Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp 633–647 | Cite as

Biparental care in incipient colonies of the dampwood termiteZootermopsis angusticollis Hagen (Isoptera: Termopsidae)

  • Rebeca B. Rosengaus
  • James F. A. Traniello


Parental care and division of labor in male and female primary reproductives in incipient colonies of the dampwood termite Zootermopsis angusticolliswere studied by recording repertory sizes, behavior frequencies, time budgets, and transition probabilities of acts. Repertory sizes for males and females were identical, and behaviors were performed at similar frequencies. Time budget data also suggested equal participation in parental care by both sexes. Transition probability analysis suggested that males and females did not organize their behavior in roles. We therefore found no indication of sex-based division of labor during colony foundation and the incipient stages of colony growth. The lack of behavioral specialization may be due to the fact that acts might be related and/or have more than one function, and different tasks are not spatially associated. Our observations are consistent with the hypothesis that monogamous mating systems in termites involve mate assistance.

Key words

termite parental care polyethism social behavior 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebeca B. Rosengaus
    • 1
  • James F. A. Traniello
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyBoston UniversityBoston

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