Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 455–461 | Cite as

Observations on Macrotermes Gilvus Holmgr. In Java-3 Accumulations of finely cut vegetable matter in the nests

  • L. G. E. Kalshoven
Mémoires Originaux


These observations on the piles of finely cut vegetable matter in the Javanesegilvus nests agree very well with those made byBathellier in Indochina, and besides, provide some useful additions to them. In many points they are also in agreement with the observations ofGrassé etNoirot for the African species. The main differences with the habits ofnatalensis in this respect appear to be that in the latter species the particles are piled up in the uppermotsts part of the habitaculum and are made into rather firm lumps, which are excavated afterwards. Therefore, the method of storing ofgilvus seems to bear a closer resemblance to that ofPseudacanthothermes.

With regard to the function of the collection and storage of the vegetable fragments in the complex food-economy of the termites, the author's observations allow of no definite conclusion. There can be little doubt, however, that the piles must be looked upon as part of the preparations for the building of fungus combs. This supposition has gained a good deal more probability sinceGrassé etNoirot found that a small “amas de sciure de bois” appeared in newly founded colonies ofnatalensis just before the first minute “meule à champignons” was constructed (Insectes Sociaux II, 3, 1955: p. 215).


Good Deal Close Resemblance African Species Vegetable Matter Fungus Comb 
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Copyright information

© Masson & Cie 1956

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. G. E. Kalshoven
    • 1
  1. 1.BlaricumNetherlands

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