Polymorphism and the Development of the First Progeny in Incipient Colonies of Macrotermes Michaelseni (Isoptera, Macrotermitinae)

  • Billie Moses Okot-Kotber


The onset of oviposition, incubation period, instar duration and polymorphism in the first progeny of Macrotermes michaelseni were investigated. Most incipient colonies have their first batch of eggs within the first week following establishment of the colonies. The incubation period for these eggs was 36.2 days. Three male and female larval instars, minor and major workers, and minor soldiers were found in the first progeny. Neither fourth instar larvae, which subsequently moult into major soldiers, nor nymphs, which develop into reproductives, were detected.

The duration of each larval instar was determined. The longest duration was that of third instar larvae developing into both minor and major workers. The first neuter terminal castes which appeared in the colonies were minor workers, followed by major workers and, soon after, by minor soldiers in the majority of cases.

Key Words

Polymorphism castes first progeny instars incipient colonies 


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Billie Moses Okot-Kotber
    • 1
  1. 1.The International Centre of Insect Physiology and EcologyNairobiKenya

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