Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Environmental influence on soldier differentiation inCoptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Rhinotermitidae)

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

  • 80 Accesses

  • 27 Citations

Summary

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.

Resume

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Bordereau C., 1985. — The role pheromones in termite caste differentiation, pp. 221–226, in: Watson J.A.L., Okot-Kotber B.M., Noirot Ch. (eds.).Caste Differentiation in Social Insects, Pergamon Press, Oxford.

  2. Carter F.L., 1976. — Responses of subterranean termites to wood extractives.Mat. und Org., 3, 465–478.

  3. Ewart D.M., French J.R.J., 1986. — Temperature studies on two mounds ofCoptotermes lacteus (Isoptera).The International Research Group on Wood Preservation, Document No. IRG/WP/1295.

  4. Ferrar P., 1982. — Termites of a South African savanna II. Densities and populations of smaller mounds, and seasonality of breeding.Oecologia, 52, 133–138.

  5. Greaves T., 1964. — Temperature studies of termite colonies in living trees.Aust. J. Zool., 12, 250–262.

  6. Greaves T., 1966. — Experiments to determine the populations of tree-dwelling colonies of termites (Coptotermes acinaciformis (Froggatt) andC. frenchi Hill).Termites of Australian Forest Trees, Division of Entomology Technical Paper No. 7, CSIRO, Australia, Melbourne, 1967.

  7. Haverty M.I., 1977. — Proportion of soldiers in termite colonies: A list and a bibliography.Sociobiol., 2, 199–216.

  8. Haverty M.I., 1979. — Soldier production and maintenance of soldier proportions in laboratory experimental groups ofCoptotermes formosanus Shiraki.Insect. Soc., 26, 69–84.

  9. Haverty M.I., Howard R.W., 1979. — Effects of insect growth regulators in subterranean termites: Induction of differentiation, defaunation, and starvation.Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am., 12, 503–508.

  10. Howard R., Haverty M.I., 1981. — Seasonal variation in caste proportions of field colonies ofReticulitermes flavipes (Koller).Environ. Entomol., 10, 546–549.

  11. Hrdy I., 1985. — The role of juvenile hormones and juvenoids in soldier formation in Rhinotermitidae, pp. 245–250. In: Watson J.A.L., Okot-Kotber B.M., Noirot Ch. (eds.).Caste Differentiation in Social Insects, Pergamon Press, Oxford.

  12. King E.G., Spink W.I., 1974. — Laboratory studies on the biology of the Formosan subterranean termite with primary emphasis on young colony development.Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am., 67, 953–958.

  13. Lenz M., 1976. The dependence of hormone effects in termite caste determination on external factors, pp. 73–89. Luscher M. (ed.).Phase and Caste Determination in Insects (Endocrine Aspects) Pergamon Press, Oxford.

  14. Luscher M., 1963. — Functions of the corpora allata in the development of termites.Proc. 16th Int. Congr. Zool., Washington, D.C.4, 244–250.

  15. Luscher M., 1973. — The influence of the composition of experimental groups on caste development inZootermopsis (Isoptera), pp. 253–256,Proceedings of the VII Congress of the IUSSL, London.

  16. Mennesmann R., 1972. — Relationship between different wood species as a termite food source and the reproductive rate of the termite symbionts.Zeit. ang. Entomol., 72, 116–128.

  17. Mannesmann R., 1973. — Comparison of tewnty-one commercial wood species from North America in relation to feeding rates of the Formosan termite,Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki.Mat. und Org., 8, 107–120.

  18. Mauldin J.K., Rich N.M., 1975. — Rearing two subterranean termites,Reticulitermes flavipes andCoptotermes formosanus, on artificial diets.Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am., 68, 454–456.

  19. Miller E.M., 1969. — Caste differentiation in the lower termites, pp. 283–310, in: Krishna, K. Weesner F.M. (ed.),Biology of Termites, 1, Academic Press, New York.

  20. Mishra S.C., Sen-Sarma P.K., 1979. — Seasonal fluctuations of colony composition, nest population and foraging inNasutitermes dunensis Chatterjee and Thakur.Ind. Ind. J. Entomol., 41, 360–365.

  21. Noirot Ch., 1960. — Le cycle saisonnier chez les termites.Proc. XI Int. Kong. Entomol. Wien, Band I, pp. 583–585.

  22. Noirot Ch., 1985a. — Path ways of caste development in the lower termites, pp. 41–58, in: Watson J.A.L., Okot-Kotber B.M., Noirot Ch. (eds.),Caste Differentiation in Social Insects, Pergamon Press, Oxford.

  23. Noirot Ch., 1985b. — The caste system in higher termites, pp. 75–86, in: Watson J.A.L., Okot-Kotber B.M., Noirot Ch. (eds.),Caste Differentiation in Social Insects, Pergamon Press, Oxford.

  24. Nutting W.L., 1969. — Flight and colony foundation, pp. 233–282, in: Krishna K., Weesner F.M. (eds.),Biology of Termites, Vol. 1, Academic Press, New York.

  25. Okot-Kotber B.M., 1985. — Mechanisms of caste determination in a higher termite, J.A.L., Okot-Kotber B.M., Noirot Ch. (eds.)Caste Differentiation in Social Insects, Pergamon Press, Oxford.

  26. Passera L., 1985. — Soldier determination in ants of the genusPheidole, pp. 331–346, in: Watson J.A.L., Okot-Kotber B.M., Noirot Ch. (eds.),Caste Differentiation in Social Insects, Pergamon Press, Oxford.

  27. Thorne B.L., 1985. — Numerical and biomass caste proportions in colonies of the termitesNasutitermes corniger andN. ephrate (Isoptera: Termitidae).Insect. Soc., 32, 411–426.

  28. Waller D.A., La Fage J.P. 1987a. — Seasonal patterns in foraging groups ofCoptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Rhinotermitidae).Sociobiol., 13, 173–181.

  29. Waller D.A., La Fage J.P., 1987b. — Food quality and foraging response by the subterranean termite,Coptotermes formosanus Shirak (Rhinotermitidae).Bull. ent. Res., 77, 417–424.

  30. Watson J.A.L., Abbey H.M., 1985. — Seasonal cycles inNasutiterms extiosus (Hill) (Isoptera: Termitidae). II. Caste development.Sociobiol., 10, 73–92.

  31. Watson F.M., 1965. —The Termites of the United States, a Handbook. The National Pest Control Association, New Jersey, 70 pp.

  32. Wheeler D.E., Nijhout H.F., 1981. — Soldier determination in ants: New role for juvenile hormone.Science, 213, 361–363.

Download references

Author information

Additional information

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

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

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

Download citation

Keywords

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