Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Activity cycles of carpenter ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae:Camponotus) and subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae:Reticulitermes): Inference from synanthropic records

Cycles d'activité des fourmis-charpentières (Hymenoptera: Formicidae:Camponotus) et des termites souterrains (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae:Reticulitermes: déduction à partir de relevés synanthropiques

  • 32 Accesses

  • 1 Citations


Annual activity cycles of carpenter ants and subterranean termites were extracted from data maintained by cooperative extension service entomologists in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and Ohio. Autocorrelations suggested a strong cyclic patterning of public complaints, which increased in regularity from south to north. Spectral analysis revealed that the more northern states had complaint peaks occurring at longer frequencies, while more southern states had shorter frequency fluctuations, as expected if climatological factors drive the system. The existence of data such as these can be of great value in designing field experiments.


Les cycles d'activité annuels des fourmis-charpentières et des termites souterrains ont été déduits des relevés poursuivis par le service coopératif des entomologistes dans le Connecticut, le Maryland, le New Jersey, la Caroline du Nord et l'Ohio. Les autocorrélations suggèrent une forte structure cyclique des plaintes issues du public, avec une régularité augmentée du sud au nord. L'analyse spectrale révèle que les Etats les plus au nord présentaient des pics de plaintes à des fréquences plus grandes, alors que les Etats plus au sud avaient des fluctuations de fréquences plus courtes, comme on pouvait s'y attendre si les facteurs climatiques réglaient le système. De tels résultats peuvent être de grande valeur pour les expériences conduites dans la nature.

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


  1. Box G.E.P., Jenkins G.M., 1970. —Time series analysis: forecasting and control. Holden-Day, edit., San Francisco.

  2. Broom D.M., 1979. — Methods of detecting and analysing activity rhythms.Biol. Behav., 4, 3–18.

  3. Campbell D.J., Shipp E., 1974. — Spectral analysis of cyclic behavior with examples from field crickets,Telogryllus commodus (Walker).Anim. Behav., 22, 862–875.

  4. Elton C.S., 1924. — Periodic fluctuations in the numbers of animals. Their causes and effects.Br. J. Exp. Biol., 2, 119–163.

  5. Emanuel W.R., West D.C., Shugart H.H. Jr., 1978. — Spectral analysis of forest model time series.Ecol. Model., 4, 313–326.

  6. Enright J.J., 1965. — The search for rhythmicity in biological time series.J. Theor. Biol., 8, 426–468.

  7. Fowler H.G., 1983. — The biology, economics and control of carpenter ants. In:S.B. Vinson andJ.K. Mauldin (editors):Biology, Economic Importance and Control of Social Insects (in press).

  8. Fowler H.G., Roberts R.B., 1980. — Foraging behavior of the carpenter ant,Camponotus pennsylvanicus (Hymenoptera: Formicidæ), in New Jersey.J. Kansas Entomol. Soc., 53, 295–304.

  9. Fowler H.G., Roberts R.B., 1983. — Urban structural pests; carpenter ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidæ) displacing subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidæ) in Public Concern.Environ. Entomol. (in press).

  10. Jenkins G.M., Watts G.D., 1968. —Spectral analysis and its applications. Holden-Day, edit., San Francisco.

  11. Platt T., Denmann K.L., 1975. — Spectral analysis in ecology.Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst., 6, 189–210.

  12. Poole R.W., 1978. — The statistical prediction of population fluctuations.Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst., 9, 427–448.

  13. Shelford V.E., 1913. —Animal communities in temperate America. Univ. Chicago Press, edit., Chicago.

  14. Vandenbussche E., 1969. — The detection of periodicities in time series. I: Calculation of a periodogram and of a correlogram.Psychol. Belg., 9, 59–77.

  15. Vandenbussche E., 1971. — The detection of periodicities in time series. II: The power of a periodogram and a correlogram to detect periodicities in a relatively short time series.Psychol. Belg., 11, 107–131.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Fowler, H.G., Roberts, R.B. Activity cycles of carpenter ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae:Camponotus) and subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae:Reticulitermes): Inference from synanthropic records. Ins. Soc 30, 323–331 (1983).

Download citation


  • Field Experiment
  • Spectral Analysis
  • Activity Cycle
  • Extension Service
  • Southern State