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Title: Influence of Guidelines and Passageways on Tunneling Behavior of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and R, virginicus (Banks) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

Author: Pitts-Singer, Theresa L.; Forschler, Brian T.;

Date: 2000

Source: Journal of Insect Behavior, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2000

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Tunneling behavior of laboratory-maintained cultures of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and R. virginicus (Banks) was examined to determine (1) if the termites build tunnels along preexisting wires or tunnels, and (2) whether tunnels are arranged, to optimize search efficiency. Tunnel patterns were considered optimal if ,for the number of tunnels present, the maximum area was explored. Termites entered either control arenas or arenas in which they encountered a wire or a pre-formed tunnel, Analyses revealed that R. fiavipes and R. virginicus almost always follow pre-formed tunnels, but do not follow wires as readily. Within each species, the distributions of tunnels in treatment arenas were different from distributions in control arenas, most often when pre-formed tunnels were the treatment. Optimal tunnel arrangements in control arenas were found in 42% of R. flavipes patterns with 2 tunnels and in 43% of R. virginicus patterns with 2 tunnels. None of the 3-tunnel patterns from control arenas of R. flavipes and 29% of those of R. virginicus had optimal arrangements. Overall, the spatial arrangement of tunnels in control arenas was significant{y different between R. flavipes and R. virginicus.

Keywords: Reticulitermes flavipes, R. virginicus, Rhinotermitidae, tunneling behavior, termites

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Pitts-Singer, Theresa L.; Forschler, Brian T. 2000. Influence of Guidelines and Passageways on Tunneling Behavior of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and R, virginicus (Banks) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Journal of Insect Behavior, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2000


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