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Environmental influence on soldier differentiation inCoptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Rhinotermitidae)

Les influences du milieu sur la différenciation des soldats chezCoptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Rhinotermitidae)

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Termite soldiers are produced only in warm seasons in many species, and soldier ratios have been reported to vary seasonally in both lower and higher termites. Environmental parameters that may stimulate seasonal soldier production include temperature and diet. We examined the importance of these factors in soldier differentiation in the Formosan subterranean termite,Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Rhinotermitidae). We found that significantly more soldiers were produced at 30 °C and 31° C than at 25° C and 27.5° C, respectively. Termites consumed more wood and weighed more at higher temperatures, so that temperature-associated differentiation may have been related to better nutrition. There was no significant difference in soldier production on pine versus baldcypress diets.


Les soldats de termites chez beaucoup d'espèces sont produits au cours des saisons chaudes, et les proportions de soldats sont connues pour varier selon la saison aussf bien chez les termites inférieurs que chez les supérieurs. Les paramètres du milieu qui peuvent stimuler la production saisonnière de soldats englobent la température et la nourriture. Nous avons examiné l'importance de ces facteurs dans la différenciation des soldat chez le termite souterrain de FormoseCoptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Rhinotermitidae). Nous avons trouvé qu'un nombre significativement supérieur de soldats était produit à 30° C et 31° C par rapport à 25°C et 27.5°C respectivement. Les termites consomment plus de bois et grossissent davantage à des températures plus élevées de sorte que la différenciation associée à la température a pu être liée a une meilleure nutrition. Il n'y a pas eu de difference significative dans la production de soldats sur le bois de pin par rapport au cyprès.

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Approved for publication by the Director of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station as manuscript number 86-17-0239.

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Waller, D.A., La Fage, J.P. Environmental influence on soldier differentiation inCoptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Rhinotermitidae). Ins. Soc 35, 144–152 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02223928

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  • Environmental Influence
  • Environmental Parameter
  • Warm Season
  • Good Nutrition
  • Subterranean Termite