26 July 2019 A Reproductives Excluder for Subterranean Termites in Laboratory Experiments
Sang-Bin Lee, Thomas Chouvenc, Nan-Yao Su
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As a social insect, termites have different castes and division of labor in a colony. Investigating the social behavior of subterranean termites is a challenge due to the cryptic nature and large colony size. Planar arenas are commonly used to study these termites under laboratory conditions, and have provided several advantages. However, there is no means to designate areas such as a royal chamber or central nest from foraging sites because reproductives can move freely across arenas. In this study, we examined the minimum passing size of different castes of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae), in order to develop a reproductive excluder and correlated minimum passing size with head widths and heights. We found that workers and soldiers of C. formosanus were able to pass through a gap greater than or equal to 0.7 mm. Our results showed that there are significant differences in the head width and height based on castes and head height was more critical than head width to determine passing size. We further confirmed feasibilities of the reproductive excluders using incipient colonies of C. formosanus. Confining reproductives using the excluder in laboratory experiments will provide more chances to study the royal chamber and central nest independently of foraging sites.

© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Sang-Bin Lee, Thomas Chouvenc, and Nan-Yao Su "A Reproductives Excluder for Subterranean Termites in Laboratory Experiments," Journal of Economic Entomology 112(6), 2882-2887, (26 July 2019). https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toz211
Received: 29 May 2019; Accepted: 1 July 2019; Published: 26 July 2019

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Coptotermes formosanus
physical exclusion
queen excluder
social insect
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