific inhibition and stimulation of worker-reproductive transition in a termite.

    PubMed

    Sun, Qian; Haynes, Kenneth F; Hampton, Jordan D; Zhou, Xuguo

    2017-09-06

    In social insects, the postembryonic development of individuals exhibits strong phenotypic plasticity in response to the environment, thus generating the caste system. Different from eusocial Hymenoptera, in which queens dominate reproduction and inhibit worker fertility, the primary reproductive caste in termites (kings and queens) can be replaced by neotenic reproductives derived from functionally sterile individuals. Feedback regulation of nestmate differentiation into reproductives has been suggested, but the sex specificity remains inconclusive. In the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, we tested the hypothesis that neotenic reproductives regulate worker-reproductive transition in a sex-specific manner. With this R. flavipes system, we demonstrate a sex-specific regulatory mechanism with both inhibitory and stimulatory functions. Neotenics inhibit workers of the same sex from differentiating into additional reproductives but stimulate workers of the opposite sex to undergo this transition. Furthermore, this process is not affected by the presence of soldiers. Our results highlight the reproductive plasticity of termites in response to social cues and provide insights into the regulation of reproductive division of labor in a hemimetabolous social insect.

  17. Sex-specific inhibition and stimulation of worker-reproductive transition in a termite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Qian; Haynes, Kenneth F.; Hampton, Jordan D.; Zhou, Xuguo

    2017-10-01

    In social insects, the postembryonic development of individuals exhibits strong phenotypic plasticity in response to the environment, thus generating the caste system. Different from eusocial Hymenoptera, in which queens dominate reproduction and inhibit worker fertility, the primary reproductive caste in termites (kings and queens) can be replaced by neotenic reproductives derived from functionally sterile individuals. Feedback regulation of nestmate differentiation into reproductives has been suggested, but the sex specificity remains inconclusive. In the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, we tested the hypothesis that neotenic reproductives regulate worker-reproductive transition in a sex-specific manner. With this R. flavipes system, we demonstrate a sex-specific regulatory mechanism with both inhibitory and stimulatory functions. Neotenics inhibit workers of the same sex from differentiating into additional reproductives but stimulate workers of the opposite sex to undergo this transition. Furthermore, this process is not affected by the presence of soldiers. Our results highlight the reproductive plasticity of termites in response to social cues and provide insights into the regulation of reproductive division of labor in a hemimetabolous social insect.

  18. Assessment of genetically engineered Trabulsiella odontotermitis as a 'Trojan Horse' for paratransgenesis in termites.

    PubMed

    Tikhe, Chinmay Vijay; Martin, Thomas M; Howells, Andréa; Delatte, Jennifer; Husseneder, Claudia

    2016-09-05

    The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus is an invasive urban pest in the Southeastern USA. Paratransgenesis using a microbe expressed lytic peptide that targets the termite gut protozoa is currently being developed for the control of Formosan subterranean termites. In this study, we evaluated Trabulsiella odontotermitis, a termite-specific bacterium, for its potential to serve as a 'Trojan Horse' for expression of gene products in termite colonies. We engineered two strains of T. odontotermitis, one transformed with a constitutively expressed GFP plasmid and the other engineered at the chromosome with a Kanamycin resistant gene using a non- disruptive Tn7 transposon. Both strains were fed to termites from three different colonies. Fluorescent microscopy confirmed that T. odontotermitis expressed GFP in the gut and formed a biofilm in the termite hindgut. However, GFP producing bacteria could not be isolated from the termite gut after 2 weeks. The feeding experiment with the chromosomally engineered strain demonstrated that T. odontotermitis was maintained in the termite gut for at least 21 days, irrespective of the termite colony. The bacteria persisted in two termite colonies for at least 36 days post feeding. The experiment also confirmed the horizontal transfer of T. odontotermitis amongst nest mates. Overall, we conclude that T. odontotermitis can serve as a 'Trojan Horse' for spreading gene products in termite colonies. This study provided proof of concept and laid the foundation for the future development of genetically engineered termite gut bacteria for paratransgenesis based termite control.

  19. Charring does not affect wood infestation by subterranean termites

    Treesearch

    C.J. Peterson; P.D. Gerard; T.L. Wagner

    2007-01-01

    Fire is an important part of forest ecosystems, as is the insect fauna. Changes in wood brought aboutby fire may alter the ability of termites to use the wood, interrupting the decay cycle of woody debris.The ability of termites to find, infest, and feed upon wood after it had been charred was evaluated in

  20. Termite Control Studies in Panama

    Treesearch

    Raymond H. Beal

    1981-01-01

    Subterranean termite control studies in a tropic area (Panama) are described. Testing was first started in 1943 on Barro Colorado Island, which was formed when the Panama Canal was completed in the early 1900's. Materials tested included DDT (various concentrations and formulations), BHC, trichlorobenzene, sodium arsenite, pentachlorophenol, sodium flurosilicate,...

  1. Estimating the population size and colony boundary of subterranean termites by using the density functions of directionally averaged capture probability.

    PubMed

    Su, Nan-Yao; Lee, Sang-Hee

    2008-04-01

    Marked termites were released in a linear-connected foraging arena, and the spatial heterogeneity of their capture probabilities was averaged for both directions at distance r from release point to obtain a symmetrical distribution, from which the density function of directionally averaged capture probability P(x) was derived. We hypothesized that as marked termites move into the population and given sufficient time, the directionally averaged capture probability may reach an equilibrium P(e) over the distance r and thus satisfy the equal mixing assumption of the mark-recapture protocol. The equilibrium capture probability P(e) was used to estimate the population size N. The hypothesis was tested in a 50-m extended foraging arena to simulate the distance factor of field colonies of subterranean termites. Over the 42-d test period, the density functions of directionally averaged capture probability P(x) exhibited four phases: exponential decline phase, linear decline phase, equilibrium phase, and postequilibrium phase. The equilibrium capture probability P(e), derived as the intercept of the linear regression during the equilibrium phase, correctly projected N estimates that were not significantly different from the known number of workers in the arena. Because the area beneath the probability density function is a constant (50% in this study), preequilibrium regression parameters and P(e) were used to estimate the population boundary distance 1, which is the distance between the release point and the boundary beyond which the population is absent.

  2. Diversity of Hindgut Bacterial Population in Subterranean Termite, Reticulitermes flavipes

    Treesearch

    Olanrewaju Raji; Dragica Jeremic-Nikolic; Juliet D. Tang

    2017-01-01

    The termite hindgut contains a bacterial community that symbiotically aids in digestion of cellulosic materials. For this paper, a species survey of bacterial hindgut symbionts in termites collected from Saucier, Mississippi was examined. Two methods were tested for optimal genetic material isolation. Genomic DNA was isolated from the hindgut luminal contents of five...

  3. SciTech Connect

    Mauldin, J.K.; Kard, B.M.

    Minimum retentions of disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT) needed in slash pine, Pinus elliottii Engelm. variety elliottii, wood to provide maximum protection against 2 species of subterranean termites were determined in choice and no-choice laboratory tests. Efficacy criteria for DOT were greater or equal to 90% termite mortality and equal to or less than 5% loss in weight of treated wooden blocks. For termites fed only DOT-treated wood, 0.10 and 0.30% boric acid equivalent (BAE, percentage of boric acid based on dry weight of wood, assuming all boron is present as boric acid) protected wood from the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermesmore » flavipes (Kollar), and Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, respectively. When termites had a choice between treated or nontreated wooden blocks were not in contact with soil or exposed to rain, a BAE of 0.30% protected the wood from naturally occuring Reticulitermes sp. for 18 mo. In wooden structures under constant pressure from subterranean termites, concentrations greater than 0.54% BAE may be required to protect wood, especially against C. formosanus.« less

  4. Genetic Analysis of Termite Colonies in Wisconsin

    Treesearch

    R.A. Arango; D.A. Marschalek; F. Green III; K.F. Raffa; M.E. Berres

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to document current areas of subterranean termite activity in Wisconsin and to evaluate genetic characteristics of these northern, peripheral colonies. Here, amplified fragment-length polymorphism was used to characterize levels of inbreeding, expected heterozygosity, and percent polymorphism within colonies as well as genetic structure...

  5. Metavirome Sequencing of the Termite Gut Reveals the Presence of an Unexplored Bacteriophage Community

    PubMed Central

    Tikhe, Chinmay V.; Husseneder, Claudia

    2018-01-01

    The Formosan subterranean termite; Coptotermes formosanus is nutritionally dependent on the complex and diverse community of bacteria and protozoa in their gut. Although, there have been many studies to decipher the taxonomic and functional diversity of bacterial communities in the guts of termites, their bacteriophages remain unstudied. We sequenced the metavirome of the guts of Formosan subterranean termite workers to study the diversity of bacteriophages and other associated viruses. Results showed that the termites harbor a virome in their gut comprised of varied and previously unknown bacteriophages. Between 87–90% of the predicted dsDNA virus genes by Metavir showed similarity to the tailed bacteriophages (Caudovirales). Many predicted genes from the virome matched to bacterial prophage regions. These data are suggestive of a virome dominated by temperate bacteriophages. We predicted the genomes of seven novel Caudovirales bacteriophages from the termite gut. Three of these predicted bacteriophage genomes were found in high proportions in all the three termite colonies tested. Two bacteriophages are predicted to infect endosymbiotic bacteria of the gut protozoa. The presence of these putative bacteriophages infecting endosymbionts of the gut protozoa, suggests a quadripartite relationship between the termites their symbiotic protozoa, endosymbiotic bacteria of the protozoa and their bacteriophages. Other than Caudovirales, ss-DNA virus related genes were also present in the termite gut. We predicted the genomes of 12 novel Microviridae phages from the termite gut and seven of those possibly represent a new proposed subfamily. Circovirus like genomes were also assembled from the termite gut at lower relative abundance. We predicted 10 novel circovirus genomes in this study. Whether these circoviruses infect the termites remains elusive at the moment. The functional and taxonomical annotations suggest that the termites may harbor a core virome comprised of

  6. Endospore-forming filamentous bacteria symbiotic in termites: ultrastructure and growth in culture of Arthromitus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margulis, L.; Olendzenski, L.; Afzelius, B. A.

    1990-01-01

    Many morphologically distinguishable filamentous spore-forming bacteria symbiotic in the paunch (hypertrophied hindguts) of wood-eating insects have been seen since Arthromitus was first described and named as a plant by Leidy in 1850. Previous descriptions were inadequate for acceptance of the group in modern bacteriological literature. Twenty-two distinguishable arthromitids in nine different arthropod hosts are recorded on the basis of microscopic studies. Five are named, including two whose ultrastructure are detailed: Arthromitus chasei sp. nov. that lives in the damp wood-eating termite Zootermopsis angusticollis (from the west coast of North America) and Arthromitus reticulitermitidis sp. nov. from the subterranean west coast termite Reticulitermes tibialis. A pterotermiditis from the desert termite Pterotermitidis occidentis; A. zootermopsidis, also from Z. angusticollis; and A. cristatus (Leidy, 1881) from Reticulitermes flavipes of eastern North America are also named here. Characterized by trichomes that show a morphogenetic sequence from no spores through immature spores to mature spores with spore filaments, Arthromitus symbionts can be identified as members of the genus by light microscopy and habitat. Electron microscopy reveals their remarkable complexity. They attach by spore filaments to various objects including the host gut wall; their maturation extends distally toward the termite lumen. By surface sterilization of the termite, maceration of the paunch, exposure to boiling temperatures and plating on soft acetate agar, the heat resistant nature of the spores and facultatively aerobic nature of Arthromitus sp. (from Zootermopsis) was demonstrated.

  7. Termite Resistance of MDF Panels Treated with Various Boron Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Usta, Mustafa; Ustaomer, Derya; Kartal, Saip Nami; Ondaral, Sedat

    2009-01-01

    In this study, the effects of various boron compounds on the termite resistance of MDF panels were evaluated. Either borax (BX), boric acid (BA), zinc borate (ZB), or sodium perborate tetrahydrate (SPT) were added to urea-formaldehyde (UF) resin at target contents of 1%, 1.5%, 2% and 2.5% based on dry fiber weight. The panels were then manufactured using 12% urea-formaldehyde resin and 1% NH4Cl. MDF samples from the panels were tested against the subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Laboratory termite resistance tests showed that all samples containing boron compounds had greater resistance against termite attack compared to untreated MDF samples. At the second and third weeks of exposure, nearly 100% termite mortalities were recorded in all boron compound treated samples. The highest termite mortalities were determined in the samples with either BA or BX. Also, it was found that SPT showed notable performance on the termite mortality. As chemical loadings increased, termite mortalities increased, and at the same time the weight losses of the samples decreased. PMID:19582229

  8. Termite Species Distribution and Flight Periods on Oahu, Hawaii

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Reina L.; Grace, J. Kenneth; Mason, Makena; Krushelnycky, Paul D.; Spafford, Helen; Aihara-Sasaki, Maria

    2017-01-01

    Termites are economically-important structural pests, costing residents of Hawaii over $100 million annually. On Oahu, the last published termite swarming survey occurred from 1969 to 1971, and the last termite hand-collection survey occurred from 1998 to 2000. To contribute data on termite occurrences on Oahu, a light-trap survey took place from February 2011 to September 2012, and a hand-collection survey occurred from September to November 2012. Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, swarming was compared over the duration of the study, finding peak swarming in May 2011. C. formosanus alate activity density was regressed with environmental factors, finding a negative correlation with average wind speed and a positive correlation with average rainfall. Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) alates were observed in April, June, and July 2011 and in June 2012. Four species of termites were found in the hand-collection survey of 44 sites: Incisitermes immigrans (Snyder) (n = 8/44), C. formosanus (n = 2/44), Cryptotermes cynocephalus Light (n = 1/44), and Neotermes sp. (n = 1/44). This study contributes to distribution data for termite species on Oahu and records alate activity for two important termite pests. PMID:28587241

  9. Recommendations for treated-area choice assays with termites (Isoptera)

    Treesearch

    Chris J. Peterson; Patrick D. Gerard; Janice Ems-Wilson

    2005-01-01

    The repellency of catnip (Nepeta cataria) essential oil was evaluated in a treated-area choice assay with subterranean termites (Reticulitermes spp.). It appeared that fewer R. virginicus were found on the treated portion of a petri dish within a period of about 7d; R. flavipes was not...

  10. Evidence of cue synergism in termite corpse response behavior

    Treesearch

    Michael D. Ulyshen; Thomas G. Shelton

    2012-01-01

    Subterranean termites of the genus Reticulitermes are known to build walls and tubes and move considerable amounts of soil into wood but the causes of this behavior remain largely unexplored. In laboratory assays, we tested the hypothesis that Reticulitermes virginicus (Banks) would carry more sand into wooden blocks containing corpses compared to corpse-free controls...

  11. Termite nests as an abundant source of cultivable actinobacteria for biotechnological purposes.

    PubMed

    Sujada, Nikhom; Sungthong, Rungroch; Lumyong, Saisamorn

    2014-01-01

    A total of 118 actinobacterial isolates were collected from the three types of termite nests (mound, carton, and subterranean nests) to evaluate their potential as a source of bioactive actinobacteria with antimicrobial activity. The highest number (67 isolates) and generic abundance (7 known genera) of actinobacterial isolates were obtained from carton nests. Streptomyces was the dominant genus in each type of termite nest. In the non-Streptomyces group, Nocardia was the dominant genus detected in mound and carton nests, while Pseudonocardia was the dominant genus in subterranean nests. A discovery trend of novel species (<99% similarity in the 16S rRNA gene sequence) was also observed in the termite nests examined. Each type of termite nest housed >20% of bioactive actinobacteria that could inhibit the growth of at least one test organism, while 12 isolates, belonging to the genera Streptomyces, Amycolatopsis, Pseudonocardia, Micromonospora and Nocardia, exhibited distinct antimicrobial activities. Streptomyces sp. CMU-NKS-3 was the most distinct bioactive isolate. It was closely related to S. padanus MITKK-103T, which was confirmed by 99% similarities in their 16S rRNA gene sequences. The highest level of extracellular antimicrobial substances was produced by the isolate CMU-NKS-3, which was grown in potato dextrose broth and exhibited a wide range (6.10×10(-4)-1.25 mg mL(-1)) of minimum inhibitory concentrations against diverse pathogens. We concluded that termite nests are an abundant source of bioactive strains of cultivable actinobacteria for future biotechnological needs.

  12. Termite Nests as an Abundant Source of Cultivable Actinobacteria for Biotechnological Purposes

    PubMed Central

    Sujada, Nikhom; Sungthong, Rungroch; Lumyong, Saisamorn

    2014-01-01

    A total of 118 actinobacterial isolates were collected from the three types of termite nests (mound, carton, and subterranean nests) to evaluate their potential as a source of bioactive actinobacteria with antimicrobial activity. The highest number (67 isolates) and generic abundance (7 known genera) of actinobacterial isolates were obtained from carton nests. Streptomyces was the dominant genus in each type of termite nest. In the non-Streptomyces group, Nocardia was the dominant genus detected in mound and carton nests, while Pseudonocardia was the dominant genus in subterranean nests. A discovery trend of novel species (<99% similarity in the 16S rRNA gene sequence) was also observed in the termite nests examined. Each type of termite nest housed >20% of bioactive actinobacteria that could inhibit the growth of at least one test organism, while 12 isolates, belonging to the genera Streptomyces, Amycolatopsis, Pseudonocardia, Micromonospora and Nocardia, exhibited distinct antimicrobial activities. Streptomyces sp. CMU-NKS-3 was the most distinct bioactive isolate. It was closely related to S. padanus MITKK-103T, which was confirmed by 99% similarities in their 16S rRNA gene sequences. The highest level of extracellular antimicrobial substances was produced by the isolate CMU-NKS-3, which was grown in potato dextrose broth and exhibited a wide range (6.10×10−4–1.25 mg mL−1) of minimum inhibitory concentrations against diverse pathogens. We concluded that termite nests are an abundant source of bioactive strains of cultivable actinobacteria for future biotechnological needs. PMID:24909709

  13. Colony social organization and population genetic structure of an introduced population of formosan subterranean termite from New Orleans, Louisiana.

    PubMed

    Husseneder, Claudia; Messenger, Matthew T; Su, Nan-Yao; Grace, J Kenneth; Vargo, Edward L

    2005-10-01

    The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, is an invasive species in many parts of the world, including the U.S. mainland. The reasons for its invasive success may have to do with the flexible social and spatial organization of colonies. We investigated the population and breeding structure of 14 C. formosanus colonies in Louis Armstrong Park, New Orleans, LA. This population has been the focus of extensive study for many years, providing the opportunity to relate aspects of colony breeding structure to previous findings on colony characteristics such as body weight and number of workers, wood consumption, and intercolony aggression. Eight colonies were headed by a single pair of outbred reproductives (simple families), whereas six colonies were headed by low numbers of multiple kings and/or queens that were likely the neotenic descendants of the original colony (extended families). Within the foraging area of one large extended family colony, we found genetic differentiation among different collection sites, suggesting the presence of separate reproductive centers. No significant difference between simple family colonies and extended family colonies was found in worker body weight, soldier body weight, foraging area, population size, or wood consumption. However, level of inbreeding within colonies was negatively correlated with worker body weight and positively correlated with wood consumption. Also, genetic distance between colonies was positively correlated with aggression levels, suggesting a genetic basis to nestmate discrimination cues in this termite population. No obvious trait associated with colony reproductive structure was found that could account for the invasion success of this species.

  14. Swarming of the Formosan Subteranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in Southern Mississippi

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Swarms of Formosan subterranean termites (FST) in Southern Mississippi were monitored from mid-April through late June, 2007-2009. Distribution of swarming colonies was recorded at 69 traps within Poplarville (Pearl River County) and an additional 45-65 traps, spaced at 1-5 mile (1.6-8 km) intervals...

  15. Factors affecting post-flight behavior in primary reproductives of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Park, Yong Ihl; Bland, John M; Raina, Ashok K

    2004-06-01

    After swarming, reproductive dealates of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus, run together in tandem. The tandem running is an age-related behavioral activity in C. formosanus. This behavior was not evoked in pre-flight alates less than 6-d-old that were artificially dealated. Female age was more important than male age for evoking tandem behavior. Females and males, older than 35 days, did not exhibit this behavior. Mating status was not important for female and male dealates to form the tandem pairs. The titers of the major tergal gland component, trilinolein, did not decline significantly and remained high, not only in virgin females, but also in mated females for a period of time after swarming. On the other hand, increasing amounts of the female-specific compound trilinolein were detected in male dealates 7, 14, and 42 days after pairing. This suggests that trilinolein in the females might be transferred to the males as a nuptial gift in C. formosanus. In addition, females have structurally different lateral setae that may constitute a morphological factor involved in the tandem behavior in this species. Covering the setae with dimethyl sulfoxide prevented the tandem behavior.

  16. Higher-order cumulants and spectral kurtosis for early detection of subterranean termites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Rosa, Juan José González; Moreno Muñoz, Antonio

    2008-02-01

    This paper deals with termite detection in non-favorable SNR scenarios via signal processing using higher-order statistics. The results could be extrapolated to all impulse-like insect emissions; the situation involves non-destructive termite detection. Fourth-order cumulants in time and frequency domains enhance the detection and complete the characterization of termite emissions, non-Gaussian in essence. Sliding higher-order cumulants offer distinctive time instances, as a complement to the sliding variance, which only reveal power excesses in the signal; even for low-amplitude impulses. The spectral kurtosis reveals non-Gaussian characteristics (the peakedness of the probability density function) associated to these non-stationary measurements, specially in the near ultrasound frequency band. Contrasted estimators have been used to compute the higher-order statistics. The inedited findings are shown via graphical examples.

  17. Directional change in tunneling of subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in response to decayed wood attractants.

    PubMed

    Su, Nan-Yao

    2005-04-01

    Wood discs decayed with brown rot fungi and polymer discs impregnated with acetone extract of decayed wood were embedded in sand of a two-dimensional foraging arena to evaluate their attractant potential in directing termite tunnels toward them. Termites were released near one arena corner and were guided to follow the physical guideline of the arena edges. In the absence of the attractants, termites generally formed a relatively linear tunnel along the edges. When decayed wood discs or treated polymer discs were placed in wet sand near one side of the arena, termite tunnels departed from the arena edges and were oriented toward them. The attraction distance ranged from 12 to 18 cm. The attractant properties were most likely water soluble and permeated through wet sand to cause termites to change their orientation. The results demonstrated that when such attractants are placed near a bait station in the field, they may be used to direct termite foraging toward the station.

  18. Colony-level effects of imidacloprid in subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Parman, Vincent; Vargo, Edward L

    2010-06-01

    We determined the impact of imidacloprid (Premise) on colonies of Reticulitermes spp. (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) through soil applications in the field. We selected 11 houses in the Raleigh, NC, area with active termite infestations. In-ground monitoring stations (mean = 75.9 stations) were installed around each house, and samples of termites visiting the monitors, in mud tubes, as well as samples from wood debris in the yard, were collected monthly for up to 14 mo to determine the numbers and locations of colonies present before treatment. We used microsatellite genetic markers to identify individual colonies present on each property. All houses were treated with Premise 75 WSP by using an exterior perimeter/interior spot treatment. After treatment, termite samples were collected monthly for 3 mo and then quarterly for 2 yr to track the fate of colonies. Of the 12 treated colonies (those attacking structures), 75% disappeared within 90 d and were not detected again. In contrast, only 25% of 48 untreated colonies (located 2 m or further from the treatment zone) and 40% of the six likely treated colonies (located within 0.5 m of the treatment zone but not known to be attacking the structure) were not detected again during the study. Our findings are consistent with strong colony-level effects of soil treatments with imidacloprid, resulting in the suppression or elimination of Reticulitermes spp. colonies in many cases.

  19. Application of ground penetrating radar in detecting the hazards and risks of termites and ants in soil levees.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiuhao; Henderson, Gregg; Mao, Lixin; Evans, Ahmad

    2009-08-01

    A ground penetrating radar (GPR) technique was used to detect Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) and red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) hazards and risks (targets) in a soil levee at the London Avenue Canal in New Orleans, LA. To make this assessment, GPR signal scans were examined for features produced by termite or ant activities and potential sources of food and shelter such as nests, tree roots, and voids (tunnels). The total scanned length of the soil levee was 4,125 m. The average velocity and effective depth of the radar penetration was 0.080 m/ns and 0.61 m, respectively. Four hundred twenty-seven targets were identified. Tree roots (38), voids (31), fire ant nests (209), and metal objects (149) were detected, but no Formosan termite carton nests were identified. The lack of identified termite nests may be related to drowning events at the time to the flood. Based on the target density (TD), the two new floodwall and levee sections that were rebuilt or reinforced after they were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were determined to be at low potential risk from termites and ants. A merging target density (MTD) method indicated a high potential risk near one of the breached sections still remains. Foraging and nesting activity of Formosan subterranean termites and red imported fire ants may be a contributory factor to the levee failure at the London Avenue Canal.

  20. Ninety years of USDA publications reveal changes in termite management

    Treesearch

    Chris Peterson; Terence L. Wagner; Thomas G. Shelton; Joseph E. Mulrooney

    2008-01-01

    Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service (USDA-FS) released a revision of its popular booklet “Subterranean Termites — Their Prevention and Control in Buildings” (Home and Garden Bulletin #64) in print and electronic format (www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/misc/ misc_hg064.pdf)....

  1. Talua SINE biology in the genome of the Reticulitermes subterranean termites (Isoptera, Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Luchetti, Andrea; Mantovani, Barbara

    2009-12-01

    Studies on transposable elements in termites are of interest because their genome is in a permanent condition of inbreeding. In this situation, an increase in transposon copy number should be mainly due to a Muller's ratchet effect, with selection against deleterious insertions playing a major role. Short INterspersed Elements (SINEs) are non-autonomous retrotransposons, known to be stable components of eukaryotic genomes. The SINE Talua, first isolated from Reticulitermes lucifugus (Rhinotermitidae), is the only mobile element described so far in termites. In the present survey, Talua has been found widespread in the Isoptera order. In comparison with other non-termite SINEs, Talua diversity and distribution in the Reticulitermes genome demonstrate that Talua is an ancient component of termite genome and that it is significantly associated with other repeats. In particular, the element is found to be involved with microsatellite motifs either as their generator or because inserted in their nearby. Further, two new SINEs and a putative retrotranscriptase-like sequence were found linked to Talua. Talua's genomic distribution is discussed in the light of the available models on transposable element dynamics within inbred genomes, also taking into account SINE role as drivers of genetic diversity in counteracting inbreeding depression.

  2. Termite Control: Results of Testing at the U.S. Forest Service

    Treesearch

    Bradford M. Kard

    1998-01-01

    Liquid termiticide treatments to soil continue as the most widely used method to protect wooden structures from attack by both native and Formosan subterranean termites, and have been the mainstay of the pest control industry for decades. The Wood Products Insect Research Project was located at Gulfport, MS, until 1995, and is now headquartered on the Mississippi State...

  3. Effect of soil type and moisture availability on the foraging behavior of the Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Cornelius, Mary L; Osbrink, Weste L A

    2010-06-01

    This study examined the influence of soil type and moisture availability on termite foraging behavior. Physical properties of the soil affected both tunneling behavior and shelter tube construction. Termites tunneled through sand faster than top soil and clay. In containers with top soil and clay, termites built shelter tubes on the sides of the containers. In containers with sand, termites built shelter tubes directly into the air and covered the sides of the container with a layer of sand. The interaction of soil type and moisture availability affected termite movement, feeding, and survival. In assays with moist soils, termites were more likely to aggregate in top soil over potting soil and peat moss. However, termites were more likely to move into containers with dry peat moss and potting soil than containers with dry sand and clay. Termites were also significantly more likely to move into containers with dry potting soil than dry top soil. In the assay with dry soils, termite mortality was high even though termites were able to travel freely between moist sand and dry soil, possibly due to desiccation caused by contact with dry soil. Evaporation from potting soil and peat moss resulted in significant mortality, whereas termites were able to retain enough moisture in top soil, sand, and clay to survive for 25 d. The interaction of soil type and moisture availability influences the distribution of foraging termites in microhabitats.

  4. Reinvasion Dynamics of Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) Following the Elimination of All Detectable Colonies in a Large Area.

    PubMed

    Su, Nan-Yao; Guidry, Eric; Mullins, Aaron J; Cotonne, Carrie

    2016-04-01

    Following the elimination of all detectable termite colonies in the 32-acre Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans, LA, in 2002–2003, termite activity was monitored by using 808 Sentricon stations. Between January 2004 and July 2005, termites were found in 8–11 stations. In August 2005, the Park was flooded by Hurricane Katrina, but termites remained active. Post-Katrina termite activity levels of 16–21 stations were recorded throughout 2006, and in October 2007, the activity drastically increased to 43 stations. This rapid increase of termite activity continued into 2008, and a total of 94 stations harbored termite activities by July 2008. Termite activity peaked at 109 stations in September 2008 and then leveled down to 64 stations in March 2009. Termite activity in the Park between 2004 and 2009 was described by a Sigmoid model with a carrying capacity of 76 stations, and a Sigmoid mid-point of 1,202 d. In April 2009, a total of 14 colonies of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and one colony of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) were delineated by using microsatellite genotyping and mark–recapture protocol. Of the 15 colonies, eight near the Park border probably originated from existing colonies from outside, and seven C. formosanus colonies found inside the Park were probably initiated by alate pairs. Our results showed that, if surrounded by high population pressure of termites and no control measures are applied, an area cleared of termite populations by baits can be completely re-populated by termites from outside in 53 mo.

  5. Genetic Analysis of Termite Colonies in Wisconsin.

    PubMed

    Arango, R A; Marschalek, D A; Green, F; Raffa, K F; Berres, M E

    2015-06-01

    The objective of this study was to document current areas of subterranean termite activity in Wisconsin and to evaluate genetic characteristics of these northern, peripheral colonies. Here, amplified fragment-length polymorphism was used to characterize levels of inbreeding, expected heterozygosity, and percent polymorphism within colonies as well as genetic structure among populations sampled. Genetic analysis revealed two species of termites occur in Wisconsin, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and Reticulitermes tibialis Banks, both found in the southern half of the state. Colonies of both species in Wisconsin are thought to represent the northern boundary of their current distributions. Measurements of within colony genetic variation showed the proportion of polymorphic loci to be between 52.9-63.9% and expected heterozygosity to range from 0.122-0.189. Consistent with geographical isolation, strong intercolony genetic differences were observed, with over 50% of FST values above 0.25 and the remaining showing moderate levels of genetic differentiation. Combined with low levels of inbreeding in most collection locations (FIS 0.042-0.123), we hypothesize termites were introduced numerous times in the state, likely by anthropogenic means. We discuss the potential effects of these genetic characteristics on successful colony establishment of termites along the northern boundary compared with termites in the core region of their distribution. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2015. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  6. Monthly fluctuation of termite caste proportions (Isoptera) within fire ant mounds (hymenoptera: formicidae)

    Treesearch

    Thomas G. Shelton; J.T. Vogt; Marla J. Tanley; Arthur G. Appel

    2003-01-01

    Monthly abundance and caste proportions of subterranean termites (Reticulitennes spp.) inhabiting red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) mounds were recorded during 1999 and 2000 from a relatively undisturbed forest edge in Tuskegee, Alabama. Temperature data were also recorded at these mounds; mean air, soil, and mound temperatures followed a sine model over...

  7. Toxicity, tunneling and feeding behavior of the termite, Coptotermes vastator, in sand treated with oil of the physic nut, Jatropha curcas.

    PubMed

    Acda, Menandro N

    2009-01-01

    Oil of the physic nut, Jatropha curcas L. (Malpighiales: Euphorbiaceae), was evaluated in the laboratory for its barrier and repellent activity against the Philippine milk termite Coptotermes vastator Light (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). The study showed that J. curcas oil had anti-feeding effect, induced reduction in tunneling activity and increased mortality in C. vastator. Behavior of termites exposed to sand treated with J. curcas oil indicated that it is toxic or repellent to C. vastator. Toxicity and repellent thresholds, were higher than those reported for other naturally occurring compounds tested against the Formosan subterranean termite.

  8. Concentration-dependent degradation of three termiticides in soil under laboratory conditions and their bioavailability to eastern subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Saran, Raj K; Kamble, Shripat T

    2008-08-01

    Degradation and bioavailability of imidacloprid, fipronil, and bifenthrin applied at label rates ([AI], wt:wt in soil) in the loamy soil of Nebraska were determined over a 6-mo duration. Based on the calculated half-lives of the three termiticides, it was concluded that the degradation rate was lowest when a termiticide was applied at the highest label rate. Bioassays of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) conducted at 8, 31, 65, 90, 135, 160, and 180 d posttreatment showed an inverse relationship between the LT90 values and the variable concentrations. At day 180, exposures to all the termiticide-treated soil samples (concentration x termiticide) resulted in 100% mortality of R. flavipes workers. However, lower LT90 values were observed for termites exposed to soils treated with highest label rates even when the treated soils were aged in the lab for 6 mo. This suggested a higher bioavailability of these three termiticides when applied at higher application rates. Termite mortality was fastest for bifenthrin followed by fipronil and imidacloprid.

  9. Cross-reaction of recombinant termite (Coptotermes formosanus) tropomyosin with IgE from cockroach and shrimp allergic individuals

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Arthropod tropomyosins are considered pan-allergens and they are commonly cross-reactive. The Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus (C. formosanus) is closely related to cockroaches in the order Blattodea and is a common household pest in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. ...

  10. Chemical Fertility Signaling in Termites: Idiosyncrasies and Commonalities in Comparison with Ants.

    PubMed

    Korb, Judith

    2018-04-04

    Termites evolved eusociality independently from social Hymenoptera. As a common trait, reproductive monopoly is maintained through chemical communication. The queen (and in termites also a king) prevents workers from reproduction by conveying their reproductive status. In termites all soldiers are sterile, but workers' potential to reproduce differs between species. It ranges from totipotency in wood-dwelling lower termites where workers are a transient stage from which all other castes develop, to sterile workers in some higher termites. Intermediate are species in which workers can develop into replacement sexuals within the nest but not into winged sexuals. I summarize the patchy picture about fertility signaling that we currently have for termites, pointing also to potential conflicts over reproduction that differ from those in social Hymenoptera. Recent findings imply that, similar to many social Hymenoptera, wood-dwelling termites that live in confined nests use long-chain cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) as fertility signals. Yet other compounds are important as well, comprising proteinaceous secretions and especially volatiles. For a subterranean termite, two volatiles have been identified as primer pheromones that prevent reproductive differentiation of workers. It requires more data to test whether wood-dwelling termites use CHCs, while species with larger colonies and less confined nests use volatiles, or whether all species rely on multicomponent signals. Ultimately, we need more effort to model and test potential conflicts over reproduction between queens, kings and workers. Here results from social Hymenoptera cannot be transferred to termites as the latter are diploid and commonly inbred. This review illustrates promising future research avenues.

  11. Odor Aversion and Pathogen-Removal Efficiency in Grooming Behavior of the Termite Coptotermes formosanus

    PubMed Central

    Yanagawa, Aya; Fujiwara-Tsujii, Nao; Akino, Toshiharu; Yoshimura, Tsuyoshi; Yanagawa, Takashi; Shimizu, Susumu

    2012-01-01

    The results of biocontrol with entomopathogens in termites have been discouraging because of the strong social hygiene behavior for removing pathogens from termite colonies. However, the mechanism of pathogen detection is still unclear. For the successful application of biopesticides to termites in nature, it would be beneficial to identify substances that could disrupt the termite’s ability to perceive pathogens. We hypothesized that termites can perceive pathogens and this ability plays an important role in effective hygiene behavior. In this study, pathogen-detection in the subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus was investigated. We performed quantitative assays on conidia removal by grooming behavior using epifluoresence microscopy and Y-maze tests to examine the perception of fungal odor by termites. Three species each of high- and low-virulence entomopathogenic fungi were used in each test. The results demonstrated that termites removed conidia more effectively from a nestmate’s cuticle if its odor elicited stronger aversion. Highly virulent pathogens showed higher attachment rates to termite surfaces and their odors were more strongly avoided than those of low-virulence isolates in the same species. Moreover, termites appeared to groom each other more persistently when they had more conidia on their bodies. In brief, insect perception of pathogen-related odor seems to play a role in the mechanism of their hygiene behavior. PMID:23077609

  12. Hybridization of two major termite invaders as a consequence of human activity.

    PubMed

    Chouvenc, Thomas; Helmick, Ericka E; Su, Nan-Yao

    2015-01-01

    While hybridization of an invasive species with a native species is a common occurrence, hybridization between two invasive species is rare. Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus) and Asian subterranean termites (C. gestroi) are both ecologically successful and are the two most economically important termite pests in the world. Both species have spread throughout many areas of the world due to human activity; however, their distributions overlap in only three narrow areas because of distinct ecological requirements. In south Florida, where C. formosanus and C. gestroi are both invasive, the dispersal flight seasons of both species overlapped for the first time on record in 2013 and 2014. Pairings of heterospecific individuals were readily observed in the field and C. gestroi males preferentially engaged in mating behavior with C. formosanus females rather than females from their own species. In the laboratory, heterospecific and conspecific pairings had an equal colony establishment rate, but heterospecific incipient colonies had twice the growth rate of conspecific incipient colonies, suggesting a potential case of hybrid vigor. As all pre-zygotic barriers were lifted between the two species in the field, the apparent absence of post-zygotic barriers in the laboratory raises the possibility for introgressive hybridization in south Florida. While laboratory observations remain to be confirmed in the field, and the alate hybrid fertility is currently unknown, our results raise a tangible concern about the hybridization of two major destructive pest species. Such hybridization would likely be associated with a new economic impact.

  13. Toxicity, Tunneling and Feeding Behavior of the Termite, Coptotermes vastator, in Sand Treated with Oil of the Physic Nut, Jatropha curcas

    PubMed Central

    Acda, Menandro N.

    2009-01-01

    Oil of the physic nut, Jatropha curcas L. (Malpighiales: Euphorbiaceae), was evaluated in the laboratory for its barrier and repellent activity against the Philippine milk termite Coptotermes vastator Light (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). The study showed that J. curcas oil had anti-feeding effect, induced reduction in tunneling activity and increased mortality in C. vastator. Behavior of termites exposed to sand treated with J. curcas oil indicated that it is toxic or repellent to C. vastator. Toxicity and repellent thresholds, were higher than those reported for other naturally occurring compounds tested against the Formosan subterranean termite. PMID:20053119

  14. Evolution of the asexual queen succession system and its underlying mechanisms in termites.

    PubMed

    Matsuura, Kenji

    2017-01-01

    One major advantage of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction is its promotion of genetic variation, although it reduces the genetic contribution to offspring. Queens of social insects double their contribution to the gene pool, while overuse of asexual reproduction may reduce the ability of the colony to adapt to environmental stress because of the loss of genetic diversity. Recent studies have revealed that queens of some termite species can solve this tradeoff by using parthenogenesis to produce the next generation of queens and sexual reproduction to produce other colony members. This reproductive system, known as asexual queen succession (AQS), has been identified in the subterranean termites Reticulitermes speratus, Reticulitermes virginicus and Reticulitermes lucifugus and in the Neotropical higher termites Embiratermes neotenicus and Cavitermes tuberosus The studies presented here have uncovered the unusual modes of reproduction in termites and have aimed to identify their underlying mechanisms. The study of AQS, the mixed use of sexual and asexual reproduction, is of fundamental importance as it may provide a key to solve the evolutionary paradox of sex. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  15. Formyltetrahydrofolate Synthetase Gene Diversity in the Guts of Higher Termites with Different Diets and Lifestyles ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Ottesen, Elizabeth A.; Leadbetter, Jared R.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we examine gene diversity for formyl-tetrahydrofolate synthetase (FTHFS), a key enzyme in homoacetogenesis, recovered from the gut microbiota of six species of higher termites. The “higher” termites (family Termitidae), which represent the majority of extant termite species and genera, engage in a broader diversity of feeding and nesting styles than the “lower” termites. Previous studies of termite gut homoacetogenesis have focused on wood-feeding lower termites, from which the preponderance of FTHFS sequences recovered were related to those from acetogenic treponemes. While sequences belonging to this group were present in the guts of all six higher termites examined, treponeme-like FTHFS sequences represented the majority of recovered sequences in only two species (a wood-feeding Nasutitermes sp. and a palm-feeding Microcerotermes sp.). The remaining four termite species analyzed (a Gnathamitermes sp. and two Amitermes spp. that were recovered from subterranean nests with indeterminate feeding strategies and a litter-feeding Rhynchotermes sp.) yielded novel FTHFS clades not observed in lower termites. These termites yielded two distinct clusters of probable purinolytic Firmicutes and a large group of potential homoacetogens related to sequences previously recovered from the guts of omnivorous cockroaches. These findings suggest that the gut environments of different higher termite species may select for different groups of homoacetogens, with some species hosting treponeme-dominated homoacetogen populations similar to those of wood-feeding, lower termites while others host Firmicutes-dominated communities more similar to those of omnivorous cockroaches. PMID:21441328

  16. Diurnal respiration of a termite mound

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Hunter; Ocko, Samuel; Mahadevan, L.

    2014-11-01

    Many species of fungus-harvesting termites build largely empty, massive mound structures which protrude from the ground above their subterranean nests. It has been long proposed that the function of these mounds is to facilitate exchange of heat, humidity, and respiratory gases; this would give the colony a controlled climate in which to raise fungus and brood. However, the specific mechanism by which the mound achieves ventilation has remained a topic of debate, as direct measurement of internal air flows has remained difficult. By directly measuring these elusive, tiny flows with a custom sensor, we find that the mound architecture of the species Odontotermes obesus takes advantage of daily oscillations in ambient temperature to drive convection and gas transport. This contradicts previous theories, which point to internal metabolic heating and external wind as driving forces. Our result, a novel example of deriving useful work from a fluctuating scalar parameter, should contribute to better understanding insect swarm construction and possible development in passive human architecture, both of which have been spurred by previous research on termites. We acknowledge support from HFSP.

  17. Sex-pairing pheromone in the Asian termite pest species Odontotermes formosanus.

    PubMed

    Wen, Ping; Ji, Bao-Zhong; Liu, Shu-Wen; Liu, Cong; Sillam-Dussès, David

    2012-05-01

    The sex-pairing pheromone of the black winged subterranean termite, Odontotermes formosanus (Shiraki) (Isoptera, Termitidae), was investigated using headspace-SPME, GC-MS, GC-EAD, and attraction bioassays. Females secrete the pheromone from their sternal gland to attract males. The sex-pairing pheromone is composed of (Z,Z)-dodeca-3,6-dien-1-ol and (Z)-dodec-3-en-1-ol, estimated at 9 to 16.64 ng and 0.2 to 0.54 ng, respectively. Both short- and long-distance sex attraction bioassays were employed to show that these compounds act in synergy at long distance, but only (Z,Z)-dodeca-3,6-dien-1-ol is active at short distance. The pheromone may be useful in efforts to control this pest, which is considered one of the most harmful termite species in Southeast Asia.

  18. Escaping and repairing behaviors of the termite Odontotermes formosanus (Blattodea: Termitidae) in response to disturbance.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Hongpeng; Chen, Xuan; Wen, Yuzhen; Layne, Michael; Sun, Zhaohui; Ma, Tao; Wen, Xiujun; Wang, Cai

    2018-01-01

    The escaping behavior of termites has been documented under laboratory conditions; however, no study has been conducted in a field setting due to the difficulty of observing natural behaviors inside wood or structures (e.g., nests, tunnels, etc.). The black-winged termite, Odontotermes formosanus (Shiraki), is a subterranean macrotermitine species which builds extensive mud tubes on tree trunks. In the present study, 41 videos (totaling ∼2,700 min) were taken on 22 colonies/subcolonies of O. formosanus after their mud tubes were partially damaged by hand. In general, termites consistently demonstrated three phases of escape, including initiation (wandering near the mud-tube breach), individual escaping (single termites moving downward), and massive, unidirectional escaping flows (groups of termites moving downward). Downward moving and repairing were the dominant behavioral activities of individuals and were significantly more frequent than upward moving, turning/backward moving, or wandering. Interestingly, termites in escaping flows moved significantly faster than escaping individuals. Repairing behavior was observed shortly after the disturbance, and new mud tubes were preferentially constructed from the bottom up. When predators (i.e., ants) were present, however, termites stopped moving and quickly sealed the mud-tube openings by capping the broken ends. Our study provides an interesting example that documents an animal (besides humans) simultaneously carrying out pathway repairs and emergency evacuation without congestion.

  19. Escaping and repairing behaviors of the termite Odontotermes formosanus (Blattodea: Termitidae) in response to disturbance

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Yuzhen; Layne, Michael; Sun, Zhaohui; Ma, Tao

    2018-01-01

    The escaping behavior of termites has been documented under laboratory conditions; however, no study has been conducted in a field setting due to the difficulty of observing natural behaviors inside wood or structures (e.g., nests, tunnels, etc.). The black-winged termite, Odontotermes formosanus (Shiraki), is a subterranean macrotermitine species which builds extensive mud tubes on tree trunks. In the present study, 41 videos (totaling ∼2,700 min) were taken on 22 colonies/subcolonies of O. formosanus after their mud tubes were partially damaged by hand. In general, termites consistently demonstrated three phases of escape, including initiation (wandering near the mud-tube breach), individual escaping (single termites moving downward), and massive, unidirectional escaping flows (groups of termites moving downward). Downward moving and repairing were the dominant behavioral activities of individuals and were significantly more frequent than upward moving, turning/backward moving, or wandering. Interestingly, termites in escaping flows moved significantly faster than escaping individuals. Repairing behavior was observed shortly after the disturbance, and new mud tubes were preferentially constructed from the bottom up. When predators (i.e., ants) were present, however, termites stopped moving and quickly sealed the mud-tube openings by capping the broken ends. Our study provides an interesting example that documents an animal (besides humans) simultaneously carrying out pathway repairs and emergency evacuation without congestion. PMID:29576978

  20. Consumption of a durable termite bait matrix by subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) and resulting insecticidal activity.

    PubMed

    Hamm, Ronda L; DeMark, Joseph J; Chin-Heady, Eva; Tolley, Mike P

    2013-04-01

    A novel durable termite bait was developed to enable continuous bait availability and lengthen the monitoring interval to 1 year. Laboratory studies were conducted to determine the palatability and insecticidal activity of this bait to Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), R. virginicus (Banks), R. hesperus Banks, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Heterotermes aureus (Synder). Consumption of the blank durable bait matrix was significantly higher than consumption of a blank preferred textured cellulose matrix (PTC) by R. virginicus, R. flavipes and C. formosanus. R. flavipes, R. hesperus and H. aureus consumed significantly more durable bait than PTC when both contained the active ingredient noviflumuron. All bait treatments resulted in significant mortality relative to the untreated controls. Survivorship of R. virginicus, C. formosanus and H. aureus was 2% or less and not significantly different between the durable bait and PTC treatments containing noviflumuron. The durable bait matrix lagged behind the PTC matrix in mortality over time for all species tested except H. aureus. The durable bait was highly palatable and effective in inducing mortality to R. flavipes, R. virginicus, R. hesperus, C. formosanus and H. aureus in the laboratory. This unique bait matrix will be available to termites continuously and allows for an annual monitoring interval. The durability of this bait matrix is unprecedented, allowing for bait to remain active for years and thus providing continuous structural protection. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.

  1. A Miocene termite nest from southern Argentina and its paleoclimatological implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bown, Thomas M.; Laza, José H.

    1990-01-01

    A Miocene termitarium attributable to the extant termite Syntermes (Isoptera: Termitidae, Nasutitermitinae) is the first fossil termite nest reported from South America and possibly the oldest record of the Isoptera from that continent. The fossil remains consist of most of the periphery of the subterranean portion of a single Syntermes nest, including chambers and both major and minor systems of anastomosed galleries. The nest occurs in the upper part of a mature paleosol near the base of the pyroclastic and eolian Miocene Pinturas Formation.A new ichnogenus and ichnospecies, Syntermesichnus fon‐tanae, is proposed for this distinctive trace fossil. It differs from nests constructed by other members of the Nasutitermitinae in its architectural organization and its large size. The type locality is situated 20° south of the southernmost dispersion of extant Syntermes.The modern distribution of this termite is wholly neotropical, suggesting that at least part of southern Patagonia experienced a tropical to subtropical climate as late as the late‐early Miocene.

  2. Do Termites Avoid Carcasses? Behavioral Responses Depend on the Nature of the Carcasses

    PubMed Central

    Neoh, Kok-Boon; Yeap, Beng-Keok; Tsunoda, Kunio; Yoshimura, Tsuyoshi; Lee, Chow-Yang

    2012-01-01

    Background Undertaking behavior is a significant adaptation to social life in enclosed nests. Workers are known to remove dead colony members from the nest. Such behavior prevents the spread of pathogens that may be detrimental to a colony. To date, little is known about the ethological aspects of how termites deal with carcasses. Methodology and Principal Findings In this study, we tested the responses to carcasses of four species from different subterranean termite taxa: Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Reticulitermes speratus (Kolbe) (lower termites) and Microcerotermes crassus Snyder and Globitermes sulphureus Haviland (higher termites). We also used different types of carcasses (freshly killed, 1-, 3-, and 7-day-old, and oven-killed carcasses) and mutilated nestmates to investigate whether the termites exhibited any behavioral responses that were specific to carcasses in certain conditions. Some behavioral responses were performed specifically on certain types of carcasses or mutilated termites. C. formosanus and R. speratus exhibited the following behaviors: (1) the frequency and time spent in antennating, grooming, and carcass removal of freshly killed, 1-day-old, and oven-killed carcasses were high, but these behaviors decreased as the carcasses aged; (2) the termites repeatedly crawled under the aging carcass piles; and (3) only newly dead termites were consumed as a food source. In contrast, M. crassus and G. sulphureus workers performed relatively few behavioral acts. Our results cast a new light on the previous notion that termites are necrophobic in nature. Conclusion We conclude that the behavioral response towards carcasses depends largely on the nature of the carcasses and termite species, and the response is more complex than was previously thought. Such behavioral responses likely are associated with the threat posed to the colony by the carcasses and the feeding habits and nesting ecology of a given species. PMID:22558452

  3. Effect of vibratory soldier alarm signals on the foraging behavior of subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Inta, R; Evans, T A; Lai, J C S

    2009-02-01

    Termite soldiers produce a vibratory alarm signal to warn conspecific workers. This study recorded and characterized the alarm signals of Coptotermes acinaciformis (Froggatt) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) and then investigated the effect of playing these recorded alarm signals on C. acinaciformis feeding activity. Foraging groups of termites were offered paired wooden blocks: either one block, continuously stimulated with a vibratory alarm signal, paired with a nonstimulated block (the alarm treatment), continuously stimulated with a pink noise signal, paired with a nonstimulated block (control for nonspecific vibrations) or two nonstimulated blocks (control for environmental effects), for 4 wk. The amount of wood eaten in the blocks stimulated by the alarm signals was significantly less than the paired nonstimulated blocks, while there seemed to be no preference in the case of the pink noise playback or control for direction. Importantly, the termites seemed not to have adapted to the recorded alarm signal over the 4-wk duration of the experiment, unlike previous studies using nonbiologically derived signals.

  4. A novel gene from the takeout family involved in termite trail-following behavior.

    PubMed

    Schwinghammer, Margaret A; Zhou, Xuguo; Kambhampati, Srinivas; Bennett, Gary W; Scharf, Michael E

    2011-03-15

    This study investigated physiological and behavioral functions of a novel gene identified from the termite Reticulitermes flavipes. The gene, named deviate, encodes an apparent ligand binding protein from the takeout-homologous family. Initial studies were conducted to investigate deviate mRNA expression among termite castes and body regions, and changes in response to light-dark conditions, starvation, temperature, and juvenile hormone (JH). Deviate has ubiquitous caste and tissue expression, including antennal expression. Consistent with characteristics of other takeout family members, deviate expression is responsive to photophase conditions (p<0.1), and feeding, temperature, and JH (p<0.05). Using RNA-interference (RNAi) techniques, short-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) homologous to the deviate gene were synthesized and injected into worker termites, which were then subjected to bioassays designed to (1) induce caste differentiation or (2) measure various behavioral aspects of foraging and trail following. No impacts on JH-dependent caste differentiation were observable. However, trail following accuracy was significantly reduced in termites that received deviate siRNA injections, and this pattern generally mirrored deviate mRNA attenuation and recovery after RNAi. In a subsequent distance foraging bioassay, deviate-silenced termites exhibited equal feeding levels to controls, suggesting the deviate gene is not linked to general vigor or the ability/motivation of termites to move and forage. These findings are among the first linking the expression of a termite gene with eusocial behavior; they illustrate the connection between deviate expression and trailing behavior, which is a key evolutionary adaptation vital to subterranean social insects such as termites and ants. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Subterranean Termite Resistance of Polystyrene-Treated Wood from Three Tropical Wood Species.

    PubMed

    Hadi, Yusuf Sudo; Massijaya, Muh Yusram; Arinana, A

    2016-07-21

    The objective of this work was to investigate the resistance of three Indonesian wood species to termite attack. Samples from sengon (Falcataria moluccana), mangium (Acacia mangium), and pine (Pinus merkusii) were treated with polystyrene at loading levels of 26.0%, 8.6%, and 7.7%, respectively. Treated and untreated samples were exposed to environmental conditions in the field for 3 months. Untreated specimens of sengon, mangium, and pine had resistance ratings of 3.0, 4.6, and 2.4, respectively, based on a 10-point scale from 0 (no resistance) to 10 (complete or near-complete resistance). Corresponding resistance values of 7.8, 7.2, and 8.2 were determined for specimens treated with polystyrene. Overall weight loss values of 50.3%, 23.3%, and 66.4% were found for untreated sengon, mangium, and pine samples, respectively; for treated samples, the values were 7.6%, 14.4%, and 5.1%, respectively. Based on the findings in this study, overall resistance to termite attack was higher for treated samples compared to untreated samples.

  6. Subterranean Termite Resistance of Polystyrene-Treated Wood from Three Tropical Wood Species

    PubMed Central

    Hadi, Yusuf Sudo; Massijaya, Muh Yusram; Arinana, A.

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this work was to investigate the resistance of three Indonesian wood species to termite attack. Samples from sengon (Falcataria moluccana), mangium (Acacia mangium), and pine (Pinus merkusii) were treated with polystyrene at loading levels of 26.0%, 8.6%, and 7.7%, respectively. Treated and untreated samples were exposed to environmental conditions in the field for 3 months. Untreated specimens of sengon, mangium, and pine had resistance ratings of 3.0, 4.6, and 2.4, respectively, based on a 10-point scale from 0 (no resistance) to 10 (complete or near-complete resistance). Corresponding resistance values of 7.8, 7.2, and 8.2 were determined for specimens treated with polystyrene. Overall weight loss values of 50.3%, 23.3%, and 66.4% were found for untreated sengon, mangium, and pine samples, respectively; for treated samples, the values were 7.6%, 14.4%, and 5.1%, respectively. Based on the findings in this study, overall resistance to termite attack was higher for treated samples compared to untreated samples. PMID:27455331

  7. Behavioral and histological changes in the Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) induced by the chitin synthesis inhibitor noviflumuron.

    PubMed

    Xing, Lin; Chouvenc, Thomas; Su, Nan-Yao

    2014-04-01

    This study describes the behavioral and histological changes of the molting process in Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki caused by the chitin synthesis inhibitor noviflumuron. Termites exposed to noviflumuron initiated ecdysis as untreated individuals did; however, peristalsis contractions were weak and the expansion of the dorsal breach of the exoskeleton did not occur. Treated termites could not complete their molting process and died after the initiation of the ecdysis. Histological observations showed that the process of voiding the gut protozoa during premolting was not affected by the noviflumuron treatment. However, the formation of the new cuticle was disrupted resulting in the loss of integrity of the cuticle. The alteration of the cuticle was visible in the gizzard (foregut), the thoracic pleurons, and most of the exoskeleton. Muscles were partially able to reattach to the incompletely formed new cuticle, and muscle contractions resulted in tearing off the cuticle. Because the integrity of the newly formed cuticle was compromised by the noviflumuron treatment, we concluded that termites' death was caused primarily by the loss of hemolymph as a result of the damage done by the muscle contractions on the exoskeleton during the peristalsis. As the physiological homeostasis was disrupted, termites were too weak to shed their old cuticle, ultimately resulting in termite dying during the molting process.

  8. Effect of Soil Type and Moisture Availability on the Foraging Behavior of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This study examined the influence of soil type and moisture availability on termite foraging behavior. Physical properties of the soil affected both tunneling behavior and mud tube construction. Termites tunneled through sand faster than top soil and clay. In containers with top soil and clay, termi...

  9. Experimental verification and molecular basis of active immunization against fungal pathogens in termites.

    PubMed

    Liu, Long; Li, Ganghua; Sun, Pengdong; Lei, Chaoliang; Huang, Qiuying

    2015-10-13

    Termites are constantly exposed to many pathogens when they nest and forage in the field, so they employ various immune strategies to defend against pathogenic infections. Here, we demonstrate that the subterranean termite Reticulitermes chinensis employs active immunization to defend against the entomopathogen Metarhizium anisopliae. Our results showed that allogrooming frequency increased significantly between fungus-treated termites and their nestmates. Through active social contact, previously healthy nestmates only received small numbers of conidia from fungus-treated individuals. These nestmates experienced low-level fungal infections, resulting in low mortality and apparently improved antifungal defences. Moreover, infected nestmates promoted the activity of two antioxidant enzymes (SOD and CAT) and upregulated the expression of three immune genes (phenoloxidase, transferrin, and termicin). We found 20 differentially expressed proteins associated with active immunization in R. chinensis through iTRAQ proteomics, including 12 stress response proteins, six immune signalling proteins, and two immune effector molecules. Subsequently, two significantly upregulated (60S ribosomal protein L23 and isocitrate dehydrogenase) and three significantly downregulated (glutathione S-transferase D1, cuticle protein 19, and ubiquitin conjugating enzyme) candidate immune proteins were validated by MRM assays. These findings suggest that active immunization in termites may be regulated by different immune proteins.

  10. Durability of a novel durable bait for control of subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae): results of five-year field aging studies.

    PubMed

    Eger, J E; Hamm, R L; Demark, J J; Chin-Heady, E; Tolley, M P; Benson, E P; Zungoli, P A; Smith, M S; Spomer, N A

    2014-06-01

    A durable termite bait containing 0.5% noviflumuron was evaluated for physical durability, retention of active ingredient, consumption by termites, and toxicity to termites over 5 yr in field studies at locations in Indiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Plots in Indiana and Mississippi included both natural rainfall and irrigated plots, while plots in South Carolina received only natural rainfall. Samples collected every 3 mo for the first 4 yr were evaluated for consumption with a 7 d no-choice bioassay using Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar). Consumption and toxicity of 5 yr samples were evaluated in similar bioassays conducted for 42 d. Durable baits received from field sites had some cracking, and a small amount of external flaking, but no major deterioration based on visual observation. There were no significant differences in noviflumuron concentration over the 5-yr period and no trend toward reduced concentrations of noviflumuron over time. Consumption of aged durable baits over 4 yr was variable, but termites usually consumed more aged durable bait than fresh durable bait and the differences were frequently significant. There were some exceptions, but termites consumed significantly more fresh durable bait than aged durable bait in only 4% of observations. When 5 yr samples were evaluated, consumption was lowest for fresh durable bait and termites consumed significantly more aged durable bait from irrigated plots in Indiana and from both natural and irrigated plots in Mississippi than fresh durable bait. Survival of termites fed blank durable bait was significantly higher than that for termites fed any of the baits containing noviflumuron and there were no significant differences in survival among the noviflumuron durable baits. Our results suggest that the bait would be durable for at least 5 yr and possibly longer under most environmental conditions.

  11. Influence of a mineral insecticide particle size on bait efficacy against Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    Treesearch

    Thomas g. Shelton; Laurent Cartier; Terence L. Wagner; Christian Becker

    2007-01-01

    We examined the efficacy of termiticidal baits comprised of powdered acellulose and a mineral insecticide, cryolite crystals, in laboratory bioassays against pseudergates of Eastern subterranean termites [Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar)]. The influence of cryolite crystal size [0 (control), 0.2, and 20 pm diameter particles] on the overall mortality...

  12. A molecular phylogeny of Alpine subterranean Trechini (Coleoptera: Carabidae)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Alpine region harbours one of the most diverse subterranean faunas in the world, with many species showing extreme morphological modifications. The ground beetles of tribe Trechini (Coleoptera, Carabidae) are among the best studied and widespread groups with abundance of troglobionts, but their origin and evolution is largely unknown. Results We sequenced 3.4 Kb of mitochondrial (cox1, rrnL, trnL, nad1) and nuclear (SSU, LSU) genes of 207 specimens of 173 mostly Alpine species, including examples of all subterranean genera but two plus a representation of epigean taxa. We applied Bayesian methods and maximum likelihood to reconstruct the topology and to estimate divergence times using a priori rates obtained for a related ground beetle genus. We found three main clades of late Eocene-early Oligocene origin: (1) the genus Doderotrechus and relatives; (2) the genus Trechus sensu lato, with most anisotopic subterranean genera, including the Pyrenean lineage and taxa from the Dinaric Alps; and (3) the genus Duvalius sensu lato, diversifying during the late Miocene and including all subterranean isotopic taxa. Most of the subterranean genera had an independent origin and were related to epigean taxa of the same geographical area, but there were three large monophyletic clades of exclusively subterranean species: the Pyrenean lineage, a lineage including subterranean taxa from the eastern Alps and the Dinarides, and the genus Anophthalmus from the northeastern Alps. Many lineages have developed similar phenotypes independently, showing extensive morphological convergence or parallelism. Conclusions The Alpine Trechini do not form a homogeneous fauna, in contrast with the Pyrenees, and show a complex scenario of multiple colonisations of the subterranean environment at different geological periods and through different processes. Examples go from populations of an epigean widespread species going underground with little morphological modifications to

  13. Termiticidal activity of chitosan against the subterranean termites Reticulitermes flavipes and Reticulitermes virginicus

    Treesearch

    Olanrewaju Raji; Juliet D Tang; Telmah Telmadarrehei; Dragica Jeremic

    2018-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Chitosan is a derivative form of chitin, which is the major component of exoskeletons of arthropods and the cell walls of fungi. The antimicrobial activity of chitosan against lepidopterans, aphids, fungi and bacteria has been extensively investigated, but only one report on the termiticidal effect of chitosan on termites has been published. In this study,...

  14. Lack of divergence in seed ecology of two Amphicarpaea (Fabaceae) species disjunct between eastern Asia and eastern North America.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Keliang; Baskin, Jerry M; Baskin, Carol C; Yang, Xuejun; Huang, Zhenying

    2015-06-01

    Many congeneric species are disjunct between eastern Asia and eastern North America. No previous study has compared the seed biology of closely related disjunct taxa of legumes or of a diaspore-heteromorphic species. Our objective was to compare seed dormancy in two such sister species in the genus Amphicarpaea (Fabaceae). We investigated the ecology and ecophysiology of aerial and subterranean seeds of the amphicarpic species Amphicarpaea edgeworthii from China and compared the results to those published for its sister species A. bracteata from eastern North America. The seed coat of aerial seeds of A. edgeworthii is well developed, whereas the seed coat of subterranean seeds is not. Aerial seeds have combinational dormancy (physical dormancy [PY] + physiological dormancy [PD]) broken by scarification followed by cold stratification or by after-ripening and scarification; whereas subterranean seeds have PD broken by cold stratification. Aerial seeds formed a persistent soil seed bank, and subterranean seeds a transient soil seed bank. Aerial seeds of A. bracteata also have PY+PD and subterranean seeds PD. Subterranean seeds of both species are desiccation intolerant. Dormancy in neither aerial nor subterranean seeds of both species has diverged over geological time. Compared to subterranean seeds, aerial seeds of both species dispersed over longer distances. Seed dispersal ability and degree of dormancy of neither species fits the high-risk/low-risk (H-H/L-L) strategy found in many diaspore-dimorphic species. Rather, both species have an H-L/L-H strategy for these two life history traits. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  15. Methoprene and Temperature Effects on Caste Differentiation and Protein Composition in the Formosan Subterranean Termite, Coptotermes formosanus

    PubMed Central

    Tarver, Matthew R.; Florane, Christopher B.; Zhang, Dunhua; Grimm, Casey; Lax, Alan R.

    2012-01-01

    The utilization of multiple castes is a shared feature of social insects. In termites, multiple extrinsic factors have been shown to impact caste differentiation; for example, increased temperature has been shown to increase soldier production. Also, application of exogenous methoprene has also been demonstrated to increase soldier production. The objective of this investigation was to examine and correlate the effects of temperature variation and methoprene treatments on termite caste differentiation, and identify the resulting changes in protein levels. Our results indicate that worker—to—soldier differentiation is modulated by temperature, where a greater number of soldiers developed at a higher rate at higher temperatures compared to lower temperatures. We analyzed total protein by sodium dodecyl sulfate Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and N-terminal sequencing and found several changes. Specifically, four proteins affected by temperature change were identified: Hexamerin-1, Hexamerin-2, Endo-beta 1,4 glucanase, and myosin. These proteins were further examined for their response to temperature, assay length (time), and exposure to the juvenile hormone analog methoprene. Hexamerin-1 protein showed a temperature—and assay length—dependent effect, while Hexamerin-2, Endo-beta 1, 4 glucanase, and myosin protein levels were all affected by temperature, assay length, and exposure to methoprene. Our analysis allows the correlation of temperature, assay length, and presence of methoprene with specific changes in protein levels that occur during caste differentiation. These results can be directly applied to better understand the complex developmental factors that control termite differentiation and guide the use of juvenile hormone analogs to maximize efficiency of termite eradication in the field. PMID:22943185

  16. Resistance of Six Wood Products Used in Paneling to Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    Treesearch

    Bradford M. Kard; E.J. Mallette

    1997-01-01

    Six wood products used in wall paneling were tested for resistance to feeding damage by the eastern subterranean termite, Reticuli termesflavipes (Kollar). Alaska-cedar, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis (D. Don) Spach, fiber without wax and resin treatments normally used in paneling production was not a preferred food source in choice tests where all 6 wood products plus...

  17. Feasibility study for eradication of Reticulitermes flavipes from Endeavor, Wisconsin

    Treesearch

    Rachel A. Arango; Frederick Green

    2007-01-01

    Establishment of the Eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes in Endeavor, Wisconsin, in the early 1980s has caused significant damage to homes, businesses, and village properties over the years. Though precise reasons for successful establishment of the colony are still to be determined, we believe that the nearby lake and low-lying sandy soils have...

  18. Flight speed of tethered Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) alates

    Treesearch

    Thomas G. Shelton; X. Ping Hu; Arthur G. Appel; Terence L. Wagner

    2006-01-01

    Alates of the Eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) were collected over two flight seasons (2002 and 2004) and flown on flight mulls. Data were collected to test if alate mass, colony origin, or gender influenced flight speed. Flight speed ranged from 3.14 to 69.12 cm s-1 and the maximum distance flown...

  19. Caste-Specific and Sex-Specific Expression of Chemoreceptor Genes in a Termite.

    PubMed

    Mitaka, Yuki; Kobayashi, Kazuya; Mikheyev, Alexander; Tin, Mandy M Y; Watanabe, Yutaka; Matsuura, Kenji

    2016-01-01

    The sophisticated colony organization of eusocial insects is primarily maintained through the utilization of pheromones. The regulation of these complex social interactions requires intricate chemoreception systems. The recent publication of the genome of Zootermopsis nevadensis opened a new avenue to study molecular basis of termite caste systems. Although there has been a growing interest in the termite chemoreception system that regulates their sophisticated caste system, the relationship between division of labor and expression of chemoreceptor genes remains to be explored. Using high-throughput mRNA sequencing (RNA-seq), we found several chemoreceptors that are differentially expressed among castes and between sexes in a subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus. In total, 53 chemoreception-related genes were annotated, including 22 odorant receptors, 7 gustatory receptors, 12 ionotropic receptors, 9 odorant-binding proteins, and 3 chemosensory proteins. Most of the chemoreception-related genes had caste-related and sex-related expression patterns; in particular, some chemoreception genes showed king-biased or queen-biased expression patterns. Moreover, more than half of the genes showed significant age-dependent differences in their expression in female and/or male reproductives. These results reveal a strong relationship between the evolution of the division of labor and the regulation of chemoreceptor gene expression, thereby demonstrating the chemical communication and underlining chemoreception mechanism in social insects.

  20. Caste-Specific and Sex-Specific Expression of Chemoreceptor Genes in a Termite

    PubMed Central

    Mikheyev, Alexander; Tin, Mandy M. Y.; Watanabe, Yutaka; Matsuura, Kenji

    2016-01-01

    The sophisticated colony organization of eusocial insects is primarily maintained through the utilization of pheromones. The regulation of these complex social interactions requires intricate chemoreception systems. The recent publication of the genome of Zootermopsis nevadensis opened a new avenue to study molecular basis of termite caste systems. Although there has been a growing interest in the termite chemoreception system that regulates their sophisticated caste system, the relationship between division of labor and expression of chemoreceptor genes remains to be explored. Using high-throughput mRNA sequencing (RNA-seq), we found several chemoreceptors that are differentially expressed among castes and between sexes in a subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus. In total, 53 chemoreception-related genes were annotated, including 22 odorant receptors, 7 gustatory receptors, 12 ionotropic receptors, 9 odorant-binding proteins, and 3 chemosensory proteins. Most of the chemoreception-related genes had caste-related and sex-related expression patterns; in particular, some chemoreception genes showed king-biased or queen-biased expression patterns. Moreover, more than half of the genes showed significant age-dependent differences in their expression in female and/or male reproductives. These results reveal a strong relationship between the evolution of the division of labor and the regulation of chemoreceptor gene expression, thereby demonstrating the chemical communication and underlining chemoreception mechanism in social insects. PMID:26760975

  1. Toxicity of Fipronil in Mississippi Soil Types Against Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    Treesearch

    J. E. Mulrooney; P. D. Gerard

    2007-01-01

    Three soils (a silt loam, loamy sand, sandy loam) found in Mississippi and pure silica sand were treated with fipronil and bioassayed using eastern subterranean termites, Reticulitermes flavipes. Soils were treated with aqueous solutions of Termidor (fipronil) at concentrations of 0, 0.12, 0.25,2.5, 5.0 and 20.0 ppm (wt AI: wt soil) that brought the soils to 15%...

  2. Parvitermes (Isoptera, Termitidae, Nasutitermitinae) in Central America: Two new termite species and reassignment of Nasutitermes mexicanus

    PubMed Central

    Scheffrahn, Rudolf H.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The termite genus Parvitermes is now recognized on the Central American mainland to include Parvitermes mexicanus, new combination (previously in Nasutitermes) and two new species, Parvitermes mesoamericanus sp. n. and Parvitermes yucatanus sp. n., herein described from soldiers and workers. These three species, nine West Indian Parvitermes, and Antillitermes subtilis all share characteristic enteric valve spines that orientate against intestinal flow. All species are subterranean nesters and cellulose feeders. Evidence is mounting that generic-level endemicity may be completely absent among the West Indian nasutitermitine fauna and that its origins stem from Central America. PMID:27667954

  3. Methoprene and temperature effects on caste differentiation and protein composition in the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The utilization of multiple caste is a shared feature of many social insects. In termites, multiple extrinsic factors have been shown to impact caste differentiation; for example, temperature has been shown to increase soldier production. The objective of this investigation was to examine and corr...

  4. Termites create spatial structure and govern ecosystem function by affecting N2 fixation in an East African savanna.

    PubMed

    Fox-Dobbs, Kena; Doak, Daniel F; Brody, Alison K; Palmer, Todd M

    2010-05-01

    The mechanisms by which even the clearest of keystone or dominant species exert community-wide effects are only partially understood in most ecosystems. This is especially true when a species or guild influences community-wide interactions via changes in the abiotic landscape. Using stable isotope analyses, we show that subterranean termites in an East African savanna strongly influence a key ecosystem process: atmospheric nitrogen fixation by a monodominant tree species and its bacterial symbionts. Specifically, we applied the 15N natural abundance method in combination with other biogeochemical analyses to assess levels of nitrogen fixation by Acacia drepanolobium and its effects on co-occurring grasses and forbs in areas near and far from mounds and where ungulates were or were not excluded. We find that termites exert far stronger effects than do herbivores on nitrogen fixation. The percentage of nitrogen derived from fixation in Acacia drepanolobium trees is higher (55-80%) away from mounds vs. near mounds (40-50%). Mound soils have higher levels of plant available nitrogen, and Acacia drepanolobium may preferentially utilize soil-based nitrogen sources in lieu of fixed nitrogen when these sources are readily available near termite mounds. At the scale of the landscape, our models predict that termite/soil derived nitrogen sources influence >50% of the Acacia drepanolobium trees in our system. Further, the spatial extent of these effects combine with the spacing of termite mounds to create highly regular patterning in nitrogen fixation rates, resulting in marked habitat heterogeneity in an otherwise uniform landscape. In summary, we show that termite-associated effects on nitrogen processes are not only stronger than those of more apparent large herbivores in the same system, but also occur in a highly regular spatial pattern, potentially adding to their importance as drivers of community and ecosystem structure.

  5. Top-down network analysis characterizes hidden termite-termite interactions.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Colin; Russo, Laura; Marins, Alessandra; DeSouza, Og; Schönrogge, Karsten; Mortensen, David; Tooker, John; Albert, Réka; Shea, Katriona

    2016-09-01

    The analysis of ecological networks is generally bottom-up, where networks are established by observing interactions between individuals. Emergent network properties have been indicated to reflect the dominant mode of interactions in communities that might be mutualistic (e.g., pollination) or antagonistic (e.g., host-parasitoid communities). Many ecological communities, however, comprise species interactions that are difficult to observe directly. Here, we propose that a comparison of the emergent properties from detail-rich reference communities with known modes of interaction can inform our understanding of detail-sparse focal communities. With this top-down approach, we consider patterns of coexistence between termite species that live as guests in mounds built by other host termite species as a case in point. Termite societies are extremely sensitive to perturbations, which precludes determining the nature of their interactions through direct observations. We perform a literature review to construct two networks representing termite mound cohabitation in a Brazilian savanna and in the tropical forest of Cameroon. We contrast the properties of these cohabitation networks with a total of 197 geographically diverse mutualistic plant-pollinator and antagonistic host-parasitoid networks. We analyze network properties for the networks, perform a principal components analysis (PCA), and compute the Mahalanobis distance of the termite networks to the cloud of mutualistic and antagonistic networks to assess the extent to which the termite networks overlap with the properties of the reference networks. Both termite networks overlap more closely with the mutualistic plant-pollinator communities than the antagonistic host-parasitoid communities, although the Brazilian community overlap with mutualistic communities is stronger. The analysis raises the hypothesis that termite-termite cohabitation networks may be overall mutualistic. More broadly, this work provides support

  6. Termites Are Resistant to the Effects of Fire at Multiple Spatial Scales.

    PubMed

    Avitabile, Sarah C; Nimmo, Dale G; Bennett, Andrew F; Clarke, Michael F

    2015-01-01

    Termites play an important ecological role in many ecosystems, particularly in nutrient-poor arid and semi-arid environments. We examined the distribution and occurrence of termites in the fire-prone, semi-arid mallee region of south-eastern Australia. In addition to periodic large wildfires, land managers use fire as a tool to achieve both asset protection and ecological outcomes in this region. Twelve taxa of termites were detected by using systematic searches and grids of cellulose baits at 560 sites, clustered in 28 landscapes selected to represent different fire mosaic patterns. There was no evidence of a significant relationship between the occurrence of termite species and time-since-fire at the site scale. Rather, the occurrence of species was related to habitat features such as the density of mallee trees and large logs (>10 cm diameter). Species richness was greater in chenopod mallee vegetation on heavier soils in swales, rather than Triodia mallee vegetation of the sandy dune slopes. At the landscape scale, there was little evidence that the frequency of occurrence of termite species was related to fire, and no evidence that habitat heterogeneity generated by fire influenced termite species richness. The most influential factor at the landscape scale was the environmental gradient represented by average annual rainfall. Although termites may be associated with flammable habitat components (e.g. dead wood), they appear to be buffered from the effects of fire by behavioural traits, including nesting underground, and the continued availability of dead wood after fire. There is no evidence to support the hypothesis that a fine-scale, diverse mosaic of post-fire age-classes will enhance the diversity of termites. Rather, termites appear to be resistant to the effects of fire at multiple spatial scales.

  7. Termites Are Resistant to the Effects of Fire at Multiple Spatial Scales

    PubMed Central

    Avitabile, Sarah C.; Nimmo, Dale G.; Bennett, Andrew F.; Clarke, Michael F.

    2015-01-01

    Termites play an important ecological role in many ecosystems, particularly in nutrient-poor arid and semi-arid environments. We examined the distribution and occurrence of termites in the fire-prone, semi-arid mallee region of south-eastern Australia. In addition to periodic large wildfires, land managers use fire as a tool to achieve both asset protection and ecological outcomes in this region. Twelve taxa of termites were detected by using systematic searches and grids of cellulose baits at 560 sites, clustered in 28 landscapes selected to represent different fire mosaic patterns. There was no evidence of a significant relationship between the occurrence of termite species and time-since-fire at the site scale. Rather, the occurrence of species was related to habitat features such as the density of mallee trees and large logs (>10 cm diameter). Species richness was greater in chenopod mallee vegetation on heavier soils in swales, rather than Triodia mallee vegetation of the sandy dune slopes. At the landscape scale, there was little evidence that the frequency of occurrence of termite species was related to fire, and no evidence that habitat heterogeneity generated by fire influenced termite species richness. The most influential factor at the landscape scale was the environmental gradient represented by average annual rainfall. Although termites may be associated with flammable habitat components (e.g. dead wood), they appear to be buffered from the effects of fire by behavioural traits, including nesting underground, and the continued availability of dead wood after fire. There is no evidence to support the hypothesis that a fine-scale, diverse mosaic of post-fire age-classes will enhance the diversity of termites. Rather, termites appear to be resistant to the effects of fire at multiple spatial scales. PMID:26571383

  8. The Foraging Tunnel System of the Namibian Desert Termite, Baucaliotermes hainesi

    PubMed Central

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2010-01-01

    The harvester termite, Baucaliotermes hainesi (Fuller) (Termitidae: Nasutitermitinae), is an endemic in southern Namibia, where it collects and eats dry grass. At the eastern, landward edge of the Namib Desert, the nests of these termites are sometimes visible above ground surface, and extend at least 60 cm below ground. The termites gain access to foraging areas through underground foraging tunnels that emanate from the nest. The looseness of the desert sand, combined with the hardness of the cemented sand tunnels allowed the use of a gasolinepowered blower and soft brushes to expose tunnels lying 5 to 15 cm below the surface. The tunnels form a complex system that radiates at least 10 to 15 m from the nest with crossconnections between major tunnels. At 50 to 75 cm intervals, the tunnels are connected to the surface by vertical risers that can be opened to gain foraging access to the surrounding area. Foraging termites rarely need to travel more than a meter on the ground surface. The tunnels swoop up and down forming high points at riser locations, and they have a complex architecture. In the center runs a smooth, raised walkway along which termites travel, and along the sides lie pockets that act as depots where foragers deposit grass pieces harvested from the surface. Presumably, these pieces are transported to the nest by a second group of termites. There are also several structures that seem to act as vertical highways to greater depths, possibly even to moist soil. A census of a single nest revealed about 45,000 termites, of which 71% were workers, 9% soldiers and 6% neotenic supplementary reproductives. The nest consisted of a hard outer “carapace” of cemented sand, with a central living space of smooth, sweeping arches and surfaces. A second species of termite, Promirotermes sp. nested in the outer carapace. PMID:20672982

  9. The nest growth of the neotropical mound-building termite, Cornitermes cumulans: a micromorphological analysis.

    PubMed

    Cosarinsky, Marcela I

    2011-01-01

    The nests of Cornitermes cumulans K. (Isoptera: Termitidae), a very common termite in South American grasslands, display notable morphological transformations during the development of the colony. Young colonies inhabit small subterranean nests that develop into large, conspicuous, epigean mounds, inhabited by very populous colonies. Those macromorphological transformations are accompanied by micromorphological changes occurring gradually in the nest walls. The micromorphological changes during nest development described in the present study expand on previous macromorphological descriptions by explaining the re-organization of the soil components during nest growth. In subterranean nests, walls are composed of piles of lensshaped aggregates of soil material, each one surrounded by a thin organic coating. As the nest grows, mound walls are constructed by disassembling this first lenticular structure and rearranging the materials in a new fabric, where sand grains are loosely distributed among soil microaggregates of organic matter and clay. This is also a temporary construction, because the walls of large nests are composed of a porous mass of sands densely cemented with organic matter and clay in the mound, and a compact mass of the same components in the floor.

  10. The Nest Growth of the Neotropical Mound-Building Termite, Cornitermes cumulans: A Micromorphological Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Cosarinsky, Marcela I.

    2011-01-01

    The nests of Cornitermes cumulans K. (Isoptera: Termitidae), a very common termite in South American grasslands, display notable morphological transformations during the development of the colony. Young colonies inhabit small subterranean nests that develop into large, conspicuous, epigean mounds, inhabited by very populous colonies. Those macromorphological transformations are accompanied by micromorphological changes occurring gradually in the nest walls. The micromorphological changes during nest development described in the present study expand on previous macromorphological descriptions by explaining the re-organization of the soil components during nest growth. In subterranean nests, walls are composed of piles of lensshaped aggregates of soil material, each one surrounded by a thin organic coating. As the nest grows, mound walls are constructed by disassembling this first lenticular structure and rearranging the materials in a new fabric, where sand grains are loosely distributed among soil microaggregates of organic matter and clay. This is also a temporary construction, because the walls of large nests are composed of a porous mass of sands densely cemented with organic matter and clay in the mound, and a compact mass of the same components in the floor. PMID:22224433

  11. The Total Termite.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prestwich, Glenn D.

    1982-01-01

    Provides information on collecting and maintaining termites and for using these insects in behavioral studies (trail following, recognition, food choice, reproductive behavior, and behavior in a magnetic field) and termite control experiments (preventive construction techniques, termite repellents, using soil or wood pretreatment, and the bait…

  12. Efficacy of bait supplements for improving the rate of discovery of bait stations in the field by formosan subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Cornelius, Mary L; Lyn, Margaret; Williams, Kelley S; Lovisa, Mary P; De Lucca, Anthony J; Lax, Alan R

    2009-06-01

    Field tests of four different bait supplements were conducted in City Park, New Orleans, LA. The four bait supplements tested included two different formulations of decayed material, a sports drink, and the combination of an application of an aqueous solution of Summon Preferred Food Source disks with the disk itself. Although all the bait supplements in this study resulted in a slightly greater number of treated stations discovered compared with control stations, only the application of the aqueous solution combined with the disk caused a significant increase in the number of stations discovered by termites. This treatment resulted in a significantly greater rate of discovery of treated stations versus control stations after only 14 d in the field. Termites were able to discover six times as many treated as control stations after 14 d, 9 times as many after 28 d, and 12 times as many after 42 d. These findings provide evidence that the diffusion of an aqueous solution into the soil underneath monitoring stations significantly decreased the length of time required for termites to infest stations.

  13. Molting Site Fidelity in Workers of Formosan Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Kakkar, G; Osbrink, W; Mullins, A; Su, N-Y

    2017-12-05

    Spatial assessment of molting in workers of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki was conducted in laboratory-reared colonies using extended foraging arenas. Workers at a premolt stage were found concentrated in the nest or in a planar arena near the nest. However, molting individuals were found exclusively in the central nest and they stayed inside or near the central nest for at least 36 h postmolting. The absence of premolt workers at foraging sites suggests that the workers have an affinity to the nest for molting and the second study on nest-fidelity evaluation suggested that the workers molt in the proximity of eggs. The molting site fidelity by workers in a colony ensures that speeding up the time for mortality induced by chitin synthesis inhibitor (CSI) baits will not result in an inhibitory cascade of dead termites around the bait stations. Thus, speeding up the elimination of a C. formosanus colony using CSI baits with the addition of molt-accelerating compounds will not lead to secondary repellency. Reasons for the molting-site fidelity amongst workers in a colony are discussed. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. The “Alluvial Mesovoid Shallow Substratum”, a New Subterranean Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Ortuño, Vicente M.; Gilgado, José D.; Jiménez-Valverde, Alberto; Sendra, Alberto; Pérez-Suárez, Gonzalo; Herrero-Borgoñón, Juan J.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we describe a new type of subterranean habitat associated with dry watercourses in the Eastern Iberian Peninsula, the “Alluvial Mesovoid Shallow Substratum” (alluvial MSS). Historical observations and data from field sampling specially designed to study MSS fauna in the streambeds of temporary watercourses support the description of this new habitat. To conduct the sampling, 16 subterranean sampling devices were placed in a region of Eastern Spain. The traps were operated for 12 months and temperature and relative humidity data were recorded to characterise the habitat. A large number of species was captured, many of which belonged to the arthropod group, with marked hygrophilous, geophilic, lucifugous and mesothermal habits. In addition, there was also a substantial number of species showing markedly ripicolous traits. The results confirm that the network of spaces which forms in alluvial deposits of temporary watercourses merits the category of habitat, and here we propose the name of “alluvial MSS”. The “alluvial MSS” may be covered or not by a layer of soil, is extremely damp, provides a buffer against above ground temperatures and is aphotic. In addition, compared to other types of MSS, it is a very unstable habitat. It is possible that the “alluvial MSS” may be found in other areas of the world with strongly seasonal climatic regimes, and could play an important role as a biogeographic corridor and as a refuge from climatic changes. PMID:24124544

  15. Genome Sequence of Citrobacter sp. CtB7.12, Isolated from the Gut of the Desert Subterranean Termite Heterotermes aureus

    PubMed Central

    Fontes-Perez, Héctor; Olvera-García, Myrna; Chávez-Martínez, America; Rodriguez-Almeida, Felipe A.; Arzola-Alvarez, Claudio A.

    2015-01-01

    The draft genome of Citrobacter sp. CtB7.12, isolated from termite gut, is presented here. This organism has been reported as a cellulolytic bacterium, which is biotechnologically important because it can be used as a gene donor for the ethanol and biofuel industries. PMID:26543121

  16. Effect of global climate on termites population. Effect of termites population on global climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sapunov, Valentin

    2010-05-01

    The global climate is under control of factors having both earth and space origin. Global warming took place from XVII century till 1997. Then global cold snap began. This dynamics had effect on global distribution of some animals including termites. Direct human effect on climate is not significant. At the same time man plays role of trigger switching on significant biosphere processes controlling climate. The transformation of marginal lands, development of industry and building, stimulated increase of termite niche and population. Termite role in green house gases production increases too. It may have regular effect on world climate. The dry wood is substrate for metabolism of termites living under symbiosis with bacteria Hypermastigina (Flagellata). The use of dry wood by humanity increased from 18 *108 ton in XVIII to 9*109 to the middle of XX century. Then use of wood decreased because of a new technology development. Hence termite population is controlled by microevolution depending on dry wood and climate dynamics. Producing by them green house gases had reciprocal effect on world climate. It is possible to describe and predict dynamic of termite population using methods of mathematical ecology and analogs with other well studied insects (Colorado potatoes beetle, Chrisomelid beetle Zygogramma and so on). Reclamation of new ecological niche for such insects as termites needs 70 - 75 years. That is delay of population dynamics in relation to dynamics of dry wood production. General principles of population growth were described by G.Gause (1934) and some authors of the end of XX century. This works and analogs with other insects suggest model of termite distribution during XXI century. The extremum of population and its green house gases production would be gotten during 8 - 10 years. Then the number of specimens and sum biological mass would be stabilized and decreased. Termite gas production is not priority for climate regulation, but it has importance as

  17. Safe, Effective Use of Pesticides, A Manual for Commercial Applicators: Control of Wood Destroying Pests.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Extension Service (USDA), Washington, DC.

    This manual is designed to assist pesticide applicators in the category of wood destroying organisms to meet the requirements of the Michigan Department of the Agriculture for certification. The 10 sections included describe: (1) Subterranean termites; (2) Dampwood termites; (3) Drywood termites; (4) Powder-post beetles; (5) Old house borer; (6)…

  18. Termites and Forest Management in Australia

    Treesearch

    Don McG Ewart

    1991-01-01

    Termites have long been regarded as major pests of Australian forests. Drawing together research on termite ecology and mammal conservation, this paper argues that this perception is wrong; termites are a vital component of native forests.

  19. Termites as targets and models for biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Scharf, Michael E

    2015-01-07

    Termites have many unique evolutionary adaptations associated with their eusocial lifestyles. Recent omics research has created a wealth of new information in numerous areas of termite biology (e.g., caste polyphenism, lignocellulose digestion, and microbial symbiosis) with wide-ranging applications in diverse biotechnological niches. Termite biotechnology falls into two categories: (a) termite-targeted biotechnology for pest management purposes, and (b) termite-modeled biotechnology for use in various industrial applications. The first category includes several candidate termiticidal modes of action such as RNA interference, digestive inhibition, pathogen enhancement, antimicrobials, endocrine disruption, and primer pheromone mimicry. In the second category, termite digestomes are deep resources for host and symbiont lignocellulases and other enzymes with applications in a variety of biomass, industrial, and processing applications. Moving forward, one of the most important approaches for accelerating advances in both termite-targeted and termite-modeled biotechnology will be to consider host and symbiont together as a single functional unit.

  20. A Vacuum-Aspirator for Counting Termites

    Treesearch

    Susan C. Jones; Joe K. Mauldin

    1983-01-01

    An aspirator-system powered by a vacuum cleaner is described for manually counting termites. It is significantly faster and termite survival is at least as high as when using a mouth-aspirator for counting large numbers of termites.

  1. Review of termite forest ecology and opportunities to investigate the relationship of termites to fire

    Treesearch

    Christopher Peterson

    2010-01-01

    In forests, termites serve as “soil engineers,” translocating mineral soil to the surface, constructing macropores to improve water infiltration, increase soil minerals and organic carbon, facilitate the growth of microbes and affect the growth of vegetation. The future productivity of a forest site therefore depends to some degree on termite activity. Termites could...

  2. Temporal Assessment of Molting in Workers of Formosan Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Kakkar, G; Chouvenc, T; Osbrink, W; Su, N-Y

    2016-10-01

    Molt frequency of workers in laboratory-reared juvenile colonies and foraging population from field colonies of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki was determined using planar arenas in laboratory. Given that, chitin synthesis inhibitor (CSI)-incorporated baits disrupt the molting process of workers that comprises the major population of a termite colony, temporal assessment of molting frequency in workers can give insights into potential methods of reducing the time to eliminate a CSI-baited colony. In our study the 10-d observation of juvenile colonies of C. formosanus suggested average daily molting incidence of workers in a colony is 1.7 ±  0.3% (mean ± SD). The results from a time lapse study on foraging population of workers showed that on average there is a 44-d intermolt period for second-instar workers molting to third instar and 45 d for third-instar workers molting to fourth instar. At low temperature (21 °C), molting frequency of workers (0.6% per day) was significantly lower than that of workers at 27 °C (2.2% per day). Information from this study suggests that time to molt is an important component of total time for eliminating colonies treated with CSI baits and reduction in time lapse between two consecutive molts may reduce the time required for colony elimination. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Termite mound emissions of CH4 and CO2 are primarily determined by seasonal changes in termite biomass and behaviour.

    PubMed

    Jamali, Hizbullah; Livesley, Stephen J; Dawes, Tracy Z; Hutley, Lindsay B; Arndt, Stefan K

    2011-10-01

    Termites are a highly uncertain component in the global source budgets of CH(4) and CO(2). Large seasonal variations in termite mound fluxes of CH(4) and CO(2) have been reported in tropical savannas but the reason for this is largely unknown. This paper investigated the processes that govern these seasonal variations in CH(4) and CO(2) fluxes from the mounds of Microcerotermes nervosus Hill (Termitidae), a common termite species in Australian tropical savannas. Fluxes of CH(4) and CO(2) of termite mounds were 3.5-fold greater in the wet season as compared to the dry season and were a direct function of termite biomass. Termite biomass in mound samples was tenfold greater in the wet season compared to the dry season. When expressed per unit termite biomass, termite fluxes were only 1.2 (CH(4)) and 1.4 (CO(2))-fold greater in the wet season as compared to the dry season and could not explain the large seasonal variations in mound fluxes of CH(4) and CO(2). Seasonal variation in both gas diffusivity through mound walls and CH(4) oxidation by mound material was negligible. These results highlight for the first time that seasonal termite population dynamics are the main driver for the observed seasonal differences in mound fluxes of CH(4) and CO(2). These findings highlight the need to combine measurements of gas fluxes from termite mounds with detailed studies of termite population dynamics to reduce the uncertainty in quantifying seasonal variations in termite mound fluxes of CH(4) and CO(2).

  4. Estimated Losses Caused by Wood Products Insects During 1970 for Single-Family Dwellings in 11 Southern States

    Treesearch

    Lonnie H. Williams; Richard V. Smythe

    1979-01-01

    In 1970, owners of single-family dwellings in 11 southern States spent an estimated $143 million (1976 dollars) to prevent and control subterranean termites and wood-destroying beetles. Losses incorporated into this estimate include: $79.4 million for corrective or remedial termite treatments, $13.8 million for preventive or pretreatment of termites, $12.9 million for...

  5. Effect of Seasonal Changes in Soil Temperature and Moisture on Wood Consumption and Foraging Activity of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The objective of this study was to determine whether seasonal changes cause significant effects on the foraging activity and wood consumption of C. formosanus in New Orleans and how changes in specific climatic variables affect termite foraging behavior. There was a significant correlation between w...

  6. Acoustical tree evaluation of Coptotermes Formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) with imidacloprid and noviflumeron in historic Jackson Square, New Orleans, Louisiana

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Nine years of periodic acoustical monitoring of 93 trees active with Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, evaluated imidacloprid tree foam and noviflumuron bait on activity in trees. Long term, imidacloprid suppressed but did not eliminate termite activity in treated trees...

  7. Termites, hemimetabolous diploid white ants?

    PubMed

    Korb, Judith

    2008-09-29

    Ants and termites are the most abundant animals on earth. Their ecological success is attributed to their social life. They live in colonies consisting of few reproducing individuals, while the large majority of colony members (workers/soldiers) forego reproduction at least temporarilly. Despite their apparent resemblance in social organisation, both groups evolved social life independently. Termites are basically social cockroaches, while ants evolved from predatory wasps. In this review, I will concentrate on termites with an ancestral life type, the wood-dwelling termites, to compare them with ants. Their different ancestries provided both groups with different life history pre-adaptations for social evolution. Like their closest relatives, the woodroaches, wood-dwelling termites live inside their food, a piece of wood. Thus, intensive costly food provisioning of their young is not necessary, especially as young instars are rather independent due to their hemimetabolous development. In contrast, ants are progressive food provisioners which have to care intensively for their helpless brood. Corresponding to the precocial - altricial analogy, helping by workers is selected in ants, while new evidence suggests that wood-dwelling termite workers are less engaged in brood care. Rather they seem to stay in the nest because there is generally low selection for dispersal. The nest presents a safe haven with no local resource competition as long as food is abundant (which is generally the case), while founding a new colony is very risky. Despite these differences between ants and termites, their common dwelling life style resulted in convergent evolution, especially winglessness, that probably accounts for the striking similarity between both groups. In ants, all workers are wingless and winglessness in sexuals evolved in several taxa as a derived trait. In wood-dwelling termites, workers are by default wingless as they are immatures. These immatures can develop into

  8. Cultural significance of termites in sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    van Huis, Arnold

    2017-01-26

    The number of termite species in the world is more than 2500, and Africa with more than 1000 species has the richest intercontinental diversity. The family Termitidae contains builders of great mounds up to 5 m high. Colonies are composed of casts: a queen, a king, soldiers and workers. Some species of termite cultivate specialised fungi to digest cellulose. Termites constitute 10% of all animal biomass in the tropics. The purpose of the study was to make an overview of how termites are utilized, perceived and experienced in daily life across sub-Saharan Africa. Ethno-entomological information on termites (Isoptera) in sub-Saharan Africa was collected by: (1) interviews with more than 300 people from about 120 ethnic groups from 27 countries in the region; (2) library studies in Africa, London, Paris and Leiden. Vernacular names relate to mounds, insects as food, the swarming, and the behaviour of termites. Swarming reproductive, soldiers and queens are collected as food. There are many different ways to harvest them. Termites can also be used as feed for poultry or as bait to catch birds and fish. The mushrooms that grow each year from the fungus gardens on the termite mounds are eaten. The soldiers, the fungus gardens and the soil of termite mounds are used for multiple medicinal purposes. Mounds and soil of termites have numerous functions: for geochemical prospecting, making bricks, plastering houses, making pots, and for storage. Termite soil is often used as fertilizer. The act of eating soil (geophagy) among women, especially those that are pregnant, is practised all over Africa. The mounds can serve as burying places and are often associated with the spiritual world, especially containing the spirits of ancestors. Termites also play a role as oracle, in superstitious beliefs, in art and literature. The following characteristics make termites so appealing: the dominance in the landscape, the social organization, the destructive power, and the provision of

  9. Chemical composition, antifeedant, repellent, and toxicity activities of the rhizomes of galangal, Alpinia galanga against Asian subterranean termites, Coptotermes gestroi and Coptotermes curvignathus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Fauziah; Subramanian, Partiban; Ibrahim, Halijah; Abdul Malek, Sri Nurestri; Lee, Guan Serm; Hong, Sok Lai

    2015-01-01

    Dual choice bioassays were used to evaluate the antifeedant property of essential oil and methanolic extract of Alpinia galanga (L.) (locally known as lengkuas) against two species of termites, Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) and Coptotermes curvignathus (Holmgren) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). A 4-cm-diameter paper disc treated with A. galanga essential oil and another treated with either methanol or hexane as control were placed in a petri dish with 10 termites. Mean consumption of paper discs (miligram) treated with 2,000 ppm of essential oil by C. gestroi was 3.30 ± 0.24 mg and by C. curvignathus was 3.32 ± 0.24 mg. A. galanga essential oil showed significant difference in antifeedant effect, 2,000 ppm of A. galanga essential oil was considered to be the optimum concentration that gave maximum antifeedant effect. The essential oil composition was determined using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The major component of the essential oil was 1,8-cineol (61.9%). Antifeedant bioassay using 500 ppm of 1,8-cineol showed significant reduction in paper consumption by both termite species. Thus, the bioactive agent in A. galangal essential oil causing antifeeding activity was identified as 1,8-cineol. Repellent activity shows that 250 ppm of 1,8-cineol caused 50.00 ± 4.47% repellency for C. gestroi, whereas for C. curvignathus 750 ppm of 1,8-cineol was needed to cause similar repellent activity (56.67 ± 3.33%). C. curvignathus is more susceptible compare to C. gestroi in Contact Toxicity study, the lethal dose (LD50) of C. curvignathus was 945 mg/kg, whereas LD50 value for C. gestroi was 1,102 mg/kg. Hence 1,8-cineol may be developed as an alternative control against termite in sustainable agriculture practices. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  10. Chemical Composition, Antifeedant, Repellent, and Toxicity Activities of the Rhizomes of Galangal, Alpinia galanga Against Asian Subterranean Termites, Coptotermes gestroi and Coptotermes curvignathus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    PubMed Central

    Abdullah, Fauziah; Subramanian, Partiban; Ibrahim, Halijah; Abdul Malek, Sri Nurestri; Lee, Guan Serm; Hong, Sok Lai

    2015-01-01

    Dual choice bioassays were used to evaluate the antifeedant property of essential oil and methanolic extract of Alpinia galanga (L.) (locally known as lengkuas) against two species of termites, Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) and Coptotermes curvignathus (Holmgren) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). A 4-cm-diameter paper disc treated with A. galanga essential oil and another treated with either methanol or hexane as control were placed in a petri dish with 10 termites. Mean consumption of paper discs (miligram) treated with 2,000 ppm of essential oil by C. gestroi was 3.30 ± 0.24 mg and by C. curvignathus was 3.32 ± 0.24 mg. A. galanga essential oil showed significant difference in antifeedant effect, 2,000 ppm of A. galanga essential oil was considered to be the optimum concentration that gave maximum antifeedant effect. The essential oil composition was determined using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The major component of the essential oil was 1,8-cineol (61.9%). Antifeedant bioassay using 500 ppm of 1,8-cineol showed significant reduction in paper consumption by both termite species. Thus, the bioactive agent in A. galangal essential oil causing antifeeding activity was identified as 1,8-cineol. Repellent activity shows that 250 ppm of 1,8-cineol caused 50.00 ± 4.47% repellency for C. gestroi, whereas for C. curvignathus 750 ppm of 1,8-cineol was needed to cause similar repellent activity (56.67 ± 3.33%). C. curvignathus is more susceptible compare to C. gestroi in Contact Toxicity study, the lethal dose (LD50) of C. curvignathus was 945 mg/kg, whereas LD50 value for C. gestroi was 1,102 mg/kg. Hence 1,8-cineol may be developed as an alternative control against termite in sustainable agriculture practices. PMID:25688085

  11. Chemical warfare in termites.

    PubMed

    Sobotník, Jan; Jirosová, Anna; Hanus, Robert

    2010-09-01

    The rapid development of analytical methods in the last four decades has led to the discovery of a fascinating diversity of defensive chemicals used by termites. The last exhaustive review on termite defensive chemicals was published by G.D. Prestwich in 1984. In this text, we aim to fill the gap of the past 25 years and overview all of the relevant primary sources about the chemistry of termite defense (126 original papers, see Fig. 1 and online supplementary material) along with related biological aspects, such as the anatomy of defensive glands and their functional mechanisms, alarm communication, and the evolutionary significance of these defensive elements.

  12. Unique zinc mass in mandibles separates drywood termites from other groups of termites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cribb, Bronwen W.; Stewart, Aaron; Huang, Han; Truss, Rowan; Noller, Barry; Rasch, Ronald; Zalucki, Myron P.

    2008-05-01

    Previously, the presence of metals in arthropod mandibles has been linked with harder cuticle, and in termites, a 20% increase in hardness has been found for mandibles containing major quantities of zinc. The current study utilises electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis to assess incidence and abundance of metals in all extant subfamilies of the Isoptera. The basal clades contain no zinc and little to no manganese in the cutting edge of the mandible cuticle, suggesting that these states are ancestral for termites. However, experimentation with mandibles in vitro indicates the presence of some elements of the cuticular biochemistry necessary to enable uptake of zinc. The Termopsidae, Serritermitidae, Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae all contain minor quantities of manganese, while trace to minor quantities of zinc occur in all except the Serritermitidae. In contrast, all Kalotermitidae or drywood termites contain major levels of zinc in the mandible edge. Diet and life type are explored as links to metal profiles across the termites. The presence of harder mandibles in the drywood termites may be related to lack of access to free water with which to moisten wood. Scratch tests were applied to a set of mandibles. The coefficient of friction for Cryptotermes primus (Kalotermitidae) mandibles, when compared with species from other subfamilies, indicates that zinc-containing mandibles are likely to be more scratch resistant.

  13. Are termite mounds biofilters for methane? - Challenges and new approaches to quantify methane oxidation in termite mounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nauer, Philipp A.; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Bristow, Mila; Arndt, Stefan K.

    2015-04-01

    Methane emissions from termites contribute around 3% to global methane in the atmosphere, although the total source estimate for termites is the most uncertain among all sources. In tropical regions, the relative source contribution of termites can be far higher due to the high biomass and relative importance of termites in plant decomposition. Past research focused on net emission measurements and their variability, but little is known about underlying processes governing these emissions. In particular, microbial oxidation of methane (MOX) within termite mounds has rarely been investigated. In well-studied ecosystems featuring an oxic matrix above an anoxic methane-producing habitat (e.g. landfills or sediments), the fraction of oxidized methane (fox) can reach up to 90% of gross production. However, conventional mass-balance approaches to apportion production and consumption processes can be challenging to apply in the complex-structured and almost inaccessible environment of a termite mound. In effect, all field-based data on termite-mound MOX is based on one study that measured isotopic shifts in produced and emitted methane. In this study a closed-system isotope fractionation model was applied and estimated fox ranged from 10% to almost 100%. However, it is shown here that by applying an open-system isotope-pool model, the measured isotopic shifts can also be explained by physical transport of methane alone. Different field-based methods to quantify MOX in termite mounds are proposed which do not rely on assumptions of physical gas transport. A simple approach is the use of specific inhibitors for MOX, e.g. difluoromethane (CH2F2), combined with chamber-based flux measurements before and after their application. Data is presented on the suitability of different inhibitors and first results of their application in the field. Alternatively, gas-tracer methods allow the quantification of methane oxidation and reaction kinetics without knowledge of physical gas

  14. Termite mounds harness diurnal temperature oscillations for ventilation

    PubMed Central

    King, Hunter; Ocko, Samuel; Mahadevan, L.

    2015-01-01

    Many species of millimetric fungus-harvesting termites collectively build uninhabited, massive mound structures enclosing a network of broad tunnels that protrude from the ground meters above their subterranean nests. It is widely accepted that the purpose of these mounds is to give the colony a controlled microclimate in which to raise fungus and brood by managing heat, humidity, and respiratory gas exchange. Although different hypotheses such as steady and fluctuating external wind and internal metabolic heating have been proposed for ventilating the mound, the absence of direct in situ measurement of internal air flows has precluded a definitive mechanism for this critical physiological function. By measuring diurnal variations in flow through the surface conduits of the mounds of the species Odontotermes obesus, we show that a simple combination of geometry, heterogeneous thermal mass, and porosity allows the mounds to use diurnal ambient temperature oscillations for ventilation. In particular, the thin outer flutelike conduits heat up rapidly during the day relative to the deeper chimneys, pushing air up the flutes and down the chimney in a closed convection cell, with the converse situation at night. These cyclic flows in the mound flush out CO2 from the nest and ventilate the colony, in an unusual example of deriving useful work from thermal oscillations. PMID:26316023

  15. Termite mounds harness diurnal temperature oscillations for ventilation.

    PubMed

    King, Hunter; Ocko, Samuel; Mahadevan, L

    2015-09-15

    Many species of millimetric fungus-harvesting termites collectively build uninhabited, massive mound structures enclosing a network of broad tunnels that protrude from the ground meters above their subterranean nests. It is widely accepted that the purpose of these mounds is to give the colony a controlled microclimate in which to raise fungus and brood by managing heat, humidity, and respiratory gas exchange. Although different hypotheses such as steady and fluctuating external wind and internal metabolic heating have been proposed for ventilating the mound, the absence of direct in situ measurement of internal air flows has precluded a definitive mechanism for this critical physiological function. By measuring diurnal variations in flow through the surface conduits of the mounds of the species Odontotermes obesus, we show that a simple combination of geometry, heterogeneous thermal mass, and porosity allows the mounds to use diurnal ambient temperature oscillations for ventilation. In particular, the thin outer flutelike conduits heat up rapidly during the day relative to the deeper chimneys, pushing air up the flutes and down the chimney in a closed convection cell, with the converse situation at night. These cyclic flows in the mound flush out CO2 from the nest and ventilate the colony, in an unusual example of deriving useful work from thermal oscillations.

  16. Subterranean termite open-air foraging and tolerance to desiccation: Comparative water relation of two sympatric Macrotermes spp. (Blattodea: Termitidae).

    PubMed

    Hu, Jian; Neoh, Kok-Boon; Appel, Arthur G; Lee, Chow-Yang

    2012-02-01

    The foraging patterns of termites are strongly related to physiological limits in overcoming desiccation stress. In this study, we examined moisture preferences and physiological characteristics of Macrotermes carbonarius (Hagen) and M. gilvus (Hagen) as both exhibit conspicuous patterns of foraging activity. Despite both species showing no significant differences in calculated cuticular permeability, and percentage of total body water, they differed greatly in rate of water loss and surface area to volume ratio. For example, M. carbonarius which had a lower surface area to volume ratio (29.26-53.66) showed lower rate of water loss and percentage of total body water loss. This also resulted in higher LT(50) when exposed to extreme conditions (≈2% RH). However, contrasting observations were made in M. gilvus that has smaller size with higher surface area to volume ratio of 40.28-69.75. It is likely that the standard equation for calculating insect surface areas is inadequate for these termite species. The trend was further supported by the result of a moisture preference bioassay that indicated M. carbonarius had a broader range of moisture preference (between 5% and 20%) than M. gilvus which had a relatively narrow moisture preference (only 20%). These results explain why M. carbonarius can tolerate desiccation stress for a longer period foraging above-ground in the open air; while M. gilvus only forages below ground or concealed within foraging mud tubes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. "Magnetic" termite mound surfaces are oriented to suit wind and shade conditions.

    PubMed

    Jacklyn, Peter M

    1992-09-01

    The termites Amitermes meridionalis and A. laurensis construct remarkable meridional or "magnetic" mounds in northern Australia. These mounds vary geographically in mean orientation in a manner that suggests such variation is an adaptive response to local environmental conditions. Theoretical modelling of solar irradiance and mound rotation experiments show that maintenance of an eastern face temperature plateau during the dry season is the most likely physical basis for the mound orientation response. Subsequent heat transfer analysis shows that habitat wind speed and shading conditions also affect face temperature gradients such as the rate of eastern face temperature change. It is then demonstrated that the geographic variation in mean mound orientation follows the geographic variation in long-term wind speed and shading conditions across northern Australia such that an eastern face temperature plateau is maintained in all locations.

  18. 77 FR 2310 - Notice of Submission of Proposed Information Collection to OMB; Builder's Certification/Guarantee...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-17

    ... Termite Soil Treatment Record AGENCY: Office of the Chief Information Officer, HUD. ACTION: Notice... areas for a year. Also, pest control companies are required to provide a record of any soil treatment... Construction Subterranean Termite Soil Treatment Record. OMB Approval Number: 2502-0525. Form Numbers: HUD-NPCA...

  19. Historical biogeography of Reticulitermes termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) inferred from analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear loci.

    PubMed

    Dedeine, Franck; Dupont, Simon; Guyot, Sylvain; Matsuura, Kenji; Wang, Changlu; Habibpour, Behzad; Bagnères, Anne-Geneviève; Mantovani, Barbara; Luchetti, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Termites of the genus Reticulitermes are ecologically and economically important wood-feeding social insects that are widespread in the Holarctic region. Despite their importance, no study has yet attempted to reconstruct a global time-scaled phylogeny of Reticulitermes termites. In this study, we sequenced mitochondrial (2096bp) and nuclear (829bp) loci from 61 Reticulitermes specimens, collected across the genus' entire range, and one specimen of Coptotermes formosanus, which served as an outgroup. Bayesian and Maximum likelihood analyses conducted on the mitochondrial and nuclear sequences support the existence of four main lineages that span four global geographical regions: North America (NA lineage), western Europe (WE lineage), a region including eastern Europe and western Asia (EA+WA lineage), and eastern Asia (EA lineage). The mitochondrial data allowed us to clarify the phylogenetic relationships among these lineages. They were also used to infer a chronogram that was time scaled based on age estimates for termite fossils (including the oldest Reticulitermes fossils, which date back to the late Eocene-early Oligocene). Our results support the hypothesis that the extant Reticulitermes lineage first differentiated in North America. The first divergence event in the ancestral lineage of Reticulitermes occurred in the early Miocene and separated the Nearctic lineages (i.e., the NA lineages) from the Palearctic lineages (i.e., WE, EE+WA, and EA lineages). Our analyses revealed that the main lineages of Reticulitermes diversified because of vicariance and migration events, which were probably induced by major paleogeographic and paleoclimatic changes that occurred during the Cenozoic era. This is the first global and comprehensive phylogenetic study of Reticulitermes termites, and it provides a crucial foundation for studying the evolution of phenotypic and life-history traits in Reticulitermes. For instance, the phylogeny we obtained suggested that 'asexual

  20. Sandsitermes gen. nov., a new nasute termite genus from South America (Isoptera, Termitidae, Nasutitermitinae).

    PubMed

    Cuezzo, Carolina; Cancello, Eliana M; Carrijo, Tiago F

    2017-01-20

    We establish herein a new genus of Neotropical termites of the subfamily Nasutitermitinae, Sandsitermes gen. nov.. The new genus accommodates a previously described species, Nasutitermes robustus (Holmgren), and is diagnosed by worker characters, including the mandibles, the gut-coiling configuration in situ, and the pattern of cushions and spines of the enteric valve. We characterized and illustrated the imago for the first time and redescribe the soldier and worker castes of Sandsitermes robustus gen. et comb. nov. from syntypes and other samples from eastern Peru. We support our taxonomic decision, presenting morphological differences between the gut pattern and enteric valve of S. robustus and 13 neotropical Nasutitermes species studied for this report, and discuss possible relationships with other neotropical nasute termites.

  1. Hydroquinone: a general phagostimulating pheromone in termites.

    PubMed

    Reinhard, Judith; Lacey, Michael J; Ibarra, Fernando; Schroeder, Frank C; Kaib, Manfred; Lenz, Michael

    2002-01-01

    The organization of termite societies depends predominantly on intraspecific chemical signals (pheromones) produced by exocrine glands, which induce and modulate individual behavioral responses. Here, the saliva-producing labial glands of termites were investigated with respect to their pheromonal role in communal food exploitation of termite colonies. From these glands, we identified for the first time hydroquinone (1,4-dihydroxybenzene) as a phagostimulating pheromone in the Australian termite species Mastotermes darwiniensis. Hydroquinone is released from the labial glands of termite workers and applied onto the food. It stimulates nestmates to feed at the spot of application and is, thus, employed to mark feeding sites. No synergistic effect with other identified labial gland compounds, such as glucose, inositol, and arbutin, was evident. Significantly, we show that termite species from all over the world, irrespective of taxonomic position and biological traits, produce and employ hydroquinone as phagostimulating signal. The use of the same chemical signal throughout an order is a unique phenomenon, not reported before in animals. Its possible biosynthetic pathway, ecological significance, and evolution are discussed.

  2. Of Bushwahckers, Termites and Moles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smelter, Richard W.

    2003-01-01

    Retired school administrator describes five types of school personnel that make an administrator's job difficult: Bushwackers, termites, CIA moles, rumor-mill addicts, and sartorial slobs. For example, termites are staff members who purposely volunteer for committees so they can sabotage the group's efforts from within. (PKP)

  3. Inhibition of termite damage by N`N-napthaloylhydroxyamine (NHA) : Reticulotermes flavipes (Kollar) vs. Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki

    Treesearch

    Frederick Green; Stan Lebow; Tsuyoshi Yoshimura

    2000-01-01

    The calcium precipitating agent NHA has been shown to protect southern yellow pine (SYP) from wood decay and termite damage comparable to CCA in field tests (Gulfport, MS) for two years (Crawford and Green, 1999). In a collaborative study, SYP wood blocks were vacuum treated with three concentrations of aqueous NHA and exposed in a no-choice test to Eastern...

  4. Tropical wood resistance to the West Indian drywood termite Cryptotermes brevis: If termites can't chew….

    PubMed

    Cosme, Lírio; Haro, Marcelo M; Guedes, Nelsa Maria P; Della Lucia, Terezinha Maria C; Guedes, Raul Narciso C

    2018-04-01

    The importance and impact of invasive species are usually considered based on their economic implications, particularly the direct damage that they cause. The West Indian drywood termite Cryptotermes brevis (Walker) is an example and is a concern in structural lumber, furniture, and other wood products. Despite its importance, its tropical wood preferences and the wood physical characteristics contributing to resistance have not been investigated to date. Here, we developed wood testing units to allow the X-ray recording of termite colonization and then subsequently tested tropical wood resistance to the termite through free-choice and no-choice bioassays using these wood testing units. The relevance of wood density and hardness as determinants of such resistance was also tested, as was termite mandible wear. The wood testing units used allowed the assessment of the termite infestation and wood area loss, enabling subsequent choice bioassays to be performed. While pine (Pinus sp.), jequitiba (Cariniana sp.) and angelim (Hymenolobium petraenum) exhibited the heaviest losses and highest infestations; cumaru (Dipteryx odorata), guariuba (Clarisia racemosa), and purpleheart (Peltogyne sp.) showed the lowest losses and infestations; courbaril (Hymenaea courbaril), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus sp.), and tatajuba (Bagassa guianensis) exhibited intermediary results. Wood hardness and in particular wood density were key determinants of wood resistance to the termites, which exhibited lower infestations associated with greater mandible wear when infesting harder high-density wood. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  5. Update of Forest Service Research Data

    Treesearch

    Terence L. Wagner

    2002-01-01

    The U.S. Forest Service undertakes research to improve the protection of wood products against subterranean termite damage, define the role of termites in forest ecosystems, and understand their impact on forest health. Specifically, the Wood Products Insect Research Unit concentrates efforts on developing, refining, and assessing new and alternative compounds,...

  6. Brazilian obligatory subterranean fauna and threats to the hypogean environment

    PubMed Central

    Gallão, Jonas Eduardo; Bichuette, Maria Elina

    2018-01-01

    Abstract The subterranean environment harbors species that are not capable of establishing populations in the epigean environment, i.e., the obligatory subterranean species. These organisms live in a unique selective regime in permanent darkness and usually low food availability, high air humidity in terrestrial habitats, and low temperature range allied to other unique conditions related to lithologies and past climatic influences. The pressure to increase Brazil’s economic growth relies on agricultural/pastoral industries and exporting of raw materials such as iron, limestone, ethanol, soybean, cotton, and meat, as well as huge reservoir constructions to generate electricity. Mining (even on a small scale), agricultural expansion, and hydroelectric projects are extremely harmful to subterranean biodiversity, via the modification and even destruction of hypogean habitats. The Brazilian subterranean species were analyzed with respect to their distributions, presence on the IUCN Red List, and current and potential threats to hypogean habitats. A map and three lists are presented, one with the described obligatory subterranean species, one with undescribed taxa, and one with the current and potential threats to the hypogean environment. To date, 150 obligatory subterranean species have been recorded in Brazil, plus at least 156 undescribed troglomorphic taxa, totaling 306 Brazilian troglobites/obligatory cave fauna. We also analyzed the current and potential cave threats and the conservation actions that are underway to attempt to compensate for loss of these habitats. In according to the Brazilian legislation (Decree 6640) only caves of maximum relevance are fully protected. One strategy to protect the subterranean fauna of Brazil is the inclusion of these species in the IUCN Red List (one of attributes that determines maximum relevance for caves); however, one of the IUCN assumptions is that the taxa must be formally described. It is clear that the description

  7. Lignocellulose-degrading enzymes from termites and their symbiotic microbiota.

    PubMed

    Ni, Jinfeng; Tokuda, Gaku

    2013-11-01

    Lignocellulose-the dry matter of plants, or "plant biomass"-digestion is of increasing interest in organismal metabolism research, specifically the conversion of biomass into biofuels. Termites efficiently decompose lignocelluloses, and studies on lignocellulolytic systems may elucidate mechanisms of efficient lignocellulose degradation in termites as well as offer novel enzyme sources, findings which have significant potential industrial applications. Recent progress in metagenomic and metatranscriptomic research has illuminated the diversity of lignocellulolytic enzymes within the termite gut. Here, we review state-of-the-art research on lignocellulose-degrading systems in termites, specifically cellulases, xylanases, and lignin modification enzymes produced by termites and their symbiotic microbiota. We also discuss recent investigations into heterologous overexpression of lignocellulolytic enzymes from termites and their symbionts. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Tunnel formation by Reticulitermes flavipes and Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in response to wood in sand.

    PubMed

    Puche, H; Su, N Y

    2001-12-01

    The tunneling responses of two subterranean termite species, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), to the presence of sound wood in laboratory arenas were studied. Branching pattern and the speed of tunnel construction between R. flavipes and C. formosanus also were compared. Patlak's residence index (rho) was generated using the length, width, speed of construction, and area of the primary tunnels built by termites. In the same allotted time, C. formosanus built wider and shorter primary tunnels, whereas R. flavipes built thinner and longer primary tunnels. The presence of wood did not affect termite tunnel formation. This lack of variation in tunnel formation parameters was evidenced by the inability of the termites to locate wood sources over distance, even as short as 2.5 mm, and by the similar tunneling behaviors in areas of the arena with or without wood. Patlak's model predicted the densities of tunnels with an error between 9 and 28%. in experiments with R. flavipes exposed to a range of 0-8,000 g of wood, and between 61 and 87% in experiments with C. formosanus. These results indicated that the residence index can provide a qualitative measure of the effect of habitat heterogeneity on the individual termite tunnels. The tunneling constructions strategy of these subterranean termites is discussed.

  9. GC-MS Characterizations of Termiticidal Heartwood Extractives from Wood Species Utilized in Pakistan

    Treesearch

    Mark Mankowski; Blossie Boyd; Barbar Hassan; Grant T. Kirker

    2016-01-01

    Wood species that exhibit innate tolerance to wood destroying organisms such as termites are considered to be naturally durable. This durability can, in part, be due to the complex chemical compounds in the heartwood of naturally durable wood species. We examined the effects of varying concentrations of heartwood extractives on the subterranean termite, ...

  10. Magic Termites: Exploring Scientific Inquiry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Callis, Kristine; Henkel, Melissa; Lund, Rachael

    2010-01-01

    The objective of the termite experiment is to walk students through the process of designing and conducting an experiment while allowing them to use inquiry-based methods to infer why, in this lab, termites follow the line of blue Bic or Paper Mate brand ballpoint pens. This experiment also reinforces the concept of observation versus inference…

  11. Identification of Two Haplotypes of Cytochrome Oxidase Sub-unit II (COII) Gene of the Formosan Subterranean Termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in South Mississippi

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Formosan subterranear termite, Coptotermes formosanus was accidentally introduced to the United States from Asia. The introduction of the pest has brought significant economic damage. During the past decade, Mississippi has become a significantly infested state, partially due to the proximity to...

  12. Termite Pest Control - Industrial. Manual 96.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Missouri Univ., Columbia. Agricultural Experiment Station.

    This training manual provides information needed to meet the minimum EPA standards for certification as a commercial applicator of pesticides in the termite pest control category. The text discusses general pests, especially ants, and wood-destroying organisms such as termites, beetles, and fungi. (CS)

  13. Identification of Termite Species by the Hydrocarbons in their Feces

    Treesearch

    Michael I. Haverty; R. Joseph Woodrow; Lori J. Nelson; J. Kenneth Grace

    2005-01-01

    Blends of abundant cuticular hydrocarbons are species-specific for termites (Isoptera) and can be used to identify a given taxon without the diagnostic castes, soldiers or adults. We demonstrate that hydrocarbon extracts of termite fecal pellets from damaged wood can also be characterized and used to identify termites responsible for damage, even though termites are no...

  14. Influence of Soil Properties on Soldierless Termite Distribution.

    PubMed

    Bourguignon, Thomas; Drouet, Thomas; Šobotník, Jan; Hanus, Robert; Roisin, Yves

    2015-01-01

    In tropical rainforests, termites constitute an important part of the soil fauna biomass, and as for other soil arthropods, variations in soil composition create opportunities for niche partitioning. The aim of this study was twofold: first, we tested whether soil-feeding termite species differ in the foraging substrate; second, we investigated whether soil-feeding termites select their foraging sites to enhance nutrients intake. To do so, we collected termites and analysed the composition and structure of their feeding substrates. Although Anoplotermes-group members are all considered soil-feeders, our results show that some species specifically feed on abandoned termite nests and very rotten wood, and that this substrate selection is correlated with previous stable isotope analyses, suggesting that one component of niche differentiation among species is substrate selection. Our results show that the composition and structure of bare soils on which different termite species foraged do not differ, suggesting that there is no species specialization for a particular type of bare soil. Finally, the bare soil on which termites forage does not differ from random soil samples. Overall, our results suggest that few species of the Anoplotermes-group are specialized toward substrates rich in organic matter, but that the vast majority forage on soil independently of its structural and chemical composition, being ecologically equivalent for this factor.

  15. Termite Assemblage Pattern and Niche Partitioning in a Tropical Forest Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Li, Hou-Feng; Lan, Yen-Chiu; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Kanzaki, Natsumi; Lee, How-Jing; Su, Nan-Yao

    2015-06-01

    Termites are major plant decomposers in tropical forest ecosystems, but their cryptic nature poses an obstacle for studying their ecological roles in depth. In the current study, we quantified climatic and geographic information of 137 termite collection sites in the Kenting National Park, Taiwan, and described the ecological niches and assemblage patterns of 13 termite species of three families. Three major assemblage patterns are reported. First, the three termite families were found in most landcovering types with similar number of species, which indicated that each family played a unique role in the ecosystem. Second, average numbers of termite species were not different among collection sites, but the total number of termite species found in each landcovering type was different, which indicated that termite niche capacity in each small area was the same but some landcovering types were composed of diverse microhabitats to host more termite species. Third, termite species of every family showed distinct moisture preferences in their habitat choices. In addition to the three assemblage patterns, we found that niche size of the advanced termite family, Termitidae, was larger than that of the primitive termite families, Rhinotermitidae or Kalotermitidae. The broader choices of cellulosic materials as food sources may allow Termitidae to adapt to more diverse environments than exclusive wood feeders. Termite niche quantification could further be used to study termite pest adaption in urban areas, interspecific competition between native and invasive species, and plant decomposition processes. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Biotransformation of explosives by Reticulitermes flavipes--associated termite Endosymbionts.

    PubMed

    Indest, Karl J; Eaton, Hillary L; Jung, Carina M; Lounds, Caly B

    2014-01-01

    Termites have an important role in the carbon and nitrogen cycles despite their reputation as destructive pests. With the assistance of microbial endosymbionts, termites are responsible for the conversion of complex biopolymers into simple carbon substrates. Termites also rely on endosymbionts for fixing and recycling nitrogen. As a result, we hypothesize that termite bacterial endosymbionts are a novel source of metabolic pathways for the transformation of nitrogen-rich compounds like explosives. Explosives transformation capability of termite (Reticulitermes flavipes)-derived endosymbionts was determined in media containing the chemical constituents nitrotriazolone (NTO) and hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) that comprise new insensitive explosive formulations. Media dosed with 40 µg/ml of explosive was inoculated with surface-sterilized, macerated termites. Bacterial isolates capable of explosives transformation were characterized by 16S rRNA sequencing. Termite-derived enrichment cultures demonstrated degradation activity towards the explosives NTO, RDX, as well as the legacy explosive 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT). Three isolates with high similarity to the Enterobacteriaceae(Enterobacter, Klebsiella) were able to transform TNT and NTO within 2 days, while isolates with high similarity to Serratia marcescens and Lactococcus lactis were able to transform RDX. Termite endosymbionts harbor a range of metabolic activities and possess unique abilities to transform nitrogen-rich explosives. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  17. Effects of monitor examination intervals on resource affinity by Reticulitermes spp. (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    Treesearch

    Thomas Shelton; Terence Wagner; Patrick Gerard

    2011-01-01

    Monthly visits to 2 field sites in southern Mississippi were made to determine the influence of monitor examination on feeding site affinity by southeastern native subterranean termites (Reticulitermes spp.). Wooden board monitors were examined once every 30, 60, or 90 days. Presence of live termites and damage to the boards (both binary parameters) were collected for...

  18. Size of Food Resource Determines Brood Placement in Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhimtermitidae)

    Treesearch

    Michael Lenzl; Bradford Kara; Joe K. Mauldin; Theodore A. Evans; Joel L. Etheridge; Hilda M. Abbey

    2000-01-01

    Most species of subterranean termite house and care for larvae in specialised chambers or complex nurseries. In addition to these chambers, the genus Reticulitermes also keeps larvae at sites where foragers are feeding, a trait more commonly found in damp wood and dry wood termites. This phenomenon of holding larvae at foraging sites is quite well...

  19. [Status of termite-mushroom artificial domestication cultivation--a review].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yujin; Guo, Huachun; Li, Rongchun

    2010-10-01

    Two models of domestication and cultivation of termite-mushroom were discussed: the cultivation of termitomyces model, which method of woodrotting fungi cultivation was emphasized and the original ecological model, which multiplication of symbiotic termites was focused. The problems and possible solutions during termite-mushroom cultivation were also discussed.

  20. Evidence of cue synergism in termite corpse response behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulyshen, Michael D.; Shelton, Thomas G.

    2012-02-01

    Subterranean termites of the genus Reticulitermes are known to build walls and tubes and move considerable amounts of soil into wood but the causes of this behavior remain largely unexplored. In laboratory assays, we tested the hypothesis that Reticulitermes virginicus (Banks) would carry more sand into wooden blocks containing corpses compared to corpse-free controls. We further predicted that the corpses of predatory ants would elicit a stronger response than those of a benign beetle species or nestmates. As hypothesized, significantly more sand was carried into blocks containing corpses and this material was typically used to build partitions separating the dead from the rest of the colony. Contrary to expectations, however, this behavior did not vary among corpse types. We then tested the hypothesis that oleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid released during arthropod decay and used by ants and other arthropod taxa in corpse recognition, would induce a similar building response in R. virginicus. To additionally determine the role of foreign objects in giving rise to this behavior, the experiment was carried out with and without imitation corpses (i.e., small glass beads). As predicted, oleic acid induced building (a tenfold increase) but only when applied to beads, suggesting strong synergism between tactile and chemical cues. Oleic acid also significantly reduced the amount of wood consumed by R. virginicus and may possess useful repellent properties.

  1. Hemimetabolous genomes reveal molecular basis of termite eusociality.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Mark C; Jongepier, Evelien; Robertson, Hugh M; Arning, Nicolas; Bitard-Feildel, Tristan; Chao, Hsu; Childers, Christopher P; Dinh, Huyen; Doddapaneni, Harshavardhan; Dugan, Shannon; Gowin, Johannes; Greiner, Carolin; Han, Yi; Hu, Haofu; Hughes, Daniel S T; Huylmans, Ann-Kathrin; Kemena, Carsten; Kremer, Lukas P M; Lee, Sandra L; Lopez-Ezquerra, Alberto; Mallet, Ludovic; Monroy-Kuhn, Jose M; Moser, Annabell; Murali, Shwetha C; Muzny, Donna M; Otani, Saria; Piulachs, Maria-Dolors; Poelchau, Monica; Qu, Jiaxin; Schaub, Florentine; Wada-Katsumata, Ayako; Worley, Kim C; Xie, Qiaolin; Ylla, Guillem; Poulsen, Michael; Gibbs, Richard A; Schal, Coby; Richards, Stephen; Belles, Xavier; Korb, Judith; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich

    2018-03-01

    Around 150 million years ago, eusocial termites evolved from within the cockroaches, 50 million years before eusocial Hymenoptera, such as bees and ants, appeared. Here, we report the 2-Gb genome of the German cockroach, Blattella germanica, and the 1.3-Gb genome of the drywood termite Cryptotermes secundus. We show evolutionary signatures of termite eusociality by comparing the genomes and transcriptomes of three termites and the cockroach against the background of 16 other eusocial and non-eusocial insects. Dramatic adaptive changes in genes underlying the production and perception of pheromones confirm the importance of chemical communication in the termites. These are accompanied by major changes in gene regulation and the molecular evolution of caste determination. Many of these results parallel molecular mechanisms of eusocial evolution in Hymenoptera. However, the specific solutions are remarkably different, thus revealing a striking case of convergence in one of the major evolutionary transitions in biological complexity.

  2. Identifying the core microbial community in the gut of fungus-growing termites.

    PubMed

    Otani, Saria; Mikaelyan, Aram; Nobre, Tânia; Hansen, Lars H; Koné, N'Golo A; Sørensen, Søren J; Aanen, Duur K; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Brune, Andreas; Poulsen, Michael

    2014-09-01

    Gut microbes play a crucial role in decomposing lignocellulose to fuel termite societies, with protists in the lower termites and prokaryotes in the higher termites providing these services. However, a single basal subfamily of the higher termites, the Macrotermitinae, also domesticated a plant biomass-degrading fungus (Termitomyces), and how this symbiont acquisition has affected the fungus-growing termite gut microbiota has remained unclear. The objective of our study was to compare the intestinal bacterial communities of five genera (nine species) of fungus-growing termites to establish whether or not an ancestral core microbiota has been maintained and characterizes extant lineages. Using 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we show that gut communities have representatives of 26 bacterial phyla and are dominated by Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Spirochaetes, Proteobacteria and Synergistetes. A set of 42 genus-level taxa was present in all termite species and accounted for 56-68% of the species-specific reads. Gut communities of termites from the same genus were more similar than distantly related species, suggesting that phylogenetic ancestry matters, possibly in connection with specific termite genus-level ecological niches. Finally, we show that gut communities of fungus-growing termites are similar to cockroaches, both at the bacterial phylum level and in a comparison of the core Macrotermitinae taxa abundances with representative cockroach, lower termite and higher nonfungus-growing termites. These results suggest that the obligate association with Termitomyces has forced the bacterial gut communities of the fungus-growing termites towards a relatively uniform composition with higher similarity to their omnivorous relatives than to more closely related termites. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Farmers' perception of termites in agriculture production and their indigenous utilization in Northwest Benin.

    PubMed

    Yêyinou Loko, Laura Estelle; Orobiyi, Azize; Agre, Paterne; Dansi, Alexandre; Tamò, Manuele; Roisin, Yves

    2017-11-21

    Although termites are considered as agricultural pests, they play an important role in maintaining the ecosystem. Therefore, it matters to investigate the farmers' perception of the impacts of the termites on the agriculture and their indigenous utilization. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to interview 94 farmers through 10 villages of Atacora department, in the northwestern region of Benin, to obtain information for the development of successful strategies of termite management and conservation. Their perceptions on the importance and management of termites along with the indigenous nomenclature and utilization of termite mounds were assessed. Termite species identified by farmers were collected and preserved in 80% alcohol for identification. Eight crops were identified by farmers as susceptible to termites with maize, sorghum, and yam as being the most susceptible. According to farmers, the susceptibility to termites of these crops is due to their high-water content and sweet taste. A total of 27 vernacular names of termites were recorded corresponding to 10 species, Amitermes evuncifer, Macrotermes subhyalinus, and Trinervitermes oeconomus being the most damaging termite species. All the names given to termite species had a meaning. The drought was identified by farmers as the main factor favouring termite attacks. Demolition of termite mounds in the fields was the most commonly reported control method. Salt and other pesticides were commonly used by farmers to protect stored farm products. The lack of effective control methods is the main constraint for termite management. In northwestern Benin, farmers reported different purpose utilizations of termite mounds and termites. The study has shown that farmers perceived termites as pests of several agricultural crops and apply various indigenous control practices whose efficiency need to be verified. Utilization of termites and termite mound soil as food and medicinal resources underlines the need for a

  4. A genomic comparison of two termites with different social complexity.

    PubMed

    Korb, Judith; Poulsen, Michael; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Zhang, Guojie; Liebig, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    The termites evolved eusociality and complex societies before the ants, but have been studied much less. The recent publication of the first two termite genomes provides a unique comparative opportunity, particularly because the sequenced termites represent opposite ends of the social complexity spectrum. Zootermopsis nevadensis has simple colonies with totipotent workers that can develop into all castes (dispersing reproductives, nest-inheriting replacement reproductives, and soldiers). In contrast, the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes natalensis belongs to the higher termites and has very large and complex societies with morphologically distinct castes that are life-time sterile. Here we compare key characteristics of genomic architecture, focusing on genes involved in communication, immune defenses, mating biology and symbiosis that were likely important in termite social evolution. We discuss these in relation to what is known about these genes in the ants and outline hypothesis for further testing.

  5. Natural-product-based chromenes as a novel class of potential termiticides.

    PubMed

    Meepagala, Kumudini M; Osbrink, Weste; Burandt, Charles; Lax, Alan; Duke, Stephen O

    2011-11-01

    Among the termite infestations in the United States, the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), is considered to be the most devastating termite pest. This pest most likely invaded North America as a result of the disembarkation of wooden military cargo at the port of New Orleans that arrived from Asia during and after World War II. It has now spread over other states, including Texas, Florida, South Carolina and California. Devastation caused by C. formosanus in North America has been estimated to cost $ US 1 billion a year. Over the past decades, organochlorines and organophosphates, the two prominent classes of termite control agents, have been banned owing to environmental and human health concerns. At the present time, phenylpyrazoles, pyrethroids, chloronicotinyls and pyrroles are being used as termite control agents. Mammalian toxicity and seeping of these compounds into groundwater are some of the drawbacks associated with these treatments. The instruction for the application of these termiticides indicate ground water advisory. Hence, with the increasing spread of termite infestation there is an increased need to discover effective, environmentally friendly and safe termite control agents with minimal mammalian toxicity. Chromene analogs derived from a natural-product-based chromene amide isolated from Amyris texana were tested in a collaborative discovery program for effective, environmentally friendly termite control agents. Several chromene derivatives were synthesized and characterized as a novel class of potential termiticides, followed by bioassays. These compounds exhibited significantly higher mortalities compared with untreated controls in laboratory bioassays. Chromene derivatives have been shown to be a potential novel class of termiticides against Formosan subterranean termites. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

  6. A genomic comparison of two termites with different social complexity

    PubMed Central

    Korb, Judith; Poulsen, Michael; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai; Boomsma, Jacobus J.; Zhang, Guojie; Liebig, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    The termites evolved eusociality and complex societies before the ants, but have been studied much less. The recent publication of the first two termite genomes provides a unique comparative opportunity, particularly because the sequenced termites represent opposite ends of the social complexity spectrum. Zootermopsis nevadensis has simple colonies with totipotent workers that can develop into all castes (dispersing reproductives, nest-inheriting replacement reproductives, and soldiers). In contrast, the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes natalensis belongs to the higher termites and has very large and complex societies with morphologically distinct castes that are life-time sterile. Here we compare key characteristics of genomic architecture, focusing on genes involved in communication, immune defenses, mating biology and symbiosis that were likely important in termite social evolution. We discuss these in relation to what is known about these genes in the ants and outline hypothesis for further testing. PMID:25788900

  7. Termites in the hominin diet: a meta-analysis of termite genera, species and castes as a dietary supplement for South African robust australopithecines.

    PubMed

    Lesnik, Julie J

    2014-06-01

    Termite foraging by chimpanzees and present-day modern humans is a well-documented phenomenon, making it a plausible hypothesis that early hominins were also utilizing this resource. Hominin termite foraging has been credited by some to be the explanation for the unexpected carbon isotope signatures present in South African hominin teeth, which suggest the diet was different from that of extant non-human great apes, consisting of a significant amount of resources that are not from woody-plants. Grass-eating termites are one potential resource that could contribute to the carbon signature. However, not all termites eat grasses, and in fact, the termites that are most widely consumed by chimpanzees and by many present-day human populations at best have a mixed diet that includes small amounts of grasses. Here I review the ecology of termites and how it affects their desirability as a food resource for hominins, and conduct a meta-analysis of nutritional values for various genera, species and castes from the literature. Termites are very diverse, even within species, and this variability affects both their carbon signatures and nutritional value, hindering generalizations regarding the contribution of termites to the hominin diet. It is concluded here that a combination of soldiers and alates of the genus Macrotermes be used to model the insectivory component of the Plio-Pleistocene hominin diet due to their significant amounts of energy-yielding nutrients and potential role as a critical resource for supporting larger-brained hominins. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Decomposition rates and termite assemblage composition in semiarid Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schuurman, G.

    2005-01-01

    Outside of the humid tropics, abiotic factors are generally considered the dominant regulators of decomposition, and biotic influences are frequently not considered in predicting decomposition rates. In this study, I examined the effect of termite assemblage composition and abundance on decomposition of wood litter of an indigenous species (Croton megalobotrys) in five terrestrial habitats of the highly seasonal semiarid Okavango Delta region of northern Botswana, to determine whether natural variation in decomposer community composition and abundance influences decomposition rates. 1 conducted the study in two areas, Xudum and Santawani, with the Xudum study preceding the Santawani study. I assessed termite assemblage composition and abundance using a grid of survey baits (rolls of toilet paper) placed on the soil surface and checked 2-4 times/month. I placed a billet (a section of wood litter) next to each survey bait and measured decomposition in a plot by averaging the mass loss of its billets. Decomposition rates varied up to sixfold among plots within the same habitat and locality, despite the fact that these plots experienced the same climate. In addition, billets decomposed significantly faster during the cooler and drier Santawani study, contradicting climate-based predictions. Because termite incidence was generally higher in Santawani plots, termite abundance initially seemed a likely determinant of decomposition in this system. However, no significant effect of termite incidence on billet mass loss rates was observed among the Xudum plots, where decomposition rates remained low even though termite incidence varied considerably. Considering the incidences of fungus-growing termites and non-fungus-growing termites separately resolves this apparent contradiction: in both Santawani and Xudum, only fungus-growing termites play a significant role in decomposition. This result is mirrored in an analysis of the full data set of combined Xudum and Santawani data

  9. Lignocellulose pretreatment in a fungus-cultivating termite

    DOE PAGES

    Li, Hongjie; Yelle, Daniel J.; Li, Chang; ...

    2017-04-19

    Depolymerizing lignin, the complex phenolic polymer fortifying plant cell walls, is an essential but challenging starting point for the lignocellulosics industries. The variety of ether– and carbon–carbon interunit linkages produced via radical coupling during lignification limit chemical and biological depolymerization efficiency. In an ancient fungus-cultivating termite system, we reveal unprecedentedly rapid lignin depolymerization and degradation by combining laboratory feeding experiments, lignocellulosic compositional measurements, electron microscopy, 2D-NMR, and thermochemolysis. In a gut transit time of under 3.5 h, in young worker termites, poplar lignin sidechains are extensively cleaved and the polymer is significantly depleted, leaving a residue almost completely devoid ofmore » various condensed units that are traditionally recognized to be the most recalcitrant. Subsequently, the fungus-comb microbiome preferentially uses xylose and cleaves polysaccharides, thus facilitating final utilization of easily digestible oligosaccharides by old worker termites. This complementary symbiotic pretreatment process in the fungus-growing termite symbiosis reveals a previously unappreciated natural system for efficient lignocellulose degradation.« less

  10. Lignocellulose pretreatment in a fungus-cultivating termite

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hongjie; Yelle, Daniel J.; Li, Chang; Yang, Mengyi; Ke, Jing; Zhang, Ruijuan; Liu, Yu; Zhu, Na; Liang, Shiyou; Mo, Xiaochang; Currie, Cameron R.; Mo, Jianchu

    2017-01-01

    Depolymerizing lignin, the complex phenolic polymer fortifying plant cell walls, is an essential but challenging starting point for the lignocellulosics industries. The variety of ether– and carbon–carbon interunit linkages produced via radical coupling during lignification limit chemical and biological depolymerization efficiency. In an ancient fungus-cultivating termite system, we reveal unprecedentedly rapid lignin depolymerization and degradation by combining laboratory feeding experiments, lignocellulosic compositional measurements, electron microscopy, 2D-NMR, and thermochemolysis. In a gut transit time of under 3.5 h, in young worker termites, poplar lignin sidechains are extensively cleaved and the polymer is significantly depleted, leaving a residue almost completely devoid of various condensed units that are traditionally recognized to be the most recalcitrant. Subsequently, the fungus-comb microbiome preferentially uses xylose and cleaves polysaccharides, thus facilitating final utilization of easily digestible oligosaccharides by old worker termites. This complementary symbiotic pretreatment process in the fungus-growing termite symbiosis reveals a previously unappreciated natural system for efficient lignocellulose degradation. PMID:28424249

  11. Lignocellulose pretreatment in a fungus-cultivating termite

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Hongjie; Yelle, Daniel J.; Li, Chang

    Depolymerizing lignin, the complex phenolic polymer fortifying plant cell walls, is an essential but challenging starting point for the lignocellulosics industries. The variety of ether– and carbon–carbon interunit linkages produced via radical coupling during lignification limit chemical and biological depolymerization efficiency. In an ancient fungus-cultivating termite system, we reveal unprecedentedly rapid lignin depolymerization and degradation by combining laboratory feeding experiments, lignocellulosic compositional measurements, electron microscopy, 2D-NMR, and thermochemolysis. In a gut transit time of under 3.5 h, in young worker termites, poplar lignin sidechains are extensively cleaved and the polymer is significantly depleted, leaving a residue almost completely devoid ofmore » various condensed units that are traditionally recognized to be the most recalcitrant. Subsequently, the fungus-comb microbiome preferentially uses xylose and cleaves polysaccharides, thus facilitating final utilization of easily digestible oligosaccharides by old worker termites. This complementary symbiotic pretreatment process in the fungus-growing termite symbiosis reveals a previously unappreciated natural system for efficient lignocellulose degradation.« less

  12. Building mud castles: a perspective from brick-laying termites.

    PubMed

    Zachariah, Nikita; Das, Aritra; Murthy, Tejas G; Borges, Renee M

    2017-07-05

    Animal constructions such as termite mounds have received scrutiny by architects, structural engineers, soil scientists and behavioural ecologists but their basic building blocks remain uncharacterized and the criteria used for material selection unexplored. By conducting controlled experiments on Odontotermes obesus termites, we characterize the building blocks of termite mounds and determine the key elements defining material choice and usage by these accomplished engineers. Using biocement and a self-organized process, termites fabricate, transport and assemble spherical unitary structures called boluses that have a bimodal size distribution, achieving an optimal packing solution for mound construction. Granular, hydrophilic, osmotically inactive, non-hygroscopic materials with surface roughness, rigidity and containing organic matter are the easiest to handle and are crucial determinants of mass transfer during mound construction. We suggest that these properties, along with optimal moisture availability, are important predictors of the global geographic distribution of termites.

  13. The evolutionary history of termites as inferred from 66 mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Bourguignon, Thomas; Lo, Nathan; Cameron, Stephen L; Šobotník, Jan; Hayashi, Yoshinobu; Shigenobu, Shuji; Watanabe, Dai; Roisin, Yves; Miura, Toru; Evans, Theodore A

    2015-02-01

    Termites have colonized many habitats and are among the most abundant animals in tropical ecosystems, which they modify considerably through their actions. The timing of their rise in abundance and of the dispersal events that gave rise to modern termite lineages is not well understood. To shed light on termite origins and diversification, we sequenced the mitochondrial genome of 48 termite species and combined them with 18 previously sequenced termite mitochondrial genomes for phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses using multiple fossil calibrations. The 66 genomes represent most major clades of termites. Unlike previous phylogenetic studies based on fewer molecular data, our phylogenetic tree is fully resolved for the lower termites. The phylogenetic positions of Macrotermitinae and Apicotermitinae are also resolved as the basal groups in the higher termites, but in the crown termitid groups, including Termitinae + Syntermitinae + Nasutitermitinae + Cubitermitinae, the position of some nodes remains uncertain. Our molecular clock tree indicates that the lineages leading to termites and Cryptocercus roaches diverged 170 Ma (153-196 Ma 95% confidence interval [CI]), that modern Termitidae arose 54 Ma (46-66 Ma 95% CI), and that the crown termitid group arose 40 Ma (35-49 Ma 95% CI). This indicates that the distribution of basal termite clades was influenced by the final stages of the breakup of Pangaea. Our inference of ancestral geographic ranges shows that the Termitidae, which includes more than 75% of extant termite species, most likely originated in Africa or Asia, and acquired their pantropical distribution after a series of dispersal and subsequent diversification events. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Light triggers habitat choice of eyeless subterranean but not of eyed surface amphipods.

    PubMed

    Fišer, Žiga; Novak, Luka; Luštrik, Roman; Fišer, Cene

    2016-02-01

    Boundaries of species distributions are the result of colonization-extinction processes. Survival on the boundary depends on how well individuals discriminate optimal from suboptimal habitat patches. Such behaviour is called habitat choice and was only rarely applied to macroecology, although it links species ecological niche and species distribution. Surface and subterranean aquatic species are spatially strongly segregated, even in the absence of physical barriers. We explored whether a behavioural response to light functions as a habitat choice mechanism that could explain species turnover between surface and subterranean aquatic ecosystems. In a controlled laboratory experiment, we studied the behavioural response to light of ten pairs of surface and subterranean amphipods that permanently co-occur in springs. Surface species showed a weak photophobic, photoneutral, and in one case, photophilic response, whereas all subterranean species showed a strong photophobic response. Eyeless subterranean but not eyed surface amphipods appear to orient themselves with light cues. On a local scale, this difference possibly diminishes harmful interactions between the co-occurring amphipods, whereas on a regional scale, photophobia could explain limited dispersal and a high degree of endemism observed among subterranean species.

  15. Morphologically Specialized Termite Castes and Advanced Sociality in the Early Cretaceous.

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S; Barden, Phillip; Riccio, Mark L; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-02-22

    A hallmark of animals that are eusocial, or those with advanced sociality, is reproductive specialization into worker and queen castes. In the most derived societies, these divisions are essentially fixed and in some arthropods, include further specialization--a tripartite system with a soldier caste that defends the colony. Eusociality has originated numerous times among insects but is believed to have appeared first in the termites (Isoptera), in the Early Cretaceous. However, all termites known from the Cretaceous have, until now, only been winged reproductives (alates and dealates); the earliest soldiers and definitive workers were known from just the Miocene (ca. 17-20 million years ago [mya]). Here, we report six termite species preserved in Early Cretaceous (ca. 100 mya) amber from Myanmar, one described as Krishnatermes yoddha gen. et sp. nov., comprising the worker/pseudergate, winged reproductive, and soldier, and a second species, Gigantotermes rex gen. et sp. nov., based on one of the largest soldier termites yet known. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that Krishnatermes are in the basal "Meiatermes-grade" of Cretaceous termites. Workers/pseudergates of another four species are briefly described, but not named. One of these workers/pseudergates reveals that ants--the most serious enemies of modern termites--lived in close proximity to termites in the Burmese paleofauna. These discoveries demonstrate the Mesozoic antiquity of specialized termite caste systems and corroborate that among all social species, termites probably had the original societies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Mechanism of trail following by the arboreal termite Nasutitermes corniger (Isoptera: Termitidae).

    PubMed

    Gazai, Vinícius; Bailez, Omar; Viana-Bailez, Ana Maria

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the mechanisms used by the arboreal termite Nasutitermes corniger (Motschulsky, 1855) to follow trails from the nest to sources of food. A plate containing one of seven trail types was used to connect an artificial nest of N. corniger with an artificial foraging arena. The trail types were: termite trail; paraffined termite trail; trail made of paraffin; rectal fluid extract trail; sternal gland extract trail; feces extract trail; and solvent trail (control). In each test, the time was recorded from the start of the test until the occurrence of trail following, at which point the number of termites that followed the trail for least 5 cm in the first 3 min of observation was recorded. The delay for termites initiating trail following along the termite trail was lower (0.55 ± 0.16 min) than in the trails of sternal gland extract (1.05 ± 0.08 min) and trails of termite feces extract (1.57 ± 0.21 min) (F(2), (48) = 22.59, P < 0.001). The number of termites that followed the termite trail was greater (207.3 ± 17.3) than the number that followed the trail of termite feces extract (102.5 ± 9.4) or sternal gland extract (36, 9 ± 1.6) (F(2), (48) = 174.34, P < 0.001). Therefore, feces on the trail may play an important role alongside sternal gland pheromones in increasing the persistence of the trail.

  17. Diversity, Roles, and Biotechnological Applications of Symbiotic Microorganisms in the Gut of Termite.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jing; Duan, Jiwei; Gao, Mingkun; Wang, Ying; Wang, Xiaohua; Zhao, Kai

    2018-05-12

    Termites are global pests and can cause serious damage to buildings, crops, and plantation forests. The symbiotic intestinal flora plays an important role in the digestion of cellulose and nitrogen in the life of termites. Termites and their symbiotic microbes in the gut form a synergistic system. These organism work together to digest lignocellulose to make the termites grow on nitrogen deficient food. In this paper, the diversity of symbiotic microorganisms in the gut of termites, including protozoan, spirochetes, actinomycetes, fungus and bacteria, and their role in the digestion of lignocellulose and also the biotechnological applications of these symbiotic microorganisms are discussed. The high efficiency lignocellulose degradation systems of symbiotic microbes in termite gut not only provided a new way of biological energy development, but also has immense prospect in the application of cellulase enzymes. In addition, the study on the symbiotic microorganisms in the gut of termites will also provide a new method for the biological control of termites by the endophytic bacteria in the gut of termites.

  18. Methane emissions from termites - landscape level estimates and methods of measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamali, Hizbullah; Livesley, Stephen J.; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Arndt, Stefan K.

    2013-04-01

    Termites contribute between <5 and 19% of the global methane emissions. These estimates have large uncertainties because of the limited number of field-based studies and species investgated, as well as issues of diurnal and seasonal variations. We measured methane fluxes from four common mound-building termite species diurnally and seasonally in tropical savannas in the Northern Territory, Australia. Our results showed that there were significant diel and seasonal variations of methane emissions from termite mounds and we observed large species-specific differences. On a diurnal basis, methane fluxes were least at the coolest time of the day and greatest at the warmest for all species for both wet and dry seasons. We observed a strong and significant positive correlation between methane flux and mound temperature for all species. Fluxes in the wet season were 5-26-fold greater than those in the dry season and this was related to population dynamics of the termites. We observed significant relationships between mound methane flux and mound carbon dioxide flux, enabling the prediction of methane flux from measured carbon dioxide flux. However, these relationships were clearly termite species specific. We also determined significant relationships between mound flux and gas concentration inside mound, for both gases, and for all termite species, thereby enabling the prediction of flux from measured mound internal gas concentration. However, these relationships were also termite species specific. Consequently, there was no generic relationship that would enable an easier prediction of methane flux from termite mounds. On a landscape scale we estimated that termites were a methane source of +0.24 kg methane-C ha-1 year-1 whilst savanna soils were a methane sink of 1.14 kg methane-C ha-1 year-1. Termites therefore only offset 21% of methane consumed by savanna soil resulting in net sink strength of -0.90 kg methane-C ha-1 year-1 for these savannas. Assuming a similar

  19. Comparative Gut Microbiomes of Four Species Representing the Higher and the Lower Termites.

    PubMed

    Su, LiJuan; Yang, LeLe; Huang, Shi; Su, XiaoQuan; Li, Yan; Wang, FengQin; Wang, EnTao; Kang, Ning; Xu, Jian; Song, AnDong

    2016-01-01

    Aiming at learning the association between the gut microbiota and termites with different diet habits and phylogenetic positions, the gut bacteria of three populations for each of the two higher termites (wood-feeding Mironasutitermes shangchengensis and fungus-feeding Odontotermes formosanus) and two wood-feeding lower termites (Tsaitermes ampliceps and Reticulitermes flaviceps) were analyzed by high-throughput 454 pyrosequencing of 16S V1-V3 amplicons. As results, 132 bacterial genera and some unidentified operational taxonomic units within 29 phyla in the gut bacteria were detected, with Spirochaetes (11-55%), Firmicutes (7-18%), Bacteroidetes (7-31%), and Proteobacteria (8-14%) as the main phyla, and Treponema, TG5, Dysgonomonas, Tannerella, za29, Lactococcus, Pseudomonas, and SJA-88 as the common genera in all the four termites. The diversity of gut bacterial communities in the higher termite guts was significantly greater than that in the lower termites; while the gut microbiota in M. shangchengensis (wood-feeding higher termite) was more similar to those of the wood-feeding lower termites rather than that of O. formosanus (fungus-feeding higher termite), and phylum Spirochaetes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria were super-dominant in the wood-feeding termites, despite of their phylogenetic relations. This study reported for the first time the gut bacterial communities for the termites of M. shangchengensis and T. ampliceps and the comparative analyses showed that the gut microbial communities varied according to the phylogeny and the diet habits of termites. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

  20. The antibacterial protein lysozyme identified as the termite egg recognition pheromone.

    PubMed

    Matsuura, Kenji; Tamura, Takashi; Kobayashi, Norimasa; Yashiro, Toshihisa; Tatsumi, Shingo

    2007-08-29

    Social insects rely heavily on pheromone communication to maintain their sociality. Egg protection is one of the most fundamental social behaviours in social insects. The recent discovery of the termite-egg mimicking fungus 'termite-ball' and subsequent studies on termite egg protection behaviour have shown that termites can be manipulated by using the termite egg recognition pheromone (TERP), which strongly evokes the egg-carrying and -grooming behaviours of workers. Despite the great scientific and economic importance, TERP has not been identified because of practical difficulties. Herein we identified the antibacterial protein lysozyme as the TERP. We isolated the target protein using ion-exchange and hydrophobic interaction chromatography, and the MALDI-TOF MS analysis showed a molecular size of 14.5 kDa. We found that the TERP provided antibacterial activity against a gram-positive bacterium. Among the currently known antimicrobial proteins, the molecular size of 14.5 kDa limits the target to lysozyme. Termite lysozymes obtained from eggs and salivary glands, and even hen egg lysozyme, showed a strong termite egg recognition activity. Besides eggs themselves, workers also supply lysozyme to eggs through frequent egg-grooming, by which egg surfaces are coated with saliva containing lysozyme. Reverse transcript PCR analysis showed that mRNA of termite lysozyme was expressed in both salivary glands and eggs. Western blot analysis confirmed that lysozyme production begins in immature eggs in queen ovaries. This is the first identification of proteinaceous pheromone in social insects. Researchers have focused almost exclusively on hydrocarbons when searching for recognition pheromones in social insects. The present finding of a proteinaceous pheromone represents a major step forward in, and result in the broadening of, the search for recognition pheromones. This novel function of lysozyme as a termite pheromone illuminates the profound influence of pathogenic

  1. The Antibacterial Protein Lysozyme Identified as the Termite Egg Recognition Pheromone

    PubMed Central

    Matsuura, Kenji; Tamura, Takashi; Kobayashi, Norimasa; Yashiro, Toshihisa; Tatsumi, Shingo

    2007-01-01

    Social insects rely heavily on pheromone communication to maintain their sociality. Egg protection is one of the most fundamental social behaviours in social insects. The recent discovery of the termite-egg mimicking fungus ‘termite-ball’ and subsequent studies on termite egg protection behaviour have shown that termites can be manipulated by using the termite egg recognition pheromone (TERP), which strongly evokes the egg-carrying and -grooming behaviours of workers. Despite the great scientific and economic importance, TERP has not been identified because of practical difficulties. Herein we identified the antibacterial protein lysozyme as the TERP. We isolated the target protein using ion-exchange and hydrophobic interaction chromatography, and the MALDI-TOF MS analysis showed a molecular size of 14.5 kDa. We found that the TERP provided antibacterial activity against a gram-positive bacterium. Among the currently known antimicrobial proteins, the molecular size of 14.5 kDa limits the target to lysozyme. Termite lysozymes obtained from eggs and salivary glands, and even hen egg lysozyme, showed a strong termite egg recognition activity. Besides eggs themselves, workers also supply lysozyme to eggs through frequent egg-grooming, by which egg surfaces are coated with saliva containing lysozyme. Reverse transcript PCR analysis showed that mRNA of termite lysozyme was expressed in both salivary glands and eggs. Western blot analysis confirmed that lysozyme production begins in immature eggs in queen ovaries. This is the first identification of proteinaceous pheromone in social insects. Researchers have focused almost exclusively on hydrocarbons when searching for recognition pheromones in social insects. The present finding of a proteinaceous pheromone represents a major step forward in, and result in the broadening of, the search for recognition pheromones. This novel function of lysozyme as a termite pheromone illuminates the profound influence of pathogenic

  2. Cryoprotection in dampwood termites (Termopsidae, Isoptera).

    PubMed

    Lacey, Michael J; Lenz, Michael; Evans, Theodore A

    2010-01-01

    In contrast to the majority of the Order, the dampwood termites of the family Termopsidae found in colder regions can experience frost and snow, either in cool temperate areas at high latitudes (45 degrees ), or alpine areas at high elevations (>1000m). This suggests that dampwood termites are adapted to cold climates. We investigated this hypothesis in two dampwood termites, Porotermes adamsoni Froggatt and Stolotermes victoriensis Hill. We measured nest temperatures and atmospheric temperatures of their alpine habitat during winter, and measured survival and recovery at subzero temperatures. We also determined the minimum temperature at which these species remain active and the LT50 values. We used a novel gas chromatographic strategy to examine eight metabolites from individuals of both species collected in winter and summer to identify possible cryoprotectants. Both P. adamsoni and S. victoriensis had significantly higher levels of trehalose, a known cryoprotectant, in winter than in summer; in addition S. victoriensis also had higher levels of unsaturated fatty acid ligands in winter than in summer, consistent with patterns observed for cold adaptation in other organisms. These results are the first to reveal that dampwood termites are adapted to cold climates and use trehalose and unsaturated lipids as cryoprotectants.

  3. Methane oxidation by termite mounds estimated by the carbon isotopic composition of methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugimoto, Atsuko; Inoue, Tetsushi; Kirtibutr, Nit; Abe, Takuya

    1998-12-01

    Emission rates and carbon isotope ratios of CH4, emitted by workers of termites, and of CH4, emitted from their mounds, were observed in a dry evergreen forest in Thailand to estimate the proportion of CH4 oxidized during emission through the mound. The δ13C of CH4 emitted from a termite mound (-70.9 to -82.4‰) was higher than that of CH4 emitted by workers in the mound (-85.4 to -97. l‰). Using a fractionation factor (a = 0.987) for oxidation of CH4 which was obtained in the incubation experiment, an emission factor defined as (CH4 emitted from a termite mound/CH4 produced by termites) was calculated. The emission factor obtained in each termite mound was nearly zero for Macrotermes (fungus-growing termites), of which the nest has a thick soil wall and subterrannean termites, and 0.17 to 0.47 for Termitinae (small-mound-making termites). Global CH4 emission by termites was estimated on the basis of the CH4 emission rates by workers and termite biomass with the emission factors. The calculated result was 1.5 to 7.4 Tg/y (0.3 to 1.3% of total source), which is considerably smaller than the estimate by the IPCC [1994].

  4. An American termite in Paris: temporal colony dynamics.

    PubMed

    Baudouin, Guillaume; Dedeine, Franck; Bech, Nicolas; Bankhead-Dronnet, Stéphanie; Dupont, Simon; Bagnères, Anne-Geneviève

    2017-12-01

    Termites of the genus Reticulitermes are widespread invaders, particularly in urban habitats. Their cryptic and subterranean lifestyle makes them difficult to detect, and we know little about their colony dynamics over time. In this study we examined the persistence of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) colonies in the city of Paris over a period of 15 years. The aim was (1) to define the boundaries of colonies sampled within the same four areas over two sampling periods, (2) to determine whether the colonies identified during the first sampling period persisted to the second sampling period, and (3) to compare the results obtained when colonies were delineated using a standard population genetic approach versus a Bayesian clustering method that combined both spatial and genetic information. Herein, colony delineations were inferred from genetic differences at nine microsatellite loci and one mitochondrial locus. Four of the 18 identified colonies did not show significant differences in their genotype distributions between the two sampling periods. While allelic richness was low, making it hard to reliably distinguish colony family type, most colonies appeared to retain the same breeding structure over time. These large and expansive colonies showed an important ability to fuse (39% were mixed-family colonies), contained hundreds of reproductives and displayed evidence of isolation-by-distance, suggesting budding dispersal. These traits, which favor colony persistence over time, present a challenge for pest control efforts, which apply treatment locally. The other colonies showed significant differences, but we cannot exclude the possibility that their genotype distributions simply changed over time.

  5. Permanent groundwater storage in basaltic dyke fractures and termite mound viability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mège, Daniel; Rango, Tewodros

    2010-04-01

    Many basaltic dykes of the Ethiopian flood basalt province are observed in the northwestern Ethiopian lowlands. In this area, the termites preferentially build their epigeous mounds on the top of dolerite dykes. The relationship between termite mounds and dykes is investigated from the analysis of their distribution along one of these dykes, of thickness 2-5 m, that we could follow over 2000 m. Termite mounds are periodically spaced (mean distance 63 m, R2 = 0.995), and located exclusively where the topographic relief of the dyke is not more than 2 m above the surrounding area. From these observations and from the geological context, a hydrological circuit model is proposed in which (1) dykes are preferential conduits for groundwater drainage during the rainy season due to pervasive jointing, (2) during the dry season, the portion of the dyke forming a local topographic relief area dries up more quickly than the surroundings, the elevation difference between the dyke summit and the surroundings being a factor restricting termite mound development. For dyke topographic relief >2 m, drying is an obstacle for maintaining the appropriate humidity for the termite colony life. Periodic termite mound spacing is unlikely to be related to dyke or other geological properties. It is more likely related to termite population behaviour, perhaps to clay shortage, which restricts termite population growth by limiting the quantity of building material available for mound extension, and triggers exploration for a new colonization site that will be located along the dyke at a distance from the former colony that may be controlled by the extent of the zone covered by its trail pheromones. This work brings out the importance of dykes in channelling and storing groundwater in semiarid regions, and shows that dykes can store groundwater permanently in such settings even though the dry season is half the year long. It contributes also to shedding light on water supply conditions

  6. The Potential of Using Acoustical Emission to Detect Termites Within Wood

    Treesearch

    Vernard R. Lewis; Richard L. Lemaster

    1991-01-01

    Acoustical emission (AE) equipment was used to detect drywood termites Incisitermes minor in ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa blocks under laboratory conditions. Using a 60 kHz transducer, AE levels were recorded for 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20 termites per block. The association of AE and varying numbers of drywood termites best fit an...

  7. Invasive termites in a changing climate: A global perspective.

    PubMed

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Bertelsmeier, Cleo

    2017-02-01

    Termites are ubiquitous insects in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate regions and play an important role in ecosystems. Several termite species are also significant economic pests, mainly in urban areas where they attack human-made structures, but also in natural forest habitats. Worldwide, approximately 28 termite species are considered invasive and have spread beyond their native ranges, often with significant economic consequences. We used predictive climate modeling to provide the first global risk assessment for 13 of the world's most invasive termites. We modeled the future distribution of 13 of the most serious invasive termite species, using two different Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5, and two projection years (2050 and 2070). Our results show that all but one termite species are expected to significantly increase in their global distribution, irrespective of the climatic scenario and year. The range shifts by species (shift vectors) revealed a complex pattern of distributional changes across latitudes rather than simple poleward expansion. Mapping of potential invasion hotspots in 2050 under the RCP 4.5 scenario revealed that the most suitable areas are located in the tropics. Substantial parts of all continents had suitable environmental conditions for more than four species simultaneously. Mapping of changes in the number of species revealed that areas that lose many species (e.g., parts of South America) are those that were previously very species-rich, contrary to regions such as Europe that were overall not among the most important invasion hotspots, but that showed a great increase in the number of potential invaders. The substantial economic and ecological damage caused by invasive termites is likely to increase in response to climate change, increased urbanization, and accelerating economic globalization, acting singly or interactively.

  8. Aerodynamics of Ventilation in Termite Mounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailoor, Shantanu; Yaghoobian, Neda; Turner, Scott; Mittal, Rajat

    2017-11-01

    Fungus-cultivating termites collectively build massive, complex mounds which are much larger than the size of an individual termite and effectively use natural wind and solar energy, as well as the energy generated by the colony's own metabolic activity to maintain the necessary environmental condition for the colony's survival. We seek to understand the aerodynamics of ventilation and thermoregulation of termite mounds through computational modeling. A simplified model accounting for key mound features, such as soil porosity and internal conduit network, is subjected to external draft conditions. The role of surface flow conditions in the generation of internal flow patterns and the ability of the mound to transport gases and heat from the nursery are examined. The understanding gained from our study could be used to guide sustainable bio-inspired passive HVAC system design, which could help optimize energy utilization in commercial and residential buildings. This research is supported by a seed Grant from the Environment, Energy Sustainability and Health Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

  9. Use of termite mounds in geochemical exploration in North Ethiopia [rapid communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kebede, Fassil

    2004-09-01

    The geochemistry of the termite mounds was studied in lower Giba River basin, Kolla Tambien district, northern Ethiopia to show that they are useful in searching for metals. Specimens from the termite mounds and parent materials were collected to quantify gold, silver, copper, zinc, cobalt, manganese, iron and nickel. The results of the geochemical analysis of the samples indicated that these metals exist both in the termite mound and the parent material in the surrounding area. Correlation analysis shows that termite mounds and the parent materials are positively correlated for gold ( r = 0.75∗), copper ( r = 0.77∗), silver ( r = 0.56∗) and manganese ( r = 0.72). This positive correlation leads to the conclusion that there is a direct relation between the concentration of metals in termite mound and the parent rocks. Termite mounds can therefore be used as tools in exploring for these metals.

  10. Exploring the potential for actinobacteria as defensive symbionts in fungus-growing termites.

    PubMed

    Visser, Anna A; Nobre, Tânia; Currie, Cameron R; Aanen, Duur K; Poulsen, Michael

    2012-05-01

    In fungus-growing termites, fungi of the subgenus Pseudoxylaria threaten colony health through substrate competition with the termite fungus (Termitomyces). The potential mechanisms with which termites suppress Pseudoxylaria have remained unknown. Here we explore if Actinobacteria potentially play a role as defensive symbionts against Pseudoxylaria in fungus-growing termites. We sampled for Actinobacteria from 30 fungus-growing termite colonies, spanning the three main termite genera and two geographically distant sites. Our isolations yielded 360 Actinobacteria, from which we selected subsets for morphological (288 isolates, grouped in 44 morphotypes) and for 16S rRNA (35 isolates, spanning the majority of morphotypes) characterisation. Actinobacteria were found throughout all sampled nests and colony parts and, phylogenetically, they are interspersed with Actinobacteria from origins other than fungus-growing termites, indicating lack of specificity. Antibiotic-activity screening of 288 isolates against the fungal cultivar and competitor revealed that most of the Actinobacteria-produced molecules with antifungal activity. A more detailed bioassay on 53 isolates, to test the specificity of antibiotics, showed that many Actinobacteria inhibit both Pseudoxylaria and Termitomyces, and that the cultivar fungus generally is more susceptible to inhibition than the competitor. This suggests that either defensive symbionts are not present in the system or that they, if present, represent a subset of the community isolated. If so, the antibiotics must be used in a targeted fashion, being applied to specific areas by the termites. We describe the first discovery of an assembly of antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria occurring in fungus-growing termite nests. However, due to the diversity found, and the lack of both phylogenetic and bioactivity specificity, further work is necessary for a better understanding of the putative role of antibiotic-producing bacteria in the fungus

  11. A giant termite from the Late Miocene of Styria, Austria (Isoptera)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, Michael S.; Gross, Martin

    2009-02-01

    A giant termite is described and figured from the Late Miocene of the Styrian Basin in southeastern Austria. Gyatermes styriensis gen. n. et sp. n. is represented by a relatively complete forewing, with basal scale. The fossil approximates in size the largest of all termites today and is the largest fossil termite on record. The presence of this species in the Late Miocene fauna of Europe indicates that climatic conditions were appropriate for the persistence of species and colonies requiring relatively stable, warm conditions. The genus is primitive in overall features but shares some similarity with the dampwood termites.

  12. Termites utilise clay to build structural supports and so increase foraging resources.

    PubMed

    Oberst, Sebastian; Lai, Joseph C S; Evans, Theodore A

    2016-02-08

    Many termite species use clay to build foraging galleries and mound-nests. In some cases clay is placed within excavations of their wooden food, such as living trees or timber in buildings; however the purpose for this clay is unclear. We tested the hypotheses that termites can identify load bearing wood, and that they use clay to provide mechanical support of the load and thus allow them to eat the wood. In field and laboratory experiments, we show that the lower termite Coptotermes acinaciformis, the most basal species to build a mound-nest, can distinguish unloaded from loaded wood, and use clay differently when eating each type. The termites target unloaded wood preferentially, and use thin clay sheeting to camouflage themselves while eating the unloaded wood. The termites attack loaded wood secondarily, and build thick, load-bearing clay walls when they do. The termites add clay and build thicker walls as the load-bearing wood is consumed. The use of clay to support wood under load unlocks otherwise unavailable food resources. This behaviour may represent an evolutionary step from foraging behaviour to nest building in lower termites.

  13. Termites utilise clay to build structural supports and so increase foraging resources

    PubMed Central

    Oberst, Sebastian; Lai, Joseph C. S.; Evans, Theodore A.

    2016-01-01

    Many termite species use clay to build foraging galleries and mound-nests. In some cases clay is placed within excavations of their wooden food, such as living trees or timber in buildings; however the purpose for this clay is unclear. We tested the hypotheses that termites can identify load bearing wood, and that they use clay to provide mechanical support of the load and thus allow them to eat the wood. In field and laboratory experiments, we show that the lower termite Coptotermes acinaciformis, the most basal species to build a mound-nest, can distinguish unloaded from loaded wood, and use clay differently when eating each type. The termites target unloaded wood preferentially, and use thin clay sheeting to camouflage themselves while eating the unloaded wood. The termites attack loaded wood secondarily, and build thick, load-bearing clay walls when they do. The termites add clay and build thicker walls as the load-bearing wood is consumed. The use of clay to support wood under load unlocks otherwise unavailable food resources. This behaviour may represent an evolutionary step from foraging behaviour to nest building in lower termites. PMID:26854187

  14. Density-body mass relationships: Inconsistent intercontinental patterns among termite feeding-groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahlsjö, Cecilia A. L.; Parr, Catherine L.; Malhi, Yadvinder; Meir, Patrick; Rahman, Homathevi; Eggleton, Paul

    2015-02-01

    Allometric relationships are useful for estimating and understanding resource distribution in assemblages with species of different masses. Damuth's law states that body mass scales with population density as M-0.75, where M is body mass and -0.75 is the slope. In this study we used Damuth's law (M-0.75) as a null hypothesis to examine the relationship between body mass and population density for termite feeding-groups in three different countries and regions (Cameroon, West Africa; Peru South America; and Malaysia SE Asia). We found that none of the feeding-groups had a relationship where M-0.75 while the data suggested that population density-body mass relationships for true soil-feeding termites in Cameroon (M2.7) and wood-feeding termites in Peru (M1.5) were significantly different from the expected values given by Damuth's law. The dominance of large-bodied true soil-feeding termites in Cameroon and the absence of fungus-growing termites from Peru suggest that these allometric patterns are due to heterogeneities in termite biogeographical evolution. Additionally, as these feeding-groups have higher population density than expected by their body masses it may be suggested that they also have a higher energy throughput than expected. The results presented here may be used to gain further understanding of resource distribution among termite feeding-groups across regions and an insight into the importance of evolutionary history and biogeography on allometric patterns. Further understanding of population density-body mass relationships in termite feeding-groups may also improve understanding of the role these feeding-groups play in ecosystem processes in different regions.

  15. Queen-specific volatile in a higher termite Nasutitermes takasagoensis (Isoptera: Termitidae).

    PubMed

    Himuro, Chihiro; Yokoi, Tomoyuki; Matsuura, Kenji

    2011-07-01

    In social insect colonies, queen-produced pheromones have important functions in social regulation. These substances influence the behavior and physiology of colony members. A queen-produced volatile that inhibits differentiation of new neotenic reproductives was recently identified in the lower termite Reticulitermes speratus. However, there are no known queen-specific volatiles of this type in any other termite species. Here, we report volatile compounds emitted by live queens of the higher termite Nasutitermes takasagoensis. We used headspace gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (HS GC-MS) to analyze volatiles emitted by live primary queens, workers, soldiers, alates, and eggs collected in a Japanese subtropical forest. Among 14 detected compounds, 7 were soldier-specific, 1 was alate-specific, 1 was egg-specific, and 1 was queen-specific. The queen-specific volatile was phenylethanol, which is different than the compound identified in R. speratus. The identification of this queen-specific volatile is the first step in determining its functions in higher termite social regulation. Comparisons of queen pheromone substances regulating caste differentiation among various termite taxa will contribute to a better understanding of the evolution of social systems in termites. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Caste- and development-associated gene expression in a lower termite

    PubMed Central

    Scharf, Michael E; Wu-Scharf, Dancia; Pittendrigh, Barry R; Bennett, Gary W

    2003-01-01

    Background Social insects such as termites express dramatic polyphenism (the occurrence of multiple forms in a species on the basis of differential gene expression) both in association with caste differentiation and between castes after differentiation. We have used cDNA macroarrays to compare gene expression between polyphenic castes and intermediary developmental stages of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes. Results We identified differentially expressed genes from nine ontogenic categories. Quantitative PCR was used to quantify precise differences in gene expression between castes and between intermediary developmental stages. We found worker and nymph-biased expression of transcripts encoding termite and endosymbiont cellulases; presoldier-biased expression of transcripts encoding the storage/hormone-binding protein vitellogenin; and soldier-biased expression of gene transcripts encoding two transcription/translation factors, two signal transduction factors and four cytoskeletal/muscle proteins. The two transcription/translation factors showed significant homology to the bicaudal and bric-a-brac developmental genes of Drosophila. Conclusions Our results show differential expression of regulatory, structural and enzyme-coding genes in association with termite castes and their developmental precursor stages. They also provide the first glimpse into how insect endosymbiont cellulase gene expression can vary in association with the caste of a host. These findings shed light on molecular processes associated with termite biology, polyphenism, caste differentiation and development and highlight potentially interesting variations in developmental themes between termites, other insects, and higher animals. PMID:14519197

  17. Termites Facilitate Methane Oxidation and Shape the Methanotrophic Community

    PubMed Central

    Erens, Hans; Mujinya, Basile Bazirake; Boeckx, Pascal; Baert, Geert; Schneider, Bellinda; Frenzel, Peter; Van Ranst, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Termite-derived methane contributes 3 to 4% to the total methane budget globally. Termites are not known to harbor methane-oxidizing microorganisms (methanotrophs). However, a considerable fraction of the methane produced can be consumed by methanotrophs that inhabit the mound material, yet the methanotroph ecology in these environments is virtually unknown. The potential for methane oxidation was determined using slurry incubations under conditions with high (12%) and in situ (∼0.004%) methane concentrations through a vertical profile of a termite (Macrotermes falciger) mound and a reference soil. Interestingly, the mound material showed higher methanotrophic activity. The methanotroph community structure was determined by means of a pmoA-based diagnostic microarray. Although the methanotrophs in the mound were derived from populations in the reference soil, it appears that termite activity selected for a distinct community. Applying an indicator species analysis revealed that putative atmospheric methane oxidizers (high-indicator-value probes specific for the JR3 cluster) were indicative of the active nest area, whereas methanotrophs belonging to both type I and type II were indicative of the reference soil. We conclude that termites modify their environment, resulting in higher methane oxidation and selecting and/or enriching for a distinct methanotroph population. PMID:24038691

  18. Termites facilitate methane oxidation and shape the methanotrophic community.

    PubMed

    Ho, Adrian; Erens, Hans; Mujinya, Basile Bazirake; Boeckx, Pascal; Baert, Geert; Schneider, Bellinda; Frenzel, Peter; Boon, Nico; Van Ranst, Eric

    2013-12-01

    Termite-derived methane contributes 3 to 4% to the total methane budget globally. Termites are not known to harbor methane-oxidizing microorganisms (methanotrophs). However, a considerable fraction of the methane produced can be consumed by methanotrophs that inhabit the mound material, yet the methanotroph ecology in these environments is virtually unknown. The potential for methane oxidation was determined using slurry incubations under conditions with high (12%) and in situ (∼0.004%) methane concentrations through a vertical profile of a termite (Macrotermes falciger) mound and a reference soil. Interestingly, the mound material showed higher methanotrophic activity. The methanotroph community structure was determined by means of a pmoA-based diagnostic microarray. Although the methanotrophs in the mound were derived from populations in the reference soil, it appears that termite activity selected for a distinct community. Applying an indicator species analysis revealed that putative atmospheric methane oxidizers (high-indicator-value probes specific for the JR3 cluster) were indicative of the active nest area, whereas methanotrophs belonging to both type I and type II were indicative of the reference soil. We conclude that termites modify their environment, resulting in higher methane oxidation and selecting and/or enriching for a distinct methanotroph population.

  19. Soldier-Specific Modification of the Mandibular Motor Neurons in Termites

    PubMed Central

    Ishikawa, Yuki; Aonuma, Hitoshi; Miura, Toru

    2008-01-01

    Social insects exhibit a variety of caste-specific behavioral tendencies that constitute the basis of division of labor within the colony. In termites, the soldier caste display distinctive defense behaviors, such as aggressively attacking enemies with well-developed mandibles, while the other castes retreat into the colony without exhibiting any aggressive response. It is thus likely that some form of soldier-specific neuronal modification exists in termites. In this study, the authors compared the brain (cerebral ganglion) and the suboesophageal ganglion (SOG) of soldiers and pseudergates (workers) in the damp-wood termite, Hodotermopsis sjostedti. The size of the SOG was significantly larger in soldiers than in pseudergates, but no difference in brain size was apparent between castes. Furthermore, mandibular nerves were thicker in soldiers than in pseudergates. Retrograde staining revealed that the somata sizes of the mandibular motor neurons (MdMNs) in soldiers were more than twice as large as those of pseudergates. The enlargement of MdMNs was also observed in individuals treated with a juvenile hormone analogue (JHA), indicating that MdMNs become enlarged in response to juvenile hormone (JH) action during soldier differentiation. This enlargement is likely to have two functions: a behavioral function in which soldier termites will be able to defend more effectively through relatively faster and stronger mandibular movements, and a developmental function that associates with the development of soldier-specific mandibular muscle morphogenesis in termite head. The soldier-specific enlargement of mandibular motor neurons was observed in all examined species in five termite families that have different mechanisms of defense, suggesting that such neuronal modification was already present in the common ancestor of termites and is significant for soldier function. PMID:18612458

  20. Phylogenetic diversity of Archaea in the intestinal tract of termites from different lineages.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yu; Huang, Zhou; Han, Shuai; Fan, Shuo; Yang, Hong

    2015-08-01

    Termites are among the few arthropods that emit methane to the atmosphere, which is a significant source of global greenhouse gas due to their huge biomass on earth. In this study, phylogenetic diversity of Archaea of five termite species from different lineages were analyzed based on 16S rRNA genes. Archaea associated with wood-feeding lower termite, R. chinensis were exclusively Methanobrevibacter in the order Methanobacteriales. This type of methanogens was also found in Nasutitermes sp. and Microcerotermes sp. but not in the fungus-cultivating termites, Odontotermes formosanus and Macrotermes barneyi, which harbor Archaea of the order Methanoplasmatales and Methanosarcinales in their guts. Archaeal diversity of wood-feeding higher termites was higher than wood-feeding lower termites. The highest archaeal diversity was found in Nasutitermes sp. In addition to methanogens affiliated with the orders Methanobacteriales, Methanomicrobiales, and Methanoplasmatales, 37% of archaeal clones were affiliated with non-methanogenic Thaumarchaeota. The results of this study will be significant for further understanding of symbiotic relationship between intestinal microbiota and termites. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. Cuticular Hydrocarbons: Species and Population-Level Discrimination in Termites

    Treesearch

    Michael I. Haverty; Marion Page; Barbara L. Thorne; Pierre Escoubas

    1991-01-01

    Hydrocarbons in the cuticle of insects are essential in protecting them from desiccation. The vast variety of hydrocarbons synthesized by insects and the apparent species-specificity of cuticular hydrocarbon mixtures make them excellent taxonomic characters for separating species within termite genera. Hydrocarbon phenotypes of dampwood termites, Zootermopsis...

  2. An Assessment of the Potential Uses of Agonistic Behaviors in Termite Control

    Treesearch

    Barbara L. Thorne; Michael I. Haverty

    1991-01-01

    The potential use of termite-termite agonism in pest control is explored and evaluated. Intra-and interspecific en-counters among termites from different colonies are known to result in aggressive or avoidance behaviors in a variety of species. Recent studies suggest, however, that intraspecific confrontations only rarely evoke aggressive responses in several...

  3. Trail-following in termites: Evidence for a multicomponent system.

    PubMed

    Kaib, M; Bruinsma, O; Leuthold, R H

    1982-09-01

    Several African termite species from different subfamilies and different habitats are sensitive to trail-active extracts or to naturally laid trails from other species. Using single-extract bioassays, it is shown that the response threshold for trail-following is nearly identical for all tested species (except forHodotermes mossambicus). However, when termite workers have a choice between trails from their own species and from other species, conspecific trail-following is exclusively observed. This phenomenon can be counteracted by dilution (1∶10) of the conspecific trail-pheromone extract. Tests of the trail activity of various synthetic alcohols show that among these, the highest sensitivity of termite workers is to (Z)-3-dodecen-1-ol. Based on our experimental data, we postulate that, in addition to a generally active trail-pheromone constituent (an unsaturated primary C12 alcohol) or a pool of chemically closely related alcohols, other species-specific components are present in termite trails.

  4. Social insects dominate eastern US temperate hardwood forest macroinvertebrate communiteis in warmer regions

    Treesearch

    Joshua R. King; Robert J. Warren; Mark A. Bradford

    2013-01-01

    Earthworms, termites, and ants are common macroinvertebrates in terrestrial environments, although for most ecosystems data on their abundance and biomass is sparse. Quantifying their areal abundance is a critical first step in understanding their functional importance. We intensively sampled dead wood, litter, and soil in eastern US temperate hardwood forests at four...

  5. Mitochondrial DNA genetic diversity of the drywood termites Incisitermes minor and I. snyderi

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The western drywood termite, Incisitermes minor (Hagen) and the light southern drywood termite I. snyderi (Light) are common drywood termites in southwestern and southern United States, respectively. Despite the economic importance of these two species, no information exists on the mitochondrial gen...

  6. Termite assemblages from oil palm agroecosystems across Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saputra, Andi; Jalaludin, Nur-Atiqah; Hazmi, Izfa Riza; Rahim, Faszly

    2016-11-01

    Termite survey was conducted at six oil palm agroecosystem sites in Riau Province, Sumatra, Indonesia to document species richness across the sites. Six sites were surveyed by using continuous transect representing gradients of oil palm landuse across Indragiri Hulu to Bengkalis District since February 5th, 2015 until May 21st, 2015. Termites were sampled by modified transect protocols (100 m × 4 m × 10 cm). A total of 23 species belonging to two families and five subfamilies were collected. The termite assemblage was dominated by wood-feeding termites. The major family collected was Rhinotermitidae which included some pest species, such as Coptotermes curvignathus, C. sepangensis, C. kalshoveni, Schedorhinotermes malaccensis, S. medioobscurus, S. brevialatus, and S. javanicus.

  7. Geochemical prospecting for rare earth elements using termite mound materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horiuchi, Yu; Ohno, Tetsuji; Hoshino, Mihoko; Shin, Ki-Cheol; Murakami, Hiroyasu; Tsunematsu, Maiko; Watanabe, Yasushi

    2014-12-01

    The Blockspruit fluorite prospect, located in North West State of the Republic of South Africa, occurs within an actinolite rock zone that was emplaced into the Kenkelbos-type granite of Proterozoic age. There are a large number of termite mounds in the prospect. For geochemical prospecting for rare earth elements (REEs), in total, 200 samples of termite mound material were collected from actinolite rock and granite zones in the prospect. Geochemical analyses of these termite mound materials were conducted by two methods: portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Comparison of the two methods broadly indicates positive correlations of REEs (La, Ce, Pr, Nd, and Y), in particular Y and La having a strong correlation. As the result of modal abundance analyses, the actinolite rock at surface mainly consists of ferro-actinolite (89.89 wt%) and includes xenotime (0.26 wt%) and monazite (0.21 wt%) grains as REE minerals. Termite mound materials from actinolite rock also contain xenotime (0.27 wt%) and monazite (0.41 wt%) grains. In addition, termite mound materials from the actinolite rock zone have high hematite and Fe silicate contents compared to those from granite zone. These relationships suggest that REE minerals in termite mound materials originate form actinolite rock. Geochemical anomaly maps of Y, La, and Fe concentrations drawn based on the result of the portable XRF analyses show that high concentrations of these elements trend from SW to NE which broadly correspond to occurrences of actinolite body. These results indicate that termite mounds are an effective tool for REE geochemical prospection in the study area for both light REEs and Y, but a more detailed survey is required to establish the distribution of the actinolite rock body.

  8. Biogeochemical study of termite mounds: a case study from Tummalapalle area of Andhra Pradesh, India.

    PubMed

    Arveti, Nagaraju; Reginald, S; Kumar, K Sunil; Harinath, V; Sreedhar, Y

    2012-04-01

    Termite mounds are abundant components of Tummalapalle area of uranium mineralization of Cuddapah District of Andhra Pradesh, India. The systematic research has been carried out on the application of termite mound sampling to mineral exploration in this region. The distribution of chemical elements Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni, Co, Cr, Li, Rb, Sr, Ba, and U were studied both in termite soils and adjacent surface soils. Uranium accumulations were noticed in seven termite mounds ranging from 10 to 36 ppm. A biogeochemical parameter called "Biological Absorption Coefficient" of the termite mounds indicated the termite affected soils contained huge amounts of chemical elements than the adjacent soils.

  9. Living in a ``stethoscope'': burrow-acoustics promote auditory specializations in subterranean rodents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lange, Simone; Burda, Hynek; Wegner, Regina E.; Dammann, Philip; Begall, Sabine; Kawalika, Mathias

    2007-02-01

    Subterranean mammals rely to a great extent on audition for communication and to be alerted to danger. The only hitherto published report on burrow acoustics revealed that in tunnels of blind mole-rats ( Spalax ehrenbergi), airborne sounds of 440 Hz propagated best whereas lower and higher frequencies were effectively attenuated. Morpho-functional analyses classify the ear of subterranean mammals as a low-sensitivity and low-frequency device. Concordantly, hearing is characterized by low sensitivity and a restricted frequency range tuned to low frequencies (0.5-4 kHz). Some authors considered the restricted hearing in subterranean mammals vestigial and degenerate due to under-stimulation. In contrast to this view stand a rich (mostly low-frequency) vocal repertoire and progressive structural specializations of the middle and inner ear. Thus, other authors considered these hearing characteristics adaptive. To test the hypothesis that acoustical environment in burrows of different species of subterranean mammals is similar, we measured sound attenuation in burrows of Fukomys mole-rats (formerly known as Cryptomys, cf. Kock et al. 2006) of two differently sized species at different locations in Zambia. We show that in these burrows, low-frequency sounds (200-800 Hz) are not only least attenuated but also their amplitude may be amplified like in a stethoscope (up to two times over 1 m). We suggest that hearing sensitivity has decreased during evolution of subterranean mammals to avoid over-stimulation of the ear in their natural environment.

  10. Cryptic termites avoid predatory ants by eavesdropping on vibrational cues from their footsteps.

    PubMed

    Oberst, Sebastian; Bann, Glen; Lai, Joseph C S; Evans, Theodore A

    2017-02-01

    Eavesdropping has evolved in many predator-prey relationships. Communication signals of social species may be particularly vulnerable to eavesdropping, such as pheromones produced by ants, which are predators of termites. Termites communicate mostly by way of substrate-borne vibrations, which suggest they may be able to eavesdrop, using two possible mechanisms: ant chemicals or ant vibrations. We observed termites foraging within millimetres of ants in the field, suggesting the evolution of specialised detection behaviours. We found the termite Coptotermes acinaciformis detected their major predator, the ant Iridomyrmex purpureus, through thin wood using only vibrational cues from walking, and not chemical signals. Comparison of 16 termite and ant species found the ants-walking signals were up to 100 times higher than those of termites. Eavesdropping on passive walking signals explains the predator detection and foraging behaviours in this ancient relationship, which may be applicable to many other predator-prey relationships. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  11. Disease Resistance in the Drywood Termite, Incisitermes schwarzi: Does Nesting Ecology Affect Immunocompetence?

    PubMed Central

    Calleri, Daniel V.; Rosengaus, Rebeca B.; Traniello, James F.A.

    2010-01-01

    Termites live in nests that can differ in microbial load and thus vary in degree of disease risk. It was hypothesized that termite investment in immune response would differ in species living in nest environments that vary in the richness and abundance of microbes. Using the drywood termite, Incisitermes schwarzi Banks (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae), as a model for species having low nest and cuticular microbial loads, the susceptibility of individuals and groups to conidia of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae), was examined. The survivorship of I. schwarzi was compared to that of the dampwood termite, Zootermopsis angusticollis Hagen (Termopsidae), a species with comparatively high microbial loads. The results indicated that I. schwarzi derives similar benefits from group living as Z. angusticollis: isolated termites had 5.5 times the hazard ratio of death relative to termites nesting in groups of 25 while termites in groups of 10 did not differ significantly from the groups of 25. The results also indicated, after controlling for the influence of group size and conidia exposure on survivorship, that Z. angusticollis was significantly more susceptible to fungal infection than I. schwarzi, the former having 1.6 times the hazard ratio of death relative to drywood termites. Thus, disease susceptibility and individual investment in immunocompetence may not be dependent on interspecific variation in microbial pressures. The data validate prior studies indicating that sociality has benefits in infection control and suggest that social mechanisms of disease resistance, rather than individual physiological and immunological adaptations, may have been the principle target of selection related to variation in infection risk from microbes in the nest environment of different termite species. PMID:20572790

  12. The Role of Antennae in Removing Entomopathogenic Fungi from Cuticle of the Termite, Coptotermes formosanus

    PubMed Central

    Yanagawa, Aya; Yokohari, Fumio; Shimizu, Susumu

    2009-01-01

    Our previous research has shown that the termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), protects itself from entomopathogenic fungi by mutual grooming behavior. The termite removes and discards foreign organisms, such as fungal conidia, from the body surface of its nestmates by mutual grooming behavior. The role of the antennae in detecting the condia was examind here. Three entomopathogenic fungi were used, Beauveria brongniartii 782 (Saccardo) (Hypocreales), Paecilomyces fumosoroseus K3 (Wize) (Hyphomycetes), and Metarhizium anisopliae 455 Sorokin (Hyphomycetes). Termites with antennae removed conidia more efficiently than termites without antennae. There were differences between termites with and without antennae in selection of sites to be groomed on nestmates, in the length of grooming and in occurrence of grooming. Electroantennogram (EAG) responses were recorded from termite antennae and the waveforms were rather specific to the kinds of fungi used as odor sources. Termites were able to distinguish between the tested fungi in feeding tests. These results show that the antennae play important roles in the mutual grooming behavior of the termite. PMID:19611249

  13. What's inside a Termite's Gut?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morales, Asia Liza; Rowton, Edgar; Anderson, Margery; Yourick, Debra

    2017-01-01

    During the Jurassic period (201 million to 145 million years ago), termites up to 15 mm long consumed and recycled vegetation and feces. Since then, termites have evolved into some 3,000 identified species, have colonized every continent except Antarctica, and are major contributors to nutrient cycling and vertebrate food webs (Shaw 2014).…

  14. Temperature fluctuations inside savanna termite mounds: Do size and plant shade matter?

    PubMed

    Ndlovu, M; Pérez-Rodríguez, A

    2018-05-01

    Mound building termites are key ecosystem engineers of subtropical savanna regions. Mounds allow termites to maintain suitable conditions for termite reproduction and food cultivation ('fungus gardens'). We studied how the internal mound temperature of Macrotermes natalensis, a dominant mound-building termite of the subtropical savanna of southern Africa, responds to a number of environmental variables. We used general additive mixed models (GAMM) to determine how external temperature, mound size (volume) and the amount of vegetation shade affects mound internal temperature over a 24-h period. Internal mound temperature varied daily following changes of the external temperature, although the range of variation was much smaller. Active termite mounds maintained a higher internal temperature than inactive ones, and mound activity reinforced the positive effect of mound size and moderated the negative effect of vegetation shade on internal temperatures. In turn, external temperature fluctuations equally affected active and inactive mounds. Large mounds maintained near optimal internal temperatures compared to smaller sized mounds. We therefore conclude that termite mound size is a stronger determinant of internal mound temperature stability compared to plant shade cover. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The role of logistic constraints in termite construction of chambers and tunnels.

    PubMed

    Ladley, Dan; Bullock, Seth

    2005-06-21

    In previous models of the building behaviour of termites, physical and logistic constraints that limit the movement of termites and pheromones have been neglected. Here, we present an individual-based model of termite construction that includes idealized constraints on the diffusion of pheromones, the movement of termites, and the integrity of the architecture that they construct. The model allows us to explore the extent to which the results of previous idealized models (typically realised in one or two dimensions via a set of coupled partial differential equations) generalize to a physical, 3-D environment. Moreover we are able to investigate new processes and architectures that rely upon these features. We explore the role of stigmergic recruitment in pillar formation, wall building, and the construction of royal chambers, tunnels and intersections. In addition, for the first time, we demonstrate the way in which the physicality of partially built structures can help termites to achieve efficient tunnel structures and to establish and maintain entrances in royal chambers. As such we show that, in at least some cases, logistic constraints can be important or even necessary in order for termites to achieve efficient, effective constructions.

  16. What Kills the Hindgut Flagellates of Lower Termites during the Host Molting Cycle?

    PubMed Central

    Nalepa, Christine A.

    2017-01-01

    Subsocial wood feeding cockroaches in the genus Cryptocercus, the sister group of termites, retain their symbiotic gut flagellates during the host molting cycle, but in lower termites, closely related flagellates die prior to host ecdysis. Although the prevalent view is that termite flagellates die because of conditions of starvation and desiccation in the gut during the host molting cycle, the work of L.R. Cleveland in the 1930s through the 1960s provides a strong alternate hypothesis: it was the changed hormonal environment associated with the origin of eusociality and its concomitant shift in termite developmental ontogeny that instigates the death of the flagellates in termites. Although the research on termite gut microbial communities has exploded since the advent of modern molecular techniques, the role of the host hormonal environment on the life cycle of its gut flagellates has been neglected. Here Cleveland’s studies are revisited to provide a basis for re-examination of the problem, and the results framed in the context of two alternate hypotheses: the flagellate symbionts are victims of the change in host social status, or the flagellates have become incorporated into the life cycle of the eusocial termite colony. Recent work on parasitic protists suggests clear paths for exploring these hypotheses and for resolving long standing issues regarding sexual-encystment cycles in flagellates of the Cryptocercus-termite lineage using molecular methodologies, bringing the problem into the modern era. PMID:29258251

  17. Screening of multiple potential control genes for use in caste and body region comparisons using RT-qPCR in Coptotermes formosanus

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus, are an important world wide pest. Molecular gene expression is an important tool for understanding the physiology of organisms. The recent advancement of molecular tools for Coptotermes formosanus is leading to advancement of the understanding ...

  18. Detection of mitochondrial COII DNA sequences in ant guts as a method for assessing termite predation by ants.

    PubMed

    Fayle, Tom M; Scholtz, Olivia; Dumbrell, Alex J; Russell, Stephen; Segar, Simon T; Eggleton, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Termites and ants contribute more to animal biomass in tropical rain forests than any other single group and perform vital ecosystem functions. Although ants prey on termites, at the community level the linkage between these groups is poorly understood. Thus, assessing the distribution and specificity of ant termitophagy is of considerable interest. We describe an approach for quantifying ant-termite food webs by sequencing termite DNA (cytochrome c oxidase subunit II, COII) from ant guts and apply this to a soil-dwelling ant community from tropical rain forest in Gabon. We extracted DNA from 215 ants from 15 species. Of these, 17.2 % of individuals had termite DNA in their guts, with BLAST analysis confirming the identity of 34.1 % of these termites to family level or better. Although ant species varied in detection of termite DNA, ranging from 63 % (5/7; Camponotus sp. 1) to 0 % (0/7; Ponera sp. 1), there was no evidence (with small sample sizes) for heterogeneity in termite consumption across ant taxa, and no evidence for species-specific ant-termite predation. In all three ant species with identifiable termite DNA in multiple individuals, multiple termite species were represented. Furthermore, the two termite species that were detected on multiple occasions in ant guts were in both cases found in multiple ant species, suggesting that ant-termite food webs are not strongly compartmentalised. However, two ant species were found to consume only Anoplotermes-group termites, indicating possible predatory specialisation at a higher taxonomic level. Using a laboratory feeding test, we were able to detect termite COII sequences in ant guts up to 2 h after feeding, indicating that our method only detects recent feeding events. Our data provide tentative support for the hypothesis that unspecialised termite predation by ants is widespread and highlight the use of molecular approaches for future studies of ant-termite food webs.

  19. The potential and limits of termites (Isoptera) as decomposers of waste paper products.

    PubMed

    Lenz, Michael; Lee, Chow-Yang; Lacey, Michael J; Yoshimura, Tsuyoshi; Tsunoda, Kunio

    2011-02-01

    Termites (Isoptera) have often been proposed as decomposers oflignocellulosic waste, such as paper products, while termite biomass could be harvested for food supplements. Groups of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Reticulitermes speratus (Kolbe) were kept for 4 and 8 wk, respectively, in the laboratory and given up to 10 different types of paper as their food source. Paper consumption, survival, caste composition, and lipid content were recorded. Corrugated cardboard was by far the most consumed paper product, although survival on it was not necessarily favorable. In R. speratus, lipid reserves and neotenic numbers were quite high, but no breeding occurred. Cardboard may be the "junk food" equivalent for termites. Within the tested period, termites did not perform well on paper products that form the bulk of waste paper--corrugated cardboard, newsprint, and pamphlets and magazines. On all paper products (except recycled office paper), neotenic reproductives were formed, but larvae were observed only on kraft pulp and tissue paper. That all waste paper products contain lignocellulosic fibers does not automatically make them suitable for decomposition by termites. Each paper product has to be assessed on its own merit to see whether termites can reproduce on this diet, if it were to be a candidate for sustainable "termidegradation" and termite biomass production.

  20. The draft genome of a termite illuminates alternative social organization

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Termites have substantial economic and ecological impact worldwide. They are also the oldest organisms living in complex societies, having evolved a caste system independent of that of eusocial Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps). Here we provide the first genome sequence for a termite, Zootermopsis ...

  1. In situ lignocellulosic unlocking mechanism for carbohydrate hydrolysis in termites: crucial lignin modification

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Termites are highly effective at degrading lignocelluloses, and thus can be used as a model for studying plant cell-wall degradation in biological systems. However, the process of lignin deconstruction and/or degradation in termites is still not well understood. Methods We investigated the associated structural modification caused by termites in the lignin biomolecular assembly in softwood tissues crucial for cell-wall degradation. We conducted comparative studies on the termite-digested (i.e. termite feces) and native (control) softwood tissues with the aid of advanced analytical techniques: 13C crosspolarization magic angle spinning and nuclear magnetic resonance (CP-MAS-NMR) spectroscopy, flash pyrolysis with gas chromatography mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS), and Py-GC-MS in the presence of tetramethylammonium hydroxide (Py-TMAH)-GC/MS. Results The 13C CP/MAS NMR spectroscopic analysis revealed an increased level of guaiacyl-derived (G unit) polymeric framework in the termite-digested softwood (feces), while providing specific evidence of cellulose degradation. The Py-GC/MS data were in agreement with the 13C CP/MAS NMR spectroscopic studies, thus indicating dehydroxylation and modification of selective intermonomer side-chain linkages in the lignin in the termite feces. Moreover, Py-TMAH-GC/MS analysis showed significant differences in the product distribution between control and termite feces. This strongly suggests that the structural modification in lignin could be associated with the formation of additional condensed interunit linkages. Conclusion Collectively, these data further establish: 1) that the major β-O-4' (β-aryl ether) was conserved, albeit with substructure degeneracy, and 2) that the nature of the resulting polymer in termite feces retained most of its original aromatic moieties (G unit-derived). Overall, these results provide insight into lignin-unlocking mechanisms for understanding plant cell-wall deconstruction, which could be

  2. Into the dark: patterns of middle ear adaptations in subterranean eulipotyphlan mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koyabu, Daisuke; Hosojima, Misato; Endo, Hideki

    2017-09-01

    Evolution of the middle ear ossicles was a key innovation for mammals, enhancing the transmission of airborne sound. Radiation into various habitats from a terrestrial environment resulted in diversification of the auditory mechanisms among mammals. However, due to the paucity of phylogenetically controlled investigations, how middle ear traits have diversified with functional specialization remains unclear. In order to identify the respective patterns for various lifestyles and to gain insights into fossil forms, we employed a high-resolution tomography technique and compared the middle ear morphology of eulipotyphlan species (moles, shrews and hedgehogs), a group that has radiated into various environments, such as terrestrial, aquatic and subterranean habitats. Three-dimensional geometric morphometric analysis was conducted within a phylogenetically controlled framework. Quantitative shapes were found to strongly reflect the degree of subterranean lifestyle and weakly involve phylogeny. Our analyses demonstrate that subterranean adaptation should include a relatively shorter anterior process of the malleus, an enlarged incus, an enlarged stapes footplate and a reduction of the orbicular apophysis. These traits arguably allow improving low-frequency sound transmission at low frequencies and inhibiting the low-frequency noise which disturbs the subterranean animals in hearing airborne sounds.

  3. Chemical alarm in the termite Termitogeton planus (Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Dolejšová, Klára; Krasulová, Jana; Kutalová, Kateřina; Hanus, Robert

    2014-12-01

    Effective defense is a common characteristic of insect societies. Indeed, the occurrence of specialized defenders, soldiers, has been the first step toward eusociality in several independent lineages, including termites. Among the multitude of defensive strategies used by termite soldiers, defense by chemicals plays a crucial role. It has evolved with complexity in advanced isopteran lineages, whose soldiers are equipped with a unique defensive organ, the frontal gland. Besides direct defense against predators, competitors, and pathogens, the chemicals emitted by soldiers from the frontal gland are used as signals of alarm. In this study, we investigated the chemical composition of the defensive secretion produced by soldiers of the termite Termitogeton planus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), from West Papua, and the effects of this secretion on the behavior of termite groups. Detailed two-dimensional gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analyses of the soldier defensive secretion revealed the presence of four linear and nine monoterpene hydrocarbons. Soldier head extracts, as well as synthetic mixtures of the monoterpenes found in these extracts, elicited alarm behavior in both soldiers and pseudergates. Our results suggest that the alarm is not triggered by a single monoterpene from the defensive blend, but by a multi-component signal combining quantitatively major and minor compounds.

  4. Toxic effects of 2-deoxy-D-galactose on Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) and symbionts.

    PubMed

    Veillon, Lucas; Muniruzzaman, Syed; Henderson, Gregg; Laine, Roger A

    2010-10-01

    In the interest of developing interventions to infestations by Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), several rare sugars were tested for effects on the termites and symbionts. Among these, the D-galactose analog, 2-deoxy-D-galactose (2deoxyGal) showed promise as a potential control chemical. At a test concentration of 2deoxyGal (320.4 microg/mm3) in water applied to 5-cm filter paper, in bioassays with 20 termite workers, we found that worker termite mortality was significantly affected over a 2-wk period. Subsequent dose-mortality feeding studies confirmed these findings. In addition, consumption of the sugar-treated filter paper by termites caused a significant decrease in hindgut protozoan populations. 2deoxyGal caused dose-dependent termite mortality, taking on average 1 wk to begin killing workers, indicating that it may have promise as a delayed action toxin, which, if added to baits, could allow time after bait discovery for an entire colony to be affected.

  5. Solar-powered ventilation of African termite mounds.

    PubMed

    Ocko, Samuel A; King, Hunter; Andreen, David; Bardunias, Paul; Turner, J Scott; Soar, Rupert; Mahadevan, L

    2017-09-15

    How termite mounds function to facilitate climate control is still only partially understood. Recent experimental evidence in the mounds of a single species, the south Asian termite Odontotermes obesus , suggests that the daily oscillations of radiant heating associated with diurnal insolation patterns drive convective flow within them. How general this mechanism is remains unknown. To probe this, we consider the mounds of the African termite Macrotermes michaelseni , which thrives in a very different environment. By directly measuring air velocities and temperatures within the mound, we see that the overall mechanisms and patterns involved are similar to that in the south Asian species. However, there are also some notable differences between the physiology of these mounds associated with the temporal variations in radiant heating patterns and CO 2 dynamics. Because of the difference between direct radiant heating driven by the position of the sun in African conditions, and the more shaded south Asian environments, we see changes in the convective flows in the two types of mounds. Furthermore, we also see that the south Asian mounds show a significant overturning of stratified gases, once a day, while the African mounds have a relatively uniform concentration of CO 2 Overall, our observations show that despite these differences, termite architectures can harness periodic solar heating to drive ventilation inside them in very different environments, functioning as an external lung, with clear implications for human engineering. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. The complexities of hydrolytic enzymes from the termite digestive system.

    PubMed

    Saadeddin, Anas

    2014-06-01

    The main challenge in second generation bioethanol production is the efficient breakdown of cellulose to sugar monomers (hydrolysis). Due to the recalcitrant character of cellulose, feedstock pretreatment and adapted hydrolysis steps are needed to obtain fermentable sugar monomers. The conventional industrial production process of second-generation bioethanol from biomass comprises several steps: thermochemical pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis and sugar fermentation. This process is undergoing continuous optimization in order to increase the bioethanol yield and reduce the economic cost. Therefore, the discovery of new enzymes with high lignocellulytic activity or new strategies is extremely important. In nature, wood-feeding termites have developed a sophisticated and efficient cellulose degrading system in terms of the rate and extent of cellulose hydrolysis and exploitation. This system, which represents a model for digestive symbiosis has attracted the attention of biofuel researchers. This review describes the termite digestive system, gut symbionts, termite enzyme resources, in vitro studies of isolated enzymes and lignin degradation in termites.

  7. Termites, vertebrate herbivores, and the fruiting success of Acacia drepanolobium.

    PubMed

    Brody, Alison K; Palmer, Todd M; Fox-Dobbs, Kena; Doak, Dan F

    2010-02-01

    In African savannas, vertebrate herbivores are often identified as key determinants of plant growth, survivorship, and reproduction. However, plant reproduction is likely to be the product of responses to a suite of abiotic and biotic factors, including nutrient availability and interactions with antagonists and mutualists. In a relatively simple system, we examined the role of termites (which act as ecosystem engineers--modifying physical habitat and creating islands of high soil fertility), vertebrate herbivores, and symbiotic ants, on the fruiting success of a dominant plant, Acacia drepanolobium, in East African savannas. Using observational data, large-scale experimental manipulations, and analysis of foliar N, we found that Acacia drepanolobium trees growing at the edge of termite mounds were more likely to reproduce than those growing farther away, in off-mound soils. Although vertebrate herbivores preferentially used termite mounds as demonstrated by dung deposits, long-term exclusion of mammalian grazers did not significantly reduce A. drepanolobium fruit production. Leaf N was significantly greater in trees growing next to mounds than in those growing farther away, and this pattern was unaffected by exclusion of vertebrates. Thus, soil enrichment by termites, rather than through dung and urine deposition by large herbivores, is of primary importance to fruit production near mounds. Across all mound-herbivore treatment combinations, trees that harbored Crematogaster sjostedti were more likely to fruit than those that harbored one of the other three ant species. Although C. sjostedti is less aggressive than the other ants, it tends to inhabit large, old trees near termite mounds which are more likely to fruit than smaller ones. Termites play a key role in generating patches of nutrient-rich habitat important to the reproductive success of A. drepanolobium in East African savannas. Enhanced nutrient acquisition from termite mounds appears to allow plants to

  8. [Termites (Isoptera) in forest ecosystems of Cat Tien National Park (Southern Vietnam)].

    PubMed

    Beliaeva, N V; Tiunov, A V

    2010-01-01

    The species composition and termite community populations were studied and the total land termites biomass was estimated in five forest habitats of Cat Tien National Park, Southern Vietnam. Twenty-four species of two families, Rhinotermitidae (1 species) and Termitidae (23 species), the predominant representatives of the subfamily Macrotermitinae, were found in mounds and in soil samples. On the test plots the density of termite mounds averaged 68 per hectare, primarily the mounds of three Macrotermes species. Destructive sampling allowed estimation of the caste composition and total community biomass based on six termite mounds of the prevailing species (Globitermes sulphureus, Microcerotermes burmanicus, Macrotermes carbonarius, M. gilvus, M. malaccensis, and Hypotermes obscuriceps). The total number of termites in the nests ranged from 65 000 to 3 150 000 individuals with the total biomass ranging from 185 to 2440 g live weight. The total abundance of nesting Macrotermes species alone could conservatively be estimated as 2.5 million individuals and 20.5 kg live weight per hectare. The number of soil- and litter-feeding termites averaged for the test plots was estimated at about 60 ind./m2. Four species dominating on the test plots (M. carbonarius, M. gilvus, M. malaccensis, and H. obscuriceps) belong to active tree litter feeders.

  9. Occurrence of fungi in combs of fungus-growing termites (Isoptera: Termitidae, Macrotermitinae).

    PubMed

    Guedegbe, Herbert J; Miambi, Edouard; Pando, Anne; Roman, Jocelyne; Houngnandan, Pascal; Rouland-Lefevre, Corinne

    2009-10-01

    Fungus-growing termites cultivate their mutualistic basidiomycete Termitomyces species on a substrate called a fungal comb. Here, the Suicide Polymerase Endonuclease Restriction (SuPER) method was adapted for the first time to a fungal study to determine the entire fungal community of fungal combs and to test whether fungi other than the symbiotic cultivar interact with termite hosts. Our molecular analyses show that although active combs are dominated by Termitomyces fungi isolated with direct Polymerase Endonuclease Restriction - Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE), they can also harbor some filamentous fungi and yeasts only revealed by SuPER PCR-DGGE. This is the first molecular evidence of the presence of non-Termitomyces species in active combs. However, because there is no evidence for a species-specific relationship between these fungi and termites, they are mere transient guests with no specialization in the symbiosis. It is however surprising to notice that termite-associated Xylaria strains were not isolated from active combs even though they are frequently retrieved when nests are abandoned by termites. This finding highlights the implication of fungus-growing termites in the regulation of fungi occurring within the combs and also suggests that they might not have any particular evolutionary-based association with Xylaria species.

  10. Vertical transmission as the key to the colonization of Madagascar by fungus-growing termites?

    PubMed Central

    Nobre, T.; Eggleton, P.; Aanen, D. K.

    2010-01-01

    The mutualism between fungus-growing termites (Macrotermitinae) and their mutualistic fungi (Termitomyces) began in Africa. The fungus-growing termites have secondarily colonized Madagascar and only a subset of the genera found in Africa is found on this isolated island. Successful long-distance colonization may have been severely constrained by the obligate interaction of the termites with fungal symbionts and the need to acquire these symbionts secondarily from the environment for most species (horizontal symbiont transmission). Consistent with this hypothesis, we show that all extant species of fungus-growing termites of Madagascar are the result of a single colonization event of termites belonging to one of the only two groups with vertical symbiont transmission, and we date this event at approximately 13 Mya (Middle/Upper Miocene). Vertical symbiont transmission may therefore have facilitated long-distance dispersal since both partners disperse together. In contrast to their termite hosts, the fungal symbionts have colonized Madagascar multiple times, suggesting that the presence of fungus-growing termites may have facilitated secondary colonizations of the symbiont. Our findings indicate that the absence of the right symbionts in a new environment can prevent long-distance dispersal of symbioses relying on horizontal symbiont acquisition. PMID:19828546

  11. A taxonomic index, with names of descriptive authorities of termite genera and species: An accompaniment to Biology of Termites: A Modern Synthesis (Bignell DE, Roisin Y, Lo N, Editors. 2011. Springer, Dordrecht. 576 pp.)

    PubMed Central

    Bignell, D. E.; Jones, D. T.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Biology of Termites: A Modern Synthesis (Bignell DE, Roisin Y, Lo N, (Editors), Springer, Dordrecht, 576pp, ISBN 978-90-481-3976-7, e-ISBN 978-90-481-3977-4, DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-3977-4) was published in 2011. With the agreement of the publishers, we give a taxonomic index of the book comprising 494 termite entries, 103 entries of other multicellular animal species mentioned as associates or predators of termites, with 9 fungal, 60 protist, and 64 prokaryote identities, which are listed as termite symbionts ( sensu stricto ). In addition, we add descriptive authorities for living (and some fossil) termite genera and species. Higher taxonomic groupings for termites are indicated by 25 code numbers. Microorganisms (prokaryotes, protists, and fungi) are listed separately, using broad modern taxonomic affiliations from the contemporary literature of bacteriology, protozoology, and mycology. PMID:25368037

  12. Effects of a Fipronil Spot-Treatment on field colonies of Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This field study investigated the colony effect of a Fipronil spot-treatment applied to active infestations of Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Spot-treatments were applied to a single active independent monitor from each of four colonies in which multiple independent m...

  13. Social Insects Dominate Eastern US Temperate Hardwood Forest Macroinvertebrate Communities in Warmer Regions

    PubMed Central

    King, Joshua R.; Warren, Robert J.; Bradford, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    Earthworms, termites, and ants are common macroinvertebrates in terrestrial environments, although for most ecosystems data on their abundance and biomass is sparse. Quantifying their areal abundance is a critical first step in understanding their functional importance. We intensively sampled dead wood, litter, and soil in eastern US temperate hardwood forests at four sites, which span much of the latitudinal range of this ecosystem, to estimate the abundance and biomass m−2 of individuals in macroinvertebrate communities. Macroinvertebrates, other than ants and termites, differed only slightly among sites in total abundance and biomass and they were similar in ordinal composition. Termites and ants were the most abundant macroinvertebrates in dead wood, and ants were the most abundant in litter and soil. Ant abundance and biomass m−2 in the southernmost site (Florida) were among the highest values recorded for ants in any ecosystem. Ant and termite biomass and abundance varied greatly across the range, from <1% of the total macroinvertebrate abundance (in the northern sites) to >95% in the southern sites. Our data reveal a pronounced shift to eusocial insect dominance with decreasing latitude in a temperate ecosystem. The extraordinarily high social insect relative abundance outside of the tropics lends support to existing data suggesting that ants, along with termites, are globally the most abundant soil macroinvertebrates, and surpass the majority of other terrestrial animal (vertebrate and invertebrate) groups in biomass m−2. Our results provide a foundation for improving our understanding of the functional role of social insects in regulating ecosystem processes in temperate forest. PMID:24116079

  14. Large herbivores maintain termite-caused differences in herbaceous species diversity patterns.

    PubMed

    Okullo, Paul; Moe, Stein R

    2012-09-01

    Termites and large herbivores affect African savanna plant communities. Both functional groups are also important for nutrient redistribution across the landscape. We conducted an experiment to study how termites and large herbivores, alone and in combination, affect herbaceous species diversity patterns in an African savanna. Herbaceous vegetation on large vegetated Macrotermes mounds (with and without large herbivores) and on adjacent savanna areas (with and without large herbivores) was monitored over three years in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda. We found substantial differences in species richness, alpha diversity, evenness, and stability between termite mound herbaceous vegetation and adjacent savanna vegetation. Within months of fencing, levels of species richness, evenness, and stability were no longer significantly different between savanna and mounds. However, fencing reduced the cumulative number of species, particularly for forbs, of which 48% of the species were lost. Fencing increased the beta diversity (dissimilarity among plots) on the resource-poor (in terms of both nutrients and soil moisture) savanna areas, while it did not significantly affect beta diversity on the resource-rich termite mounds. While termites cause substantial heterogeneity in savanna vegetation, large herbivores further amplify these differences by reducing beta diversity on the savanna areas. Large herbivores are, however, responsible for the maintenance of a large number of forbs at the landscape level. These findings suggest that the mechanisms underlying the effects of termites and large herbivores on savanna plant communities scale up to shape community structure and dynamics at a landscape level.

  15. Molecular Signatures of Nicotinoid-Pathogen Synergy in the Termite Gut

    PubMed Central

    Sen, Ruchira; Raychoudhury, Rhitoban; Cai, Yunpeng; Sun, Yijun; Lietze, Verena-Ulrike; Peterson, Brittany F.; Scharf, Michael E.; Boucias, Drion G.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies in lower termites revealed unexpected synergies between nicotinoid insecticides and fungal entomopathogens. The present study investigated molecular mechanisms of nicotinoid-pathogen synergy in the lower termite Reticulitermes flavipes, using the nicotinoid, imidacloprid, in combination with fungal and bacterial entomopathogens. Particular focus was placed on metatranscriptome composition and microbial dynamics in the symbiont-rich termite gut, which houses diverse mixes of protists and bacteria. cDNA microarrays containing a mix of host and protist symbiont oligonucleotides were used to simultaneously assess termite and protist gene expression. Five treatments were compared that included single challenges with sublethal doses of fungi (Metharizium anisopliae), bacteria (Serratia marcescens) or imidacloprid, and dual challenges with fungi + imidacloprid or bacteria + imidacloprid. Our findings point towards protist dysbiosis and compromised social behavior, rather than suppression of stereotypical immune defense mechanisms, as the dominant factors underlying nicotinoid-pathogen synergy in termites. Also, greater impacts observed for the fungal pathogen than for the bacterial pathogen suggest that the rich bacterial symbiont community in the R. flavipes gut (>5000 species-level phylotypes) exists in an ecological balance that effectively excludes exogenous bacterial pathogens. These findings significantly advance our understanding of antimicrobial defenses in this important eusocial insect group, as well as provide novel insights into how nicotinoids can exert deleterious effects on social insect colonies. PMID:25837376

  16. Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Emissions by Termites: Does the Feeding Guild Matter?

    PubMed

    Brauman, Alain; Majeed, Muhammad Zeeshan; Buatois, Bruno; Robert, Alain; Pablo, Anne-Laure; Miambi, Edouard

    2015-01-01

    In the tropics, termites are major players in the mineralization of organic matter leading to the production of greenhouse gases including nitrous oxide (N2O). Termites have a wide trophic diversity and their N-metabolism depends on the feeding guild. This study assessed the extent to which N2O emission levels were determined by termite feeding guild and tested the hypothesis that termite species feeding on a diet rich in N emit higher levels of N2O than those feeding on a diet low in N. An in-vitro incubation approach was used to determine the levels of N2O production in 14 termite species belonging to different feeding guilds, collected from a wide range of biomes. Fungus-growing and soil-feeding termites emit N2O. The N2O production levels varied considerably, ranging from 13.14 to 117.62 ng N2O-N d(-1) (g dry wt.)(-1) for soil-feeding species, with Cubitermes spp. having the highest production levels, and from 39.61 to 65.61 ng N2O-N d(-1) (g dry wt.)(-1) for fungus-growing species. Wood-feeding termites were net N2O consumers rather than N2O producers with a consumption ranging from 16.09 to 45.22 ng N2O-N d(-1) (g dry wt.)(-1). Incubating live termites together with their mound increased the levels of N2O production by between 6 and 13 fold for soil-feeders, with the highest increase in Capritermes capricornis, and between 14 and 34 fold for fungus-growers, with the highest increase in Macrotermes muelleri. Ammonia-oxidizing (amoA-AOB and amoA-AOA) and denitrifying (nirK, nirS, nosZ) gene markers were detected in the guts of all termite species studied. No correlation was found between the abundance of these marker genes and the levels of N2O production from different feeding guilds. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that N2O production rates were higher in termites feeding on substrates with higher N content, such as soil and fungi, compared to those feeding on N-poor wood.

  17. Effects of heartwood extractives on symbiotic protozoan communities and mortality in two termite species

    Treesearch

    Babar Hassan; Mark E. Mankowski; Grant Kirker; Sohail Ahmed

    2017-01-01

    Lower termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) are considered severe pests of wood in service, crops and plantation forests. Termites mechanically remove and digest lignocellulosic material as a food source. The ability to digest lignocellulose not only depends on their digestive physiology, but also on the symbiotic relationship between termites and their intestinal...

  18. [Immunocytochemical localization of c-fos protein in termite brains following flying behavior].

    PubMed

    Su, Xiao Hong; Xi, Geng Si; Zhang, Min

    2005-02-01

    The expression of c-fos protein was examined in the brain of reproduction termite (Reticulitermes aculabialis) with immunocytochemical localization method. The results showed c-fos protein immunoreactivity was found in the procerebrum, deutocerebrum and tritocerebrum of termites at all stages. At last instar nymph and after flying stage, c-fos immunoreactivity of procerebrum was weak, but the female and male termites displayed significantly increased the number of c-fos labeled cells in the protocerebrum at flying stage. On the other hand, previous studies have demonstrated neural cells of procerebrum could strongly secrete FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone) which maintained libido and stimulated mating flight. This meaned that c-fos expression of procerebrum involved in hormone regulation in sexual behavior,as have been shown in mammal. In conclusion, we demonstrated here for the first time that c-fos expression of procerebrum of termites involved in sexual behavior. These resulats provided a new morphological proof that neural activation of procerebrum participated in the regulation of sexual behavior of termites.

  19. Bionomics and formation of "Bonsai" colonies with long term rearing of Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This laboratory study reports the ability of Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, colonies to survive for at least 9-yr while restricted to a sweater box. Colonies survived by limiting queen size and worker numbers, allowing these bonsai colonies to thrive. Queen physogastr...

  20. Social interactions in the central nest of Coptotermes formosanus juvenile colonies

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Juvenile colonies of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki were investigated to determine the social interactions among all individuals near the central nest of a colony. The behavioral repertoire of whole colonies of subterranean termites has yet to be identified because of their cryptic nests. Colonies w...

  1. Antibiotics production by an actinomycete isolated from the termite gut.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Toru; Tanaka, Junichi; Namihira, Tomoyuki; Shinzato, Naoya

    2012-12-01

    As well as the search for new antibiotics, a new resource or strains for the known antibiotics is also important. Microbial symbionts in the gut of termites could be regarded as one of the feasible resource for such purpose. In this study, antibiotic-producing actinomycetes were screened from symbionts of the termite gut. 16SrRNA sequence analysis for the 10 isolates revealed that they belong to actinomycetes such as Streptomyces sp., Kitasatospora sp., and Mycobacterium sp. A culture broth from one of the isolate, namely strain CA1, belonging to the genera Streptomyces exhibited antagonistic activity against actinomycetes (Micrococcus spp.), gram-positive bacteria (Bacillus spp.), and yeast (Candida spp.). The structures of 2 compounds isolated from the culture broth of the strain CA1 were identified as those of actinomycin X2 and its analog, D. This study is the first to report that some symbionts of the termite gut are antibiotic-producing actinomycetes, and suggest that the termite gut is a feasible resource for bioprospecting. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. A taxonomic index, with names of descriptive authorities of termite genera and species: an accompaniment to Biology of Termites: A Modern Synthesis (Bignell DE, Roisin Y, Lo N, Editors. 2011. Springer, Dordrecht. 576 pp.).

    PubMed

    Bignell, D E; Jones, D T

    2014-01-01

    Biology of Termites: A Modern Synthesis (Bignell DE, Roisin Y, Lo N, (Editors), Springer, Dordrecht, 576pp, ISBN 978-90-481-3976-7, e-ISBN 978-90-481-3977-4, DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-3977-4) was published in 2011. With the agreement of the publishers, we give a taxonomic index of the book comprising 494 termite entries, 103 entries of other multicellular animal species mentioned as associates or predators of termites, with 9 fungal, 60 protist, and 64 prokaryote identities, which are listed as termite symbionts (sensu stricto). In addition, we add descriptive authorities for living (and some fossil) termite genera and species. Higher taxonomic groupings for termites are indicated by 25 code numbers. Microorganisms (prokaryotes, protists, and fungi) are listed separately, using broad modern taxonomic affiliations from the contemporary literature of bacteriology, protozoology, and mycology. This is an open access paper. We use the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license that permits unrestricted use, provided that the paper is properly attributed.

  3. Diet is the primary determinant of bacterial community structure in the guts of higher termites.

    PubMed

    Mikaelyan, Aram; Dietrich, Carsten; Köhler, Tim; Poulsen, Michael; Sillam-Dussès, David; Brune, Andreas

    2015-10-01

    The gut microbiota of termites plays critical roles in the symbiotic digestion of lignocellulose. While phylogenetically 'lower termites' are characterized by a unique association with cellulolytic flagellates, higher termites (family Termitidae) harbour exclusively prokaryotic communities in their dilated hindguts. Unlike the more primitive termite families, which primarily feed on wood, they have adapted to a variety of lignocellulosic food sources in different stages of humification, ranging from sound wood to soil organic matter. In this study, we comparatively analysed representatives of different taxonomic lineages and feeding groups of higher termites to identify the major drivers of bacterial community structure in the termite gut, using amplicon libraries of 16S rRNA genes from 18 species of higher termites. In all analyses, the wood-feeding species were clearly separated from humus and soil feeders, irrespective of their taxonomic affiliation, offering compelling evidence that diet is the primary determinant of bacterial community structure. Within each diet group, however, gut communities of termites from the same subfamily were more similar than those of distantly related species. A highly resolved classification using a curated reference database revealed only few genus-level taxa whose distribution patterns indicated specificity for certain host lineages, limiting any possible cospeciation between the gut microbiota and host to short evolutionary timescales. Rather, the observed patterns in the host-specific distribution of the bacterial lineages in termite guts are best explained by diet-related differences in the availability of microhabitats and functional niches. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Layers of Symbiosis - Visualizing the Termite Hindgut Microbial Community

    PubMed Central

    Leadbetter, Jared

    2007-01-01

    Jared Leadbetter takes us for a nature walk through the diversity of life resident in the termite hindgut - a microenvironment containing 250 different species found nowhere else on Earth. Jared reveals that the symbiosis exhibited by this system is multi-layered and involves not only a relationship between the termite and its gut inhabitants, but also involves a complex web of symbiosis among the gut microbes themselves. PMID:18979002

  5. Digging the termite way: crowding simple robots to excavate ramification structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bardunias, Paul

    The complex ramification network that termites excavate in soil in search of resources has been shown to emerge from interactions between individuals during periodic crowding at the tips of tunnels. Excavation in these social insects is carried out by a rotation of termites removing soil from the tip of an expanding tunnel and depositing it back along the tunnel walls. Bristle bots, modified to either rock or turn on contact with soil in an artificial tunnel, were used to replicate this process. As in termites, congestion at tunnel tips leads to the widening and branching of tunnels.

  6. Soil hydrological and soil property changes resulting from termite activity on agricultural fields in Burkina Faso

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mettrop, I.; Cammeraat, L. H.; Verbeeten, E.

    2009-04-01

    Termites are important ecosystem-engineers in subtropical and tropical regions. The effect of termite activity affecting soil infiltration is well documented in the Sahelian region. Most studies find increased infiltration rates on surfaces that are affected by termite activity in comparison to crusted areas showing non-termite presence. Crusted agricultural fields in the Sanmatenga region in Burkina Faso with clear termite activity were compared to control fields without visual ground dwelling termite activity. Fine scale rainfall simulations were carried out on crusted termite affected and control sites. Furthermore soil moisture change, bulk density, soil organic matter as well as general soil characteristics were studied. The top soils in the study area were strongly crusted (structural crust) after the summer rainfall and harvest of millet. They have a loamy sand texture underlain by a shallow sandy loam Bt horizon. The initial soil moisture conditions were significantly higher on the termite plots when compared to control sites. It was found that the amount of runoff produced on the termite plots was significantly higher, and also the volumetric soil moisture content after the experiments was significantly lower if compared to the control plots. Bulk density showed no difference whereas soil organic matter was significantly higher under termite affected areas, in comparison to the control plots. Lab tests showed no significant difference in hydrophobic behavior of the topsoil and crust material. Micro and macro-structural properties of the topsoil did not differ significantly between the termite sites and the control sites. The texture of the top 5 cm of the soil was also found to be not significantly different. The infiltration results are contradictory to the general literature, which reports increased infiltration rates after prolonged termite activity although mostly under different initial conditions. The number of nest entrances was clearly higher in

  7. Odorant-binding proteins from a primitive termite.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Yuko; Chiang, Vicky P; Haverty, Michael I; Leal, Walter S

    2002-09-01

    Hitherto, odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) have been identified from insects belonging to more highly evolved insect orders (Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Hemiptera), whereas only chemosensory proteins have been identified from more primitive species, such as orthopteran and phasmid species. Here, we report for the first time the isolation and cloning of odorant-binding proteins from a primitive termite species, the dampwood termite. Zootermopsis nevadensis nevadensis (Isoptera: Termopsidae). A major antennae-specific protein was detected by native PAGE along with four other minor proteins, which were also absent in the extract from control tissues (hindlegs). Multiple cDNA cloning led to the full characterization of the major antennae-specific protein (ZnevOBP1) and to the identification of two other antennae-specific cDNAs, encoding putative odorant-binding proteins (ZnevOBP2 and ZnevOBP3). N-terminal amino acid sequencing of the minor antennal bands and cDNA cloning showed that olfaction in Z. n. nevadensis may involve multiple odorant-binding proteins. Database searches suggest that the OBPs from this primitive termite are homologues of the pheromone-binding proteins from scarab beetles and antennal-binding proteins from moths.

  8. Saving the injured: Rescue behavior in the termite-hunting ant Megaponera analis.

    PubMed

    Frank, Erik Thomas; Schmitt, Thomas; Hovestadt, Thomas; Mitesser, Oliver; Stiegler, Jonas; Linsenmair, Karl Eduard

    2017-04-01

    Predators of highly defensive prey likely develop cost-reducing adaptations. The ant Megaponera analis is a specialized termite predator, solely raiding termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae (in this study, mostly colonies of Pseudocanthotermes sp.) at their foraging sites. The evolutionary arms race between termites and ants led to various defensive mechanisms in termites (for example, a caste specialized in fighting predators). Because M. analis incurs high injury/mortality risks when preying on termites, some risk-mitigating adaptations seem likely to have evolved. We show that a unique rescue behavior in M. analis , consisting of injured nestmates being carried back to the nest, reduces combat mortality. After a fight, injured ants are carried back by their nestmates; these ants have usually lost an extremity or have termites clinging to them and are able to recover within the nest. Injured ants that are forced experimentally to return without help, die in 32% of the cases. Behavioral experiments show that two compounds, dimethyl disulfide and dimethyl trisulfide, present in the mandibular gland reservoirs, trigger the rescue behavior. A model accounting for this rescue behavior identifies the drivers favoring its evolution and estimates that rescuing enables maintenance of a 28.7% larger colony size. Our results are the first to explore experimentally the adaptive value of this form of rescue behavior focused on injured nestmates in social insects and help us to identify evolutionary drivers responsible for this type of behavior to evolve in animals.

  9. Saving the injured: Rescue behavior in the termite-hunting ant Megaponera analis

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Erik Thomas; Schmitt, Thomas; Hovestadt, Thomas; Mitesser, Oliver; Stiegler, Jonas; Linsenmair, Karl Eduard

    2017-01-01

    Predators of highly defensive prey likely develop cost-reducing adaptations. The ant Megaponera analis is a specialized termite predator, solely raiding termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae (in this study, mostly colonies of Pseudocanthotermes sp.) at their foraging sites. The evolutionary arms race between termites and ants led to various defensive mechanisms in termites (for example, a caste specialized in fighting predators). Because M. analis incurs high injury/mortality risks when preying on termites, some risk-mitigating adaptations seem likely to have evolved. We show that a unique rescue behavior in M. analis, consisting of injured nestmates being carried back to the nest, reduces combat mortality. After a fight, injured ants are carried back by their nestmates; these ants have usually lost an extremity or have termites clinging to them and are able to recover within the nest. Injured ants that are forced experimentally to return without help, die in 32% of the cases. Behavioral experiments show that two compounds, dimethyl disulfide and dimethyl trisulfide, present in the mandibular gland reservoirs, trigger the rescue behavior. A model accounting for this rescue behavior identifies the drivers favoring its evolution and estimates that rescuing enables maintenance of a 28.7% larger colony size. Our results are the first to explore experimentally the adaptive value of this form of rescue behavior focused on injured nestmates in social insects and help us to identify evolutionary drivers responsible for this type of behavior to evolve in animals. PMID:28439543

  10. Monitoring Termite-Mediated Ecosystem Processes Using Moderate and High Resolution Satellite Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lind, B. M.; Hanan, N. P.

    2016-12-01

    Termites are considered dominant decomposers and prominent ecosystem engineers in the global tropics and they build some of the largest and architecturally most complex non-human-made structures in the world. Termite mounds significantly alter soil texture, structure, and nutrients, and have major implications for local hydrological dynamics, vegetation characteristics, and biological diversity. An understanding of how these processes change across large scales has been limited by our ability to detect termite mounds at high spatial resolutions. Our research develops methods to detect large termite mounds in savannas across extensive geographic areas using moderate and high resolution satellite imagery. We also investigate the effect of termite mounds on vegetation productivity using Landsat-8 maximum composite NDVI data as a proxy for production. Large termite mounds in arid and semi-arid Senegal generate highly reflective `mound scars' with diameters ranging from 10 m at minimum to greater than 30 m. As Sentinel-2 has several bands with 10 m resolution and Landsat-8 has improved calibration, higher radiometric resolution, 15 m spatial resolution (pansharpened), and improved contrast between vegetated and bare surfaces compared to previous Landsat missions, we found that the largest and most influential mounds in the landscape can be detected. Because mounds as small as 4 m in diameter are easily detected in high resolution imagery we used these data to validate detection results and quantify omission errors for smaller mounds.

  11. Variation in the Gut Microbiota of Termites (Tsaitermes ampliceps) Against Different Diets.

    PubMed

    Su, Lijuan; Yang, Lele; Huang, Shi; Li, Yan; Su, Xiaoquan; Wang, Fengqin; Bo, Cunpei; Wang, En Tao; Song, Andong

    2017-01-01

    Termites are well recognized for their thriving on recalcitrant lignocellulosic diets through nutritional symbioses with gut-dwelling microbiota; however, the effects of diet changes on termite gut microbiota are poorly understood, especially for the lower termites. In this study, we employed high-throughput 454 pyrosequencing of 16S V1-V3 amplicons to compare gut microbiotas of Tsaitermes ampliceps fed with lignin-rich and lignin-poor cellulose diets after a 2-week-feeding period. As a result, the majority of bacterial taxa were shared across the treatments with different diets, but their relative abundances were modified. In particular, the relative abundance was reduced for Spirochaetes and it was increased for Proteobacteria and Bacteroides by feeding the lignin-poor diet. The evenness of gut microbiota exhibited a significant difference in response to the diet type (filter paper diets < corn stover diets < wood diets), while their richness was constant, which may be related to the lower recalcitrance of this biomass to degradation. These results have important implications for sampling and analysis strategies to probe the lignocellulose degradation features of termite gut microbiota and suggest that the dietary lignocellulose composition could cause shifting rapidly in the termite gut microbiota.

  12. Antioxidant effects of four heartwood extractives on midgut enzyme activity in Heterotermes indicola (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae)

    Treesearch

    Babar Hassan; Sohail Ahmed; Grant Kirker; Mark E Mankowski; Muhammad Misbah-ul-Haq

    2018-01-01

    Heterotermes indicola (Wasmann) (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) is a species of subterranean termite that is a destructive pest of wood and wood products in Pakistan. This study evaluated the antioxidant and antienzyme potential of heartwood extractives against H. indicola. Heartwood extractives of four durable wood species, Tectona grandis...

  13. Factors Affecting Performance of Soil Termiticides

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Applying liquid insecticide to soil under and around structures is one of the most widely used methods of subterranean termite prevention and control. Failure of soil termiticide treatments is often related to factors other than the active ingredient. Efficacy and longevity of soil treatments vary g...

  14. Post-treatment Effect of Particleboard on Dimensional Stability and Durability Properties of Particleboard Made From Sorghum Bagasse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iswanto, A. H.; Sucipto, T.; Nadeak, S. S. D.; Fatriasari, W.

    2017-03-01

    In general, the weakness of particleboard using urea formaldehyde (UF) resin has a low dimensional stability. This reasearch intends to improve its properties by post-treatment technique using several water repellent materials. The post-treatment effect on dimensional stability and durability properties of particleboard against to subterranean and dry termites has been evaluated. Sample was dipped into water reppelent solution namely parafin, palm oil, silicon and water proof for 3 minutes. Furthermore, they were oven dried at 50°C for 24 hours. The results showed that the density varied of 0.60 to 0.74 g/cm3. The post-treatment of particleboard increases the density value. Water absorption and thickness swelling of board were varied of 29.35% to 114.99% and 13.23 to 37.31%, respectively. This treatment also improved up the thickness swelling to 65%. The best durability of board to subterranean and dry termite attack has found on silicon and waterproof treatment, respectively.

  15. The evolution of fungus-growing termites and their mutualistic fungal symbionts

    PubMed Central

    Aanen, Duur K.; Eggleton, Paul; Rouland-Lefèvre, Corinne; Guldberg-Frøslev, Tobias; Rosendahl, Søren; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2002-01-01

    We have estimated phylogenies of fungus-growing termites and their associated mutualistic fungi of the genus Termitomyces using Bayesian analyses of DNA sequences. Our study shows that the symbiosis has a single African origin and that secondary domestication of other fungi or reversal of mutualistic fungi to a free-living state has not occurred. Host switching has been frequent, especially at the lower taxonomic levels, and nests of single termite species can have different symbionts. Data are consistent with horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts in both the ancestral state of the mutualism and most of the extant taxa. Clonal vertical transmission of fungi, previously shown to be common in the genus Microtermes (via females) and in the species Macrotermes bellicosus (via males) [Johnson, R. A., Thomas, R. J., Wood, T. G. & Swift, M. J. (1981) J. Nat. Hist. 15, 751–756], is derived with two independent origins. Despite repeated host switching, statistical tests taking phylogenetic uncertainty into account show a significant congruence between the termite and fungal phylogenies, because mutualistic interactions at higher taxonomic levels show considerable specificity. We identify common characteristics of fungus-farming evolution in termites and ants, which apply despite the major differences between these two insect agricultural systems. We hypothesize that biparental colony founding may have constrained the evolution of vertical symbiont transmission in termites but not in ants where males die after mating. PMID:12386341

  16. A Preliminary Survey of Species Composition of Termites (Insecta: Isoptera) in Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak

    PubMed Central

    Jamil, Norsyarizan; Ismail, Wan Nurainie Wan; Abidin, Siti Shamimi; Amaran, Mazdan Ali; Hazali, Ratnawati

    2017-01-01

    A survey on termite species composition was conducted in Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak in February 2015. Overall 19 species of termite belonging to 13 genera and 8 subfamilies was found in the sanctuary. It was recorded the subfamily of Termitinae had the highest number of species (6 species, equal to 31.58% of total species), followed by Nasutermitinae (3 species, 15.79%), Macrotermitinae, Amitermitinae, Rhinotermitinae, Coptotermitinae, (2 species, 10.53% respectively), and Heterotermitinae, Termitogetoninae (1 species, 5.26% respectively). Since this rapid survey is the first termite assemblage representation in Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary, the preliminary result may serve as the baseline data for termite composition in the area. Therefore, a whole coverage for the area within this sanctuary would definitely increase the number of termite species found in the sanctuary. PMID:28890771

  17. A Preliminary Survey of Species Composition of Termites (Insecta: Isoptera) in Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak.

    PubMed

    Jamil, Norsyarizan; Ismail, Wan Nurainie Wan; Abidin, Siti Shamimi; Amaran, Mazdan Ali; Hazali, Ratnawati

    2017-07-01

    A survey on termite species composition was conducted in Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak in February 2015. Overall 19 species of termite belonging to 13 genera and 8 subfamilies was found in the sanctuary. It was recorded the subfamily of Termitinae had the highest number of species (6 species, equal to 31.58% of total species), followed by Nasutermitinae (3 species, 15.79%), Macrotermitinae, Amitermitinae, Rhinotermitinae, Coptotermitinae, (2 species, 10.53% respectively), and Heterotermitinae, Termitogetoninae (1 species, 5.26% respectively). Since this rapid survey is the first termite assemblage representation in Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary, the preliminary result may serve as the baseline data for termite composition in the area. Therefore, a whole coverage for the area within this sanctuary would definitely increase the number of termite species found in the sanctuary.

  18. Differences between bacterial communities in the gut of a soil-feeding termite (Cubitermes niokoloensis) and its mounds.

    PubMed

    Fall, Saliou; Hamelin, Jérôme; Ndiaye, Farma; Assigbetse, Komi; Aragno, Michel; Chotte, Jean Luc; Brauman, Alain

    2007-08-01

    In tropical ecosystems, termite mound soils constitute an important soil compartment covering around 10% of African soils. Previous studies have shown (S. Fall, S. Nazaret, J. L. Chotte, and A. Brauman, Microb. Ecol. 28:191-199, 2004) that the bacterial genetic structure of the mounds of soil-feeding termites (Cubitermes niokoloensis) is different from that of their surrounding soil. The aim of this study was to characterize the specificity of bacterial communities within mounds with respect to the digestive and soil origins of the mound. We have compared the bacterial community structures of a termite mound, termite gut sections, and surrounding soil using PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis and cloning and sequencing of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments. DGGE analysis revealed a drastic difference between the genetic structures of the bacterial communities of the termite gut and the mound. Analysis of 266 clones, including 54 from excised bands, revealed a high level of diversity in each biota investigated. The soil-feeding termite mound was dominated by the Actinobacteria phylum, whereas the Firmicutes and Proteobacteria phyla dominate the gut sections of termites and the surrounding soil, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a distinct clustering of Actinobacteria phylotypes between the mound and the surrounding soil. The Actinobacteria clones of the termite mound were diverse, distributed among 10 distinct families, and like those in the termite gut environment lightly dominated by the Nocardioidaceae family. Our findings confirmed that the soil-feeding termite mound (C. niokoloensis) represents a specific bacterial habitat in the tropics.

  19. Incomplete Co-cladogenesis Between Zootermopsis Termites and Their Associated Protists.

    PubMed

    Taerum, Stephen J; De Martini, Francesca; Liebig, Jürgen; Gile, Gillian H

    2018-02-08

    Coevolution is a major driver of speciation in many host-associated symbionts. In the termite-protist digestive symbiosis, the protists are vertically inherited by anal feeding among nest mates. Lower termites (all termite families except Termitidae) and their symbionts have broadly co-diversified over ~170 million yr. However, this inference is based mainly on the restricted distribution of certain protist genera to certain termite families. With the exception of one study, which demonstrated congruent phylogenies for the protist Pseudotrichonympha and its Rhinotermitidae hosts, coevolution in this symbiosis has not been investigated with molecular methods. Here we have characterized the hindgut symbiotic protists (Phylum Parabasalia) across the genus Zootermopsis (Archotermopsidae) using single cell isolation, molecular phylogenetics, and high-throughput amplicon sequencing. We report that the deepest divergence in the Zootermopsis phylogeny (Zootermopsis laticeps [Banks; Isoptera: Termopsidae]) corresponds with a divergence in three of the hindgut protist species. However, the crown Zootermopsis taxa (Zootermopsis angusticollis [Hagen; Isoptera: Termopsidae], Z. nevadensis nevadensis [Hagen; Isoptera: Termopsidae], and Z. nevadensis nuttingi [Haverty & Thorne; Isoptera: Termopsidae]) share the same protist species, with no evidence of co-speciation under our methods. We interpret this pattern as incomplete co-cladogenesis, though the possibility of symbiont exchange cannot be entirely ruled out. This is the first molecular evidence that identical communities of termite-associated protist species can inhabit multiple distinct host species. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Character of cellulase activity in the guts of flagellate-free termites with different feeding habits.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhi-Qiang; Liu, Bing-Rong; Zeng, Wen-Hui; Xiao, Wei-Liang; Li, Qiu-Jian; Zhong, Jun-Hong

    2013-01-01

    Cellulose digestion in termites (Isoptera) is highly important for ecological reasons and applications in biofuel conversion. The speciose Termitidae family has lost flagellates in the hindgut and developed diverse feeding habits. To address the response of cellulase activity to the differentiation of feeding habits, a comparative study of the activity and distribution of composite cellulases, endo-β-1,4-glucanase, and β-glucosidase was performed in seven common flagellate-free termites with three feeding habits: the humus-feeding termites Sinocapritermes mushae (Oshima et Maki), Malaysiocapritermes zhangfengensis Zhu, Yang et Huang and Pericapritermes jiangtsekiangensis (Kemner); the fungus-growing termites Macrotermes barneyi Light and Odontotermes formosanus (Shiraki); and the wood-feeding termites Nasutitermes parvonasutus (Shiraki) and Havilanditermes orthonasus (Tsai et Chen). The results showed that in diverse feeding groups, the wood-feeding group had the highest total composite cellulase and endo-β-1,4-glucanase activities, while the fungus-growing group had the highest β-glucosidase activity. In terms of the distribution of cellulase activity in the alimentary canals, the cellulase activities in wood-feeding termites were concentrated in the midgut, but there was no significant difference between all gut segments in humus-feeding termites. As for the fungus-growing termites, the main site of composite cellulase activity was in the midgut. The endo-β-1,4-glucanase activity was restricted to the midgut, but the primary site of β-glucosidase activity was in the foregut and the midgut (Mac. barneyi). The functions of the gut segments apparently differentiated between feeding groups. The results suggest that the differentiation of feeding habits in flagellate-free termites was characterized by the distribution of cellulases in the gut rather than by variations in cellulase activity.

  1. Character of Cellulase Activity in the Guts of Flagellate-Free Termites with Different Feeding Habits

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhi-Qiang; Liu, Bing-Rong; Zeng, Wen-Hui; Xiao, Wei-Liang; Li, Qiu-Jian; Zhong, Jun-Hong

    2013-01-01

    Cellulose digestion in termites (Isoptera) is highly important for ecological reasons and applications in biofuel conversion. The speciose Termitidae family has lost flagellates in the hindgut and developed diverse feeding habits. To address the response of cellulase activity to the differentiation of feeding habits, a comparative study of the activity and distribution of composite cellulases, endo-β-1, 4-glucanase, and β-glucosidase was performed in seven common flagellate-free termites with three feeding habits: the humus-feeding termites Sinocapritermes mushae (Oshima et Maki), Malaysiocapritermes zhangfengensis Zhu, Yang et Huang and Pericapritermes jiangtsekiangensis (Kemner); the fungus-growing termites Macrotermes barneyi Light and Odontotermes formosanus (Shiraki); and the wood-feeding termites Nasutitermes parvonasutus (Shiraki) and Havilanditermes orthonasus (Tsai et Chen). The results showed that in diverse feeding groups, the wood-feeding group had the highest total composite cellulase and endo-β-1, 4-glucanase activities, while the fungus-growing group had the highest β-glucosidase activity. In terms of the distribution of cellulase activity in the alimentary canals, the cellulase activities in wood-feeding termites were concentrated in the midgut, but there was no significant difference between all gut segments in humus-feeding termites. As for the fungus-growing termites, the main site of composite cellulase activity was in the midgut. The endo-β-1, 4-glucanase activity was restricted to the midgut, but the primary site of β-glucosidase activity was in the foregut and the midgut (Mac. barneyi). The functions of the gut segments apparently differentiated between feeding groups. The results suggest that the differentiation of feeding habits in flagellate-free termites was characterized by the distribution of cellulases in the gut rather than by variations in cellulase activity. PMID:23895662

  2. Location, morphology and function of nephrocytes in termites.

    PubMed

    Costa-Leonardo, Ana Maria; Janei, Vanelize; Laranjo, Lara Teixeira; Haifig, Ives

    2015-07-01

    Insect nephrocytes are cells bathed in hemolymph and considered to have an excretory function. These cells have ambiguous nomenclature and are understudied in termites. This study is the first report on the occurrence, morphology and function of nephrocytes in different termite castes. Cytological characteristics in specific developmental stages and castes enable physiological functions to be inferred. Perforate diaphragms indicate a role in filtration, while the extensive peripheral invaginations of the cell membrane suggest active endocytosis. A sequence of morphologies in putative digestive vacuoles infers a lysosomal system and the occurrence of phosphatases suggests a function involving detoxification of substances sequestered from hemolymph. Pericardical nephrocytes took up the dye trypan blue injected in live termites, suggesting their activity connected to the filtration of the hemolymph. Additionally, histochemical tests showed the existence of stored proteins in their cytoplasm. These cells present a well-developed Golgi apparatus and abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum, consistent with protein synthesis. This study highlights the importance of nephrocytes in Isoptera and opens perspectives for further research of these cells. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Characterization of the Core and Caste-Specific Microbiota in the Termite, Reticulitermes flavipes

    PubMed Central

    Benjamino, Jacquelynn; Graf, Joerg

    2016-01-01

    The hindgut of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes harbors a complex symbiotic community consisting of protists, bacteria, and archaea. These symbionts aid in the digestion of lignocellulose from the termite’s wood meal. Termite hindguts were sampled and the V4 hyper-variable region of the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced and analyzed from individual termites. The core microbiota of worker termites consisted of 69 OTUs at the 97% identity level, grouped into 16 taxa, and together accounted for 67.05% of the sequences from the bacterial community. The core was dominated by Treponema, which contained 36 different OTUs and accounted for ∼32% of the sequences, which suggests Treponema sp. have an important impact on the overall physiology in the hindgut. Bray–Curtis beta diversity metrics showed that hindgut samples from termites of the same colony were more similar to each other than to samples from other colonies despite possessing a core that accounted for the majority of the sequences. The specific tasks and dietary differences of the termite castes could have an effect on the composition of the microbial community. The hindgut microbiota of termites from the alate castes differed from the worker caste with significantly lower abundances of Treponema and Endomicrobia, which dominated the hindgut microbiota in workers and soldiers. Protist abundances were also quantified in the same samples using qPCR of the 18S rRNA gene. Parabasalia abundances dropped significantly in the winged alates and the Oxymonadida abundances dropped in both alate castes. These data suggest that the changes in diet or overall host physiology affected the protist and bacterial populations in the hindgut. The in-depth bacterial characterization and protist quantification in this study sheds light on the potential community dynamics within the R. flavipes hindgut and identified a large and complex core microbiota in termites obtained from multiple colonies and castes. PMID:26925043

  4. Apparatus for installing condition-sensing means in subterranean earth formations

    DOEpatents

    Shuck, Lowell Z.

    1981-01-01

    The present invention is directed to an apparatus for installing strain gages or other sensors-transducers in wellbores penetrating subterranean earth formations. The subject apparatus comprises an assembly which is lowered into the wellbore, secured in place, and then actuated to sequentially clean the wellbore or casing surface at a selected location with suitable solvents, etchants and neutralizers, grind the surface to a relatively smooth finish, apply an adhesive to the surface, and attach the strain gages or the like to the adhesive-bearing surface. After installing the condition-sensing gages to the casing or earth formation the assembly is withdrawn from the wellbore leaving the sensing gages securely attached to the casing or the subterranean earth formation.

  5. Termite mounds as hot spots of nitrous oxide emissions in South-Sudanian savanna of Burkina Faso (West Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brümmer, Christian; Papen, Hans; Wassmann, Reiner; Brüggemann, Nicolas

    2009-05-01

    Despite a considerable knowledge of the significant role of termites in the global methane budget, very little is known about their contribution to the global nitrous oxide (N2O) budget. Release of N2O from termite (Cubitermes fungifaber) mounds was measured at a natural savanna site in the southwest of Burkina Faso from May to September 2006. Termite N2O emissions were around 20 μg N2O-N m-2 h-1 at the end of the dry season, and up to two orders of magnitude higher than N2O emissions from the surrounding termite-free soil after the onset of the rainy season. The average N2O emission rate from termite mounds during the observation period was 204 μg N2O-N m-2 h-1, and termite mounds contributed 3.0% to total N2O emissions from this savanna ecosystem. However, in other tropical terrestrial ecosystems with other termite species and/or higher termite density this share might be significantly higher.

  6. Unrelated secondary reproductives in the neotropical termite Silvestritermes euamignathus (Isoptera: Termitidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haifig, Ives; Vargo, Edward L.; Labadie, Paul; Costa-Leonardo, Ana Maria

    2016-02-01

    A termite colony is usually founded by a pair of alates, the primary reproductives, which produce all the nestmates. In some species, secondary reproductives appear to either replace the primaries or supplement colony reproduction. In termites, secondary reproductives are generally ergatoids derived from workers or nymphoids derived from nymphs. Silvestritermes euamignathus is a termite species that forms multiple nymphoid reproductives, and to date it was hypothesized that these secondary reproductives were the progeny of the primary founding reproductives. We developed markers for 12 microsatellite loci and used COI mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to genotype 59 nymphoid neotenics found in a colony of S. euamignathus to test this hypothesis. Our results showed that nymphoids of S. euamignathus are not all siblings. The microsatellite analysis suggests that the secondary reproductives derived from a minimum of four different pairs of reproductives belonging to at least two different matrilines. This is the first record of non-sibling secondary reproductives occupying the same nest in a higher termite. These unrelated reproductives might be the result of either pleometrotic colony foundation or colony fusion.

  7. Evaluation of Low-Energy Microwaves Technology (Termatrac) for Detecting Western Drywood Termite in a Simulated Drywall System.

    PubMed

    Taravati, Siavash

    2018-05-28

    Detecting drywood termites in structures is very challenging. Microwaves technology (Termatrac T3i) is a nondestructive method for detecting drywood termites in structures. Termatrac device and its mobile application provide a bar as well as a line graph when detecting insect movements, but interpreting these graphs is very subjective. In this paper, Termatrac's output signal is quantified using a new method to study the effect of wall layers, wood type, and termite density on signal strength measured as area under curve in a simulated drywall system in laboratory. Two experiments were conducted on Termatrac T3i at its maximum sensitivity (Gain: 10). In experiment I, HEXBUG Nano was used as a source of movement/vibration and two wood types were used in which the wall layers significantly predicted signal strength, but wood type did not. In experiment II, two different densities of live western drywood termites, Incisitermes minor (Hagen) (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae), were used to study the effect of termite density on signal strength. Interestingly, termite density did not significantly predict signal strength. The maximum reliable wood depth for detecting termites was 5 cm. Microwaves produced by Termatrac also showed good penetration into drywall and produced detectable signals even on a single drywood termite which confirms manufacturer's claim. Suggestions on using and improving microwaves technology for detecting termites is provided which can potentially be applied to other types of insects and noninsect animals.

  8. A mitochondrial genome phylogeny of termites (Blattodea: Termitoidae): robust support for interfamilial relationships and molecular synapomorphies define major clades.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Stephen L; Lo, Nathan; Bourguignon, Thomas; Svenson, Gavin J; Evans, Theodore A

    2012-10-01

    Despite their ecological significance as decomposers and their evolutionary significance as the most speciose eusocial insect group outside the Hymenoptera, termite (Blattodea: Termitoidae or Isoptera) evolutionary relationships have yet to be well resolved. Previous morphological and molecular analyses strongly conflict at the family level and are marked by poor support for backbone nodes. A mitochondrial (mt) genome phylogeny of termites was produced to test relationships between the recognised termite families, improve nodal support and test the phylogenetic utility of rare genomic changes found in the termite mt genome. Complete mt genomes were sequenced for 7 of the 9 extant termite families with additional representatives of each of the two most speciose families Rhinotermitidae (3 of 7 subfamilies) and Termitidae (3 of 8 subfamilies). The mt genome of the well supported sister-group of termites, the subsocial cockroach Cryptocercus, was also sequenced. A highly supported tree of termite relationships was produced by all analytical methods and data treatment approaches, however the relationship of the termites+Cryptocercus clade to other cockroach lineages was highly affected by the strong nucleotide compositional bias found in termites relative to other dictyopterans. The phylogeny supports previously proposed suprafamilial termite lineages, the Euisoptera and Neoisoptera, a later derived Kalotermitidae as sister group of the Neoisoptera and a monophyletic clade of dampwood (Stolotermitidae, Archotermopsidae) and harvester termites (Hodotermitidae). In contrast to previous termite phylogenetic studies, nodal supports were very high for family-level relationships within termites. Two rare genomic changes in the mt genome control region were found to be molecular synapomorphies for major clades. An elongated stem-loop structure defined the clade Polyphagidae + (Cryptocercus+termites), and a further series of compensatory base changes in this stem-loop is

  9. Spatial distribution pattern of termite in Endau Rompin Plantation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jalaludin, Nur-Atiqah; Rahim, Faszly

    2015-09-01

    We censused 18 field blocks approximately 190 ha with total of 28,604 palms in a grid of 2×4 palms from July 2011 to March 2013. The field blocks comprise of rows of palm trees, harvesting paths, field drains and stacking rows with maximum of 30 palms per row, planted about 9 m apart, alternately in maximum of 80 rows. SADIE analysis generating index of aggregation, Ia, local clustering value, Vi and local gap value, Vj is adopted to estimate spatial pattern. The patterns were then presented in contour map using Surfer 12 software. The patterns produced associated with factors i.e. habitat disturbance, habitat fragmentation and resources affecting nesting and foraging activities. Result shows that field blocks with great habitat disturbance recorded highest dead palms and termites hits. Blocks located far from the main access road recorded less than 2% palms with termite hits. This research may provide ecological data on termite spatial pattern in oil palm ecosystem.

  10. Subterranean barriers, methods, and apparatuses for forming, inspecting, selectively heating, and repairing same

    DOEpatents

    Nickelson, Reva A.; Sloan, Paul A.; Richardson, John G.; Walsh, Stephanie; Kostelnik, Kevin M.

    2009-04-07

    A subterranean barrier and method for forming same are disclosed, the barrier including a plurality of casing strings wherein at least one casing string of the plurality of casing strings may be affixed to at least another adjacent casing string of the plurality of casing strings through at least one weld, at least one adhesive joint, or both. A method and system for nondestructively inspecting a subterranean barrier is disclosed. For instance, a radiographic signal may be emitted from within a casing string toward an adjacent casing string and the radiographic signal may be detected from within the adjacent casing string. A method of repairing a barrier including removing at least a portion of a casing string and welding a repair element within the casing string is disclosed. A method of selectively heating at least one casing string forming at least a portion of a subterranean barrier is disclosed.

  11. Bacteroidales ectosymbionts of gut flagellates shape the nitrogen-fixing community in dry-wood termites

    PubMed Central

    Desai, Mahesh S; Brune, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    Although it is well documented that the lack of nitrogen in the diet of wood-feeding termites is compensated by the nitrogen-fixing capacity of their gut microbiota, the bacteria responsible for this activity are largely unknown. Here, we analyzed the diversity and expression of nitrogenase genes (homologs of nifH) in four species of dry-wood termites (Kalotermitidae), which thrive on a particularly nitrogen-poor resource. Although each species harbored a highly diverse suite of termite-specific homologs in their microliter-sized hindgut, only a core set related to nifH genes of Treponema and Azoarcus spp., ‘Azobacteroides pseudotrichonymphae', the first member of the Bacteroidales identified as a diazotroph, and termite-gut-specific anfH genes of hitherto unknown origin were preferentially expressed. Transcription patterns corroborated that the populations of active diazotrophs differ fundamentally between termite genera. Capillary-picked suspensions of the flagellates Devescovina arta and Snyderella tabogae revealed that their bacterial ectosymbionts each possess two paralogs of nifH, which apparently have been acquired consecutively during evolution of Bacteroidales, but only one of them (anfH) is actively expressed. Transcription patterns correlated neither with the molybdenum content of the diet nor with intestinal hydrogen concentrations, measured with microsensors. We propose that the nitrogen-fixing community in different dry-wood termites is shaped by the symbionts of their specific flagellate populations. Our findings suggest that the diazotrophic nature of ‘Armantifilum devescovinae' has an important role in the nitrogen metabolism of dry-wood termites and is the driving force of co-evolution with its flagellate host. PMID:22189498

  12. A Laboratory Maintenance Regime for a Fungus-Growing Termite Macrotermes gilvus (Blattodea: Termitidae).

    PubMed

    Lee, Ching-Chen; Lee, Chow-Yang

    2015-06-01

    The optimum maintenance conditions of the fungus-growing termite, Macrotermes gilvus (Hagen) (Blattodea: Termitidae), in the laboratory were studied. Termites were kept on a matrix of moist sand and with fungus comb as food. The survival of groups of termites was measured when maintained at different population densities by changing group size and container volume. Larger groups (≥0.6 g) were more vigorous and had significant higher survival rates than smaller groups (≤0.3 g). The population density for optimal survival of M. gilvus is 0.0025 g per container volume (ml) or 0.0169 g per matrix volume (cm(3)), i.e., 1.2 g of termites kept in a 480-ml container filled with 71 cm3 of sand. In termite groups of smaller size (i.e., 0.3 g) or groups maintained in smaller container (i.e., 100 ml) the fungus comb was overgrown with Xylaria spp., and subsequently all termites died within the study period. The insufficient number of workers for regulating the growth of unwanted fungi other than Termitomyces spp. in the fungus comb is the most likely reason. Unlike some other mound-building termite species, M. gilvus showed satisfactory survival when maintained in non-nutritious matrix (i.e., sand). There was no significant difference in the survival rate between different colonies of M. gilvus (n=5), with survival in the range of 78.5-84.4% after 4 wk. Advances in the maintenance of Macrotermes will enable researchers to study with more biological relevance many aspects of the biology, behavior, and management of this species. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Comparative study of the labial gland secretion in termites (Isoptera).

    PubMed

    Sillam-Dussès, David; Krasulová, Jana; Vrkoslav, Vladimír; Pytelková, Jana; Cvačka, Josef; Kutalová, Kateřina; Bourguignon, Thomas; Miura, Toru; Šobotník, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Labial glands are present in all castes and developmental stages of all termite species. In workers, their secretion contains a food-marking pheromone and digestive enzymes, while soldier secretion plays a defensive role. However, these functions were studied only in a limited set of species, and do not allow drawing general conclusions. Hence, we have investigated the chemical composition of the labial gland extracts from soldiers and workers in 15 termite species belonging to 6 families using an integrative approach based on proteomic and small-molecule profiling. We confirmed the presence of hydroquinone and cellulase in the labial glands of workers, and we identified new toxic compounds in soldiers and workers of several species. Our results highlight the dual role of labial gland secretion, i.e. the defensive role in soldiers and workers of several termite species, and the digestive function in workers.

  14. Termite assemblages, forest disturbance and greenhouse gas fluxes in Sabah, East Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Eggleton, P; Homathevi, R; Jones, D T; MacDonald, J A; Jeeva, D; Bignell, D E; Davies, R G; Maryati, M

    1999-11-29

    A synthesis is presented of sampling work conducted under a UK government-funded Darwin Initiative grant undertaken predominantly within the Danum Valley Conservation Area (DVCA), Sabah, East Malaysia. The project concerned the assemblage structure, gas physiology and landscape gas fluxes of termites in pristine and two ages of secondary, dipterocarp forest. The DVCA termite fauna is typical of the Sunda region, dominated by Termes-group soil-feeders and Nasutitermitinae. Selective logging appears to have relatively little effect on termite assemblages, although soil-feeding termites may be moderately affected by this level of disturbance. Species composition changes, but to a small extent when considered against the background level of compositional differences within the Sunda region. Physiologically the assemblage is very like others that have been studied, although there are some species that do not fit on the expected body size-metabolic rate curve. As elsewhere, soil-feeders and soil-wood interface-feeders tend to produce more methane. As with the termite assemblage characteristics, gross gas and energy fluxes do not differ significantly between logged and unlogged sites. Although gross methane fluxes are high, all the soils at DVCA were methane sinks, suggesting that methane oxidation by methanotrophic bacteria was a more important process than methane production by gut archaea. This implies that methane production by termites in South-East Asia is not contributing significantly to the observed increase in levels of methane production worldwide. Biomass density, species richness, clade complement and energy flow were much lower at DVCA than at a directly comparable site in southern Cameroon. This is probably due to the different biogeographical histories of the areas.

  15. Lack of transfer of permethrin among nestmates of Reticulitermes flavipes in laboratory trials (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

    Treesearch

    Thomas G. Shelton; Craig D. Bell; Terence L. Wagner

    2005-01-01

    The movement of some soil termiticides among subterranean termites from exposed to naive individuals has raised some interesting questions. Thus far, the only compounds specifically examined for transfer have been termiticides with delayed action, non-repellent active ingredients. We hypothesized that movement of pesticide is possible even for traditional fast-acting...

  16. Subterranean Fire. Changing theories of the earth during the Renaissance.

    PubMed

    Vermij, R

    1998-11-01

    Aristotle described the earth as a cold and dry body and paid no attention to the phenomenon of terrestrial heat. Renaissance physicians, by contrast, when seeking to understand the origin of hot springs in the context of their balneological studies, came to defend a theory of subterranean fires. This tradition, which started in Italy, became widely known through the works of Georgius Agricola. But although it had implications for the explanation of further natural phenomena, it remained almost exclusively confined to medical circles. As far as physics as an academic discipline was concerned, the ideas concerning subterranean fire were hardly taken note of. Only with the collapse of Aristotelian philosophy in the seventeenth century could these by then "old innovations" obtain a wider significance.

  17. Influence of Food on Recruitment Pattern in the Termite, Microcerotermes fuscotibialis

    PubMed Central

    Olugbemi, B.O.

    2010-01-01

    Recruitment pattern in the termite, Microcerotermes fuscotibialis Sjostedt (Isoptera: Termitidae) was found to be largely influenced by the presence or absence of food. This is reflected in the quantitative recruitment that occurred after food had been detected by the scouting foragers. Results showed that this information was communicated and responded to by other confederates in the nest within four to seven minutes after food addition or removal. The presence of an additional food source relative to an already existing one did not have any significant impact on the recruitment activities of this termite. Recruitment decision pattern in M. fuscotibialis involve to a large extent an “autocratic” decision strategy in the development and maintenance of recruitment process in this termite species. PMID:21070170

  18. First Record of the Arid-Land Termite Reticulitermes tibialis Banks, in Wisconsin

    Treesearch

    Rachel A. Arango

    2015-01-01

    During a survey of termites in Wisconsin, one colony was found from a different habitat than the remaining populations. This observation led to further genetic testing which resulted in a determination of Reticulitermes tibialis Banks. This is the first record of a termite species other than Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) to be...

  19. [Response Mechanism of Trace Metals in the Bishuiyan Subterranean River to the Rainfall and Their Source Analysis].

    PubMed

    Zou, Yan-e; Jiang, Ping-ping; Zhang, Qiang; Tang, Qing-jia; Kang, Zhi-qiang; Gong, Xiao- ping; Chen, Chang-jie; Yu, Jian-guo

    2015-12-01

    High-frequency sampling was conducted at the outlet of Guangxi Bishuiyan karst subterranean river using an automatic sampler during the rainfall events. The hydrochemical drymanic variation characteristics of trace metals (Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd) at the outlet of Guangxi Bishuiyan karst subterranean river were analyzed, and the sources of the trace metals in the subterranean river as well as their response to rainfall were explored. The results showed that the rainfall provoked a sharp decrease in the major elements (Ca²⁺, Mg²⁺, HCO₃⁻, etc.) due to dilution and precipitation, while it also caused an increase in the concentrations of dissolved metals including Al, Mn, Cu, Zn and Cd, due to water-rock reaction, sediment remobilization, and soil erosion. The water-rock reaction was more sensitive to rainfall than the others, while the sediment remobilization and soil erosion took the main responsibility for the chemical change of the heavy metals. The curves of the heavy metal concentrations presented multiple peaks, of which the maximum was reached at 9 hours later after the largest precipitation. Different metal sources and the double-inlet structure of the subterranean river were supposed to be the reasons for the formation of multiple peaks. During the monitoring period, the average speed of the solute in the river reached about 0.47 km · h⁻¹, indicating fast migration of the pollutants. Therefore, monitoring the chemical dynamics of the karst subterranean river, mastering the sources and migration characteristics of trace metal components have great significance for the subterranean river environment pollution treatment.

  20. Method for describing fractures in subterranean earth formations

    DOEpatents

    Shuck, Lowell Z.

    1977-01-01

    The configuration and directional orientation of natural or induced fractures in subterranean earth formations are described by introducing a liquid explosive into the fracture, detonating the explosive, and then monitoring the resulting acoustic emissions with strategically placed acoustic sensors as the explosion propagates through the fracture at a known rate.

  1. Breaking the cipher: ant eavesdropping on the variational trail pheromone of its termite prey

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Xiao-Lan

    2017-01-01

    Predators may eavesdrop on their prey using innate signals of varying nature. In regards to social prey, most of the prey signals are derived from social communication and may therefore be highly complex. The most efficient predators select signals that provide the highest benefits. Here, we showed the use of eusocial prey signals by the termite-raiding ant Odontoponera transversa. O. transversa selected the trail pheromone of termites as kairomone in several species of fungus-growing termites (Termitidae: Macrotermitinae: Odontotermes yunnanensis, Macrotermes yunnanensis, Ancistrotermes dimorphus). The most commonly predated termite, O. yunnanensis, was able to regulate the trail pheromone component ratios during its foraging activity. The ratio of the two trail pheromone compounds was correlated with the number of termites in the foraging party. (3Z)-Dodec-3-en-1-ol (DOE) was the dominant trail pheromone component in the initial foraging stages when fewer termites were present. Once a trail was established, (3Z,6Z)-dodeca-3,6-dien-1-ol (DDE) became the major recruitment component in the trail pheromone and enabled mass recruitment of nest-mates to the food source. Although the ants could perceive both components, they revealed stronger behavioural responses to the recruitment component, DDE, than to the common major component, DOE. In other words, the ants use the trail pheromone information as an indication of suitable prey abundance, and regulate their behavioural responses based on the changing trail pheromone component. The eavesdropping behaviour in ants therefore leads to an arms race between predator and prey where the species specific production of trail pheromones in termites is targeted by predatory ant species. PMID:28446695

  2. Breaking the cipher: ant eavesdropping on the variational trail pheromone of its termite prey.

    PubMed

    Wen, Xiao-Lan; Wen, Ping; Dahlsjö, Cecilia A L; Sillam-Dussès, David; Šobotník, Jan

    2017-04-26

    Predators may eavesdrop on their prey using innate signals of varying nature. In regards to social prey, most of the prey signals are derived from social communication and may therefore be highly complex. The most efficient predators select signals that provide the highest benefits. Here, we showed the use of eusocial prey signals by the termite-raiding ant Odontoponera transversa O. transversa selected the trail pheromone of termites as kairomone in several species of fungus-growing termites (Termitidae: Macrotermitinae: Odontotermes yunnanensis , Macrotermes yunnanensis , Ancistrotermes dimorphus ). The most commonly predated termite, O. yunnanensis, was able to regulate the trail pheromone component ratios during its foraging activity. The ratio of the two trail pheromone compounds was correlated with the number of termites in the foraging party. (3 Z )-Dodec-3-en-1-ol (DOE) was the dominant trail pheromone component in the initial foraging stages when fewer termites were present. Once a trail was established, (3 Z,6Z )-dodeca-3,6-dien-1-ol (DDE) became the major recruitment component in the trail pheromone and enabled mass recruitment of nest-mates to the food source. Although the ants could perceive both components, they revealed stronger behavioural responses to the recruitment component, DDE, than to the common major component, DOE. In other words, the ants use the trail pheromone information as an indication of suitable prey abundance, and regulate their behavioural responses based on the changing trail pheromone component. The eavesdropping behaviour in ants therefore leads to an arms race between predator and prey where the species specific production of trail pheromones in termites is targeted by predatory ant species. © 2017 The Author(s).

  3. Cuticular hydrocarbon phenotypes do not indicate cryptic species in fungus-growing termites (Isoptera: Macrotermitinae).

    PubMed

    Marten, Andreas; Kaib, Manfred; Brandl, Roland

    2009-05-01

    In several termite species, distinct differences in the composition of cuticular hydrocarbons among colonies correspond to high genetic divergence of mitochondrial DNA sequences. These observations suggest that hydrocarbon phenotypes represent cryptic species. Different cuticular hydrocarbon phenotypes also are found among colonies of fungus-growing termites of the genus Macrotermes. To determine if these hydrocarbon differences in Macrotermes also indicate cryptic species, we sequenced the mitochondrial CO I gene from species in West and East Africa. Among individuals of a supposed species but belonging to different cuticular hydrocarbon phenotypes, the genetic distances are much smaller than distances between species. Unlike what has been observed in other termites, Macrotermes hydrocarbon phenotypes do not represent cryptic species. Our findings suggest fundamental differences in the evolution and/or function of cuticular hydrocarbons among different termite lineages.

  4. Pathogen alarm behavior in a termite: A new form of communication in social insects

    PubMed

    Rosengaus; Jordan; Lefebvre; Traniello

    1999-11-01

    Dampwood termites, Zootermopsis angusticollis, show an alarm response after detecting the presence of spores of the pathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. Termites in direct contact with a high concentration of spores (10(7) spores/ml) show a striking vibratory display which appears to convey information about the presence of pathogens to nearby unexposed nestmates through substrate vibration. Nestmates not directly in contact with spores that perceive the vibrational signal increase significantly their distance from the spore-exposed vibrating termites, apparently to escape from the source of infection. The fleeing response is not induced by the presence of the spores alone or by pheromones, and requires the perception of the vibrations propagated through the substrate. This "pathogen alarm behavior" appears to be a previously unrecognized communication mechanism that allows termites to reduce disease risks within the nest.

  5. Pathogen Alarm Behavior in a Termite: A New Form of Communication in Social Insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosengaus, R. B.; Jordan, C.; Lefebvre, M. L.; Traniello, J. F. A.

    Dampwood termites, Zootermopsis angusticollis, show an alarm response after detecting the presence of spores of the pathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. Termites in direct contact with a high concentration of spores (107 spores/ml) show a striking vibratory display which appears to convey information about the presence of pathogens to nearby unexposed nestmates through substrate vibration. Nestmates not directly in contact with spores that perceive the vibrational signal increase significantly their distance from the spore-exposed vibrating termites, apparently to escape from the source of infection. The fleeing response is not induced by the presence of the spores alone or by pheromones, and requires the perception of the vibrations propagated through the substrate. This "pathogen alarm behavior" appears to be a previously unrecognized communication mechanism that allows termites to reduce disease risks within the nest.

  6. Comparative Study of the Labial Gland Secretion in Termites (Isoptera)

    PubMed Central

    Sillam-Dussès, David; Krasulová, Jana; Vrkoslav, Vladimír; Pytelková, Jana; Cvačka, Josef; Kutalová, Kateřina; Bourguignon, Thomas; Miura, Toru; Šobotník, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Labial glands are present in all castes and developmental stages of all termite species. In workers, their secretion contains a food-marking pheromone and digestive enzymes, while soldier secretion plays a defensive role. However, these functions were studied only in a limited set of species, and do not allow drawing general conclusions. Hence, we have investigated the chemical composition of the labial gland extracts from soldiers and workers in 15 termite species belonging to 6 families using an integrative approach based on proteomic and small-molecule profiling. We confirmed the presence of hydroquinone and cellulase in the labial glands of workers, and we identified new toxic compounds in soldiers and workers of several species. Our results highlight the dual role of labial gland secretion, i.e. the defensive role in soldiers and workers of several termite species, and the digestive function in workers. PMID:23071569

  7. Immune-Related Transcriptome of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki Workers: The Defense Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Hussain, Abid; Li, Yi-Feng; Cheng, Yu; Liu, Yang; Chen, Chuan-Cheng; Wen, Shuo-Yang

    2013-01-01

    Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, live socially in microbial-rich habitats. To understand the molecular mechanism by which termites combat pathogenic microbes, a full-length normalized cDNA library and four Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) libraries were constructed from termite workers infected with entomopathogenic fungi (Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana), Gram-positive Bacillus thuringiensis and Gram-negative Escherichia coli, and the libraries were analyzed. From the high quality normalized cDNA library, 439 immune-related sequences were identified. These sequences were categorized as pattern recognition receptors (47 sequences), signal modulators (52 sequences), signal transducers (137 sequences), effectors (39 sequences) and others (164 sequences). From the SSH libraries, 27, 17, 22 and 15 immune-related genes were identified from each SSH library treated with M. anisopliae, B. bassiana, B. thuringiensis and E. coli, respectively. When the normalized cDNA library was compared with the SSH libraries, 37 immune-related clusters were found in common; 56 clusters were identified in the SSH libraries, and 259 were identified in the normalized cDNA library. The immune-related gene expression pattern was further investigated using quantitative real time PCR (qPCR). Important immune-related genes were characterized, and their potential functions were discussed based on the integrated analysis of the results. We suggest that normalized cDNA and SSH libraries enable us to discover functional genes transcriptome. The results remarkably expand our knowledge about immune-inducible genes in C. formosanus Shiraki and enable the future development of novel control strategies for the management of Formosan subterranean termites. PMID:23874972

  8. Termiticide Field Tests - 1989 Update

    Treesearch

    Bradford M. Kard; Joe K. Mauldin

    1993-01-01

    For several years, organophosphate and pyrethroid termiticides have undergone field evaluation as treatments to soil for control of subterranean termites. These termiticides remained effective at some application rates for 5 or more years. Field data are reported for ground-board and concrete slab tests at sites in the continental United States. Generally, pyrethroids...

  9. Persistence and efficacy of termiticides used in preconstruction treatments to soil in Mississippi

    Treesearch

    J.E. Mulrooney; M.K. Davis; T.L. Wagner; R.L. Ingram

    2006-01-01

    Laboratory and field studies were conducted to determine the persistence and efficacy of termiticides used as preconstruction treatments against subterranean termites. Bifenthrin (0.067%), chlorpyrifos (0.75%), and imidacloprid (0.05%) ( [AI]; wt:wt) were applied to soil beneath a monolithic concrete slab at their minimum labeled rates. Soil samples were taken from...

  10. Transfer of chlorfenapyr among workers of Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in the laboratory

    Treesearch

    Thomas G. Shelton; Joseph E. Mulroonery; Terence L. Wagner

    2006-01-01

    The potential for transfer of chlorfenapyr among subterranean termites was investigated using a donor-recipient (5:95 ratio) experiment. In one experiment, workers of Reticulitermes flavipeS(Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) were exposed to treated sand at 0,50,100,250, and 500 ppm chlorfenapyr (wt [AI] /wt sand). Exposed workers were allowed to...

  11. The relationships between termite mound CH4/CO2 emissions and internal concentration ratios are species specific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamali, H.; Livesley, S. J.; Hutley, L. B.; Fest, B.; Arndt, S. K.

    2013-04-01

    We investigated the relative importance of CH4 and CO2 fluxes from soil and termite mounds at four different sites in the tropical savannas of northern Australia near Darwin and assessed different methods to indirectly predict CH4 fluxes based on CO2 fluxes and internal gas concentrations. The annual flux from termite mounds and surrounding soil was dominated by CO2 with large variations among sites. On a carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) basis, annual CH4 flux estimates from termite mounds were 5- to 46-fold smaller than the concurrent annual CO2 flux estimates. Differences between annual soil CO2 and soil CH4 (CO2-e) fluxes were even greater, soil CO2 fluxes being almost three orders of magnitude greater than soil CH4 (CO2-e) fluxes at site. The contribution of CH4 and CO2 emissions from termite mounds to the total CH4 and CO2 emissions from termite mounds and soil in CO2-e was less than 1%. There were significant relationships between mound CH4 flux and mound CO2 flux, enabling the prediction of CH4 flux from measured CO2 flux; however, these relationships were clearly termite species specific. We also observed significant relationships between mound flux and gas concentration inside mound, for both CH4 and CO2, and for all termite species, thereby enabling the prediction of flux from measured mound internal gas concentration. However, these relationships were also termite species specific. Using the relationship between mound internal gas concentration and flux from one species to predict mound fluxes from other termite species (as has been done in the past) would result in errors of more than 5-fold for mound CH4 flux and 3-fold for mound CO2 flux. This study highlights that CO2 fluxes from termite mounds are generally more than one order of magnitude greater than CH4 fluxes. There are species-specific relationships between CH4 and CO2 fluxes from a mound, and between the inside mound concentration of a gas and the mound flux emission of the same gas, but

  12. Digestive enzymes from workers and soldiers of termite Nasutitermes corniger.

    PubMed

    Lima, Thâmarah de Albuquerque; Pontual, Emmanuel Viana; Dornelles, Leonardo Prezzi; Amorim, Poliana Karla; Sá, Roberto Araújo; Coelho, Luana Cassandra Breitenbach Barroso; Napoleão, Thiago Henrique; Paiva, Patrícia Maria Guedes

    2014-10-01

    The digestive apparatus of termites may have several biotechnological applications, as well as being a target for pest control. This report discusses the detection of cellulases (endoglucanase, exoglucanase, and β-glucosidase), hemicellulases (β-xylosidase, α-l-arabinofuranosidase, and β-d-xylanase), α-amylase, and proteases (trypsin-like, chymotrypsin-like, and keratinase-type) in gut extracts from Nasutitermes corniger workers and soldiers. Additionally, the effects of pH (3.0-11.0) and temperature (30-100°C) on enzyme activities were evaluated. All enzymes investigated were detected in the gut extracts of worker and soldier termites. Endoglucanase and β-xylanase were the main cellulase and hemicellulase, respectively. Zymography for proteases of worker extracts revealed polypeptides of 22, 30, and 43kDa that hydrolyzed casein, and assays using protease inhibitors showed that serine proteases were the main proteases in worker and soldier guts. The determined enzyme activities and their response to different pH and temperature values revealed that workers and soldiers contained a distinct digestive apparatus. The ability of these termites to efficiently digest the main components of lignocellulosic materials stimulates the purification of gut enzymes. Further investigation into their biotechnological potential as well as whether the enzymes detected are produced by the termites or by their symbionts is needed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Thermoregulation and ventilation of termite mounds.

    PubMed

    Korb, Judith

    2003-05-01

    Some of the most sophisticated of all animal-built structures are the mounds of African termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae, the fungus-growing termites. They have long been studied as fascinating textbook examples of thermoregulation or ventilation of animal buildings. However, little research has been designed to provide critical tests of these paradigms, derived from a very small number of original papers. Here I review results from recent studies on Macrotermes bellicosus that considered the interdependence of ambient temperature, thermoregulation, ventilation and mound architecture, and that question some of the fundamental paradigms of termite mounds. M. bellicosus achieves thermal homeostasis within the mound, but ambient temperature has an influence too. In colonies in comparably cool habitats, mound architecture is adapted to reduce the loss of metabolically produced heat to the environment. While this has no negative consequences in small colonies, it produces a trade-off with gas exchange in large colonies, resulting in suboptimally low nest temperatures and increased CO(2) concentrations. Along with the alteration in mound architecture, the gas exchange/ventilation mechanism also changes. While mounds in the thermally appropriate savannah have a very efficient circular ventilation during the day, the ventilation in the cooler forest is a less efficient upward movement of air, with gas exchange restricted by reduced surface exchange area. These results, together with other recent findings, question entrenched ideas such as the thermosiphon-ventilation mechanism or the assumption that mounds function to dissipate internally produced heat. Models trying to explain the proximate mechanisms of mound building, or building elements, are discussed.

  14. Thermoregulation and ventilation of termite mounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korb, Judith

    2003-05-01

    Some of the most sophisticated of all animal-built structures are the mounds of African termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae, the fungus-growing termites. They have long been studied as fascinating textbook examples of thermoregulation or ventilation of animal buildings. However, little research has been designed to provide critical tests of these paradigms, derived from a very small number of original papers. Here I review results from recent studies on Macrotermes bellicosus that considered the interdependence of ambient temperature, thermoregulation, ventilation and mound architecture, and that question some of the fundamental paradigms of termite mounds. M. bellicosus achieves thermal homeostasis within the mound, but ambient temperature has an influence too. In colonies in comparably cool habitats, mound architecture is adapted to reduce the loss of metabolically produced heat to the environment. While this has no negative consequences in small colonies, it produces a trade-off with gas exchange in large colonies, resulting in suboptimally low nest temperatures and increased CO2 concentrations. Along with the alteration in mound architecture, the gas exchange/ventilation mechanism also changes. While mounds in the thermally appropriate savannah have a very efficient circular ventilation during the day, the ventilation in the cooler forest is a less efficient upward movement of air, with gas exchange restricted by reduced surface exchange area. These results, together with other recent findings, question entrenched ideas such as the thermosiphon-ventilation mechanism or the assumption that mounds function to dissipate internally produced heat. Models trying to explain the proximate mechanisms of mound building, or building elements, are discussed.

  15. A phylogenetic community approach for studying termite communities in a West African savannah.

    PubMed

    Hausberger, Barbara; Korb, Judith

    2015-10-01

    Termites play fundamental roles in tropical ecosystems, and mound-building species in particular are crucial in enhancing species diversity, from plants to mammals. However, it is still unclear which factors govern the occurrence and assembly of termite communities. A phylogenetic community approach and null models of species assembly were used to examine structuring processes associated with termite community assembly in a pristine savannah. Overall, we did not find evidence for a strong influence of interspecific competition or environmental filtering in structuring these communities. However, the presence of a single species, the mound-building termite Macrotermes bellicosus, left a strong signal on structuring and led to clustered communities of more closely related species. Hence, this species changes the assembly rules for a whole community. Our results show the fundamental importance of a single insect species for community processes, suggesting that more attention to insect species is warranted when developing conservation strategies. © 2015 The Author(s).

  16. Protozoacidal Trojan-Horse: use of a ligand-lytic peptide for selective destruction of symbiotic protozoa within termite guts.

    PubMed

    Sethi, Amit; Delatte, Jennifer; Foil, Lane; Husseneder, Claudia

    2014-01-01

    For novel biotechnology-based termite control, we developed a cellulose bait containing freeze-dried genetically engineered yeast which expresses a protozoacidal lytic peptide attached to a protozoa-recognizing ligand. The yeast acts as a 'Trojan-Horse' that kills the cellulose-digesting protozoa in the termite gut, which leads to the death of termites, presumably due to inefficient cellulose digestion. The ligand targets the lytic peptide specifically to protozoa, thereby increasing its protozoacidal efficiency while protecting non-target organisms. After ingestion of the bait, the yeast propagates in the termite's gut and is spread throughout the termite colony via social interactions. This novel paratransgenesis-based strategy could be a good supplement for current termite control using fortified biological control agents in addition to chemical insecticides. Moreover, this ligand-lytic peptide system could be used for drug development to selectively target disease-causing protozoa in humans or other vertebrates.

  17. Protozoacidal Trojan-Horse: Use of a Ligand-Lytic Peptide for Selective Destruction of Symbiotic Protozoa within Termite Guts

    PubMed Central

    Sethi, Amit; Delatte, Jennifer; Foil, Lane; Husseneder, Claudia

    2014-01-01

    For novel biotechnology-based termite control, we developed a cellulose bait containing freeze-dried genetically engineered yeast which expresses a protozoacidal lytic peptide attached to a protozoa-recognizing ligand. The yeast acts as a ‘Trojan-Horse’ that kills the cellulose-digesting protozoa in the termite gut, which leads to the death of termites, presumably due to inefficient cellulose digestion. The ligand targets the lytic peptide specifically to protozoa, thereby increasing its protozoacidal efficiency while protecting non-target organisms. After ingestion of the bait, the yeast propagates in the termite's gut and is spread throughout the termite colony via social interactions. This novel paratransgenesis-based strategy could be a good supplement for current termite control using fortified biological control agents in addition to chemical insecticides. Moreover, this ligand-lytic peptide system could be used for drug development to selectively target disease-causing protozoa in humans or other vertebrates. PMID:25198727

  18. The impact of edge effect on termite community (Blattodea: Isoptera) in fragments of Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest.

    PubMed

    Almeida, C S; Cristaldo, P F; Florencio, D F; Ribeiro, E J M; Cruz, N G; Silva, E A; Costa, D A; Araújo, A P A

    2017-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is considered to be one of the biggest threats to tropical ecosystem functioning. In this region, termites perform an important ecological role as decomposers and ecosystem engineers. In the present study, we tested whether termite community is negatively affected by edge effects on three fragments of Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. Termite abundance and vegetation structure were sampled in 10 transects (15 × 2 m), while termite richness, activity, and soil litter biomass were measured in 16 quadrants (5 × 2 m) at forest edge and interior of each fragment. Habitat structure (i.e. number of tree, diameter at breast height and soil litter biomass) did not differ between forest edge and interior of fragments. Termite richness, abundance and activity were not affected by edge effect. However, differences were observed in the β diversity between forest edge and interior as well as in the fragments sampled. The β diversity partitioning indicates that species turnover is the determinant process of termite community composition under edge effect. Our results suggest that conservation strategies should be based on the selection of several distinct sites instead of few rich sites (e.g. nesting).

  19. Mitochondrial Phylogenomics Resolves the Global Spread of Higher Termites, Ecosystem Engineers of the Tropics.

    PubMed

    Bourguignon, Thomas; Lo, Nathan; Šobotník, Jan; Ho, Simon Y W; Iqbal, Naeem; Coissac, Eric; Lee, Maria; Jendryka, Martin M; Sillam-Dussès, David; Krížková, Barbora; Roisin, Yves; Evans, Theodore A

    2017-03-01

    The higher termites (Termitidae) are keystone species and ecosystem engineers. They have exceptional biomass and play important roles in decomposition of dead plant matter, in soil manipulation, and as the primary food for many animals, especially in the tropics. Higher termites are most diverse in rainforests, with estimated origins in the late Eocene (∼54 Ma), postdating the breakup of Pangaea and Gondwana when most continents became separated. Since termites are poor fliers, their origin and spread across the globe requires alternative explanation. Here, we show that higher termites originated 42-54 Ma in Africa and subsequently underwent at least 24 dispersal events between the continents in two main periods. Using phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial genomes from 415 species, including all higher termite taxonomic and feeding groups, we inferred 10 dispersal events to South America and Asia 35-23 Ma, coinciding with the sharp decrease in global temperature, sea level, and rainforest cover in the Oligocene. After global temperatures increased, 23-5 Ma, there was only one more dispersal to South America but 11 to Asia and Australia, and one dispersal back to Africa. Most of these dispersal events were transoceanic and might have occurred via floating logs. The spread of higher termites across oceans was helped by the novel ecological opportunities brought about by environmental and ecosystem change, and led termites to become one of the few insect groups with specialized mammal predators. This has parallels with modern invasive species that have been able to thrive in human-impacted ecosystems. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Genome Shrinkage and Loss of Nutrient-Providing Potential in the Obligate Symbiont of the Primitive Termite Mastotermes darwiniensis

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Charlie Ye; Arakawa, Gaku; Tokuda, Gaku; Lo, Nathan; Watanabe, Hirofumi

    2012-01-01

    Beneficial microbial associations with insects are common and are classified as either one or a few intracellular species that are vertically transmitted and reside intracellularly within specialized organs or as microbial assemblages in the gut. Cockroaches and termites maintain at least one if not both beneficial associations. Blattabacterium is a flavobacterial endosymbiont of nearly all cockroaches and the termite Mastotermes darwiniensis and can use nitrogenous wastes in essential amino acid and vitamin biosynthesis. Key changes during the evolutionary divergence of termites from cockroaches are loss of Blattabacterium, diet shift to wood, acquisition of a specialized hindgut microbiota, and establishment of advanced social behavior. Termite gut microbes collaborate to fix nitrogen, degrade lignocellulose, and produce nutrients, and the absence of Blattabacterium in nearly all termites suggests that its nutrient-provisioning role has been replaced by gut microbes. M. darwiniensis is a basal, extant termite that solely retains Blattabacterium, which would show evidence of relaxed selection if it is being supplanted by the gut microbiome. This termite-associated Blattabacterium genome is ∼8% smaller than cockroach-associated Blattabacterium genomes and lacks genes underlying vitamin and essential amino acid biosynthesis. Furthermore, the M. darwiniensis gut microbiome membership is more consistent between individuals and includes specialized termite gut-associated bacteria, unlike the more variable membership of cockroach gut microbiomes. The M. darwiniensis Blattabacterium genome may reflect relaxed selection for some of its encoded functions, and the loss of this endosymbiont in all remaining termite genera may result from its replacement by a functionally complementary gut microbiota. PMID:22020505

  1. 24. INTERIOR VIEW OF SUBTERRANEAN LEVEL OF PUMP HOUSE. No. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    24. INTERIOR VIEW OF SUBTERRANEAN LEVEL OF PUMP HOUSE. No. 1, FLOODED AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY. Jet Lowe, Photographer, 1989. - U.S. Steel Homestead Works, Auxiliary Buildings & Shops, Along Monongahela River, Homestead, Allegheny County, PA

  2. Occurrence of termites (Isoptera) on living and standing dead trees in a tropical dry forest in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Calderón-Cortés, Nancy; Escalera-Vázquez, Luis H; Oyama, Ken

    2018-01-01

    Termites play a key role as ecosystem engineers in numerous ecological processes though their role in the dynamics of wood degradation in tropical dry forests, particularly at the level of the crown canopy, has been little studied. In this study, we analysed the occurrence of termites in the forest canopy by evaluating the density and proportion of living and standing dead trees associated with termites in deciduous and riparian habitats of the tropical dry forest in Chamela, Mexico. The results indicated that 60-98% of standing dead trees and 23-59% of living trees in Chamela were associated with termites. In particular, we found that the density of standing dead trees was higher in deciduous forests (0.057-0.066 trees/m 2 ) than in riparian forests (0.022 and 0.027 trees/m 2 ), even though the proportion of trees was not significantly different among habitats. Additionally, we found a higher density of trees associated with termites in trees of smaller size classes (0.01-0.09 trees/m 2 ) than in larger class sizes (0-0.02 trees/m 2 ). Interestingly, 72% of variation in the density of trees associated with termites is explained by the density of standing dead trees. Overall, these results indicate that standing dead tree availability might be the main factor regulating termite populations in Chamela forest and suggest that termites could play a key role in the decomposition of above-ground dead wood, mediating the incorporation of suspended and standing dead wood into the soil.

  3. Occurrence of termites (Isoptera) on living and standing dead trees in a tropical dry forest in Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Escalera-Vázquez, Luis H.; Oyama, Ken

    2018-01-01

    Termites play a key role as ecosystem engineers in numerous ecological processes though their role in the dynamics of wood degradation in tropical dry forests, particularly at the level of the crown canopy, has been little studied. In this study, we analysed the occurrence of termites in the forest canopy by evaluating the density and proportion of living and standing dead trees associated with termites in deciduous and riparian habitats of the tropical dry forest in Chamela, Mexico. The results indicated that 60–98% of standing dead trees and 23–59% of living trees in Chamela were associated with termites. In particular, we found that the density of standing dead trees was higher in deciduous forests (0.057–0.066 trees/m2) than in riparian forests (0.022 and 0.027 trees/m2), even though the proportion of trees was not significantly different among habitats. Additionally, we found a higher density of trees associated with termites in trees of smaller size classes (0.01–0.09 trees/m2) than in larger class sizes (0–0.02 trees/m2). Interestingly, 72% of variation in the density of trees associated with termites is explained by the density of standing dead trees. Overall, these results indicate that standing dead tree availability might be the main factor regulating termite populations in Chamela forest and suggest that termites could play a key role in the decomposition of above-ground dead wood, mediating the incorporation of suspended and standing dead wood into the soil. PMID:29785342

  4. Situ microbial plugging process for subterranean formations

    DOEpatents

    McInerney, Michael J.; Jenneman, Gary E.; Knapp, Roy M.; Menzie, Donald E.

    1985-12-17

    Subterranean paths of water flow are impeded or changed by the facilitation of microbial growth therein. Either indigenous bacterial growth may be stimulated with nutrients or the formation may be first seeded with bacteria or their spores which inhibit fluid flow after proliferation. These methods and bacteria are usable to alter the flow of water in a waterflooded oil formation and to impede the outflow of contaminated water.

  5. Termiticides - the Gulfport report

    Treesearch

    Bradford M. Kard

    1999-01-01

    Termiticide treatments to soil are the most widely used and successful method to protect wooden structures from attack by subterranean termites and potentially new termiticides continue to be placed in Forest Service field tests each year. This article presents the latest findings taken from USDA Forest Service field tests in Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, and South...

  6. Subterranean mammals show convergent regression in ocular genes and enhancers, along with adaptation to tunneling

    PubMed Central

    Partha, Raghavendran; Chauhan, Bharesh K; Ferreira, Zelia; Robinson, Joseph D; Lathrop, Kira; Nischal, Ken K

    2017-01-01

    The underground environment imposes unique demands on life that have led subterranean species to evolve specialized traits, many of which evolved convergently. We studied convergence in evolutionary rate in subterranean mammals in order to associate phenotypic evolution with specific genetic regions. We identified a strong excess of vision- and skin-related genes that changed at accelerated rates in the subterranean environment due to relaxed constraint and adaptive evolution. We also demonstrate that ocular-specific transcriptional enhancers were convergently accelerated, whereas enhancers active outside the eye were not. Furthermore, several uncharacterized genes and regulatory sequences demonstrated convergence and thus constitute novel candidate sequences for congenital ocular disorders. The strong evidence of convergence in these species indicates that evolution in this environment is recurrent and predictable and can be used to gain insights into phenotype–genotype relationships. PMID:29035697

  7. Methane- and dissolved organic carbon-fueled microbial loop supports a tropical subterranean estuary ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brankovits, D.; Pohlman, John; Niemann, H.; Leigh, M.B.; Leewis, M.C.; Becker, K. W.; Iliffe, T.M.; Alvarez. F.,; Lehmann, M.F.; Phillips, B.

    2017-01-01

    Subterranean estuaries extend inland into density-stratified coastal carbonate aquifers containing a surprising diversity of endemic animals (mostly crustaceans) within a highly oligotrophic habitat. How complex ecosystems (termed anchialine) thrive in this globally distributed, cryptic environment is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that a microbial loop shuttles methane and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to higher trophic levels of the anchialine food web in the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico). Methane and DOC production and consumption within the coastal groundwater correspond with a microbial community capable of methanotrophy, heterotrophy, and chemoautotrophy, based on characterization by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and respiratory quinone composition. Fatty acid and bulk stable carbon isotope values of cave-adapted shrimp suggest that carbon from methanotrophic bacteria comprises 21% of their diet, on average. These findings reveal a heretofore unrecognized subterranean methane sink and contribute to our understanding of the carbon cycle and ecosystem function of karst subterranean estuaries.

  8. Characterization of magnetic material in the mound-building termite Macrotermes gilvus in Southeast Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esa, Mohammad Faris Mohammad; Rahim, Faszly; Hassan, Ibrahim Haji; Hanifah, Sharina Abu

    2015-09-01

    Magnetic material such as magnetite are known as particles that respond to external magnetic field with their ferromagnetic properties as they are believed contribute to in responding to the geomagnetic field. These particles are used by terrestrial animals such as termites for navigation and orientation. Since our earth react as giant magnetic bar, the magnitude of this magnetic field present by intensity and direction (inclination and direction). The magnetic properties and presence of magnetite in termites Macrotermes gilvus, common mound-building termite were tested. M. gilvus termites was tested with a Vibrating Sample Magnetometer VSM to determine the magnetic properties of specimen. The crushed body sample was characterized with X-Ray Diffraction XRD to show the existent of magnetic material (magnetite) in the specimens. Results from VSM indicate that M. gilvus has diamagnetism properties. The characterization by XRD shows the existent of magnetic material in our specimen in low concentration.

  9. Cospeciation in the triplex symbiosis of termite gut protists (Pseudotrichonympha spp.), their hosts, and their bacterial endosymbionts.

    PubMed

    Noda, S; Kitade, O; Inoue, T; Kawai, M; Kanuka, M; Hiroshima, K; Hongoh, Y; Constantino, R; Uys, V; Zhong, J; Kudo, T; Ohkuma, M

    2007-03-01

    A number of cophylogenetic relationships between two organisms namely a host and a symbiont or parasite have been studied to date; however, organismal interactions in nature usually involve multiple members. Here, we investigated the cospeciation of a triplex symbiotic system comprising a hierarchy of three organisms -- termites of the family Rhinotermitidae, cellulolytic protists of the genus Pseudotrichonympha in the guts of these termites, and intracellular bacterial symbionts of the protists. The molecular phylogeny was inferred based on two mitochondrial genes for the termites and nuclear small-subunit rRNA genes for the protists and their endosymbionts, and these were compared. Although intestinal microorganisms are generally considered to have looser associations with the host than intracellular symbionts, the Pseudotrichonympha protists showed almost complete codivergence with the host termites, probably due to strict transmissions by proctodeal trophallaxis or coprophagy based on the social behaviour of the termites. Except for one case, the endosymbiotic bacteria of the protists formed a monophyletic lineage in the order Bacteroidales, and the branching pattern was almost identical to those of the protists and the termites. However, some non-codivergent evolutionary events were evident. The members of this triplex symbiotic system appear to have cospeciated during their evolution with minor exceptions; the evolutionary relationships were probably established by termite sociality and the complex microbial community in the gut.

  10. The relationship between termite mound CH4/CO2 emissions and internal concentration ratios are species specific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamali, H.; Livesley, S. J.; Hutley, L. B.; Fest, B.; Arndt, S. K.

    2012-12-01

    1. We investigated the relative importance of CH4 and CO2 fluxes from soil and termite mounds at four different sites in the tropical savannas of Northern Australia near Darwin and assessed different methods to indirectly predict CH4 fluxes based on CO2 fluxes and internal gas concentrations. 2. The annual flux from termite mounds and surrounding soil was dominated by CO2 with large variations among sites. On a CO2-e basis, annual CH4 flux estimates from termite mounds were 5- to 46-fold smaller than the concurrent annual CO2 flux estimates. Differences between annual soil CO2 and soil CH4 (CO2-e) fluxes were even greater, soil CO2 fluxes being almost three orders of magnitude greater than soil CH4 (CO2-e) fluxes at site. 3. There were significant relationships between mound CH4 flux and mound CO2 flux, enabling the prediction of CH4 flux from measured CO2 flux, however, these relationships were clearly termite species specific. 4. We also observed significant relationships between mound flux and gas concentration inside mound, for both CH4 and CO2, and for all termite species, thereby enabling the prediction of flux from measured mound internal gas concentration. However, these relationships were also termite species specific. Using the relationship between mound internal gas concentration and flux from one species to predict mound fluxes from other termite species (as has been done in past) would result in errors of more than 5-fold for CH4 and 3-fold for CO2. 5. This study highlights that CO2 fluxes from termite mounds are generally more than one order of magnitude greater than CH4 fluxes. There are species-specific relationships between CH4 and CO2 fluxes from a~mound, and between the inside mound concentration of a gas and the mound flux emission of the same gas, but these relationships vary greatly among termite species. Consequently, there is no generic relationship that will allow for the prediction of CH4 fluxes from termite mounds of all species.

  11. Inducible immune proteins in the dampwood termite Zootermopsis angusticollis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosengaus, Rebeca B.; Cornelisse, Tara; Guschanski, Katerina; Traniello, James F. A.

    2007-01-01

    Dampwood termites, Zootermopsis angusticollis (Isoptera: Termopsidae), mount an immune response to resist microbial infection. Here we report on results of a novel analysis that allowed us to electrophoretically assess changes in hemolymph proteins in the same individual before and after exposure to a pathogen. We demonstrate that contact with a sublethal concentration of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Deuteromycotina:Hypomycetes) induces the production of protective proteins in nymphs, pseudergates (false workers), and soldiers. Termites exposed to an immunizing dosage of fungal conidia consistently showed an enhancement of constitutive proteins (62-85 kDa) in the hemolymph as well as an induction of novel proteins (28-48 kDa) relative to preimmunization levels. No significant differences in protein banding patterns relative to baseline levels in control and naïve termites were observed. Incubating excised and eluted induced proteins produced by immunized pseudergates or immunized soldiers with conidia significantly reduced the germination of the fungus. The fungistatic effect of eluted proteins differed significantly among five colonies examined. Our results show that the upregulation of protective proteins in the hemolymph underscores the in vivo immune response we previously recorded in Z. angusticollis.

  12. Ingested and biomineralized magnetic material in the prey Neocapritermes opacus termite: FMR characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Oliveira, J. F.; Alves, O. C.; Esquivel, D. M. S.; Wajnberg, E.

    2008-03-01

    The temperature dependence of Ferromagnetic Resonance spectra, from 5 K to 280 K, was used to study the magnetic material present in Neocapritermes opacus termite, the only prey of the Pachycondyla marginata ant. The analysis of the resonant field and peak-to-peak linewidth allowed estimating the particle diameters and the effective anisotropy energy density, KEFF, as a sum of the bulk and surface contributions. It allowed to magnetically distinguish the particles of termites as collected in field from those of termites after 3 days under a cellulose diet, introduced to eliminate ingested/digested material. The data also, suggest the presence of oriented magnetite nanoparticles with diameters of 11.6 ± 0.3 nm in termites as collected in field and (14.0 ± 0.4 nm) in that under a cellulose diet. Differences between their KEFF and its components are also observed. Two transitions are revealed in the resonant field temperature dependence, one at about 50 K that was associated to surface effects and the other at about 100 K attributed to the Verwey transition.

  13. Scent of a queen—cuticular hydrocarbons specific for female reproductives in lower termites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weil, Tobias; Hoffmann, Katharina; Kroiss, Johannes; Strohm, Erhard; Korb, Judith

    2009-02-01

    In social insects, it is assumed that signals of the queen inform nestmates about her reproductive status. Thus, workers forego their own reproduction if the queen signals high fertility. In hemimetabolous termites, little is known about reproductive inhibition, but evidence exists for a royal-pair control. Workers of lower termites exhibit a high developmental flexibility and are potentially able to become reproductives, but the presence of a fertile reproductive restrains them from reaching sexual maturity. The nature of this control, however, remains unknown. Here, we report on qualitative differences in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles between queens and workers of the basal drywood termite Cryptotermes secundus. Queens were characterized by a shift to long-chained and branched hydrocarbons. Most remarkably, similar chemical patterns are regarded as fertility cues of reproductives in social Hymenoptera. This might suggest that both groups of social insects convergently evolved similar chemical signatures. The present study provides deeper insights into how termites might have socially exploited these signatures from sexual communication in their cockroach-like ancestor.

  14. Indigenous utilization of termite mounds and their sustainability in a rice growing village of the central plain of Laos.

    PubMed

    Miyagawa, Shuichi; Koyama, Yusaku; Kokubo, Mika; Matsushita, Yuichi; Adachi, Yoshinao; Sivilay, Sengdeaune; Kawakubo, Nobumitsu; Oba, Shinya

    2011-08-18

    The objective of this study was to investigate the indigenous utilization of termite mounds and termites in a rain-fed rice growing village in the central plain of Laos, where rice production is low and varies year-to-year, and to assess the possibility of sustainable termite mound utilization in the future. This research was carried out from 2007 to 2009. The termites were collected from their mounds and surrounding areas and identified. Twenty villagers were interviewed on their use of termites and their mounds in the village. Sixty-three mounds were measured to determine their dimensions in early March, early July and middle to late November, 2009. Eleven species of Termitidae were recorded during the survey period. It was found that the villagers use termite mounds as fertilizer for growing rice, vegetable beds and charcoal kilns. The villagers collected termites for food and as feed for breeding fish. Over the survey period, 81% of the mounds surveyed increased in volume; however, the volume was estimated to decrease by 0.114 m3 mound(-1) year(-1) on average due to several mounds being completely cut out. It was concluded that current mound utilization by villagers is not sustainable. To ensure sustainable termite utilization in the future, studies should be conducted to enhance factors that promote mound restoration by termites. Furthermore, it will be necessary to improve mound conservation methods used by the villagers after changes in the soil mass of mounds in paddy fields and forests has been measured accurately. The socio-economic factors that affect mound utilization should also be studied.

  15. Critical fluid extraction of Juniperus virginiana L. and bioactivity of extracts against subterranean termites and wood-rot fungi.

    Treesearch

    F. J. Eller; Carol A. Clausen; Frederick Green; S.L. Taylor

    2010-01-01

    Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) is an abundant renewable resource and represents a vast potential source of valuable natural products that may serve as natural biocides. Both the wood and needles from J. virginiana were extracted using liquid carbon dioxide (L-CO2) as well as ethanol (EtOH) and the yields determined.Woodblocks were...

  16. Fumigant toxicity of essential oils to Reticulitermes flavipes

    Treesearch

    Carol A. Clausen; Vina W. Yang

    2008-01-01

    Subterranean termite infestations occur in every state in the contiguous United States and are responsible for damage to wooden structures in excess of two billion dollars (U.S.) annually. Essential oils have historically been used to repel insects. They have relatively low toxicity and some of them are exempt from regulation by the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and...

  17. Petrophysical evaluation of subterranean formations

    DOEpatents

    Klein, James D; Schoderbek, David A; Mailloux, Jason M

    2013-05-28

    Methods and systems are provided for evaluating petrophysical properties of subterranean formations and comprehensively evaluating hydrate presence through a combination of computer-implemented log modeling and analysis. Certain embodiments include the steps of running a number of logging tools in a wellbore to obtain a variety of wellbore data and logs, and evaluating and modeling the log data to ascertain various petrophysical properties. Examples of suitable logging techniques that may be used in combination with the present invention include, but are not limited to, sonic logs, electrical resistivity logs, gamma ray logs, neutron porosity logs, density logs, NRM logs, or any combination or subset thereof.

  18. Complementary symbiont contributions to plant decomposition in a fungus-farming termite

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai; Chen, Zhensheng; Otani, Saria; Nygaard, Sanne; Nobre, Tania; Klaubauf, Sylvia; Schindler, Philipp M.; Hauser, Frank; Pan, Hailin; Yang, Zhikai; Sonnenberg, Anton S. M.; de Beer, Z. Wilhelm; Zhang, Yong; Wingfield, Michael J.; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J. P.; de Vries, Ronald P.; Korb, Judith; Aanen, Duur K.; Wang, Jun; Boomsma, Jacobus J.; Zhang, Guojie

    2014-01-01

    Termites normally rely on gut symbionts to decompose organic matter but the Macrotermitinae domesticated Termitomyces fungi to produce their own food. This transition was accompanied by a shift in the composition of the gut microbiota, but the complementary roles of these bacteria in the symbiosis have remained enigmatic. We obtained high-quality annotated draft genomes of the termite Macrotermes natalensis, its Termitomyces symbiont, and gut metagenomes from workers, soldiers, and a queen. We show that members from 111 of the 128 known glycoside hydrolase families are represented in the symbiosis, that Termitomyces has the genomic capacity to handle complex carbohydrates, and that worker gut microbes primarily contribute enzymes for final digestion of oligosaccharides. This apparent division of labor is consistent with the Macrotermes gut microbes being most important during the second passage of comb material through the termite gut, after a first gut passage where the crude plant substrate is inoculated with Termitomyces asexual spores so that initial fungal growth and polysaccharide decomposition can proceed with high efficiency. Complex conversion of biomass in termite mounds thus appears to be mainly accomplished by complementary cooperation between a domesticated fungal monoculture and a specialized bacterial community. In sharp contrast, the gut microbiota of the queen had highly reduced plant decomposition potential, suggesting that mature reproductives digest fungal material provided by workers rather than plant substrate. PMID:25246537

  19. Pycnoscelus surinamensis cockroach gut microbiota respond consistently to a fungal diet without mirroring those of fungus-farming termites.

    PubMed

    Richards, Callum; Otani, Saria; Mikaelyan, Aram; Poulsen, Michael

    2017-01-01

    The gut microbiotas of cockroaches and termites play important roles in the symbiotic digestion of dietary components, such as lignocellulose. Diet has been proposed as a primary determinant of community structure within the gut, acting as a selection force to shape the diversity observed within this "bioreactor", and as a key factor for the divergence of the termite gut microbiota from the omnivorous cockroach ancestor. The gut microbiota in most termites supports primarily the breakdown of lignocellulose, but the fungus-farming sub-family of higher termites has become similar in gut microbiota to the ancestral omnivorous cockroaches. To assess the importance of a fungus diet as a driver of community structure, we compare community compositions in the guts of experimentally manipulated Pycnoscelus surinamensis cockroaches fed on fungus cultivated by fungus-farming termites. MiSeq amplicon analysis of gut microbiotas from 49 gut samples showed a step-wise gradient pattern in community similarity that correlated with an increase in the proportion of fungal material provided to the cockroaches. Comparison of the taxonomic composition of manipulated communities to that of gut communities of a fungus-feeding termite species showed that although some bacteria OTUs shared by P. surinamensis and the farming termites increased in the guts of cockroaches on a fungal diet, cockroach communities remained distinct from those of termites. These results demonstrate that a fungal diet can play a role in structuring gut community composition, but at the same time exemplifies how original community compositions constrain the magnitude of such change.

  20. Design complexity in termite-fishing tools of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

    PubMed Central

    Sanz, Crickette; Call, Josep; Morgan, David

    2009-01-01

    Adopting the approach taken with New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides), we present evidence of design complexity in one of the termite-fishing tools of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo. Prior to termite fishing, chimpanzees applied a set of deliberate, distinguishable actions to modify herb stems to fashion a brush-tipped probe, which is different from the form of fishing tools used by chimpanzees in East and West Africa. This means that ‘brush-tipped fishing probes’, unlike ‘brush sticks’, are not a by-product of use but a deliberate design feature absent in other chimpanzee populations. The specialized modifications to prepare the tool for termite fishing, measures taken to repair non-functional brushes and appropriate orientation of the modified end suggest that these wild chimpanzees are attentive to tool modifications. We also conducted experimental trials that showed that a brush-tipped probe is more effective in gathering insects than an unmodified fishing probe. Based on these findings, we suggest that chimpanzees in the Congo Basin have developed an improved fishing probe design. PMID:19324641

  1. Indigenous utilization of termite mounds and their sustainability in a rice growing village of the central plain of Laos

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The objective of this study was to investigate the indigenous utilization of termite mounds and termites in a rain-fed rice growing village in the central plain of Laos, where rice production is low and varies year-to-year, and to assess the possibility of sustainable termite mound utilization in the future. This research was carried out from 2007 to 2009. Methods The termites were collected from their mounds and surrounding areas and identified. Twenty villagers were interviewed on their use of termites and their mounds in the village. Sixty-three mounds were measured to determine their dimensions in early March, early July and middle to late November, 2009. Results Eleven species of Termitidae were recorded during the survey period. It was found that the villagers use termite mounds as fertilizer for growing rice, vegetable beds and charcoal kilns. The villagers collected termites for food and as feed for breeding fish. Over the survey period, 81% of the mounds surveyed increased in volume; however, the volume was estimated to decrease by 0.114 m3 mound-1 year-1 on average due to several mounds being completely cut out. Conclusion It was concluded that current mound utilization by villagers is not sustainable. To ensure sustainable termite utilization in the future, studies should be conducted to enhance factors that promote mound restoration by termites. Furthermore, it will be necessary to improve mound conservation methods used by the villagers after changes in the soil mass of mounds in paddy fields and forests has been measured accurately. The socio-economic factors that affect mound utilization should also be studied. PMID:21849087

  2. Ant and termite mound coinhabitants in the wetlands of Santo Antonio da Patrulha, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Diehl, E; Junqueira, L K; Berti-Filho, E

    2005-08-01

    This paper reports on ant and termite species inhabiting the mounds (murundus) found in three wetland sites in Santo Antonio da Patrulha. Ants and termites were found in 100% of the mounds of two sites and in 20% of those in the third site. Colonies of Camponotus fastigatus were found inhabiting all the mounds, while colonies of Brachymyrmex sp., Linepithema sp., Pheidole sp., and/or Solenopsis sp. were collected in less than 30% of the mounds. In the mounds of the three sites, colonies of Anoplotermes sp. and/or Aparatermes sp. termites were found together with the ant colonies. Another cohabiting termite species, Cortaritermes sp., was found only in the mounds of one site. The results suggest that C. fastigatus is the species building the mounds, with the other species, whether ants or termites, being the inquilines.

  3. What is the role of mothers in the acquisition of termite-fishing behaviors in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii)?

    PubMed

    Lonsdorf, Elizabeth V

    2006-01-01

    This paper explores the role of maternal influences on the acquisition of a tool-using task in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in order to build on and complement previous work done in captivity. Young chimpanzees show a long period of offspring dependency on mothers and it is during this period that offspring learn several important skills, especially how to and on what to forage. At Gombe National Park, one skill that is acquired during dependency is termite-fishing, a complex behavior that involves inserting a tool made from the surrounding vegetation into a termite mound and extracting the termites that attack and cling to the tool. All chimpanzees observed at Gombe have acquired the termite-fishing skill by the age of 5.5 years. Since the mother is the primary source of information throughout this time period, I investigated the influence of mothers' individual termite-fishing characteristics on their offsprings' speed of acquisition and proficiency at the skill once acquired. Mother's time spent alone or with maternal family members, which is highly correlated to time spent termite-fishing, was positively correlated to offspring's acquisition of critical elements of the skill. I also investigated the specific types of social interactions that occur between mothers and offspring at the termite mound and found that mothers are highly tolerant to offspring, even when the behavior of the offspring may disrupt the termite-fishing attempt. However, no active facilitation by mothers of offsprings' attempts were observed.

  4. Termites as a factor of spatial differentiation of CO2 fluxes from the soils of monsoon tropical forests in Southern Vietnam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopes de Gerenyu, Valentin; Anichkin, Alexander

    2016-04-01

    Termites play the key role in biogeochemical transformation of organic matter acting as "moderators" of fluxes of carbon and other nutrients. They destroy not only leave litter but also coarse woody debris. Termites translocate considerable masses of dead organic materials into their houses, which leads to significant accumulations of organic matter in termite mounds. We studied the impact of termite mounds on redistribution of CO2 fluxes from soils in semi-deciduous monsoon tropical forests of southern Vietnam. Field study was performed in the Cat Tien National Park (11°21'-11°48'N, 107°10'-107°34'E). The spatial and temporary dynamics of CO2 fluxes from soils (Andosols) populated by termites were studied in plain lagerstroemia (Lagerstroemia calyculata Kurz) monsoon tropical forests. The rate of CO2 emission from the soil surface was measured by closed chamber method two-three times per month from November 2010 to December 2011. Permanent cylindrical PVC chambers (9 cm in diameter and 15 cm in height) were installed beyond the areas occupied by termite mounds (5 replications). Litter was not removed from the soil surface before the measurements. To estimate the spatial heterogeneity of the CO2 emission fluxes from soils populated by termites, a special 'termite' plot (TerPl) was equipped. It was 10×10 m in size and included three termite mounds: one mound built up by Globitermes sulphureus and two mounds populated by termites of the Odontotermes genus. Overall, 52 PVC chambers were installed permanently on the 'termite' plot (ca. 1 m apart from one another). The CO2 emission rate from TerPl was also measured by chamber closed method once in the dry season (April) and twice through the wet season (July and August). The average rate of CO2 emission from termite mounds was two times higher than that from the surrounding area (SurAr). In the dry season, it comprised 91±7 mg C/m2/h from the surrounding soils and 196±16 mg C/m2/h from the termite mounds. In the

  5. Isolation and Characterization of Anaerobic Bacteria for Symbiotic Recycling of Uric Acid Nitrogen in the Gut of Various Termites

    PubMed Central

    Thong-On, Arunee; Suzuki, Katsuyuki; Noda, Satoko; Inoue, Jun-ichi; Kajiwara, Susumu; Ohkuma, Moriya

    2012-01-01

    Recycling of the nitrogenous waste uric acid (UA) of wood-feeding termites by their gut bacteria is one of the significant aspects of symbiosis for the conservation of nitrogen sources. Diverse anaerobic UA-degrading bacteria comprising 16 species were isolated from the gut of eight termite species, and were assigned to Clostridia, Enterobacteriaceae, and low G+C Gram-positive cocci. UA-degrading Clostridia had never been isolated from termite guts. UA-degrading ability was sporadically distributed among phylogenetically various culturable anaerobic bacteria from termite guts. A strain of Clostridium sp., which was commonly isolated from three termite species and represented a probable new species in cluster XIVa of clostridia, utilized UA as a nitrogen source but not as a sole carbon and energy source. This feature is in clear contrast to that of well-studied purinolytic clostridia or previously isolated UA degraders from termite guts, which also utilize UA as a sole carbon and energy source. Ammonia is the major nitrogenous product of UA degradation. Various purines stimulated the growth of this strain when added to an otherwise growth-limiting, nitrogen poor medium. The bacterial species involved the recycling of UA nitrogen in the gut microbial community of termites are more diverse in terms of both taxonomy and nutritional physiology than previously recognized. PMID:22791052

  6. Inbreeding and disease resistance in a social insect: effects of heterozygosity on immunocompetence in the termite Zootermopsis angusticollis

    PubMed Central

    Calleri, Daniel V; McGrail Reid, Ellen; Rosengaus, Rebeca B; Vargo, Edward L; Traniello, James F.A

    2006-01-01

    Recent research has shown that low genetic variation in individuals can increase susceptibility to infection and group living may exacerbate pathogen transmission. In the eusocial diploid termites, cycles of outbreeding and inbreeding characterizing basal species can reduce genetic variation within nestmates during the life of a colony, but the relationship of genetic heterogeneity to disease resistance is poorly understood. Here we show that, one generation of inbreeding differentially affects the survivorship of isolated and grouped termites (Zootermopsis angusticollis) depending on the nature of immune challenge and treatment. Inbred and outbred isolated and grouped termites inoculated with a bacterial pathogen, exposed to a low dose of fungal pathogen or challenged with an implanted nylon monofilament had similar levels of immune defence. However, inbred grouped termites exposed to a relatively high concentration of fungal conidia had significantly greater mortality than outbred grouped termites. Inbred termites also had significantly higher cuticular microbial loads, presumably due to less effective grooming by nestmates. Genetic analyses showed that inbreeding significantly reduced heterozygosity and allelic diversity. Decreased heterozygosity thus appeared to increase disease susceptibility by affecting social behaviour or some other group-level process influencing infection control rather than affecting individual immune physiology. PMID:17002949

  7. Physical and Chemical Properties of Some Imported Woods and their Degradation by Termites

    PubMed Central

    Shanbhag, Rashmi R.; Sundararaj, R.

    2013-01-01

    The influence of physical and chemical properties of 20 species of imported wood on degradation of the wood by termites under field conditions was studied. The wood species studied were: Sycamore maple, Acer pseudoplatanus L. (Sapindales: Sapindaceae) (from two countries), Camphor, Dryobalanops aromatic C.F.Gaertner (Malvales: Dipterocarpaceae), Beech, Fagus grandifolia Ehrhart (Fagales: Fagaceae), F. sylvatica L. (from two countries), Oak, Quercus robur L., Ash, Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl (Lamiales: Oleaceae), F. excelsior L., Padauk, Pterocarpus soyauxii Taubert (Fabales: Fabaceae), (from two countries), Jamba, Xylia dolabrifiormis Roxburgh, Shorea laevis Ridley (Malvales: Dipterocarpaceae), S. macoptera Dyer, S. robusta Roth, Teak, Tectona grandis L.f. (Lamiales: Lamiaceae) (from five countries), and rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis Müller Argoviensis (Malpighiales: Euphorbiaceae) from India. The termites present were: Odontotermes horni (Wasmann) (Isoptera: Termitidae), O. feae, O. wallonensis, and O. obeus (Rambur). A significant conelation was found between density, cellulose, lignin, and total phenolic contents of the wood and degradation by termites. The higher the density of the wood, the lower the degradation. Similarly, higher amount of lignin and total phenolic contents ensured higher resistance, whereas cellulose drives the termites towards the wood. PMID:23906349

  8. Microbial community diversity in the gut of the South American termite Cornitermes cumulans (Isoptera: Termitidae).

    PubMed

    Grieco, Maria Angela B; Cavalcante, Janaina J V; Cardoso, Alexander M; Vieira, Ricardo P; Machado, Ednildo A; Clementino, Maysa M; Medeiros, Marcelo N; Albano, Rodolpho M; Garcia, Eloi S; de Souza, Wanderley; Constantino, Reginaldo; Martins, Orlando B

    2013-01-01

    Termites inhabit tropical and subtropical areas where they contribute to structure and composition of soils by efficiently degrading biomass with aid of resident gut microbiota. In this study, culture-independent molecular analysis was performed based on bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA clone libraries to describe the gut microbial communities within Cornitermes cumulans, a South American litter-feeding termite. Our data reveal extensive bacterial diversity, mainly composed of organisms from the phyla Spirochaetes, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Fibrobacteres. In contrast, a low diversity of archaeal 16S rRNA sequences was found, comprising mainly members of the Crenarchaeota phylum. The diversity of archaeal methanogens was further analyzed by sequencing clones from a library for the mcrA gene, which encodes the enzyme methyl coenzyme reductase, responsible for catalyzing the last step in methane production, methane being an important greenhouse gas. The mcrA sequences were diverse and divided phylogenetically into three clades related to uncultured environmental archaea and methanogens found in different termite species. C. cumulans is a litter-feeding, mound-building termite considered a keystone species in natural ecosystems and also a pest in agriculture. Here, we describe the archaeal and bacterial communities within this termite, revealing for the first time its intriguing microbiota.

  9. Sleep in the Cape Mole Rat: A Short-Sleeping Subterranean Rodent.

    PubMed

    Kruger, Jean-Leigh; Gravett, Nadine; Bhagwandin, Adhil; Bennett, Nigel C; Archer, Elizabeth K; Manger, Paul R

    2016-01-01

    The Cape mole rat Georychus capensis is a solitary subterranean rodent found in the western and southern Cape of South Africa. This approximately 200-gram bathyergid rodent shows a nocturnal circadian rhythm, but sleep in this species is yet to be investigated. Using telemetric recordings of the electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyogram (EMG) in conjunction with video recordings, we were able to show that the Cape mole rat, like all other rodents, has sleep periods composed of both rapid eye movement (REM) and slow-wave (non-REM) sleep. These mole rats spent on average 15.4 h awake, 7.1 h in non-REM sleep and 1.5 h in REM sleep each day. Cape mole rats sleep substantially less than other similarly sized terrestrial rodents but have a similar percentage of total sleep time occupied by REM sleep. In addition, the duration of both non-REM and REM sleep episodes was markedly shorter in the Cape mole rat than has been observed in terrestrial rodents. Interestingly, these features (total sleep time and episode duration) are similar to those observed in another subterranean bathyergid mole rat, i.e. Fukomys mechowii. Thus, there appears to be a bathyergid type of sleep amongst the rodents that may be related to their environment and the effect of this on their circadian rhythm. Investigating further species of bathyergid mole rats may fully define the emerging picture of sleep in these subterranean African rodents. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. Process of breaking and rendering permeable a subterranean rock mass

    DOEpatents

    Lekas, Mitchell A.

    1980-01-01

    The process of the present invention involves the following steps: producing, as by hydrofracing, a substantially horizontal fracture in the subterranean rock mass to be processed; emplacing an explosive charge in the mass in spaced juxtaposed position to the fracture; enlarging the fracture to create a void space thereat, an initial lifting of the overburden, and to provide a free face juxtaposed to and arranged to cooperate with the emplaced explosive charge; and exploding the charge against the free face for fragmenting the rock and to distribute the space, thus providing fractured, pervious, rubble-ized rock in an enclosed subterranean chamber. Firing of the charge provides a further lifting of the overburden, an enlargement of the chamber and a larger void space to distribute throughout the rubble-ized rock within the chamber. In some forms of the invention an explosive charge is used to produce a transitory enlargement of the fracture, and the juxtaposed emplaced charge is fired during the critical period of enlargement of the fracture.

  11. Evaluation of fipronil and imidacloprid as bait active ingredients against fungus-growing termites (Blattodea: Termitidae: Macrotermitinae).

    PubMed

    Iqbal, N; Evans, T A

    2018-02-01

    Fungus-growing termites (Macrotermitinae) are important pests in tropical countries. They are difficult to control with existing baiting methods, as chitin synthesis inhibitors are not effectual as active ingredients. We tested two neurotoxins, fipronil and imidacloprid, as potential bait active ingredients against Macrotermes gilvus (Hagen) in Singapore. In laboratory bioassays, M. gilvus showed no preference for doses of 0-64 ppm fipronil, or for doses of 0-250 ppm imidacloprid, indicating no repellence. We tested each insecticide in toilet paper as a bait matrix in a field experiment. After 28 days, termites had eaten 5-13% of the fipronil treated toilet paper, abandoned bait and monitoring stations, contacted no new stations, and repaired poorly their experimentally damaged mounds. Termites ate no imidacloprid treated toilet paper, abandoned bait stations although contacted new stations, and repaired fully their damaged mounds. Termites ate 60-70% of the control toilet paper, remained in bait stations, and fully repaired damaged mounds. After 56 days, all five fipronil colonies were eliminated, whereas all of the imidacloprid and control colonies were healthy. The results suggest that fipronil could be an effective active ingredient in bait systems for fungus-growing termites in tropical countries.

  12. Localized treatments using commercial dust and liquid formulations of fipronil against Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in the laboratory.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Bal K; Henderson, Gregg; Wang, Cai

    2014-04-01

    Use of proper application methods and formulations of termiticides are important to reduce their negative impact to the environment. In this study, we conducted laboratory experiments to determine the effect of localized treatments with commercial dust and liquid formulations of fipronil against Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. The test arena consisted of a specially designed 16-chambered structure with a center chamber connected to 5 foraging chambers that themselves were connected to 10 additional foraging chambers. One peripheral chamber received a liquid or dust treatment and termites were released in the center chamber. Results showed that >91% of the termites were dead within the 9-d test period despite the localized treatment of only 1 foraging chamber. Termites that were still alive after 9 d were transferred to an untreated dish and held for 10 more days. The majority of those termites were dead and the rest were moribund on day 19. Regardless of the specific dish treated, both formulations of fipronil were found to be highly efficacious. Termites did not exhibit repellency to either formulation. Our results suggest that localized (or spot) treatment with either commercially available dust or liquid formulations of fipronil can be a viable option for control of a termite infestation where complete soil drenching is not desirable. © 2013 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  13. Do Epigeal Termite Mounds Increase the Diversity of Plant Habitats in a Tropical Rain Forest in Peninsular Malaysia?

    PubMed Central

    Beaudrot, Lydia; Du, Yanjun; Rahman Kassim, Abdul; Rejmánek, Marcel; Harrison, Rhett D.

    2011-01-01

    The extent to which environmental heterogeneity can account for tree species coexistence in diverse ecosystems, such as tropical rainforests, is hotly debated, although the importance of spatial variability in contributing to species co-existence is well recognized. Termites contribute to the micro-topographical and nutrient spatial heterogeneity of tropical forests. We therefore investigated whether epigeal termite mounds could contribute to the coexistence of plant species within a 50 ha plot at Pasoh Forest Reserve, Malaysia. Overall, stem density was significantly higher on mounds than in their immediate surroundings, but tree species diversity was significantly lower. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that location on or off mounds significantly influenced species distribution when stems were characterized by basal area. Like studies of termite mounds in other ecosystems, our results suggest that epigeal termite mounds provide a specific microhabitat for the enhanced growth and survival of certain species in these species-rich tropical forests. However, the extent to which epigeal termite mounds facilitate species coexistence warrants further investigation. PMID:21625558

  14. Uric acid, an important antioxidant contributing to survival in termites

    PubMed Central

    Tasaki, Eisuke; Sakurai, Hiroki; Nitao, Masaru; Matsuura, Kenji; Iuchi, Yoshihito

    2017-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated spontaneously in all organisms and cause oxidative damage to biomolecules when present in excess. Accumulated oxidative damage accelerates aging; enhanced antioxidant capacity may be a positive factor for longevity. Recently, numerous studies of aging and longevity have been performed using short-lived animals, however, longevity mechanisms remain unknown. Here we show that a termite Reticulitermes speratus that is thought to be long-lived eusocial insect than other solitary insects uses large quantities of uric acid as an antioxidant against ROS. We demonstrated that the accumulation of uric acid considerably increases the free radical-scavenging activity and resistance against ultraviolet-induced oxidative stress in laboratory-maintained termites. In addition, we found that externally administered uric acid aided termite survival under highly oxidative conditions. The present data demonstrates that in addition to nutritional and metabolic roles, uric acid is an essential antioxidant for survival and contributes significantly to longevity. Uric acid also plays important roles in primates but causes gout when present in excess in humans. Further longevity studies of long-lived organisms may provide important breakthroughs with human health applications. PMID:28609463

  15. Hydrologic controls of methane dynamics in a karst subterranean estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brankovits, D.; Pohlman, J.; Ganju, N. K.; Lowell, N. S.; Roth, E.; Lapham, L.

    2017-12-01

    Subterranean estuaries extend into carbonate landmasses where abundant cave networks influence the hydrology and biogeochemistry of the coastal aquifer environment. Enhanced density stratification between meteoric freshwater and saline groundwater facilitates the development of sharp salinity and redox gradients associated with the production and consumption of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. These processes impact methane-dynamics in the coastal zone and provide nutritive resources for the cave-adapted estuarine food web in this oligotrophic habitat. These observations were based on sampling in discrete time periods, leaving questions about the effects of temporally dynamic hydrology on the production, consumption and transport of methane. In this study, we evaluated hydro-biogeochemical controls of methane dynamics in a subterranean estuary to quantify the magnitude of the methane sink in the coastal karst platform of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. We deployed osmotically-driven sampling devices (OsmoSamplers) in flooded cave passages to document temporal variability in methane concentrations and δ13C values, as well as major ions in the groundwater. Water level, current velocities, water and air temperatures, and precipitation were also monitored. Using these records, we built an integrated model to provide a first-order calculation on methane consumption rates for the coastal aquifer. The year-long water chemistry record reveals higher source concentrations of methane in the dry season (5849 ± 1198 nM) than in the wet season (4265 ± 778 nM) with depleted δ13C values (-65.4 ± 2.1 ‰) throughout the year. Our analyses suggest the methane sink potential and ecosystem function are significantly affected by precipitation induced hydrological changes within the tropical subterranean karst estuary.

  16. Bacterial density and community structure associated with aggregate size fractions of soil-feeding termite mounds.

    PubMed

    Fall, S; Nazaret, S; Chotte, J L; Brauman, A

    2004-08-01

    The building and foraging activities of termites are known to modify soil characteristics such as the heterogeneity. In tropical savannas the impact of the activity of soil-feeding termites ( Cubitermes niokoloensis) has been shown to affect the properties of the soil at the aggregate level by creating new soil microenvironments (aggregate size fractions) [13]. These changes were investigated in greater depth by looking at the microbial density (AODC) and the genetic structure (automated rRNA intergenic spacer analysis: ARISA) of the communities in the different aggregate size fractions (i.e., coarse sand, fine sand, coarse silt, fine silt, and dispersible clays) separated from compartments (internal and external wall) of three Cubitermes niokoloensis mounds. The bacterial density of the mounds was significantly higher (1.5 to 3 times) than that of the surrounding soil. Within the aggregate size fractions, the termite building activity resulted in a significant increase in bacterial density within the coarser fractions (>20 mum). Multivariate analysis of the ARISA profiles revealed that the bacterial genetic structures of unfractionated soil and soil aggregate size fractions of the three mounds was noticeably different from the savanna soil used as a reference. Moreover, the microbial community associated with the different microenvironments in the three termite mounds revealed three distinct clusters formed by the aggregate size fractions of each mound. Except for the 2-20 mum fraction, these results suggest that the mound microbial genetic structure is more dependent upon microbial pool affiliation (the termite mound) than on the soil location (aggregate size fraction). The causes of the specificity of the microbial community structure of termite mound aggregate size fractions are discussed.

  17. Dispersal and population structure at different spatial scales in the subterranean rodent Ctenomys australis

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The population genetic structure of subterranean rodent species is strongly affected by demographic (e.g. rates of dispersal and social structure) and stochastic factors (e.g. random genetic drift among subpopulations and habitat fragmentation). In particular, gene flow estimates at different spatial scales are essential to understand genetic differentiation among populations of a species living in a highly fragmented landscape. Ctenomys australis (the sand dune tuco-tuco) is a territorial subterranean rodent that inhabits a relatively secure, permanently sealed burrow system, occurring in sand dune habitats on the coastal landscape in the south-east of Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Currently, this habitat is threatened by urban development and forestry and, therefore, the survival of this endemic species is at risk. Here, we assess population genetic structure and patterns of dispersal among individuals of this species at different spatial scales using 8 polymorphic microsatellite loci. Furthermore, we evaluate the relative importance of sex and habitat configuration in modulating the dispersal patterns at these geographical scales. Results Our results show that dispersal in C. australis is not restricted at regional spatial scales (~ 4 km). Assignment tests revealed significant population substructure within the study area, providing support for the presence of two subpopulations from three original sampling sites. Finally, male-biased dispersal was found in the Western side of our study area, but in the Eastern side no apparent philopatric pattern was found, suggesting that in a more continuous habitat males might move longer distances than females. Conclusions Overall, the assignment-based approaches were able to detect population substructure at fine geographical scales. Additionally, the maintenance of a significant genetic structure at regional (~ 4 km) and small (less than 1 km) spatial scales despite apparently moderate to high levels of

  18. [Characteristics of nitrogen fixation and denitrification in Termites Neotermes castaneus, Zootermopsis angusticollis, and Reticulitermes lucifugus].

    PubMed

    Golichenkov, M V; Kostina, N V; Ul'ianova, T A; Dobrovol'skaia, T G; Umarov, M M

    2002-01-01

    We studied specific features of microbial nitrogen fixation and denitrification in laboratory cultures of the termites Neotermes castaneus, Zootermopsis angusticollis, and Reticulitermes lucifugus, as well as in their nest materials. The nitrogenase activity in the termites was much higher than in the materials of termitarium. Denitrification was found only in the nest materials of termitarium. Studies of the bacterial community of gut nitrogen fixers Neotermes castaneus have shown the predominance of anaerobic and facultatively anaerobic bacteria that amount to up to 60% of the total number of "gut" bacteria. In the materials of termitarium, aerobic cellulose-destroying myxobacteria predominated, which are typical inhabitants of plant substrates, a food for the termite.

  19. Optimization of a metatranscriptomic approach to study the lignocellulolytic potential of the higher termite gut microbiome.

    PubMed

    Marynowska, Martyna; Goux, Xavier; Sillam-Dussès, David; Rouland-Lefèvre, Corinne; Roisin, Yves; Delfosse, Philippe; Calusinska, Magdalena

    2017-09-01

    Thanks to specific adaptations developed over millions of years, the efficiency of lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose decomposition of higher termite symbiotic system exceeds that of many other lignocellulose utilizing environments. Especially, the examination of its symbiotic microbes should reveal interesting carbohydrate-active enzymes, which are of primary interest for the industry. Previous metatranscriptomic reports (high-throughput mRNA sequencing) highlight the high representation and overexpression of cellulose and hemicelluloses degrading genes in the termite hindgut digestomes, indicating the potential of this technology in search for new enzymes. Nevertheless, several factors associated with the material sampling and library preparation steps make the metatranscriptomic studies of termite gut prokaryotic symbionts challenging. In this study, we first examined the influence of the sampling strategy, including the whole termite gut and luminal fluid, on the diversity and the metatranscriptomic profiles of the higher termite gut symbiotic bacteria. Secondly, we evaluated different commercially available kits combined in two library preparative pipelines for the best bacterial mRNA enrichment strategy. We showed that the sampling strategy did not significantly impact the generated results, both in terms of the representation of the microbes and their transcriptomic profiles. Nevertheless collecting luminal fluid reduces the co-amplification of unwanted RNA species of host origin. Furthermore, for the four studied higher termite species, the library preparative pipeline employing Ribo-Zero Gold rRNA Removal Kit "Epidemiology" in combination with Poly(A) Purist MAG kit resulted in a more efficient rRNA and poly-A-mRNAdepletion (up to 98.44% rRNA removed) than the pipeline utilizing MICROBExpress and MICROBEnrich kits. High correlation of both Ribo-Zero and MICROBExpresse depleted gene expression profiles with total non-depleted RNA-seq data has been shown

  20. Dynamic environments of fungus-farming termite mounds exert growth-modulating effects on fungal crop parasites.

    PubMed

    Katariya, Lakshya; Ramesh, Priya B; Borges, Renee M

    2018-03-01

    This study investigated for the first time the impact of the internal mound environment of fungus-growing termites on the growth of fungal crop parasites. Mounds of the termite Odontotermes obesus acted as (i) temperature and relative humidity (RH) 'stabilisers' showing dampened daily variation and (ii) 'extreme environments' exhibiting elevated RH and CO 2 levels, compared to the outside. Yet, internal temperatures exhibited seasonal dynamics as did daily and seasonal CO 2 levels. During in situ experiments under termite-excluded conditions within the mound, the growth of the crop parasite Pseudoxylaria was greater inside than outside the mound, i.e., Pseudoxylaria is 'termitariophilic'. Also, ex situ experiments on parasite isolates differing in growth rates and examined under controlled conditions in the absence of termites revealed a variable effect with fungal growth decreasing only under high CO 2 and low temperature conditions, reflecting the in situ parasite growth fluctuations. In essence, the parasite appears to be adapted to survive in the termite mound. Thus the mound microclimate does not inhibit the parasite but the dynamic environmental conditions of the mound affect its growth to varying extents. These results shed light on the impact of animal-engineered structures on parasite ecology, independent of any direct role of animal engineers. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Discovery of a monophagous true predator, a specialist termite-eating spider (Araneae: Ammoxenidae)

    PubMed Central

    Petráková, Lenka; Líznarová, Eva; Pekár, Stano; Haddad, Charles R.; Sentenská, Lenka; Symondson, William O. C.

    2015-01-01

    True predators are characterised by capturing a number of prey items during their lifetime and by being generalists. Some true predators are facultative specialists, but very few species are stenophagous specialists that catch only a few closely related prey types. A monophagous true predator that would exploit a single prey species has not been discovered yet. Representatives of the spider family Ammoxenidae have been reported to have evolved to only catch termites. Here we tested the hypothesis that Ammoxenus amphalodes is a monophagous termite-eater capturing only Hodotermes mossambicus. We studied the trophic niche of A. amphalodes by means of molecular analysis of the gut contents using Next Generation Sequencing. We investigated their willingness to accept alternative prey and observed their specific predatory behaviour and prey capture efficiency. We found all of the 1.4 million sequences were H. mossambicus. In the laboratory A. amphalodes did not accept any other prey, including other termite species. The spiders attacked the lateral side of the thorax of termites and immobilised them within 1 min. The paralysis efficiency was independent of predator:prey size ratio. The results strongly indicate that A. amphalodes is a monophagous prey specialist, specifically adapted to feed on H. mossambicus. PMID:26359085

  2. Tergal glands in termite soldiers of the subfamily Syntermitinae (Isoptera: Termitidae).

    PubMed

    Costa-Leonardo, Ana Maria; Haifig, Ives; Laranjo, Lara Teixeira

    2012-02-01

    The subfamily Syntermitinae comprises 14 genera of termites that are exclusively neotropical. The present study reports morphological data about mandibulate nasute soldiers from termite species belonging to three different genera within this subfamily. We describe tergal glands that were present under all tergites of soldiers of the following species: Cornitermes cumulans, Procornitermes araujoi, Syntermes nanus, and Syntermes wheeleri. The tergal glands were composed of class 2 and class 3 cells. Class 2 cells never reached the cuticle and were located below a flat layer of epidermal cells. Class 3 cells, composed of secretory cells and canal cells, were sporadic, whereas class 2 secretory cells were abundant. Secretory cells of class 3 were narrow and their cytoplasms were filled with several clear, oval-shaped vesicles with limiting membranes. The ultrastructure of class 2 cells showed well-developed smooth endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, elongated mitochondria, several electron-lucent vesicles, and electron-dense granules that contain paracrystalline structures in S. nanus. Scanning electron micrographs displayed pores, campaniform sensilla and hairs in the outer cuticle of the soldier tergites. We hypothesize that soldier tergal glands may be involved in the production of defensive compounds, which occur in similar glands of certain cockroaches, or of primer pheromones, that might act in the regulation of soldier differentiation in the termite colony. To date, tergal glands have only been described in termite imagoes, and their occurrence in these soldiers of basal Syntermitinae implies a specific role in this caste that is still speculative and needs to be clarified. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Safe caves and dangerous forests? Predation risk may contribute to salamander colonization of subterranean habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvidio, Sebastiano; Palumbi, Giulia; Romano, Antonio; Costa, Andrea

    2017-04-01

    Recent studies suggest that many organisms actively colonize the subterranean environment to avoid climatic stress, exploit new ecological opportunities and reduce competition and predation. Terrestrial salamanders are known to colonize the more stable subterranean habitats mainly to escape external climatic extremes, while the role of predation avoidance remains untested. To better understand the importance of predation, we used clay models of the cave salamander Speleomantes strinatii to compare the predation occurring in woodland and subterranean habitats. Models were positioned in three forests and in three caves in NW Italy. One-hundred eighty-four models were retrieved from the field and 59 (32%) were attacked by predators. Models were attacked on their head more often than expected by chance and, therefore, were perceived by predators as real prey items. In the woodlands, clay models showed a four-time higher probability of being attacked in comparison to caves, suggesting a different level of potential predation risk in these surface habitats. These findings are one of the first experimental evidences that, in terrestrial ecosystems, predation avoidance may contribute to the salamander underground colonization process.

  4. Termitomyces sp. associated with the termite Macrotermes natalensis has a heterothallic mating system and multinucleate cells.

    PubMed

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Andersen, Anders; Aanen, Duur K

    2005-03-01

    Fungi of the genus Termitomyces live in an obligate symbiosis with termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae. Many species of Termitomyces frequently form fruit bodies, which develop from the fungus comb within the nest. In this study, we determined the mating system of a species of Termitomyces associated with the South African termite Macrotermes natalensis. Termite nests were excavated and a Termitomyces sp. was isolated into pure culture from the asexual fruit bodies (nodules) growing in the fungus gardens. For one strain, single basidiospore cultures were obtained from basidiomes growing from the fungus comb after incubation without termites. Using nuclear staining, we show that both comb cultures and single spore cultures have multinucleate cells and that the majority of spores has a single nucleus. However, DNA sequencing of the ITS region in the nuclear RNA gene revealed that the comb mycelium had two different ITS types that segregated in the single spore cultures, which consequently had only a single ITS type. These results unambiguously prove that the strain of Termitomyces studied here has a heterothallic mating system, with the fungus garden of the termite mound being in the heterokaryotic phase. This is the first time the mating system of a Termitomnyces species has been studied.

  5. Divergence times in the termite genus Macrotermes (Isoptera: Termitidae).

    PubMed

    Brandl, R; Hyodo, F; Korff-Schmising, M von; Maekawa, K; Miura, T; Takematsu, Y; Matsumoto, T; Abe, T; Bagine, R; Kaib, M

    2007-10-01

    The evolution of fungus-growing termites is supposed to have started in the African rain forests with multiple invasions of semi-arid habitats as well as multiple invasions of the Oriental region. We used sequences of the mitochondrial COII gene and Bayesian dating to investigate the time frame of the evolution of Macrotermes, an important genus of fungus-growing termites. We found that the genus Macrotermes consists of at least 6 distantly related clades. Furthermore, the COII sequences suggested some cryptic diversity within the analysed African Macrotermes species. The dates calculated with the COII data using a fossilized termite mound to calibrate the clock were in good agreement with dates calculated with COI sequences using the split between Locusta and Chortippus as calibration point which supports the consistency of the calibration points. The clades from the Oriental region dated back to the early Tertiary. These estimates of divergence times suggested that Macrotermes invaded Asia during periods with humid climates. For Africa, many speciation events predated the Pleistocene and fall in range of 6-23 million years ago. These estimates suggest that savannah-adapted African clades radiated with the spread of the semi-arid ecosystems during the Miocene. Apparently, events during the Pleistocene were of little importance for speciation within the genus Macrotermes. However, further investigations are necessary to increase the number of taxa for phylogenetic analysis.

  6. Longevity and transposon defense, the case of termite reproductives

    PubMed Central

    Elsner, Daniel; Meusemann, Karen; Korb, Judith

    2018-01-01

    Social insects are promising new models in aging research. Within single colonies, longevity differences of several magnitudes exist that can be found elsewhere only between different species. Reproducing queens (and, in termites, also kings) can live for several decades, whereas sterile workers often have a lifespan of a few weeks only. We studied aging in the wild in a highly social insect, the termite Macrotermes bellicosus, which has one of the most pronounced longevity differences between reproductives and workers. We show that gene-expression patterns differed little between young and old reproductives, implying negligible aging. By contrast, old major workers had many genes up-regulated that are related to transposable elements (TEs), which can cause aging. Strikingly, genes from the PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway, which are generally known to silence TEs in the germline of multicellular animals, were down-regulated only in old major workers but not in reproductives. Continued up-regulation of the piRNA defense commonly found in the germline of animals can explain the long life of termite reproductives, implying somatic cooption of germline defense during social evolution. This presents a striking germline/soma analogy as envisioned by the superorganism concept: the reproductives and workers of a colony reflect the germline and soma of multicellular animals, respectively. Our results provide support for the disposable soma theory of aging. PMID:29735660

  7. Metagenomic Characterization and Biochemical Analysis of Cellulose-Degrading Bacterial Communities from Sheep Rumen, Termite Hindgut, Decaying Plant Materials, and Soil

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-01-04

    Biochemical Analysis of Cellulose-DegradingBacterial Communities from Sheep Rumen, Termite Hindgut, Decaying Plant Materials,and Soil In an effort to...degrading bacteria from various samples, including termite gut, sheep rumen, soil, and decaying plant materials. Using selective media culture with...Metagenomic Characterization and Biochemical Analysis of Cellulose-DegradingBacterial Communities from Sheep Rumen, Termite Hindgut, Decaying Plant

  8. Testing the assumptions of the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis for termites in semi-arid Australia.

    PubMed

    Davis, Hayley; Ritchie, Euan G; Avitabile, Sarah; Doherty, Tim; Nimmo, Dale G

    2018-04-01

    Fire shapes the composition and functioning of ecosystems globally. In many regions, fire is actively managed to create diverse patch mosaics of fire-ages under the assumption that a diversity of post-fire-age classes will provide a greater variety of habitats, thereby enabling species with differing habitat requirements to coexist, and enhancing species diversity (the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis). However, studies provide mixed support for this hypothesis. Here, using termite communities in a semi-arid region of southeast Australia, we test four key assumptions of the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis (i) that fire shapes vegetation structure over sufficient time frames to influence species' occurrence, (ii) that animal species are linked to resources that are themselves shaped by fire and that peak at different times since fire, (iii) that species' probability of occurrence or abundance peaks at varying times since fire and (iv) that providing a diversity of fire-ages increases species diversity at the landscape scale. Termite species and habitat elements were sampled in 100 sites across a range of fire-ages, nested within 20 landscapes chosen to represent a gradient of low to high pyrodiversity. We used regression modelling to explore relationships between termites, habitat and fire. Fire affected two habitat elements (coarse woody debris and the cover of woody vegetation) that were associated with the probability of occurrence of three termite species and overall species richness, thus supporting the first two assumptions of the pyrodiversity hypothesis. However, this did not result in those species or species richness being affected by fire history per se. Consequently, landscapes with a low diversity of fire histories had similar numbers of termite species as landscapes with high pyrodiversity. Our work suggests that encouraging a diversity of fire-ages for enhancing termite species richness in this study region is not necessary.

  9. Testing the assumptions of the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis for termites in semi-arid Australia

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Hayley; Ritchie, Euan G.; Avitabile, Sarah; Doherty, Tim

    2018-01-01

    Fire shapes the composition and functioning of ecosystems globally. In many regions, fire is actively managed to create diverse patch mosaics of fire-ages under the assumption that a diversity of post-fire-age classes will provide a greater variety of habitats, thereby enabling species with differing habitat requirements to coexist, and enhancing species diversity (the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis). However, studies provide mixed support for this hypothesis. Here, using termite communities in a semi-arid region of southeast Australia, we test four key assumptions of the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis (i) that fire shapes vegetation structure over sufficient time frames to influence species' occurrence, (ii) that animal species are linked to resources that are themselves shaped by fire and that peak at different times since fire, (iii) that species’ probability of occurrence or abundance peaks at varying times since fire and (iv) that providing a diversity of fire-ages increases species diversity at the landscape scale. Termite species and habitat elements were sampled in 100 sites across a range of fire-ages, nested within 20 landscapes chosen to represent a gradient of low to high pyrodiversity. We used regression modelling to explore relationships between termites, habitat and fire. Fire affected two habitat elements (coarse woody debris and the cover of woody vegetation) that were associated with the probability of occurrence of three termite species and overall species richness, thus supporting the first two assumptions of the pyrodiversity hypothesis. However, this did not result in those species or species richness being affected by fire history per se. Consequently, landscapes with a low diversity of fire histories had similar numbers of termite species as landscapes with high pyrodiversity. Our work suggests that encouraging a diversity of fire-ages for enhancing termite species richness in this study region is not necessary

  10. Termites as a factor of spatial differentiation of CO2 fluxes from the soils of monsoon tropical forests in southern Vietnam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopes de Gerenyu, V. O.; Anichkin, A. E.; Avilov, V. K.; Kuznetsov, A. N.; Kurganova, I. N.

    2015-02-01

    Annual dynamics of CO2 fluxes from soils and the impact of the living activity of termites on them were studied in plain lagerstroemia semideciduous monsoon tropical forests of southern Vietnam. On the plot populated by Globitermes sulphureus and Odontotermes termites, a detailed study of the spatial heterogeneity of the CO2 emission from the surface of soil and termite mounds was performed in the wet and dry seasons. It was found that the average rate of the CO2 emission from termite mounds was two times and more higher than that from the background soil surface. In the dry season, it comprised 91 ± 7 mg C/m2 per h from the background soil and 196 ± 16 mg C/m2 per h from the termite mounds. In the wet season, the CO2 emission rate was considerably higher and reached 266 ± 40 and 520 ± 39 mg C/m2 per h, respectively. The maximum rates of CO2 fluxes were determined in the wet season in some of the measurement chambers installed on termite mounds; they reached 730-880 mg C/m2 per h. Though termite mounds occupy about 4% of the area of tropical forest ecosystems, the overall effect of termites on the carbon budget was more significant; according to our estimates, it reached up to 10% of the total efflux of CO2 from the soil surface.

  11. Methods for Casting Subterranean Ant Nests

    PubMed Central

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2010-01-01

    The study of subterranean ant nests has been impeded by the difficulty of rendering their structures in visible form. Here, several different casting materials are shown to make perfect casts of the underground nests of ants. Each material (dental plaster, paraffin wax, aluminum, zinc) has advantages and limitations, which are discussed. Some of the materials allow the recovery of the ants entombed in the casts, allowing a census of the ants to be connected with features of their nest architecture. The necessary equipment and procedures are described in the hope that more researchers will study this very important aspect of ant natural history. PMID:20673073

  12. Wound treatment and selective help in a termite-hunting ant.

    PubMed

    Frank, Erik T; Wehrhahn, Marten; Linsenmair, K Eduard

    2018-02-14

    Open wounds are a major health risk in animals, with species prone to injuries likely developing means to reduce these risks. We therefore analysed the behavioural response towards open wounds on the social and individual level in the termite group-hunting ant Megaponera analis During termite raids, some ants get injured by termite soldiers (biting off extremities), after the fight injured ants get carried back to the nest by nest-mates. We observed treatment of the injury by nest-mates inside the nest through intense allogrooming at the wound. Lack of treatment increased mortality from 10% to 80% within 24 h, most likely due to infections. Wound clotting occurred extraordinarily fast in untreated injured individuals, within 10 min. Furthermore, heavily injured ants (loss of five extremities) were not rescued or treated; this was regulated not by the helper but by the unresponsiveness of the injured ant. Interestingly, lightly injured ants behaved 'more injured' near nest-mates. We show organized social wound treatment in insects through a multifaceted help system focused on injured individuals. This was not only limited to selective rescuing of lightly injured individuals by carrying them back (thus reducing predation risk), but, moreover, included a differentiated treatment inside the nest. © 2018 The Author(s).

  13. Termites promote resistance of decomposition to spatiotemporal variability in rainfall.

    PubMed

    Veldhuis, Michiel P; Laso, Francisco J; Olff, Han; Berg, Matty P

    2017-02-01

    The ecological impact of rapid environmental change will depend on the resistance of key ecosystems processes, which may be promoted by species that exert strong control over local environmental conditions. Recent theoretical work suggests that macrodetritivores increase the resistance of African savanna ecosystems to changing climatic conditions, but experimental evidence is lacking. We examined the effect of large fungus-growing termites and other non-fungus-growing macrodetritivores on decomposition rates empirically with strong spatiotemporal variability in rainfall and temperature. Non-fungus-growing larger macrodetritivores (earthworms, woodlice, millipedes) promoted decomposition rates relative to microbes and small soil fauna (+34%) but both groups reduced their activities with decreasing rainfall. However, fungus-growing termites increased decomposition rates strongest (+123%) under the most water-limited conditions, making overall decomposition rates mostly independent from rainfall. We conclude that fungus-growing termites are of special importance in decoupling decomposition rates from spatiotemporal variability in rainfall due to the buffered environment they create within their extended phenotype (mounds), that allows decomposition to continue when abiotic conditions outside are less favorable. This points at a wider class of possibly important ecological processes, where soil-plant-animal interactions decouple ecosystem processes from large-scale climatic gradients. This may strongly alter predictions from current climate change models. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  14. Beyond cuticular hydrocarbons: evidence of proteinaceous secretion specific to termite kings and queens

    PubMed Central

    Hanus, Robert; Vrkoslav, Vladimír; Hrdý, Ivan; Cvačka, Josef; Šobotník, Jan

    2010-01-01

    In 1959, P. Karlson and M. Lüscher introduced the term ‘pheromone’, broadly used nowadays for various chemicals involved in intraspecific communication. To demonstrate the term, they depicted the situation in termite societies, where king and queen inhibit the reproduction of nest-mates by an unknown chemical substance. Paradoxically, half a century later, neither the source nor the chemical identity of this ‘royal’ pheromone is known. In this study, we report for the first time the secretion of polar compounds of proteinaceous origin by functional reproductives in three termite species, Prorhinotermes simplex, Reticulitermes santonensis and Kalotermes flavicollis. Aqueous washes of functional reproductives contained sex-specific proteinaceous compounds, virtually absent in non-reproducing stages. Moreover, the presence of these compounds was clearly correlated with the age of reproductives and their reproductive status. We discuss the putative function of these substances in termite caste recognition and regulation. PMID:19939837

  15. Apparatuses for interaction with a subterranean formation, and methods of use thereof

    DOEpatents

    Clark, Don T.; Jones, Richard L.; Turner, Terry D.; Hubbell, Joel M.; Sisson, James B.

    2007-12-25

    An access casing assembly structured for placement at least partially within a subterranean formation by forcing the access casing assembly thereinto, comprising a plurality of casing sections operably coupled to form a central elongated cavity for providing access to the subterranean region is disclosed. Further, a tip portion of the access casing assembly may include a porous filter through which liquid or gas may communicate with the central elongated cavity. Also, a receiving member or at least one engagement hub may form a portion of the central elongated cavity and may include an engagement feature configured for selectively and lockingly engaging a locking structure of a device to be positioned within the access casing assembly. Methods of use are disclosed. A tensiometer is disclosed including a chamber structured for allowing at least partially filling with a fluid subsequent to contact therewith.

  16. Fungus-Farming Termites Selectively Bury Weedy Fungi that Smell Different from Crop Fungi.

    PubMed

    Katariya, Lakshya; Ramesh, Priya B; Gopalappa, Thejashwini; Desireddy, Sathish; Bessière, Jean-Marie; Borges, Renee M

    2017-10-01

    Mutualistic associations such as the fungal farms of insects are prone to parasitism and are consequently vulnerable to attack by weeds and pests. Therefore, efficient farm management requires quick detection of weeds for their elimination. Furthermore, if the available weedicides are non-specific, then the ability of insects to discriminate between crop and weeds becomes essential for targeted application of such compounds. Here, we demonstrate for the first time in fungus-farming insects, that worker castes of the fungus-growing termite Odontotermes obesus discriminate between their crop (Termitomyces) and the weedy (Pseudoxylaria) fungi, even if exposed to only fungal scents. Termites respond to the presence of fungal mycelium or scent alone, by burying the weed with the offered material such as soil or agar, possibly anointing the weed with chemicals in the process. The scent profiles of crop and weedy fungi are distinct and the differences are likely exploited by termites to selectively mount their defences. Sesquiterpene compounds such as aristolene and viridiflorol, which are absent from crop odours, may constitute the "weedy scent". Our results provide a general mechanism of how other fungus-farming insects could avoid indiscriminate application of non-specific fungicides which could lead to poisoning their crops, and have bearing on the stability of the mutualism between termites and their crop fungus in the face of parasitism by weedy fungi.

  17. Distribution of corazonin and pigment-dispersing factor in the cephalic ganglia of termites.

    PubMed

    Závodská, Radka; Wen, Chih-Jen; Hrdý, Ivan; Sauman, Ivo; Lee, How-Jing; Sehnal, Frantisek

    2008-07-01

    Distribution of neurones detectable with antisera to the corazonin (Crz) and the pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) was mapped in the workers or pseudergates of 10 species representing six out of seven termite families. All species contained two triads of Crz-immunoreactive (Crz-ir) neurones in the protocerebrum. Their fibres were linked to the opposite hemisphere, formed a network in the fronto-lateral protocerebrum, and projected to the corpora cardiaca (CC); in most species the fibres also supplied the deuto- and tritocerebrum and the frontal ganglion. Some species possessed additional Crz-ir perikarya in the protocerebrum and the suboesophageal ganglion (SOG). The PDF-ir somata were primarily located in the optic lobe (OL) and SOG. OL harboured a group (3 groups in Coptotermes) of 2-6 PDF-ir cells with processes extending to the medulla, connecting to the contralateral OL, forming 1-2 networks in the protocerebrum, and in most species running also to CC. Such a PDF-ir system associated with the OL was missing in Reticulitermes. Except for Mastotermes, the termites contained 1-2 PDF-ir cell pairs in the SOG and two species had additional perikarya in the protocerebrum. The results are consistent with the view of a monophyletic termite origin and demonstrate how the Crz-ir and PDF-ir systems diversified in the course of termite phylogeny.

  18. Microenvironmental heterogeneity of gut compartments drives bacterial community structure in wood- and humus-feeding higher termites.

    PubMed

    Mikaelyan, Aram; Meuser, Katja; Brune, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Symbiotic digestion of lignocellulose in higher termites (family Termitidae) is accomplished by an exclusively prokaryotic gut microbiota. By deep sequencing of amplified 16S rRNA genes, we had identified diet as the primary determinant of bacterial community structure in a broad selection of termites specialized on lignocellulose in different stages of humification. Here, we increased the resolution of our approach to account for the pronounced heterogeneity in microenvironmental conditions and microbial activities in the major hindgut compartments. The community structure of consecutive gut compartments in each species strongly differed, but that of homologous compartments clearly converged, even among unrelated termites. While the alkaline P1 compartments of all termites investigated contained specific lineages of Clostridiales, the posterior hindgut compartments (P3, P4) differed between feeding groups and were predominantly colonized by putatively fiber-associated lineages of Spirochaetes, Fibrobacteres and the TG3 phylum (wood and grass feeders) or diverse assemblages of Clostridiales and Bacteroidetes (humus and soil feeders). The results underscore that bacterial community structure in termite guts is driven by microenvironmental factors, such as pH, available substrates and gradients of O 2 and H 2 , and inspire investigations on the functional roles of specific bacterial taxa in lignocellulose and humus digestion. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Excavation and aggregation as organizing factors in de novo construction by mound-building termites.

    PubMed

    Green, Ben; Bardunias, Paul; Turner, J Scott; Nagpal, Radhika; Werfel, Justin

    2017-06-14

    Termites construct complex mounds that are orders of magnitude larger than any individual and fulfil a variety of functional roles. Yet the processes through which these mounds are built, and by which the insects organize their efforts, remain poorly understood. The traditional understanding focuses on stigmergy, a form of indirect communication in which actions that change the environment provide cues that influence future work. Termite construction has long been thought to be organized via a putative 'cement pheromone': a chemical added to deposited soil that stimulates further deposition in the same area, thus creating a positive feedback loop whereby coherent structures are built up. To investigate the detailed mechanisms and behaviours through which termites self-organize the early stages of mound construction, we tracked the motion and behaviour of major workers from two Macrotermes species in experimental arenas. Rather than a construction process focused on accumulation of depositions, as models based on cement pheromone would suggest, our results indicated that the primary organizing mechanisms were based on excavation. Digging activity was focused on a small number of excavation sites, which in turn provided templates for soil deposition. This behaviour was mediated by a mechanism of aggregation, with termites being more likely to join in the work at an excavation site as the number of termites presently working at that site increased. Statistical analyses showed that this aggregation mechanism was a response to active digging, distinct from and unrelated to putative chemical cues that stimulate deposition. Agent-based simulations quantitatively supported the interpretation that the early stage of de novo construction is primarily organized by excavation and aggregation activity rather than by stigmergic deposition. © 2017 The Author(s).

  20. Excavation and aggregation as organizing factors in de novo construction by mound-building termites

    PubMed Central

    Bardunias, Paul; Turner, J. Scott; Nagpal, Radhika; Werfel, Justin

    2017-01-01

    Termites construct complex mounds that are orders of magnitude larger than any individual and fulfil a variety of functional roles. Yet the processes through which these mounds are built, and by which the insects organize their efforts, remain poorly understood. The traditional understanding focuses on stigmergy, a form of indirect communication in which actions that change the environment provide cues that influence future work. Termite construction has long been thought to be organized via a putative ‘cement pheromone’: a chemical added to deposited soil that stimulates further deposition in the same area, thus creating a positive feedback loop whereby coherent structures are built up. To investigate the detailed mechanisms and behaviours through which termites self-organize the early stages of mound construction, we tracked the motion and behaviour of major workers from two Macrotermes species in experimental arenas. Rather than a construction process focused on accumulation of depositions, as models based on cement pheromone would suggest, our results indicated that the primary organizing mechanisms were based on excavation. Digging activity was focused on a small number of excavation sites, which in turn provided templates for soil deposition. This behaviour was mediated by a mechanism of aggregation, with termites being more likely to join in the work at an excavation site as the number of termites presently working at that site increased. Statistical analyses showed that this aggregation mechanism was a response to active digging, distinct from and unrelated to putative chemical cues that stimulate deposition. Agent-based simulations quantitatively supported the interpretation that the early stage of de novo construction is primarily organized by excavation and aggregation activity rather than by stigmergic deposition. PMID:28615497

  1. Selective binocular vision loss in two subterranean caviomorph rodents: Spalacopus cyanus and Ctenomys talarum

    PubMed Central

    Vega-Zuniga, T.; Medina, F. S.; Marín, G.; Letelier, J. C.; Palacios, A. G.; Němec, P.; Schleich, C. E.; Mpodozis, J.

    2017-01-01

    To what extent can the mammalian visual system be shaped by visual behavior? Here we analyze the shape of the visual fields, the densities and distribution of cells in the retinal ganglion-cell layer and the organization of the visual projections in two species of facultative non-strictly subterranean rodents, Spalacopus cyanus and Ctenomys talarum, aiming to compare these traits with those of phylogenetically closely related species possessing contrasting diurnal/nocturnal visual habits. S. cyanus shows a definite zone of frontal binocular overlap and a corresponding area centralis, but a highly reduced amount of ipsilateral retinal projections. The situation in C. talarum is more extreme as it lacks of a fronto-ventral area of binocular superposition, has no recognizable area centralis and shows no ipsilateral retinal projections except to the suprachiasmatic nucleus. In both species, the extension of the monocular visual field and of the dorsal region of binocular overlap as well as the whole set of contralateral visual projections, appear well-developed. We conclude that these subterranean rodents exhibit, paradoxically, diurnal instead of nocturnal visual specializations, but at the same time suffer a specific regression of the anatomical substrate for stereopsis. We discuss these findings in light of the visual ecology of subterranean lifestyles. PMID:28150809

  2. Expansion of presoldier cuticle contributes to head elongation during soldier differentiation in termites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugime, Yasuhiro; Ogawa, Kota; Watanabe, Dai; Shimoji, Hiroyuki; Koshikawa, Shigeyuki; Miura, Toru

    2015-12-01

    In termites, the soldier caste possesses morphological features suitable for colony defence, despite some exceptions. Soldiers are differentiated via two moultings through a presoldier stage with dramatic morphogenesis. While a number of morphological modifications are known to occur during the presoldier moult, growth and morphogenesis seem to continue even after the moult. The present study, using the damp-wood termite Hodotermopsis sjostedti, carried out morphological and histological investigations on the developmental processes during the presoldier stage that is artificially induced by the application of a juvenile hormone analogue. Measurements of five body parameters indicated that head length significantly increased during the 14-day period after the presoldier moult, while it did not increase subsequently to the stationary moult (pseudergate moult as control). Histological observations also showed that the cuticular development played a role in the presoldier head elongation, suggesting that the soft and flexible presoldier cuticle contributed to the soldier morphogenesis in termites.

  3. Functional symbiosis and communication in microbial ecosystems. The case of wood-eating termites and cockroaches.

    PubMed

    Berlanga, Mercedes

    2015-09-01

    Animal hosts typically have strong specificity for microbial symbionts and their functions. The symbiotic relationships have enhanced the limited metabolic networks of most eukaryotes by contributing several prokaryotic metabolic capabilities, such as methanogenesis, chemolithoautotrophy, nitrogen assimilation, etc. This review will examine the characteristics that determine bacterial "fidelity" to certain groups of animals (e.g., xylophagous insects, such as termites and cockroaches) over generations and throughout evolution. The hindgut bacteria of wood-feeding termites and cockroaches belong to several phyla, including Proteobacteria, especially Deltaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Actinomycetes, Spirochetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Actinobacteria, as detected by 16S rRNA. Termites effectively feed on many types of lignocelluloses assisted by their gut microbial symbionts. Although the community structures differ between the hosts (termites and cockroaches), with changes in the relative abundances of particular bacterial taxa, the composition of the bacterial community could reflect at least in part the host evolution in that the microbiota may derive from the microbiota of a common ancestor. Therefore, factors other than host phylogeny, such as diet could have had strong influence in shaping the bacterial community structure. Copyright© by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and Institute for Catalan Studies.

  4. Enzyme Activities at Different Stages of Plant Biomass Decomposition in Three Species of Fungus-Growing Termites

    PubMed Central

    Pedersen, Kristine S. K.; Aanen, Duur K.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Fungus-growing termites rely on mutualistic fungi of the genus Termitomyces and gut microbes for plant biomass degradation. Due to a certain degree of symbiont complementarity, this tripartite symbiosis has evolved as a complex bioreactor, enabling decomposition of nearly any plant polymer, likely contributing to the success of the termites as one of the main plant decomposers in the Old World. In this study, we evaluated which plant polymers are decomposed and which enzymes are active during the decomposition process in two major genera of fungus-growing termites. We found a diversity of active enzymes at different stages of decomposition and a consistent decrease in plant components during the decomposition process. Furthermore, our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that termites transport enzymes from the older mature parts of the fungus comb through young worker guts to freshly inoculated plant substrate. However, preliminary fungal RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analyses suggest that this likely transport is supplemented with enzymes produced in situ. Our findings support that the maintenance of an external fungus comb, inoculated with an optimal mixture of plant material, fungal spores, and enzymes, is likely the key to the extraordinarily efficient plant decomposition in fungus-growing termites. IMPORTANCE Fungus-growing termites have a substantial ecological footprint in the Old World (sub)tropics due to their ability to decompose dead plant material. Through the establishment of an elaborate plant biomass inoculation strategy and through fungal and bacterial enzyme contributions, this farming symbiosis has become an efficient and versatile aerobic bioreactor for plant substrate conversion. Since little is known about what enzymes are expressed and where they are active at different stages of the decomposition process, we used enzyme assays, transcriptomics, and plant content measurements to shed light on how this decomposition of plant

  5. Enzyme Activities at Different Stages of Plant Biomass Decomposition in Three Species of Fungus-Growing Termites.

    PubMed

    da Costa, Rafael R; Hu, Haofu; Pilgaard, Bo; Vreeburg, Sabine M E; Schückel, Julia; Pedersen, Kristine S K; Kračun, Stjepan K; Busk, Peter K; Harholt, Jesper; Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Lange, Lene; Aanen, Duur K; Poulsen, Michael

    2018-03-01

    Fungus-growing termites rely on mutualistic fungi of the genus Termitomyces and gut microbes for plant biomass degradation. Due to a certain degree of symbiont complementarity, this tripartite symbiosis has evolved as a complex bioreactor, enabling decomposition of nearly any plant polymer, likely contributing to the success of the termites as one of the main plant decomposers in the Old World. In this study, we evaluated which plant polymers are decomposed and which enzymes are active during the decomposition process in two major genera of fungus-growing termites. We found a diversity of active enzymes at different stages of decomposition and a consistent decrease in plant components during the decomposition process. Furthermore, our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that termites transport enzymes from the older mature parts of the fungus comb through young worker guts to freshly inoculated plant substrate. However, preliminary fungal RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analyses suggest that this likely transport is supplemented with enzymes produced in situ Our findings support that the maintenance of an external fungus comb, inoculated with an optimal mixture of plant material, fungal spores, and enzymes, is likely the key to the extraordinarily efficient plant decomposition in fungus-growing termites. IMPORTANCE Fungus-growing termites have a substantial ecological footprint in the Old World (sub)tropics due to their ability to decompose dead plant material. Through the establishment of an elaborate plant biomass inoculation strategy and through fungal and bacterial enzyme contributions, this farming symbiosis has become an efficient and versatile aerobic bioreactor for plant substrate conversion. Since little is known about what enzymes are expressed and where they are active at different stages of the decomposition process, we used enzyme assays, transcriptomics, and plant content measurements to shed light on how this decomposition of plant substrate is so

  6. Cellulolytic Protist Numbers Rise and Fall Dramatically in Termite Queens and Kings during Colony Foundation

    PubMed Central

    Shimada, Keisuke; Lo, Nathan; Kitade, Osamu; Wakui, Akane

    2013-01-01

    Among the best-known examples of mutualistic symbioses is that between lower termites and the cellulolytic flagellate protists in their hindguts. Although the symbiosis in worker termites has attracted much attention, there have been only a few studies of protists in other castes. We have performed the first examination of protist population dynamics in queens and kings during termite colony foundation. Protist numbers, as well as measurements of hindgut and reproductive tissue sizes, were undertaken at five time points over 400 days in incipient colonies of Reticulitermes speratus, as well as in other castes of mature colonies of this species. We found that protist numbers increased dramatically in both queens and kings during the first 50 days of colony foundation but began to decrease by day 100, eventually disappearing by day 400. Hindgut width followed a pattern similar to that of protist numbers, while ovary and testis widths increased significantly only at day 400. Kings were found to contain higher numbers of protists than queens in incipient colonies, which may be linked to higher levels of nutrient transfer from kings to queens than vice versa, as is known in some other termite species. Protists were found to be abundant in soldiers from mature colonies but absent in neotenics. This probably reflects feeding of soldiers by workers via proctodeal trophallaxis and of reproductives via stomodeal trophallaxis. The results reveal the dynamic nature of protist numbers during colony foundation and highlight the trade-offs that exist between reproduction and parental care during this critical phase of the termite life cycle. PMID:23376945

  7. EFFECTS OF FIVE DIVERSE LIGNOCELLULOSIC DIETS ON DIGESTIVE ENZYME BIOCHEMISTRY IN THE TERMITE Reticulitermes flavipes.

    PubMed

    Karl, Zachary J; Scharf, Michael E

    2015-10-01

    Termites have recently drawn much attention as models for biomass processing, mainly due to their lignocellulose digestion capabilities and mutualisms with cellulolytic gut symbionts. This research used the lower termite Reticulitermes flavipes to investigate gut enzyme activity changes in response to feeding on five diverse lignocellulosic diets (cellulose filter paper [FP], pine wood [PW], beech wood xylan [X], corn stover [CS], and soybean residue [SB]). Our objectives were to compare whole-gut digestive enzyme activity and host versus symbiont contributions to enzyme activity after feeding on these diets. Our hypothesis was that enzyme activities would vary among diets as an adaptive mechanism enabling termites and symbiota to optimally utilize variable resources. Results support our "diet-adaptation" hypothesis and further indicate that, in most cases, host contributions are greater than those of symbionts with respect to the enzymes and activities studied. The results obtained thus provide indications as to which types of transcriptomic resources, termite or symbiont, are most relevant for developing recombinant enzyme cocktails tailored to specific feedstocks. With regard to the agricultural feedstocks tested (CS and SB), our results suggest endoglucanase and exoglucanase (cellobiohydrolase) activities are most relevant for CS breakdown; whereas endoglucanase and xylosidase activities are relevant for SB breakdown. However, other unexplored activities than those tested may also be important for breakdown of these two feedstocks. These findings provide new protein-level insights into diet adaptation by termites, and also complement host-symbiont metatranscriptomic studies that have been completed for R. flavipes after FP, PW, CS, and SB feeding. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. [Characteristics and Transport Patterns of Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates and Inorganic Nitrogen Flux at Epikarst Springs and a Subterranean Stream in Nanshan, Chongqing].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuan-zhu; He, Qiu-fang; Jiang, Yong-jun; Li, Yong

    2016-04-15

    In a karst groundwater system, it develops complex multiple flows because of its special geological structure and unique physical patterns of aquifers. In order to investigate the characteristics and transport patterns of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in epikarst water and subterranean stream, the water samples were collected monthly in a fast-urbanizing karst region. The results showed distinctive characteristics of three forms of inorganic nitrogen. The concentration of inorganic nitrogen was stable in the epikarst water while it was fluctuant in the subterranean stream. Epikarst water was less affected by rainfall and sewage compared with subterranean stream. In epikarst water, the nitrate concentration was much higher than the ammonia concentration. Dissolved inorganic nitrogen, mainly from non-point source pollution related to agricultural activities, passed in and out of the epikarst water based on a series of physical; chemical and biological processes in the epikarst zone, such as ammonification, adsorption and nitrification. On the contrary, subterranean stream showed a result of NH₄⁺-N > NO₃⁻-N in dry seasons and NO₃⁻-N > NH₄⁺-N in rainy seasons. This can be due to the fact that sanitary and industrial sewage flowed into subterranean river through sinkholes, fissures and grikes in dry season. Dissolved inorganic nitrogen in subterranean river was mainly from the non-point source pollution in wet season. Non-point source pollutants entered into subterranean water by two transport ways, one by penetration along with vadose flow through fissures and grikes, and the other by conduit flow through sinkholes from the surface runoff, soil water flow and epikarst flow. The export flux of DIN was 56.05 kg · (hm² · a)⁻¹, and NH₄⁺-N and NO₃⁻-N accounted for 46.03% and 52.51%, respectively. The contributions of point-source pollution and non point-source pollution to the export flux of DIN were 25.08% and 74.92%, respectively, based on run

  9. Evaluation of a Localized Treatment Technique Using Three Ready-to-Use Products Against the Drywood Termite Incisitermes snyderi (Kalotermitidae) in Naturally Infested Lumber

    PubMed Central

    Hickman, Robert; Forschler, Brian T.

    2012-01-01

    Twenty-one boards infested with drywood termites were examined for activity using a Termatrac® motion detector. Termite galleries were identified using a Resistograph drill and treated with one of three ready-to-use (RTU) products. Results indicated that the Termatrac was excellent at locating termite activity but provided 9.5% false negatives. The Resistograph located termite galleries with an average of 4.6 ± 2.7 holes drilled to find at least one gallery in a board. Treatments included three formulations and two active ingredients; a foam (imidacloprid), a dry (fipronil) and an experimental formulation in a pressurized can (fipronil). All treatments provided evidence for a reduction in mean termite populations per board compared to the control. Two treatments provided evidence of elimination of infestation but no formulation eliminated infestations in every board that was treated. The concept of local treatment for drywood termite control is discussed relative to our results. PMID:26467947

  10. A new termite (Isoptera, Termitidae, Syntermitinae, Macuxitermes) from Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Postle, Anthony C.; Scheffrahn, Rudolf H.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A new species of termite, Macuxitermes colombicus Postle & Scheffrahn is described from soldiers and workers collected from Departamento Magdalena, Colombia. The soldier of Macuxitermes colombicus differs from its lone congener in having no protuberances on the head capsule. PMID:27408525

  11. Ecological feedbacks. Termite mounds can increase the robustness of dryland ecosystems to climatic change.

    PubMed

    Bonachela, Juan A; Pringle, Robert M; Sheffer, Efrat; Coverdale, Tyler C; Guyton, Jennifer A; Caylor, Kelly K; Levin, Simon A; Tarnita, Corina E

    2015-02-06

    Self-organized spatial vegetation patterning is widespread and has been described using models of scale-dependent feedback between plants and water on homogeneous substrates. As rainfall decreases, these models yield a characteristic sequence of patterns with increasingly sparse vegetation, followed by sudden collapse to desert. Thus, the final, spot-like pattern may provide early warning for such catastrophic shifts. In many arid ecosystems, however, termite nests impart substrate heterogeneity by altering soil properties, thereby enhancing plant growth. We show that termite-induced heterogeneity interacts with scale-dependent feedbacks to produce vegetation patterns at different spatial grains. Although the coarse-grained patterning resembles that created by scale-dependent feedback alone, it does not indicate imminent desertification. Rather, mound-field landscapes are more robust to aridity, suggesting that termites may help stabilize ecosystems under global change. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  12. Patterns of interaction specificity of fungus-growing termites and Termitomyces symbionts in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Aanen, Duur K; Ros, Vera ID; de Fine Licht, Henrik H; Mitchell, Jannette; de Beer, Z Wilhelm; Slippers, Bernard; Rouland-LeFèvre, Corinne; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2007-01-01

    Background Termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae live in a mutualistic symbiosis with basidiomycete fungi of the genus Termitomyces. Here, we explored interaction specificity in fungus-growing termites using samples from 101 colonies in South-Africa and Senegal, belonging to eight species divided over three genera. Knowledge of interaction specificity is important to test the hypothesis that inhabitants (symbionts) are taxonomically less diverse than 'exhabitants' (hosts) and to test the hypothesis that transmission mode is an important determinant for interaction specificity. Results Analysis of Molecular Variance among symbiont ITS sequences across termite hosts at three hierarchical levels showed that 47 % of the variation occurred between genera, 18 % between species, and the remaining 35 % between colonies within species. Different patterns of specificity were evident. High mutual specificity was found for the single Macrotermes species studied, as M. natalensis was associated with a single unique fungal haplotype. The three species of the genus Odontotermes showed low symbiont specificity: they were all associated with a genetically diverse set of fungal symbionts, but their fungal symbionts showed some host specificity, as none of the fungal haplotypes were shared between the studied Odontotermes species. Finally, bilaterally low specificity was found for the four tentatively recognized species of the genus Microtermes, which shared and apparently freely exchanged a common pool of divergent fungal symbionts. Conclusion Interaction specificity was high at the genus level and generally much lower at the species level. A comparison of the observed diversity among fungal symbionts with the diversity among termite hosts, indicated that the fungal symbiont does not follow the general pattern of an endosymbiont, as we found either similar diversity at both sides or higher diversity in the symbiont. Our results further challenge the hypothesis that transmission

  13. Conserving relics from ancient underground worlds: assessing the influence of cave and landscape features on obligate iron cave dwellers from the Eastern Amazon

    PubMed Central

    Prous, Xavier; Calux, Allan; Gastauer, Markus; Nicacio, Gilberto; Zampaulo, Robson; Souza-Filho, Pedro W.M.; Oliveira, Guilherme; Brandi, Iuri V.; Siqueira, José O.

    2018-01-01

    The degradation of subterranean habitats is believed to represent a serious threat for the conservation of obligate subterranean dwellers (troglobites), many of which are short-range endemics. However, while the factors influencing cave biodiversity remain largely unknown, the influence of the surrounding landscape and patterns of subterranean connectivity of terrestrial troglobitic communities have never been systematically assessed. Using spatial statistics to analyze the most comprehensive speleological database yet available for tropical caves, we first assess the influence of iron cave characteristics and the surrounding landscape on troglobitic communities from the Eastern Amazon. We then determine the spatial pattern of troglobitic community composition, species richness, phylogenetic diversity, and the occurrence of frequent troglobitic species, and finally quantify how different landscape features influence the connectivity between caves. Our results reveal the key importance of habitat amount, guano, water, lithology, geomorphology, and elevation in shaping iron cave troglobitic communities. While mining within 250 m from the caves influenced species composition, increasing agricultural land cover within 50 m from the caves reduced species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Troglobitic species composition, species richness, phylogenetic diversity, and the occurrence of frequent troglobites showed spatial autocorrelation for up to 40 km. Finally, our results suggest that the conservation of cave clusters should be prioritized, as geographic distance was the main factor determining connectivity between troglobitic communities. Overall, our work sheds important light onto one of the most overlooked terrestrial ecosystems, and highlights the need to shift conservation efforts from individual caves to subterranean habitats as a whole. PMID:29576987

  14. Conserving relics from ancient underground worlds: assessing the influence of cave and landscape features on obligate iron cave dwellers from the Eastern Amazon.

    PubMed

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Prous, Xavier; Calux, Allan; Gastauer, Markus; Nicacio, Gilberto; Zampaulo, Robson; Souza-Filho, Pedro W M; Oliveira, Guilherme; Brandi, Iuri V; Siqueira, José O

    2018-01-01

    The degradation of subterranean habitats is believed to represent a serious threat for the conservation of obligate subterranean dwellers (troglobites), many of which are short-range endemics. However, while the factors influencing cave biodiversity remain largely unknown, the influence of the surrounding landscape and patterns of subterranean connectivity of terrestrial troglobitic communities have never been systematically assessed. Using spatial statistics to analyze the most comprehensive speleological database yet available for tropical caves, we first assess the influence of iron cave characteristics and the surrounding landscape on troglobitic communities from the Eastern Amazon. We then determine the spatial pattern of troglobitic community composition, species richness, phylogenetic diversity, and the occurrence of frequent troglobitic species, and finally quantify how different landscape features influence the connectivity between caves. Our results reveal the key importance of habitat amount, guano, water, lithology, geomorphology, and elevation in shaping iron cave troglobitic communities. While mining within 250 m from the caves influenced species composition, increasing agricultural land cover within 50 m from the caves reduced species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Troglobitic species composition, species richness, phylogenetic diversity, and the occurrence of frequent troglobites showed spatial autocorrelation for up to 40 km. Finally, our results suggest that the conservation of cave clusters should be prioritized, as geographic distance was the main factor determining connectivity between troglobitic communities. Overall, our work sheds important light onto one of the most overlooked terrestrial ecosystems, and highlights the need to shift conservation efforts from individual caves to subterranean habitats as a whole.

  15. Sex pheromone and trail pheromone of the sand termite Psammotermes hybostoma.

    PubMed

    Sillam-Dussès, David; Hanus, Robert; Abd El-Latif, Ashraf Oukasha; Jiroš, Pavel; Krasulová, Jana; Kalinová, Blanka; Valterová, Irena; Sobotník, Jan

    2011-02-01

    Within the complex network of chemical signals used by termites, trail pheromones and sex pheromones are among the best known. Numerous recent papers map the chemical identity and glandular origin of these pheromones in nearly all major isopteran taxa. In this study, we aimed to describe the sex pheromone and the trail pheromone of a poorly known sand termite, Psammotermes hybostoma. We identified (3Z,6Z,8E)-dodeca-3,6,8-trien-1-ol (dodecatrienol) as the sex pheromone released by tergal and sternal glands of female imagos and, at the same time, as the trail pheromone secreted from the sternal gland of workers. We conclude that chemical communication in Psammotermes does not differ from that of most other Rhinotermitidae, such as Reticulitermes, despite the presence of a diterpene as a major component of the trail pheromone of Prorhinotermes to which Psammotermes is presumed to be phylogenetically close. Our findings underline once again the conservative nature of chemical communication in termites, with dodecatrienol being a frequent component of pheromonal signals in trail following and sex attraction and, at the same time, a tight evolutionary relationship between the trail following of working castes and the sex attraction of imagos.

  16. Uncovering the Potential of Termite Gut Microbiome for Lignocellulose Bioconversion in Anaerobic Batch Bioreactors

    PubMed Central

    Auer, Lucas; Lazuka, Adèle; Sillam-Dussès, David; Miambi, Edouard; O'Donohue, Michael; Hernandez-Raquet, Guillermina

    2017-01-01

    Termites are xylophages, being able to digest a wide variety of lignocellulosic biomass including wood with high lignin content. This ability to feed on recalcitrant plant material is the result of complex symbiotic relationships, which involve termite-specific gut microbiomes. Therefore, these represent a potential source of microorganisms for the bioconversion of lignocellulose in bioprocesses targeting the production of carboxylates. In this study, gut microbiomes of four termite species were studied for their capacity to degrade wheat straw and produce carboxylates in controlled bioreactors. All of the gut microbiomes successfully degraded lignocellulose and up to 45% w/w of wheat straw degradation was observed, with the Nasutitermes ephratae gut-microbiome displaying the highest levels of wheat straw degradation, carboxylate production and enzymatic activity. Comparing the 16S rRNA gene diversity of the initial gut inocula to the bacterial communities in lignocellulose degradation bioreactors revealed important changes in community diversity. In particular, taxa such as Spirochaetes and Fibrobacteres that were highly abundant in the initial gut inocula were replaced by Firmicutes and Proteobacteria at the end of incubation in wheat straw bioreactors. Overall, this study demonstrates that termite-gut microbiomes constitute a reservoir of lignocellulose-degrading bacteria that can be harnessed in artificial conditions for biomass conversion processes that lead to the production of useful molecules. PMID:29312279

  17. Discovery of ectosymbiotic Endomicrobium lineages associated with protists in the gut of stolotermitid termites.

    PubMed

    Izawa, Kazuki; Kuwahara, Hirokazu; Sugaya, Kaito; Lo, Nathan; Ohkuma, Moriya; Hongoh, Yuichi

    2017-08-01

    The genus Endomicrobium is a dominant bacterial group in the gut of lower termites, and most phylotypes are intracellular symbionts of gut protists. Here we report the discovery of Endomicrobium ectosymbionts of termite gut protists. We found that bristle-like Endomicrobium cells attached to the surface of spirotrichosomid protist cells inhabiting the termite Stolotermes victoriensis. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that a putative Endomicrobium cell likely attached to the protist surface via a protrusion from the tip of the bacterium. A phylotype, sharing 98.9% 16S rRNA sequence identity with the Endomicrobium ectosymbionts of the spirotrichosomid protists, was also found on the cell surface of the protist Trichonympha magna in the gut of the termite Porotermes adamsoni. We propose the novel species 'Candidatus Endomicrobium superficiale' for these bacteria. T. magna simultaneously harboured another Endomicrobium ectosymbiont that shared 93.5-94.2% 16S rRNA sequence identities with 'Ca. Endomicrobium superficiale'. Furthermore, Spirotrichonympha-like protists in P. adamsoni guts were associated with an Endomicrobium phylotype that possibly attached to the host flagella. A phylogenetic analysis suggested that these ectosymbiotic lineages have evolved multiple times from free-living Endomicrobium lineages and are relatively distant from the endosymbionts. Our results provide novel insights into the ecology and evolution of the Endomicrobium. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Advanced biorefinery in lower termite-effect of combined pretreatment during the chewing process

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Currently the major barrier in biomass utilization is the lack of an effective pretreatment of plant cell wall so that the carbohydrates can subsequently be hydrolyzed into sugars for fermentation into fuel or chemical molecules. Termites are highly effective in degrading lignocellulosics and thus can be used as model biological systems for studying plant cell wall degradation. Results We discovered a combination of specific structural and compositional modification of the lignin framework and partial degradation of carbohydrates that occurs in softwood with physical chewing by the termite, Coptotermes formosanus, which are critical for efficient cell wall digestion. Comparative studies on the termite-chewed and native (control) softwood tissues at the same size were conducted with the aid of advanced analytical techniques such as pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry, attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and thermogravimetry. The results strongly suggest a significant increase in the softwood cellulose enzymatic digestibility after termite chewing, accompanied with utilization of holocellulosic counterparts and an increase in the hydrolysable capacity of lignin collectively. In other words, the termite mechanical chewing process combines with specific biological pretreatment on the lignin counterpart in the plant cell wall, resulting in increased enzymatic cellulose digestibility in vitro. The specific lignin unlocking mechanism at this chewing stage comprises mainly of the cleavage of specific bonds from the lignin network and the modification and redistribution of functional groups in the resulting chewed plant tissue, which better expose the carbohydrate within the plant cell wall. Moreover, cleavage of the bond between the holocellulosic network and lignin molecule during the chewing process results in much better exposure of the biomass carbohydrate. Conclusion Collectively, these data indicate the

  19. The first fossil fungus gardens of Isoptera: oldest evidence of symbiotic termite fungiculture (Miocene, Chad basin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duringer, Philippe; Schuster, Mathieu; Genise, Jorge F.; Likius, Andossa; Mackaye, Hassan Taisso; Vignaud, Patrick; Brunet, Michel

    2006-12-01

    Higher termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae (fungus-growing termites) are known to build fungus gardens where a symbiotic fungus ( Termitomyces sp.) is cultivated. The fungus grows on a substrate called fungus comb, a structure built with the termites’ own faeces. Here we present the first fossil fungus combs ever found in the world. They were extracted from 7-million-year-old continental sandstone (Chad basin). Fossilized fungus combs have an ovoid morphology with a more or less flattened concave base and a characteristic general alveolar aspect. Under lens, they display a typical millimetre-scale pelletal structure. The latter, as well as the general shape and alveolar aspect, are similar to the morphology of fungus combs from extant fungus-growing termites.

  20. White-gutted soldiers: simplification of the digestive tube for a non-particulate diet in higher Old World termites (Isoptera: Termitidae).

    PubMed

    Scheffrahn, R H; Bourguignon, T; Bordereau, C; Hernandez-Aguilar, R A; Oelze, V M; Dieguez, P; Šobotnik, J; Pascual-Garrido, A

    2017-01-01

    Previous observations have noted that in some species of higher termites the soldier caste lacks pigmented particles in its gut and, instead, is fed worker saliva that imparts a whitish coloration to the abdomen. In order to investigate the occurrence of this trait more thoroughly, we surveyed a broad diversity of termite specimens and taxonomic descriptions from the Old World subfamilies Apicotermitinae, Cubitermitinae, Foraminitermitinae, Macrotermitinae, and Termitinae. We identified 38 genera that have this "white-gutted" soldier (WGS) trait. No termite soldiers from the New World were found to possess a WGS caste. Externally, the WGS is characterized by a uniformly pale abdomen, hyaline gut, and proportionally smaller body-to-head volume ratio compared with their "dark-gutted" soldier (DGS) counterparts found in most termitid genera. The WGS is a fully formed soldier that, unlike soldiers in other higher termite taxa, has a small, narrow, and decompartmentalized digestive tube that lacks particulate food contents. The presumed saliva-nourished WGS have various forms of simplified gut morphologies that have evolved at least six times within the higher termites.

  1. On edge-aware path-based color spatial sampling for Retinex: from Termite Retinex to Light Energy-driven Termite Retinex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simone, Gabriele; Cordone, Roberto; Serapioni, Raul Paolo; Lecca, Michela

    2017-05-01

    Retinex theory estimates the human color sensation at any observed point by correcting its color based on the spatial arrangement of the colors in proximate regions. We revise two recent path-based, edge-aware Retinex implementations: Termite Retinex (TR) and Energy-driven Termite Retinex (ETR). As the original Retinex implementation, TR and ETR scan the neighborhood of any image pixel by paths and rescale their chromatic intensities by intensity levels computed by reworking the colors of the pixels on the paths. Our interest in TR and ETR is due to their unique, content-based scanning scheme, which uses the image edges to define the paths and exploits a swarm intelligence model for guiding the spatial exploration of the image. The exploration scheme of ETR has been showed to be particularly effective: its paths are local minima of an energy functional, designed to favor the sampling of image pixels highly relevant to color sensation. Nevertheless, since its computational complexity makes ETR poorly practicable, here we present a light version of it, named Light Energy-driven TR, and obtained from ETR by implementing a modified, optimized minimization procedure and by exploiting parallel computing.

  2. Termites live in a material world: exploration of their ability to differentiate between food sources.

    PubMed

    Inta, Ra; Lai, Joseph C S; Fu, Eugene W; Evans, Theodore A

    2007-08-22

    Drywood termites are able to assess wood size using vibratory signals, although the exact mechanism behind this assessment ability is not known. Important vibratory characteristics such as the modal frequencies of a wooden block depend on its geometry and boundary conditions; however, they are also dependent on the material characteristics of the block, such as mass, density and internal damping. We report here on choice experiments that tested the ability of the drywood termite Cryptotermes secundus to assess wooden block size using a solid wooden block paired with a composite block, the latter made of either wood and aluminium or wood and rubber. Each composite block was constructed to match mass or low-frequency vibratory modes (i.e. fundamental frequency) of the solid wooden block. The termites always chose the blocks with more wood; they moved to the solid wooden blocks usually within a day and then tunnelled further into the solid wooden block by the end of the experiment. Termites offered composite blocks of wood and rubber matched for mass were the slowest to show a preference for the solid wooden block and this preference was the least definitive of any treatment, which indicated that mass and/or damping may play a role in food assessment. This result clearly shows that the termites were not fooled by composite blocks matched for mass or frequency, which implies that they probably employ more than a single simple measure in their food assessment strategy. This implies a degree of sophistication in their ability to assess their environment hitherto unknown. The potential importance of alternative features in the vibrational signals is discussed.

  3. The effect of clay nanoparticleon the retention and attack of drywood termite (Cryptotermes cynocephalus Light).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alex, T.; Winarni, B.; Kusuma, I. W.; Arung, E. T.; Budiarso, E.

    2018-04-01

    The aplication of clay nanoparticles as wood preservative was intended to examine its resistant to infestation of drywood termite (C. cynocephalusLight). Loam was crushed into small pieces as clay nanoparticles, which was used as wood preservative that was soluble in water. The material was dissolved with water in a given concentration and put it into anggerung (Trema orientalis), white meranti (Shorea bracteolata) and sengon (Paraseriehthes falcataria) by full cell method or impregnation. The tested samples were preserved by clay nanoparticles at the air pressure 60 psi for 2 hours and then furnace-dried, and tested by infestation of drywood termites. Results of the research showed that mortality of the drywood termites on those three preserved woods with clay nanoparticles by concentration of 2.5% and 5%, which reached 96.4% and 100% on average, respectively, in comparison without preservation by average mortality value was 27.4%. The highest retention of clay nanoparticle was 24.89 kg.m3 was obtained by concentration of 5% for white merantiand the lowest was 9.32 kg.m3 by concentration of 2.5% for anggerung. The application of clay nanoparticle as effective wood preservative against the infestation of drywood termite by concentration of 5% has been proven by mortality 100%.

  4. Parallel evolution of mound-building and grass-feeding in Australian nasute termites.

    PubMed

    Arab, Daej A; Namyatova, Anna; Evans, Theodore A; Cameron, Stephen L; Yeates, David K; Ho, Simon Y W; Lo, Nathan

    2017-02-01

    Termite mounds built by representatives of the family Termitidae are among the most spectacular constructions in the animal kingdom, reaching 6-8 m in height and housing millions of individuals. Although functional aspects of these structures are well studied, their evolutionary origins remain poorly understood. Australian representatives of the termitid subfamily Nasutitermitinae display a wide variety of nesting habits, making them an ideal group for investigating the evolution of mound building. Because they feed on a variety of substrates, they also provide an opportunity to illuminate the evolution of termite diets. Here, we investigate the evolution of termitid mound building and diet, through a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analysis of Australian Nasutitermitinae. Molecular dating analysis indicates that the subfamily has colonized Australia on three occasions over the past approximately 20 Myr. Ancestral-state reconstruction showed that mound building arose on multiple occasions and from diverse ancestral nesting habits, including arboreal and wood or soil nesting. Grass feeding appears to have evolved from wood feeding via ancestors that fed on both wood and leaf litter. Our results underscore the adaptability of termites to ancient environmental change, and provide novel examples of parallel evolution of extended phenotypes. © 2017 The Author(s).

  5. Measuring the Impact of Termite Prevention Curricula in Hawaii Public Schools in an Area-Wide Extension Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, Makena; Aihara-Sasaki, Maria; Grace, J. Kenneth

    2013-01-01

    The efficacy of Educate to Eradicate, a K-12 service-learning science curricula developed as part of a statewide, community-based Extension effort for termite prevention, was evaluated. The curricula use termite biology and control as the basis for science education and have been implemented in over 350 Hawaii public school classrooms with more…

  6. Syntrophic association of termite gut bacterial symbionts with bifunctional characteristics of cellulose degrading and polyhydroxyalkanoate producing bacteria.

    PubMed

    Cibichakravarthy, Balasubramanian; Abinaya, Subramani; Prabagaran, Solai Ramatchandirane

    2017-10-01

    The guild between higher termites and their partnership with the diverse community of bacteria and archaea in their gut is a marvel evolutionary achievement. Sustained attempts were made worldwide with a quest for identifying viable important biological macromolecule polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) accumulating bacteria. Termite gut serve as a novel source for bacteria with dual properties like PHA production as well as cellulose degradation. Among 40 isolates cultivated, 32.5% turned positive for PCR based screening of PhaC gene. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that elite PHA producer and cellulose degrader which is phylogenetically affiliated to Bacillus cereus. The PHA production was maximized by employing different carbon and nitrogen sources along with altered pH and temperatures. GC-MS, FTIR and 1 HNMR analyses confirmed the presence of PHA and the thermal characterization was performed through TGA and DSC for the termite gut isolate. Our results indicated that the combined integrative approach using isolated strains from termite gut would be preferable choice in producing biomolecules from cellulosic materials. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. Termites and flooding affect microbial communities in decomposing wood

    Treesearch

    Michael D. Ulyshen; Susan V. Diehl; Dragica Jeremic

    2016-01-01

    Wood properties and microbial community characteristics were compared between loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) logs protected or unprotected from termites (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae: Reticulitermes spp.) and other arthropods for two years in seasonally flooded and unflooded forests in the southeastern United States. Significant compositional differences were observed...

  8. Trail communication regulated by two trail pheromone components in the fungus-growing termite Odontotermes formosanus (Shiraki).

    PubMed

    Wen, Ping; Ji, Bao-Zhong; Sillam-Dussès, David

    2014-01-01

    The eusocial termites are well accomplished in chemical communication, but how they achieve the communication using trace amount of no more than two pheromone components is mostly unknown. In this study, the foraging process and trail pheromones of the fungus-growing termite Odontotermes formosanus (Shiraki) were systematically studied and monitored in real-time using a combination of techniques, including video analysis, solid-phase microextraction, gas chromatography coupled with either mass spectrometry or an electroantennographic detector, and bioassays. The trail pheromone components in foraging workers were (3Z)-dodec-3-en-1-ol and (3Z,6Z)-dodeca-3,6-dien-1-ol secreted by their sternal glands. Interestingly, ratio of the two components changed according to the behaviors that the termites were displaying. This situation only occurs in termites whereas ratios of pheromone components are fixed and species-specific for other insect cuticular glands. Moreover, in bioassays, the active thresholds of the two components ranged from 1 fg/cm to 10 pg/cm according to the behavioral contexts or the pheromonal exposure of tested workers. The two components did not act in synergy. (3Z)-Dodec-3-en-1-ol induced orientation behavior of termites that explore their environment, whereas (3Z,6Z)-dodeca-3,6-dien-1-ol had both an orientation effect and a recruitment effect when food was discovered. The trail pheromone of O. formosanus was regulated both quantitatively by the increasing number of workers involved in the early phases of foraging process, and qualitatively by the change in ratio of the two pheromone components on sternal glandular cuticle in the food-collecting workers. In bioassays, the responses of workers to the pheromone were also affected by the variation in pheromone concentration and component ratio in the microenvironment. Thus, this termite could exchange more information with nestmates using the traces of the two trail pheromone components that can be easily

  9. Trail Communication Regulated by Two Trail Pheromone Components in the Fungus-Growing Termite Odontotermes formosanus (Shiraki)

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Ping; Ji, Bao-Zhong; Sillam-Dussès, David

    2014-01-01

    The eusocial termites are well accomplished in chemical communication, but how they achieve the communication using trace amount of no more than two pheromone components is mostly unknown. In this study, the foraging process and trail pheromones of the fungus-growing termite Odontotermes formosanus (Shiraki) were systematically studied and monitored in real-time using a combination of techniques, including video analysis, solid-phase microextraction, gas chromatography coupled with either mass spectrometry or an electroantennographic detector, and bioassays. The trail pheromone components in foraging workers were (3Z)-dodec-3-en-1-ol and (3Z,6Z)-dodeca-3,6-dien-1-ol secreted by their sternal glands. Interestingly, ratio of the two components changed according to the behaviors that the termites were displaying. This situation only occurs in termites whereas ratios of pheromone components are fixed and species-specific for other insect cuticular glands. Moreover, in bioassays, the active thresholds of the two components ranged from 1 fg/cm to 10 pg/cm according to the behavioral contexts or the pheromonal exposure of tested workers. The two components did not act in synergy. (3Z)-Dodec-3-en-1-ol induced orientation behavior of termites that explore their environment, whereas (3Z,6Z)-dodeca-3,6-dien-1-ol had both an orientation effect and a recruitment effect when food was discovered. The trail pheromone of O. formosanus was regulated both quantitatively by the increasing number of workers involved in the early phases of foraging process, and qualitatively by the change in ratio of the two pheromone components on sternal glandular cuticle in the food-collecting workers. In bioassays, the responses of workers to the pheromone were also affected by the variation in pheromone concentration and component ratio in the microenvironment. Thus, this termite could exchange more information with nestmates using the traces of the two trail pheromone components that can be easily

  10. Ants and termites increase crop yield in a dry climate.

    PubMed

    Evans, Theodore A; Dawes, Tracy Z; Ward, Philip R; Lo, Nathan

    2011-03-29

    Agricultural intensification has increased crop yields, but at high economic and environmental cost. Harnessing ecosystem services of naturally occurring organisms is a cheaper but under-appreciated approach, because the functional roles of organisms are not linked to crop yields, especially outside the northern temperate zone. Ecosystem services in soil come from earthworms in these cooler and wetter latitudes; what may fulfill their functional role in agriculture in warmer and drier habitats, where they are absent, is unproven. Here we show in a field experiment that ants and termites increase wheat yield by 36% from increased soil water infiltration due to their tunnels and improved soil nitrogen. Our results suggest that ants and termites have similar functional roles to earthworms, and that they may provide valuable ecosystem services in dryland agriculture, which may become increasingly important for agricultural sustainability in arid climates.

  11. Ants and termites increase crop yield in a dry climate

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Theodore A.; Dawes, Tracy Z.; Ward, Philip R.; Lo, Nathan

    2011-01-01

    Agricultural intensification has increased crop yields, but at high economic and environmental cost. Harnessing ecosystem services of naturally occurring organisms is a cheaper but under-appreciated approach, because the functional roles of organisms are not linked to crop yields, especially outside the northern temperate zone. Ecosystem services in soil come from earthworms in these cooler and wetter latitudes; what may fulfill their functional role in agriculture in warmer and drier habitats, where they are absent, is unproven. Here we show in a field experiment that ants and termites increase wheat yield by 36% from increased soil water infiltration due to their tunnels and improved soil nitrogen. Our results suggest that ants and termites have similar functional roles to earthworms, and that they may provide valuable ecosystem services in dryland agriculture, which may become increasingly important for agricultural sustainability in arid climates. PMID:21448161

  12. The interdigital brace and other grips for termite nest perforation by chimpanzees of the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo.

    PubMed

    Lesnik, Julie J; Sanz, Crickette M; Morgan, David B

    2015-06-01

    Studies of chimpanzee termite foraging enlighten our understanding of early hominin tool use not only by modeling the cognitive ability of our ancestors but also by emphasizing the possible role of social insects in the hominin diet. The chimpanzees of the Goualougo Triangle are known to have one of the largest and most complex tool repertoires reported for wild chimpanzees. One tool set habitually used by this population includes a perforating tool to penetrate the hard outer crust of elevated termite nests before fishing for termite prey with an herbaceous stem. Here, we report the variation present in the grips used on the perforating tool. Our analysis of video recordings of chimpanzee visitation to termite nests over a 3-year period shows that these chimpanzees use a variety of grips to navigate the challenges encountered in opening a termite nest. For situations in which the soil is most hardened, perforating requires force and a power grip is often used. When the soil in the passageway is loose, precision grips are suitable for the task. One of the preferred grips reported here is an interdigital brace, which has previously been described in studies of how some people hold a pencil. In this study, for the first time, the interdigital brace has been thoroughly described for chimpanzees. The various strategies and grips used during perforation emphasize the importance of termites as a nutritional resource that should be considered more strongly as a food used by early hominins. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Effects of Erosion from Mounds of Different Termite Genera on Distinct Functional Grassland Types in an African Savannah.

    PubMed

    Gosling, Cleo M; Cromsigt, Joris P G M; Mpanza, Nokukhanya; Olff, Han

    A key aspect of savannah vegetation heterogeneity is mosaics formed by two functional grassland types, bunch grasslands, and grazing lawns. We investigated the role of termites, important ecosystem engineers, in creating high-nutrient patches in the form of grazing lawns. Some of the ways termites can contribute to grazing lawn development is through erosion of soil from aboveground mounds to the surrounding soil surface. This may alter the nutrient status of the surrounding soils. We hypothesize that the importance of this erosion varies with termite genera, depending on feeding strategy and mound type. To test this, we simulated erosion by applying mound soil from three termite genera ( Macrotermes , Odontotermes , and Trinervitermes ) in both a field experiment and a greenhouse experiment. In the greenhouse experiment, we found soils with the highest macro nutrient levels (formed by Trinervitermes ) promoted the quality and biomass of both a lawn ( Digitaria longiflora ) and a bunch ( Sporobolus pyramidalis ) grass species. In the field we found that soils with the highest micro nutrient levels (formed by Macrotermes ) showed the largest increase in cover of grazing lawn species. By linking the different nutrient availability of the mounds to the development of different grassland states, we conclude that the presence of termite mounds influences grassland mosaics, but that the type of mound plays a crucial role in determining the nature of the effects.

  14. Net subterranean estuarine export fluxes of dissolved inorganic C, N, P, Si, and total alkalinity into the Jiulong River estuary, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Guizhi; Wang, Zhangyong; Zhai, Weidong; Moore, Willard S.; Li, Qing; Yan, Xiuli; Qi, Di; Jiang, Yuwu

    2015-01-01

    To evaluate geochemical impacts of the subterranean estuary (STE) on the Jiulong River estuary, China, we estimated seasonal fluxes of subterranean water discharge into the estuary based on the mass balance of radium isotopes and net subterranean export fluxes of dissolved inorganic C (DIC), N (DIN), Si (DSi), soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), and total alkalinity (TA). Based on 226Ra data, the subterranean discharge (in 107 m3 d-1) was estimated to be 0.29-0.60 in the spring, 0.69-1.44 in the summer, 0.45-0.93 in the fall, and 0.26-0.54 in the winter. This was equivalent to 8-19% of the concomitant river discharge. The net spatially integrated material fluxes from the STE into the estuary were equivalent up to 45-110% of the concomitant riverine fluxes for DIC and TA, around 14-32% for DSi and 7-19% for DIN, and negligible for SRP. Paradoxically, the mixing lines along the salinity gradient revealed no apparent additions of these species. These additions are not revealed because the STE is a relatively small spatially-averaged source (at most 11% of the total input at steady state) that spreads throughout the estuary as a non-point source in contrast to the major point sources of the river and the ocean for the estuary and a true open ocean endmember is likely lacking. Greater water flushing in the summer might dilute the STE effect on the mixing lines even more. The great spatial variation in salinity in the estuary introduced the major uncertainty in our estimates of the flushing time, which further affected the estimate of the subterranean discharge and associated material fluxes. Additionally, the great spatial variation in the STE endmember caused the relatively large ranges in these flux estimates. Despite apparent conservative mixing of DIC, DIN, and DSi in estuaries, net subterranean exports must be taken into account in evaluating geochemical impacts of estuarine exports on shelf waters.

  15. Non-conservative behavior of fluorescent dissolved organic matter (FDOM) within a subterranean estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suryaputra, I. G. N. A.; Santos, I. R.; Huettel, M.; Burnett, W. C.; Dittmar, T.

    2015-11-01

    The role of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) in releasing fluorescent dissolved organic matter (FDOM) to the coastal ocean and the possibility of using FDOM as a proxy for dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was investigated in a subterranean estuary in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico (Turkey Point, Florida). FDOM was continuously monitored for three weeks in shallow beach groundwater and in the adjacent coastal ocean. Radon (222Rn) was used as a natural groundwater tracer. FDOM and DOC correlated in groundwater and seawater samples, implying that FDOM may be a proxy of DOC in waters influenced by SGD. A mixing model using salinity as a seawater tracer revealed FDOM production in the high salinity region of the subterranean estuary. This production was probably a result of infiltration and transformation of labile marine organic matter in the beach sediments. The non-conservative FDOM behavior in this subterranean estuary differs from most surface estuaries where FDOM typically behaves conservatively. At the study site, fresh and saline SGD delivered about 1800 mg d-1 of FDOM (quinine equivalents) to the coastal ocean per meter of shoreline. About 11% of this input was related to fresh SGD, while 89% were related to saline SGD resulting from FDOM production within the shallow aquifer. If these fluxes are representative of the Florida Gulf Coast, SGD-derived FDOM fluxes would be equivalent to at least 18% of the potential regional riverine FDOM inputs. To reduce uncertainties related to the scarcity of FDOM data, further investigations of river and groundwater FDOM inputs in Florida and elsewhere are necessary.

  16. Wood Litter Consumption by three Species of Nasutitermes Termites in an Area of the Atlantic Coastal Forest in Northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Vasconcellos, Alexandre; Moura, Flávia Maria da Silva

    2010-01-01

    Termites constitute a considerable fraction of the animal biomass in tropical forest, but little quantitative data are available that indicates their importance in the processes of wood decomposition. This study evaluated the participation of Nasutitermes corniger (Motschulsky) (Isoptera: Termitidae), N. ephratae (Holmgren), and N. macrocephalus (Silvestri) in the consumption of the wood litter in a remnant area of Atlantic Coastal Forest in northeastern Brazil. The populations of this species were quantified in nests and in decomposing tree trunks, while the rate of wood consumption was determined in the laboratory using wood test-blocks of Clitoria fairchildiana Howard (Fabales: Fabaceae), Cecropia sp. (Urticales: Cecropiaceae), and Protium heptaphyllum (Aublet) Marchand (Sapindales: Burseraceae). The abundance of the three species of termites varied from 40.8 to 462.2 individuals/m2. The average dry wood consumption for the three species was 9.4 mg/g of termites (fresh weight)/day, with N. macrocephalus demonstrating the greatest consumption (12.1 mg/g of termite (fresh weight)/day). Wood consumption by the three species of Nasutitermes was estimated to be 66.9 kg of dry wood /ha/year, corresponding to approximately 2.9% of the annual production of wood-litter in the study area. This consumption, together with that of the other 18 exclusively wood-feeders termite species known to occur in the area, indicates the important participation of termites in removing wood-litter within the Atlantic Coastal Forest domain. PMID:20673190

  17. Eco-taxonomic insights into actinomycete symbionts of termites for discovery of novel bioactive compounds.

    PubMed

    Kurtböke, D Ipek; French, John R J; Hayes, R Andrew; Quinn, Ronald J

    2015-01-01

    Termites play a major role in foraging and degradation of plant biomass as well as cultivating bioactive microorganisms for their defense. Current advances in "omics" sciences are revealing insights into function-related presence of these symbionts, and their related biosynthetic activities and genes identified in gut symbiotic bacteria might offer a significant potential for biotechnology and biodiscovery. Actinomycetes have been the major producers of bioactive compounds with an extraordinary range of biological activities. These metabolites have been in use as anticancer agents, immune suppressants, and most notably, as antibiotics. Insect-associated actinomycetes have also been reported to produce a range of antibiotics such as dentigerumycin and mycangimycin. Advances in genomics targeting a single species of the unculturable microbial members are currently aiding an improved understanding of the symbiotic interrelationships among the gut microorganisms as well as revealing the taxonomical identity and functions of the complex multilayered symbiotic actinofloral layers. If combined with target-directed approaches, these molecular advances can provide guidance towards the design of highly selective culturing methods to generate further information related to the physiology and growth requirements of these bioactive actinomycetes associated with the termite guts. This chapter provides an overview on the termite gut symbiotic actinoflora in the light of current advances in the "omics" science, with examples of their detection and selective isolation from the guts of the Sunshine Coast regional termite Coptotermes lacteus in Queensland, Australia.

  18. Seasonal changes in the techniques employed by wild chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains, Tanzania, to feed on termites (Pseudacanthotermes spiniger).

    PubMed

    Uehara, S

    1982-01-01

    During a short period, wild chimpanzees of group K in the Mahale Mountains employ a set of several techniques, including tool use, to feed on one species of termite (Pseudacanthotermes spiniger). They appear to use each technique appropriately according to phenological changes in the prey insect's activities. The chimpanzees also ingest small pieces of soil from the tower of P. spiniger's mound throughout the year. Geophagy presumably makes them visually and tactually aware of the phenological changes of the termite's reproductive cycle. Analyses of fecal samples from the chimpanzees indicate interannual fluctuations in the amount of termites ingested. On the other hand, the chimpanzees of group B, ranging to the north of group K, utilize a fishing technique to obtain another type of termite (Macrotermes?herus) on a large scale during the first half of the wet season. Fecal analysis data show that chimpanzees of group B consume far more termites than those of group K. The probability that the same or similar tool-using techniques as fishing may be employed in feeding on different types of insects by chimpanzees of different unit groups according to subtle local differences in the insect fauna of their home ranges is discussed.

  19. Synthesis of AzPhchitosan-bifenthrin-PVC to protect cables against termites.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lingkun; Cai, Weiwei; Chen, Wu-Ya; Zhang, Li; Hu, Kaikai; Guan, Yan-Qing

    2016-03-30

    The destruction of PVC cables by termites is a continuing and long-standing problem, which can lead to power leakage and power cut. Given the environmental demerits of insecticide overuse, alternative methods of addressing this problem are a highly desirable goal. In this study, we used photo-immobilization to develop a chitosan carrier system to help bifenthrin immobilize on the surface of the PVC substrate. The immobilization was analyzed using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), UV absorption, reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC), Raman absorption spectroscopy, and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). The surface structure and biological activity of the embedded and immobilized bifenthrin were examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and X-ray photon-electron spectroscopy (XPS). Its efficacy was assessed in pest experiments. The results indicate a successful embedding and immobilization of bifenthrin. Furthermore, the chemical bonding network between AzPhchitosan, bifenthrin, and PVC is stable, guaranteeing no environmental release of bifenthrin, and also providing more efficacious protection against termites. The evidence suggests that this photo-immobilization of bifenthrin-embedded chitosan on the surface of PVC substrates is a novel and environmentally friendly technique for termite control. This paper also reports a modification of chitosan with respect to its novel application in environmental protection. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Role of (3Z,6Z,8E)-dodecatrien-1-ol in trail following, feeding, and mating behavior of Reticulitermes hesperus.

    PubMed

    Saran, Raj K; Millar, Jocelyn G; Rust, Michael K

    2007-02-01

    Trail pheromones mediate communication among western subterranean termites, Reticulitermes hesperus Banks. Repetitive passages of >or=28 termites were required to establish a pheromone trail and trails needed to be reinforced because they lasted <48 hr. The minimal threshold concentration for inducing responses from termite workers and secondary reproductives was between 0.01 and 0.1 fg/cm of (3Z,6Z,8E)-dodecatrien-1-ol (henceforth, dodecatrienol). Workers showed optimal trail-following behavior to dodecatrienol at a concentration of 10 fg/cm. Trails with concentrations >10 pg/cm were repellent to workers. Workers did not detect pheromone gradients, responding equally to increasing or decreasing gradients of dodecatrienol, and termite workers were not able to differentiate between different concentrations of dodecatrienol. Termites preferred dodecatrienol trails to 2-phenoxyethanol trails. Antennae played a key role in trail pheromone perception. Dodecatrienol acted as an arrestant for worker termites (10 fg/cm2) and male alates (5 ng/cm2), whereas sternal gland extracts from females attracted male alates. Workers and alates, upon contact with filter paper disks treated with higher doses (10 fg/cm2 and 5 ng/cm2, respectively) of dodecatrienol, were highly excited (increased antennation and palpation) and repeatedly returned to the treated disks. Dodecatrienol did not act as a phagostimulant when offered on a paper towel disk. Reticulitermes hesperus is highly responsive to dodecatrienol, and it may play an important role in orientation of workers and alates.