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Response of subterranean termites (Isoptera:Rhinotermitidae) to stressed nestmates

Shelton, T.G., Grace, J.K., Woodrow, R.J., Oshiro, R.J.
Journal of entomological science 2011 v.46 no.4 pp. 284-291
Coptotermes formosanus, Reticulitermes flavipes, subterranean termites
Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), R. virginicus Banks, and Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki were stressed by holding them at 25°C or 28°C, respectively, in metal pans for 5 d prior to introduction into 1 side of 3-jar arenas (3 containers connected serially) containing freshlycollected nestmates. After 14 d, mass loss of wooden blocks was determined for blocks from the arena side to which stressed termites were added (treated) as well as those from the opposite side (control). Feeding effects of termite exposure to stress were inconsistent among species. For R. flavipes, there was no significant difference in feeding; whereas loss of block mass on the treated side in R. virglnlcus arenas was significantly greater (P= 0.0017) than that on the control side of the arenas. For C. formosanus, mass loss of wafers also was significantly greater (P = 0.0284) on the treated side of the arenas, similar to the response 01 R. virginicus.