Termite Control, How To Kill Termites eBook

Oplan Termites

Oplan Termites

You Might Start Missing Your Termites After Kickin'em Out. After All, They Have Been Your Roommates For Quite A While. Enraged With How The Termites Have Eaten Up Your Antique Furniture? Can't Wait To Have Them Exterminated Completely From The Face Of The Earth? Fret Not. We Will Tell You How To Get Rid Of Them From Your House At Least. If Not From The Face The Earth.

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Termite Extermination Information

Termites create great damage to your home, which is why you should identify and eliminate them as quickly as they appear. This eBook Oplan Termites teaches you how to solve your termite problem once and for all. Learn how to identify termites, find out if your house is really infested, and eradicate them. Discover Some Of The Most Effective And Time-Proven Methods To Get Rid Of Termites! Learn Some Mean Ways To Really Get Rid Of These Pests From Every Nook And Corner Of Your Home.

Termite Extermination Information Summary


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When compared to other ebooks and paper publications I have read, I consider this to be the bible for this topic. Get this and you will never regret the decision.

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Subterranean termite biology and control

A single colony of subterranean termites can contain millions of workers foraging throughout an area that can span a hundred meters or more (Su and Scheffrahn, 1998) Hidden nesting and feeding habits, large foraging areas (Husseneder et al., 2005b Messenger et al ., 2005), high reproduction rates in mature colonies (Su and Scheffrahn, 1987), and the potential of nymphs and workers to become reproductives when the previous generation of kings and queens is declining (Thorne et al ., 1999 Vargo et al ., 2003, 2006a, 2006b Hus-seneder et al , 2005b, 2007) make subterranean termite control challenging To eliminate an entire colony, it is necessary to kill not only the foraging population but also the reproductives in an efficient manner Traditional treatment for termites relies on soil or spot treatments with pesticides (Su and Scheffrahn, 1998) . These chemical control methods pose certain risks of environmental contamination, nontarget effects, and the development of insecticide...

Termite gut protozoa as targets

Cleveland's classical work (beginning in 1923) showed that subterranean termites were not able to digest cellulose without their hindgut symbionts and subsequently starved to death The most important endosymbionts in the termite gut are xylophagous protozoa, which produce the majority of cellulases and ferment cellulose to acetate (Odelson and Breznak, 1985 Bignell, 2000) The paunch of Formosan subterranean termite workers houses three species of flagellate protozoa Pseudotrichonympha grassii (Hypermastigida), Spirotrichonympha leidyi (Trichomonadida), and Holomastigotoides hartmanni (Oxymonad-ida) (Koidzumi, 1921 Yoshimura et al ., 1995) . These three protozoa species are found exclusively in C. formosanus (Yamin, 1979) and are obligatory for cellulose digestion and termite survival (Yoshimura, 1995 Yoshimura et al , 1995) When termite workers of several different colonies were fed on filter paper with the protozoicidal drug metronidazole (2 g L), defaunation of their guts was...

Subterranean Termite Coptotermes formosanus in New Orleans French Quarter

ABSTRACT The Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki is an invasive species estimated to cause annually USD 1000 million in damage in the USA including the costs of preventive and remedial treatments and structural repair. The termite is also known to infest living trees that line New Orleans' boulevards. Subsequent loss of these century-old trees is aesthetically unacceptable as their value is inestimable. Populations of the termite are estimated to have increased 35-fold in the French Quarter of New Orleans during the last decade of the 20th century. Traditional termite control practices used highly toxic chemicals that rapidly killed the insects, or were highly repellent to them. In both cases, such liquid chemical treatments surrounding a structure served to protect it but with no appreciable effect on the size of the termite population. Common wall construction and other unique architectural features in the French Quarter complicate traditional termite...

Proof of concept of the use of paratransgenesis in the Formosan subterranean termite

The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus, is one of the most economically significant invasive termite species, and therefore, an important target for developing increasingly efficient control methods, preferably without the use of pesticides (Su and Scheffrahn, 1998). In a first experiment leading to proof of concept of paratransgenesis in subterranean termites, Husseneder et al . (2005a) genetically engineered an Escherichia coli laboratory strain with a plasmid that expressed genes for ampicillin resistance and green fluorescent protein (GFP) and fed the genetically modified bacteria to Formosan subterranean termite workers . Workers were screened for the presence of transformed E. coli by culturing their gut bacteria under selective conditions in liquid overnight cultures and on solid agar plates The presence of the GFP reporter gene was confirmed visually by fluorescence, and by PCR amplification of the GFP gene . Although the experiment successfully established...

Termite Controlmanagement

Before termites in structures can be treated, the extent of the infestation must be assessed. Visual searching and probing of wood are the dominant means of inspection. However, the efficacy of visual searches is questionable, because structures have inaccessible areas. Several nonvisual detection methods are used, including electronic stethoscopes, dogs, methane gas detectors, and microwave and acoustic emission devices, but each of these technologies has some limitations. For subterranean termites, wood-baited monitoring stations can identify the presence and delimit the extent of colonies. Some species of subterranean termite have colonies as large as several million individuals, and these forage over an area of more than 10,000 m2. Other termite species have much smaller colonies and forage within areas of only a few square meters. There is considerable debate about the methods and accuracy in reporting termite numbers and foraging behavior. Termite control is most regulated in...

Bacterial diversity in the gut of the Formosan subterranean termite

A prototype gene-shuttle was assembled in yeast and used in termite feeding experiments death of the protozoa in the termite gut provided proof of concept for the use of paratrans-genesis in termite control The ultimate goal for environmentally safe field applications, however, is to use novel bacteria that are exclusively found in the termite gut as shuttles and expression systems Termite-specific bacteria species would not be able to survive for a prolonged time outside the termite gut and thus reduce the potential environmental impact, including the persistence of the transgenic bacteria in soil and possible gene transfer between bacterial strains Bacterial diversity has been studied in several subterranean termite species, for example, Reticulitermes speratus (Ohkuma and Kudo, 1996 Hongoh et al ., 2003), R. flavipes (Fisher et al ., 2007), and C. formosanus (Shinzato et al ., 2005 Husseneder et al ., 2005c) using culture-independent methods such as sequencing or restriction...

Important Families Of Termites

The earliest known fossil termites date to the Cretaceous, about 130 mya. There are > 2600 species of termites worldwide. Undoubtedly, more will be recognized with improved methods of discerning cryptic species and after intensive collecting of tropical and remote regions. Termites are most closely related to cockroaches and mantids. The greatest continental termite diversity is in Africa, where there are over 1000 species. Polar continents have none, and North America with 50 species and Europe with 10 species are intermediate in termite diversity. Termite families traditionally were categorized as lower or higher. However, this categorization may change soon as newer classification systems are adopted. Lower termites (families Mastotermitidae, Kalotermitidae, Termopsidae, Hodotermitidae, Rhinotermitidae, and Serritermitidae) have symbiotic intestinal protozoa and bacteria. Higher termites (Termitidae) have intestinal bacteria. Termite identification at the family and genus level...

Termite Biology And Ecology

Termites live in colonies that are social and can be long-lived. Colonies are composed of castes that conduct all tasks for survival (Figs. 1, 2, and 3). Some termite queens are larger than the length of a human thumb and can lay more than a thousand eggs per day. The king is also long-lived and mates intermittently to provide sperm to the queen. Some of the longest living insects are termites some termite mounds and their queens are thought to be more than 70 years old and Termites are herbivores, fungivores (i.e., plant or fungus feeders), and humivores (soil feeders). They feed on cellulose, directly from plants, dead or alive, or indirectly from fungus arising from decaying plant material within mounds. Plants are made of cellulose, a polysaccharide that is composed of glucose units. The traditional view is that termites rely on intestinal gut microorganisms for cellulose digestion. However, there is growing evidence that termites also use their own enzymes for cellulose...

Hakvester termites

These termites have eyes, and their mandibles have large, distinct teeth on the inner surfaces. They are cream or light to dark brown in color. The pronotum is saddle-shaped, extending down at the sides. REMARK These termites can be pests of open pasture. They may eat the food of larger herbivores - both wild animals and domestic cattle - and encourage soil erosion.

Higher termites

I his highly variable family of pale cream to dark brown termites comprises almost three-quarters of all termites. Workers and soldiers have no eyes, and soldiers often have large, biting mandibles or a snoutlike head from which sticky poisons are ejected. REMARK Many higher termites are pests. This family has a more complex, rigid caste system than other, lower termites. Tri ER I ERMES aiM w t f or the Snouted I larvester Termite, has soldiers that can produce a repellent secretion from a gland in their head. This is used against their main enemies - ants. newly emerged reproductive termites are pale and white as they have not yet hardened 1 hese termites, pale to dark brown in color, are also called rotten wood termites. The flat pronotum is much narrower than the head. newly emerged reproductive termites are pale and white as they have not yet hardened a 00 ter mo i'si s i ay 'stk'oeeis, the Pacific Damp Wood Termite, is native to North America, where it can become a troublesome...

Termites And People

Most people think of termites as pests, and with good reason. Their feeding and nesting activities damage or destroy wood and wood products used in books, furniture, buildings, telephone poles, and fence posts, causing millions of dollars of damage every year. Millions of dollars more are spent trying to control their populations or get rid of them. Termite control methods include applying heat to infested areas, freezing them with liquid nitrogen, and zapping them with microwaves or electrical shocks. Each method is used for a particular kind of infestation. Lumber yards now treat much of the wood used in the construction of buildings with chemicals designed to repel termite attacks. Because of their ability to convert plant materials into animal protein, termites could be used to turn large amounts of raw plant waste into food for humans. The feeding activities of termites could be applied to breaking down sawdust and scrap lumber piling up in sawmills or eliminating straws, bean...


Not many trail pheromones of termites have been identified, but one group is worth mentioning here. In the group Macrotermitinae, for some species (Z)-3-dodecan-l-ol is the trail pheromone, while for another (Z,Zy)-3,6-dodecadien-l-ol is. In both cases the sternal gland is the source. It is suggested that these alcohols are formed from oleic acid and linoleic acids, respectively, by loss of three acetate units and reduction to the alcohol (Figure 3.31). Figure 3.31 The suggested conversion of oleic and linoleic acids to the termite trail What is called chemical parsimony (stinginess) is applied among termite pheromones. One compound serves as pheromone for a number of species. Moreover, dodecadienol, produced by females at higher concentration, acts as sex pheromone for males (about 0.1 pg cm-1 for trails and about 1 ng as sex pheromone). This dual use also applies to (Z,Z,E) 3,6, 8-dodecatrien-l-ol, which in some Rhinotermitidae acts as trail pheromone, at low concentration, and sex...

Termites As Pests

Some termites are destructive feeders and consume homes, other wooden structures, and agricultural crops. In some regions of the world, tunneling by termites damages dams, which then results in flooding. Worldwide, several billion dollars is spent annually for the control and repair of damage caused by termites. In the United States alone, over 1 billion is spent annually for termite control and damage repairs. Globally, subterranean termites (Rhinotermitidae genera Reticulitermes, Coptotermes, Heterotermes, and Psammotermes) are the most responsible for the control and damage costs. Dry-wood termites (Kalotermitidae genera Incisitermes and Cryptotermes) have lesser importance as structural pests and are more prevalent in coastal, arid, or semiarid regions. Termites as agricultural pests are confined primarily to the Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia. The major pest species belong to the genera Microtermes, Macrotermes, and Odontotermes (Termitidae) in Africa and...

Isoptera Termites

Termites are a highly regarded food throughout sub-Saharan Africa. They are eaten raw, fried, or roasted and are found widely in village markets. The fungus-growing termites of the genus Macrotermes (family Termitidae) are the most widely used as food. Winged termites are a rich source of fat analysis of M. subhyalinus in Angola yielded an energy value of 613 kcal 100 g and M. falciger in Zimbabwe a value of 761 kcal 100 g on an ash-free basis. Protein and fat content of the latter were shown to be 41.8 and 44.3 , respectively, on a dry weight basis. In addition to the winged adults, soldier termites are also eaten. The high regard in which winged termites are held in Zambia has been documented by Silow in 1983 and appears typical for other countries in Africa The Mbunda, Nikangala, Lucazi, Luvale, Cokwe, and Yauma generally agree that the meat of Macrotermes spp. winged sexuals is better than meat of animals, birds, or fish. Perhaps one or another of the edible caterpillars is...

Pest status and control

In the agroecosystem, pest status and the decision to apply control measures for arthropods are based primarily on economics. Pests can be measured by their damage and reduction in animal weight or crop yield, and controls are applied to prevent or minimize predictable loss. Pest status for insects and other arthropods in the urban environment may or may not be based onameasurable feature. The damage caused to structural wood by termites or other wood-infesting insects can be measured, and the control and repair costs determined. The health threat or medical importance, such as from stinging insects, can be measured by medical costs. A decision to apply control measures may be based on potential damage or personal injury, or solely or in part on emotion. The control decision is no less appropriate when it is based on emotion. Arthropods in the living space are generally unwanted and unwelcome, whether their numbers are few or many. based on a network of reservoir populations, from...

Pest dispersal and distribution

International transportation, economic exchange, and globalization have brought a degree of uniformity to the urban area around the world, and increased the movement and exchange ofarthropods. The majority of household and stored-food pests, including fruit flies, cockroaches, flour beetles, moths, and mites, have moved with infested commercial goods and now have cosmopolitan distribution. Peridomes-tic mosquitoes, subterranean termites, and wood-infesting beetles share the same potential for widespread distribution. Current distribution records for many household and structural pests are subject to change with increased movement of people and materials around the world.

Preface to Insect Symbiosis Volume

The field of insect symbiosis continues to grow. As we write this, Kostas leads a consortium of European colleagues at the inaugural meeting of the symbiosis group to initiate funding in the European Union for research on symbiosis to discover new tools for pest and disease control in agriculture and medicine (Brussels, Belgium, March 2008), and Thomas helps organize a meeting called by the Ministry of Agriculture, Rabat, Morocco, aimed at finding new tools of biotechnology for control of desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Symbiosis offers one bright hope for a breakthrough in this historically difficult pest problem The present volume contains reports from outstanding laboratories across the field of insect symbiosis and includes work suggesting or hinting at practical applications in mosquitoes, tephritids, and termites . There are more examples in this volume of the influence of symbionts on the biology of insects

Preface To The Fourth Edition

In this edition of the textbook, we have updated and relocated the boxes concerning each major grouping (the traditional orders) from the chapter in which their generalized ecology placed them, to the end of the book, where they can be located more easily. We have used the best current estimates of relationships and implement a new ordinal classification for several groups. Strong evidence suggests that (a) termites (Isoptera) are actually cockroaches (Blattodea), (b) the parasitic lice (Phthiraptera) arose from within the free-living bark and book lice (Psocoptera) forming order Psocodea, and (c) the fleas (Siphonaptera) perhaps arose within Mecoptera. We discuss (and illustrate with trees) the evolutionary and classificatory significance and applications of these and other findings.

Physical modifications

Methods such as the use of screens, caulking, removing moisture, limiting wood-soil contact, and other traditional methods are effective. Screening prevents flying insects and some soil-inhabiting insects, such as subterranean termites, from entering buildings. Screen specifications for excluding house flies and similar-sized species are mesh 10, aperture length 2.27 mm excludes house flies and, mesh 20, aperture length 0.853 excludes ceratopogonid (Ceratopogonidae) flies. Traps based on light, ultraviolet light, carbon dioxide, pheromones, and other chemical scents can be used for local and area-wide insect control. Physical barriers can limit or prevent subterranean termites from entering structures from soil nests. Barriers consisting of soil particles of specific sizes can be used to prevent species ofsubterranean termites from tunneling through the material and gaining access to structural wood. Termites are unable to move particles larger than...

Beneficial Insects And Spiders

Grasshoppers, termites, beetles, caterpillars, and crustaceans are important sources of food for humans and are even considered delicacies in many parts of the world. They are an excellent source of fat and protein. Western European culture has largely ignored insects as food but considers lobster, crab, and shrimp as delicacies.

Insects And Spiders As Pests

Insects are humanity's greatest competitors and cause huge economic losses when they feed on timber, stored foods, pastures, and crops. Termites and other insects infest and weaken wood used to build homes, businesses, floors, cabinets, and furniture. The larvae of clothes moths and carpet beetles destroy woolen clothing, rugs, and hides. Mites, moths, beetles, and other insects invade homes and infest stored foods and destroy books and other paper products. Crops lost to insect damage cause enormous economic hardship and may lead to starvation and death among hundreds or thousands of people. One-third to one-half of all food grown worldwide is lost to damage caused

Systematics And Taxonomy

The dragonfly Hemicordulia flava (from the Latin flavus meaning yellow, referring to the extensive yellow coloration on the body), or may be a latinized form of a word, for example, a name of a person or place, as in the damselfly Neostictafraseri, named for the Australian amateur odonatologist, F. C. Fraser. Sometimes, authors show remarkable imagination in naming a species, making study of the derivation of insect names (entomological etymology ) a fascinating subject in its own right. Take, for example, the Australian katydid Kawanaphila lexceni Rentz 1993 (in Rentz, 1993), the generic name of which is derived from the aboriginal word kawana meaning flower, a reference to the fact that all known species frequent flowers, while the species is named in honor of Ben Lexcen, designer of the Americas Cup challenger Australia II, in which the keel is similar to a structure (the subgenital plate) on the female katydid Similarly, the damselfly Pseudagrion jedda Watson and Theischinger 1991...

Apterygote Hexapods

NICOLETIIDAE, LEPIDOTRICHIDAE, and MAINDRONIIDAE), of which only the first two are of any size. Though most Lepismatidae live in litter, under bark, etc., the family includes a number of domiciliary species (found in buildings) that have been transported worldwide by human activity, including the common silverfish, Lepismodes inquilinus, and the firebrat, Thermobia domestica. The former prefers warm and humid environments and is often found in places such as bookcases, cupboards, and bathrooms. Firebrats, in contrast, live in hot, dry environments, for example, in the vicinity of fireplaces, furnaces and boilers, and in bakeries. They are highly resistant to desiccation. Both species may cause considerable damage to books, clothing, and foods that contain starch or cellulose, and they are among the few animals that produce an intrinsic gut cellulase. The Nicoletiidae, which are distinguished from Lepismatidae by not having compound eyes, live principally in caves or underground though...

Insects as human food entomophagy

In this section we review the increasingly popular study of insects as human food. Probably 1000 or more species of insects in more than 3 70 genera and 90 families are or have been used for food somewhere in the world, especially in central and southern Africa, Asia, Australia, and Latin America. Food insects generally feed on either living or dead plant matter, and chemically protected species are avoided. Termites, crickets, grasshoppers, locusts, beetles, ants, bee brood, and moth larvae are frequently consumed insects. Although insects are high in protein, energy, and various vitamins and minerals, and can form 5-10 of the annual animal protein consumed by certain indigenous peoples, Western society essentially overlooks entomological cuisine. report favorably on the nutritional content of insects, although their amino acid composition needs to be balanced with suitable plant protein. Nutritional values obtained from analyses conducted on samples of four species of insects cooked...

Cuticular Hydrocarbons

The outer covering of insects consists of a layer of water repellent lipids, frequently made up of alkanes, methyl-branched alkanes and alkenes. This lipid layer is important to prevent dehydration and to repel rain and in social insects (bees, wasps, ants and termites), the mixture is characteristic of the group, and the available evidence suggests the mixture helps individuals to distinguish between nestmates and individuals from

Life History and Habits

Some are found in semidesert or even desert conditions and others in semiaquatic situations. A few live in caves, ants' nests, and similar places. Some species may be gregarious, insects at the same stage of development occupying the same hiding places and feeding together. Subsocial behavior occurs in a few species. Generally cockroaches are omnivorous but are rarely active predators. A few species feed on rotting wood, which is digested by symbiotic bacteria or protozoans in the cockroaches' gut. These microorganisms are very similar to those found in termites. However, it remains debatable whether these were inherited from a common ancestor or were originally in one of these groups, then transferred secondarily when members of one group preyed on members of the other (see Grandcolas and Deleporte, 1996).

Phylogeny and Classification

There is little doubt that termites are derived from Paleozoic cockroachlike ancestors perhaps similar in some ways to Cryptocercus punctulatus, a subsocial, wood-eating cockroach. Indeed, some authorities consider the similarities between termites and cockroaches to be sufficiently great as to include the former as a suborder of the Dictyoptera that is, the termites are eusocial cockroaches (Eggleton, 2001). The earliest fossil termites are from

Key to the infraorders of Heteroptera in South America

- Either the head is not constricted and lacks distinct lobes, or there is a distinct sulcus in the presternum to receive the apex of the labium, and the fore-tibia is not flattened or lacks distinct distal spines, which oppose the one or two-segmented tarsus (Fig. 6.4). Compound eyes are present, except in species parasitizing bats or inhabiting termite

The Ecological Context

By their photosynthetic activity, plants play a fundamental role in the carbon cycle, introducing carbon into the food web. Microorganisms are also crucial. It is estimated that algae and cyanobacteria are responsible for 40 of the carbon fixed by photosynthesis on Earth. At the other end of the process, wood-decaying fungi release approximately 85 billion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year as carbon dioxide. Termites also play an important role in global carbon cycling (hence, potentially, in global climate change) through their production of methane. Earth's nitrogen cycle is dependent on bacteria for nitrogen fixation and the release of nitrogen by denitrification. The microbial community thus controls the amount of nitrogen available to an ecosystem, determining ecosystem productivity in areas where nitrogen is limiting. By absorbing water from soils or other surrounding media, plants have a fundamental effect on the water cycle.

Insect growth regulators

Pomonella and Epiphyas postvittana (Valentine et al., 1996) and termites (Su, 1994). Pyriproxifen, another mimic, is active against fleas at very small doses and has recently been released in the USA in spray, collar and wash formulations (Wall and Shearer, 1997). The insect cuticle presents a potentially vulnerable and specific target for the disruption of its chemistry, structure and function by insecticides (Reynolds, 1989). The amino sugar polysaccharide chitin is a particularly important component of the insect cuticle. If synthesis of chitin is disrupted at crucial times, such as egg hatch or moult, then the insect will die. Among the substances known to inhibit chitin synthesis are the benzoylphenylureas, e.g. diflubenzuron, hexaflumuron and triflumuron. These IGRs have been found to be effective against a range of pest species including termites, lep-idopteran, mites and scarid flies.

Box 12 Tramp ants and biodiversity

No ants are native to Hawai'i yet there are more than 40 species on the island - all have been brought from elsewhere within the last century. In fact all social insects (honey bees, yellowjackets, paper wasps, termites, and ants) on Hawai'i arrived with human commerce. Almost 150 species of ants have hitchhiked with us on our global travels and managed to establish themselves outside their native ranges. The invaders of Hawai'i belong to the same suite of ants that have invaded the rest of the world, or seem likely to do so in the near future. From a conservation perspective one particular behavioral subset is very important, the so-called invasive tramp ants. They rank amongst the world's most serious pest species, and local, national, and international agencies are concerned with their surveillance and control. The big-headed ant (Pheidole megaceph-

Historical Biogeography

The origin of many groups on Gond-wanaland, the great southern continent that was composed of what is now South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, and India, is still evident in the restricted occurrences of their descendants in those areas and in the southernmost portions of South America today (e.g., water midges Brun-din 1966, 1967 see Keast 1973 for other insect examples of these so-called amphinotic or austral disjunctive distributions). Close affinities of some eastern Brazilian insects with West African species, such as among Schistocerca grasshoppers (Carbonell 1977 169), the amblypygid genus Phrynus ( Tarantula) (Quintero 1983), the psocid genera Belaphapsocus and Notiopsocus (New 1987), and the termite

Did Dinosaurs or Insects Invent Flowering Plants

When insects with appetites for angiosperms appeared on the scene around the mid-Cretaceous, they defoliated the limbs, bored into stems, and fed on flowers and fruits. Subterranean creatures such as termites, beetle grubs, fly maggots, caterpillars, and aphids ate away on the roots and underground stems.65 By selective feeding on specific genera and species of angiosperms, Cretaceous insects were determining which lineages of flowering plants would be here today.

Physical Characteristics

Termites are the most primitive group of living winged insects that lay their eggs on land. Some scientific studies suggest that termites are most closely related to cockroaches. The most primitive cockroaches, wingless wood cockroaches from North America, closely resemble termites in their appearance and behavior. Similarly, the most primitive termites, Mastoter-mes darwiniensis from Queensland, Australia, look and act like cockroaches. The similarities between termites and cockroaches suggest that termites could be called social cockroaches and cockroaches could be called solitary termites. However, there are major differences in overall body plan and wing structure. Still, it is very likely that termites and cockroaches had a common ancestor but then branched off into their own distinct groups a very long time ago. Termites have a caste system, meaning that each member of a group has a different function within the group. Each caste is told apart from another by its size, form, and...

Behavior And Reproduction

Termites lead secretive lives hidden in wood, underground, or in specially constructed tubes or nests. They seldom come out in the open, except to mate, but some species routinely search for food above ground. They are social insects that live in colonies with thousands to millions of individuals. Most colonies are made up of different castes (workers, soldiers, kings, and queens) that work together to expand and repair the nest, defend the colony, reproduce, and care for and feed the young. A long-lived king and queen are usually at the head of each colony. The queen is the only member of the colony capable of laying eggs. Workers make up the majority of the colony's population. They build and repair the nest, hunt for food, and feed and groom other members of the colony. However, among primitive termites, there is no true worker caste. Instead, their wingless young perform the tasks of workers. Soldiers defend the colony from ants and other invaders by snapping their scissorlike...

Conservation Status

No termites are officially listed as endangered or threatened. With so much time and money invested in killing them, little consideration has been given to their conservation. In the tropics, termites are estimated to make up as much as 75 percent of the total weight of insects found in the forests and 10 percent of the total weight of all animals. Next to earthworms, termites represent one of the most important parts of any tropical habitat. They recycle vast amounts of plant material, making it available again as food for other plants and animals. The widespread clearing and destruction of tropical forests for timber and farming have probably greatly cut down the populations of some termite species. The loss of termites affects not only the amount of plant materials converted into food for other organisms but also the numbers of birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, and spiders that depend on them for food and on their nests for shelter.

Reticulitermes flavipes

Geographic range These termites are native to the forests of the eastern United States, from Maine south to Florida and west to Minnesota and Texas they were introduced into Canada in southern Ontario and Quebec. Eastern subterranean termites eat the wood of many kinds of trees, preferring the outer portion of the trunk. ( James H. Robinson Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.) Diet Eastern subterranean termites eat the wood of many kinds of trees, preferring the outer portion of the trunk. Small, paper-thin layers of a dried paste made from their droppings divide their galleries. When working above ground in buildings and trees, they build protected tubes or shelters made from small bits of soil and saliva, lined inside with a paste made from their droppings. These termites do not build a nest structure. Instead, large, mature colonies consist of loosely connected galleries occupied by an extended family, with several kings and queens producing broods that contribute to...

Macrotermes carbonarius

Physical characteristics This is the largest termite in Southeast Asia. Winged kings and queens are about 1.2 inches (30.5 millimeters) from head to wingtips, with a wingspan of at least 2 inches (50.8 millimeters). The bodies of both workers and soldiers are very dark, nearly black. Male workers are larger than female workers. The soldiers are all females, large or small, and have very sharp, swordlike jaws. Diet These termites collect mostly dead grass, twigs, and other plant debris (duh-BREE). These plant materials are hauled below ground into the nest. Small workers chew up the material, eat it, and then deposit their droppings as fertilizer on masses of spongelike fungus. The spores, or reproductive bodies that sprout on the outer surface of the fungus, are then fed to the younger termites in the colony. Older termites eat the remains of old fungus.

Nasutitermes nigriceps

Geographic range These termites range from Mazatlan in western Mexico south to Panama and northern South America. Habitat Black-headed nasute termites are found along coastal plains, from sea level to about 3,280 feet (1,000 meters). Diet This species feeds on wood, mainly above the ground. The termites build extensive networks of broad tubes along the lower sides of tree branches. Black-headed nasute termites and people Colonies of black-headed nasute termites live in large paperlike nests that are visible on trees, fence posts, and poles. A single colony may have more than one nest. (Illustration by Barbara Duperron. Reproduced by permission.) Colonies of black-headed nasute termites live in large paperlike nests that are visible on trees, fence posts, and poles. A single colony may have more than one nest. (Illustration by Barbara Duperron. Reproduced by permission.)

Zootermopsis laticeps

Physical characteristics This is the largest and most primitive termite in North America. Winged kings and queens measure 1.0 to 1.2 inches (25.4 to 30.5 millimeters) from head to wingtips, with a wingspan up to 1.9 inches (48.3 millimeters). Their bodies are dark yellowish. Soldiers measure 0.6 to 0.9 inches (15.2 to 22.9 millimeters) in length. The flattened head is widest at the back, and they have very long and roughly toothed jaws. Workers, soldiers, and other castes are whitish yellow or cream in color. Geographic range In the United States these termites are found from central and southeastern Arizona to southern New Mexico and western Texas they also live in Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico. Habitat This species lives in dry habitats between 1,500 and 5,500 feet (457 and 1,676 meters) along canyons and river valleys. The termites are found inside the rotten cores of logs and large branches of living willows, cottonwoods, sycamores, oaks, alders, ash, walnuts, hackberries, and...

Castes In The Worker Force Morphological Castes

Discrete worker morphology In all termites and in approximately 10 of ant species, workers exhibit developmental allometry resulting in body shape variation within the worker caste. Interestingly, this type of morphological caste has not been documented in social insects with flying workers, such as bees and wasps. There is typically some association between a worker's body form and the tasks that she performs. One of the most common types of morphological specialization is the assignment of large workers, called soldiers, to the special role of colony defense. When the colony is threatened by an animal, the soldiers advance and attack, while other workers flee. Often the soldiers uniquely possess heavily armored exoskeletons and some type of weaponry, including enlarged muscular heads, long, piercing mouthparts, or glands that produce defensive chemicals. In other cases, worker body shape variation affects the performance of more mundane tasks such as food collection. In army ants...

Thepanorpoid Orders

This is possibly a polyphyletic group that, as constituted by McAlpine et al. (19811989), includes about a dozen families. Other authorities separate the families into three superfamilies, Opomyzoidea sensu stricto, Agromyzoidea, and Asteioidea. Most of the families are very small and have a restricted distribution. Adult CLUSIIDAE (220 species worldwide) occur around rotting logs and feed on nectar, exudates of rotting material, etc. Their larvae are found in rotting wood, and in the tunnels of termites and bark beetles. Some 1800 species of AGROMYZIDAE are known, including pests of shade trees, vegetables, and flowers. Larvae of this cosmopolitan family are mostly leaf or stem miners some feed in seeds, bore in wood, or are gall formers. ASTEIIDAE (100 species) are widely distributed. Larvae of these tiny flies appear to be scavengers in rotting plants or fungi.

Variety Of Salivary Defensive Functions Salivary Venoms

Termite workers in both primitive and highly evolved genera secrete defensive exudates that are rapidly converted to rubberlike or resinous products that can rapidly entangle small predators such as ants. This conversion frequently reflects the polymerization of salivary proteins that have reacted with p-benzoquinone, a highly reactive salivary defensive product. Similar systems for generating entangling salivas have been detected in a diversity of termite genera, including Mastotermes, Microtermes, Hypotermes, and Odontotermes. Termites in other genera discharge cephalic exudates that are fortified with toxic terpenes. Species of Nasutitermes and Tenuirostritermes secrete mixtures of compounds that rapidly form a resin that entangles ants and other small predators. The presence of monoterpene hydrocarbons is probably responsible for killing ants and, in addition, may function as an alarm pheromone for recruiting termite soldiers.

Stored Product And Structural Pests

In Latin America, termites are the chief destroyers of finished wood products. Many species are important, especially Coptotermes, which feeds not only on houses and lumber but on forest trees as well. Other major wood pests include pow-derpost beetles (especially Lyctus). Stored paper, including books, frequently is damaged not only by these insects but by silver-fish, psocids, ants, and bostrichid beetles.

The Case for Entomophagy among Dinosaurs

The sudden appearance of thousands of shimmering specks in the sky has signaled the emergence of millions of winged termites throughout time. Humans in various cultures herald the arrival of these insects, and they certainly attracted the attention of dinosaurs. Termites provide a good meal easily gathered in a short amount of time. My experience with eating termites came when I was working in Burkina Faso on a project funded by the World Health Organization some years ago. A heavy downpour had thundered on the tin roof of our compound for about ten minutes before passing. When I went outdoors to feel the refreshing cool air that followed the storm, I was astonished to find thousands of large, winged termites rising up from what appeared to be every square foot of soil as far as I could see. The cook was already out carrying a pail of water in one hand and enthusiastically grabbing at the fluttering termites with the other. Upon securing one, a quick movement of the wrist plunged the...

Rhabdotogryllus caraboides

Habitat Beetle crickets are found in leaf litter of the lowland and middle elevation rainforests, as well as in termite mounds. Beetle crickets are found in leaf litter of the lowland and middle elevation rainforests, as well as in termite mounds. (Illustration by Bruce Worden. Reproduced by permission.) Behavior and reproduction Almost nothing is known about its behavior or reproduction. It may be associated with termites, but the nature of this relationship is unknown.

The Remaining Endopterygote Orders

Many common beetles belong to the family, including dung beetles (SCARABAEINAE COPRINAE) (Figure 24.3), cockchafers (May or June bugs) (MELOLONTHINAE) (Figure 10.11B), shining leaf chafers (known as Christmas beetles in Australia) (RUTELINAE), and the large and striking elephant (rhinoceros) beetles (DYNASTINAE) (Figure 10.11A). Most scarabaeids feed on decaying organic matter, especially dung, in both adult and juvenile stages, though there are many variations of this theme. Larvae of some species feed underground on plant roots and a few live in termite nests. Adults frequently feed on nectar, foliage, or fruit, or they do not feed at all. The family LUCANIDAE (stag beetles) (Figure 10.11C) includes about 1200 species in which the adults are sexually dimorphic. The mandibles of males are enormously enlarged, though the significance of this is not understood. Larvae generally feed on rotting wood. Adults are mainly nectar, occasionally foliage, feeders....

The Gut Digestion And Nutrition

Insects of different groups consume an astonishing variety of foods, including watery xylem sap (e.g. nymphs of spittle bugs and cicadas), vertebrate blood (e.g. bed bugs and female mosquitoes), dry wood (e.g. some termites), bacteria and algae (e.g. black fly and many caddisfly larvae), and the internal tissues of other insects (e.g. endoparasitic wasp larvae). The diverse range of mouthpart types (section 2.3.1) correlates with the diets of different insects, but gut structure and function also reflect the mechanical properties and the nutrient composition of the food eaten. Four major feeding specializations can be identified depending on whether the food is solid or liquid or of plant or animal origin (Fig. 3.12). Some insect species clearly fall into a single category, but others with generalized diets may fall between two or more of them, and most endopterygotes will occupy different categories at different stages of their life (e.g. moths and butterflies switch from solid-plant...

Camponotus nearcticus Fig 94e Workers are 4575 mm

Other Camponotus The workers of the giant carpenter ant, C. laevigatus,are 8-10 mm long and shiny black, and this species is a nuisance in the Pacific coast and Rocky Mountain states. In Europe, the species causing structural damage include C. herculeanus, C. ligniperda,and C. vagus.The Hawaiian carpenter ant, C. variegatus, is pale brown and winged queens are about 1.2 cm long. Winged adults may be confused with swarming termites.

Nutrition and microorganisms

Insects may harbor extracellular or intracellular microorganisms, referred to as symbionts because they are dependent on their insect hosts. These microorganisms contribute to the nutrition of their hosts by functioning in sterol, vitamin, carbohydrate, or amino acid synthesis and or metabolism. Symbiotic microorganisms may be bacteria or bacteroids, yeasts or other unicellular fungi, or protists. Studies on their function historically were hampered by difficulties in removing them (e.g. with antibiotics, to produce aposymbionts) without harming the host insect, and also in culturing the microorganisms outside the host. The diets of their hosts provided some clues as to the functions of these microorganisms. Insect hosts include many sap-sucking hemipterans (such as aphids, psyllids, whiteflies, scale insects, thrips, leafhoppers, and cicadas) and sap- and blood-sucking heteropterans (Hemiptera), parasitic lice (Psocodea), some wood-feeding insects (such as termites and some longicorn...

Evolution of obligate nutritional endosymbionts

Obligate nutritional symbioses are almost countless, especially in insects (Buchner, 1965 Moya et al , 2008) Associations can be extracorporeal and environmental like fungi and ambrosia beetles or intracellular and linked to transovarial transmission Complex micro-bial communities spanning three bacterial phyla including a-Proteobacteria are vertically transmitted between juveniles, larvae, and adults by a single sponge species (Schmitt et al , 2007) Cospeciation has been reported for a range of diverse endosymbionts and hosts such as sulfur-oxidizing endosymbionts and deep sea clams (Peek et al , 1998), Blat-tabacterium (Flavobacteria) and cockroaches and the termite Mastotermes darwiniensis (Lo et al ., 2003), Buchnera in aphids (y-Proteobacteria) (Clark et al ., 2000), Cand. Carsonella (y-Proteobacteria) in psyllids (Thao et al ., 2000), Cand. Portiera (y-Proteobacteria) in white-flies (Thao and Baumann, 2004), Cand. Blochmannia (y-Proteobacteria) in carpenter ants (Degnan et al.,...

Nervous And Chemical Integration

Pheromones. (A) Bombykol, the sex attractant of the silk moth, Bombyx mori (B,C) honey bee queen pheromones (D) undecane, an alarm pheromone produced by many formicine ants and (E) caproic acid, a major component of the trail-marking secretion of the termite Zootermopsis nevadensis.

Division of Labor in Insect Societies

Division of labor is one of the defining characteristics of the most extreme form of sociality in the animal kingdom, eusociality. Eusociality is defined by three traits (1) cooperative care of young by members of the same colony, (2) an overlap of at least two generations of adults in the same colony, and (3) division of labor for reproduction, with (more or less) sterile individuals working on behalf of fecund colony members. It is now recognized by many biologists that eusociality extends to taxa beyond the ants, bees, wasps (Hymenoptera), and termites (Isoptera). This article focuses on the societies of the classic social insects, particularly the Hymenoptera, because they have the most elaborate and well-studied systems of division of labor.

Development and castes

Termites are social insects, but their incomplete metamorphosis, with egg, nymph, and adult phases, distinguishes them from other social insects, such as ants, bees, and wasps, which develop through egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. Another difference is the presence of a functional male in the termite community. In other social insects, only the female survives after the nuptial flight, and total egg production is limited by the usually single mating. Termite eggs are small and laid singly, though sometimes in quick succession, as in the case of Macrotermes with an average of one every 2 s over long periods. In M. darwiniensis the eggs are laid in batches of 16-24 and cemented together in two rows, similar to oothecae of some cockroaches and grasshoppers. The nymph phase consists ofa series of instars separated by molts, which may be recognized by the size of the individual (larva, worker, or nymph), the number of antennal segments, or the presence of wing pads. The reproductive...

Division Of Labor For Reproduction

Females dominate the functioning of insect societies, even in termite societies, in which males play more diverse roles than in hymenopteran societies. There are two types of females in an insect society, queens and workers. Queens specialize in reproduction and may lay up to several thousand worker eggs per day. Workers are either completely or partially sterile, engage in little if any personal reproduction, and perform all tasks related to colony growth and maintenance. Worker sterility occurs because the ovaries do not develop or because critical steps in oogenesis do not occur. Worker sterility occurs either during preadult stages or during adulthood.

Division Of Labor Among Workers

A less common but more extreme form of division of labor among workers is based on differences in worker morphology. This is seen in a minority of ant species and nearly all termites. Morphological differences among workers result from processes similar to worker queen caste determination and morphologically distinct worker castes are recognized. For example, small ant workers (minors) typically labor in the nest, whereas bigger individuals (majors) defend and forage. Sometimes this form of division of labor also involves dramatic morphological adaptations in some worker castes, such as soldiers with huge and powerful

Colonies and life cycles

Dispersal of winged reproductives from established colonies is common to all termites and it is an important means of establishing new colonies. Winged forms or alates are usually produced by relatively mature colonies, and, depending on the species and resources, this occurs 3-5 years after the colony founding. In some of the primitive families, small alates are released over several months, but often there is a seasonal peak. In higher termites, large numbers of alates emerge at one time. The swarming of alates from these colonies is usually restricted to certain times of the year, and specific times of the day, evening, or night. Swarming is synchronized with regional and local weather conditions it occurs during warm months in temperate regions and with the arrival of the rainy season in the tropics. The exact time of year and day that swarming takes place is species-specific, and dependent on the condition of the colony. Soldiers and workers are involved in excavating exit holes...

Molecular microbial ecology

Metagenomics can provide unequaled amounts of data on microbial community structure and function, especially when combined with large scale 16S rRNA gene library analyses As an example, the hindgut microbiota of a wood termite was recently described using metagenomics (Warnecke et al , 2007) The diversity and richness of this bacterial community was revealed along with metabolic and enzymatic functions linked to it, such as CO2 reductive acetogenesis, N2 fixation, cellulose and xylan degradation genes, and lig-nocellulose degradation

Possible functions of the bacterial community Nitrogen fixation and cycling

Obtaining sufficient nitrogen is a major challenge for insects utilizing diets with high car-bon nitrogen ratios . Termites were studied in this context and are known to compensate for their skewed dietary C N balance by nurturing a diazotrophic (nitrogen fixing) gut microbiota and acquiring much of their nitrogen directly from the atmosphere (Breznak et al ., 1973 Breznak, 1982) . A number of reports suggest that nitrogen provisioning bacteria may be more ubiquitous among arthropods than previously suspected (reviewed by Nardi et al ., 2002 see also Kneip et al ., 2007) . Bacteria may further contribute to the nitrogen budget of their hosts by recycling nitrogenous waste products (namely uric acid and ammonia) back into usable compounds Termites as well as cockroaches utilize the uricolytic capabilities of their associated symbionts in order to conserve nitrogen (Potrikus and Breznak 1980b, 1980a, 1981 Cochran, 1985) . It has been suggested that some enterobacterial populations...

Food Uptake And Utilization

Anobiidae (Coleoptera), as well as both lower and higher termites, have endogenous cel-lulases, though in most insects production of this enzyme is restricted to microorganisms present in the hindgut. Curiously, lower termites produce cellulase in the saliva, whereas in higher termites the midgut is the source of this enzyme. Scolytinae (Coleoptera) produce a hemicellulase, chitinase is reported to occur in the intestinaljuice of Periplaneta, and some herbivorous Orthoptera produce lichenase.

Physical barriers and mulches

The environment of a pest can be disrupted using physical barriers or mulches. Barriers may be quite subtle in form, such as those composed of soil particles that are too large for termites to displace with mandibles, yet too small for termites to pass between (Su and Scheffrahn, 1998) or obtrusive, such as stainless steel mesh barriers used for pre-construction installation in houses to prevent termite foraging (Lenz and Runko, 1994 Grace et al., 1996). Other types of barriers include reflective plastic mulches and netting tunnels which can repel insects or reduce the transmission of viruses (Stapleton et al., 1994). Nets have been shown to offer protection to cauliflowers against Delia radicum, Brevicoryne brassica and Lepidoptera, and to Japanese radishes against Delia radicum (Ester et al.,

Thysanura Introduction

Silverfish are 6-18 mm long and wingless. They are slender, dorsoventrally flattened, and tapered posteriorly, and they have three tail-like appendages at the end of the abdomen. Their body is usually covered with shiny, fish-like scales, which is the origin of their common name. Antennae are long and slender the eyes are small and widely separated, and sometimes absent. Mouthparts are mandibulate, and considered to be chewing. Development progresses through distinct stages. At the third or fourth molt, the young develop scales that color their body. Thysanurans are long-lived insects that continue to molt after becoming sexually mature. They are mostly nocturnal and omnivorous scavengers. Natural populations occur in leaflitter or under bark, in caves, in the burrows ofcertain mammals, or in association with ant and termite nests. Pest status is based on their presence indoors, but is limited to a few species. The majority of species live in moist wooded habitats, such as under bark...

Insect Communities On Grasslands

Per square meter), whereas arid and semiarid steppe and desert soils, dominated by microfauna such as protozoans and nematodes, may have a biomass of only 1 g m2. Tropical grasslands and tundra tend to be somewhere in-between. Termites and ants are dominant groups in tropical and subtropical grasslands, some surface-dwelling predatory arachnids such as scorpions and solifugids are restricted to warm, arid soils, and cold tolerance limits the range of many species in arctic and antarctic conditions. The ways in which insect communities of grasslands are influenced will be the subject of the remainder of this article.

Herbivoreplant Interactions

In temperate grasslands, the below-ground standing crop of insects is 2 to 10 times greater than the aboveground insect mass, although the effects of below-ground insects remain largely unseen, unless scarabeid beetle larvae or nematodes cause heavy decreases in shoot growth or even kill grass over large areas. In a latitudinal gradient across North American grasslands, root-to-shoot ratios vary from 2 1 to 13 1, with high values in cooler climates tropical grasslands have even lower ratios (0.2 1 to 2.6 1). As can be expected from these data, the soil fauna is less abundant in tropical savannas and forests compared to temperate ecosystems. Earthworms usually dominate the soil biomass, but in the tropics, termites and ants are particularly important. These below-ground species can be a key in nutrient dynamics determining plant growth and aboveground plant insect interactions.

Parental care in insects

Maximum parental care is seen among social insects (ants, bees, wasps and termites). Their developmental stages are lodged in the nest of the colony, taken care of by constant presence of adults, and their larvae are given regular feed by workers, which also actively defend and protect the colony. Biparental care is rarer and limited to some beetles, earwigs, termites and some cockroaches. It is known in the beetle Necrophorus spp. (not Nicrophorus, a typographic mistake, by someone ignorant of Greek) and in many Scarabeidae, e.g. Cephalodesmius (Monteith and Storey, 1981). Here, there is utilization of plant material and progressive provisioning for the growing larvae. In the last case, the male is closely involved. There is some task distribution between the two sexes. An exceptional case of biparental Providing protection to the offspring is quite widespread among insects. Parental care in insects, as defined by Michelle Pelissier Scott (in Resh and Card , 2003), ranges from...

Environmental Regulation By Groups Of Insects

Insects are relatively small animals, with high surface-to-volume ratios. Because of this, they readily lose body heat or water to the environment (or gain heat if the ambient temperature is high). However, a few species of insects form large groups that are able to exert some control over these processes. The most striking examples of this come from the social insects (the wasps, ants, bees, and termites), but some other insects also form groups that enhance homeostasis (Fig. 1).

Yeast as a prototype expression system for lytic peptides

Proof of concept for lytic peptide expression and secretion by a microbial shuttle system was achieved using a commercially available yeast-based expression system in Kluyvero-myces lactis from New England BioLabs Inc . (Ipswich, MA) . Successful ingestion of K. lactis by termites and survival in the hindgut was established by feeding yeast that was stained with nonlethal fluorescent yeast vacuole stain (Sigma-Aldrich, St Louis, MO) to termite workers presence of labeled yeast in the hindgut was visually confirmed under a fluorescence microscope Subsequently, control strains and Kluyveromyces lactis strains that showed toxicity toward T. pyriformis were grown for three days at 30 C . Termites were fed with medium containing live yeast strains expressing Hecate or, Hecate-GFP or with control strains for one day and then kept on damp filter paper. Workers that were fed with the yeast strains expressing lytic peptide were defaunated at four weeks, whereas the control continued to contain...

Structural Protection

Chemical treatments of the soil surrounding a structure formed the basis for structural protection of homes from termite damage since the beginning of the 20th century (Randall and Doody 1934, Potter 1997). From the early 1950s through the late 1980s, cyclodiene compounds prevailed as the most used insecticides for structural protection against termites. They were effective in protecting structures because of their longevity in the soil and because they could be cheaply applied to the soil. However, concerns about the effects of these chlorinated hydrocarbons on the envi Since then organophosphates and pyrethroids formed the basis of termite control products. These products were either fast-killing insecticides or were themselves repellent to the termites and thus a continuous soil barrier prevented the termites from entering a structure. However, members of a colony that did not come into contact with the insecticide were simply directed to forage for a source of food that was...

Integrated Area Wide Management

When only chemical or physical barrier treatments were available, there was little opportunity for area-wide termite management without the application of huge volumes of long-lived toxins over large areas. With vast areas untreated, the termite populations simply found new sources of food including untreated homes or trees. Only with the advent of the newer chemicals that could achieve termite population reduction was an area-wide management approach possible. Reducing termite populations within an area rather than merely repelling colonies makes it possible to accom plish area-wide population management of termites rather than protecting individual structures. In the integrated management scheme, emphasis is given to the use of advanced termite detection technologies and the application of population reducing treatments to remove the termite pressure in the area. Certainly other termite management strategies are incorporated into the scheme including improved construction practices,...

The Abiotic Environment

Ple, the swarming flights of social insects, such as ants and termites, involve only a fraction of a colony's population, may be completed in a matter of minutes, and may take the migrating individuals only a few meters from the original colony. In contrast, the migrations of locusts are undertaken by all members of a population and may cover several thousand kilometers. The migrations extend over a number of weeks and are interspersed with short periods of feeding activity.

Anatomical Specializations For Insectivory

TABLE I Examples of Frog, Lizard, and Mammal Lineages in Which Termites and or Ants Are a Significant Part of the Diet Note. Not all the taxa that are a part of these lineages eat only ants and or termites. There are many other lineages not listed that eat insects. Mammals eat insects and the most distant ancestors of mammals may have been insectivores. Generalized features derived from the primitive amniote condition are associated with mammalian feeding, including a longer secondary pallate, heterodont dentition, higher metabolic rates and more active foraging behaviors. Several of these features are reversed in obligate ant- and termite-eating mammals. For example, anteaters, pangolins, and the echidna, numbat, and aardvark possess highly simplified teeth few in number or lack teeth entirely. Some ant and termite specialists have lower metabolic rates, but it is not clear if these rates are retained from a primitive mammalian ancestor or if they are a response to prey that may...

Insects as Human Food

As noted in the previous chapter, insects play a key role in energy flow through the ecosystem, principally as herbivores but also as predators or parasites, which may themselves be consumed by higher-level insectivorous vertebrates. In turn, some of these vertebrates, notably freshwater fish and game birds, are eaten by humans. Moreover, in many parts of the world, insects (including grasshoppers and locusts, beetle larvae, caterpillars, brood of ants, wasps and bees, termites, cicadas, and various aquatic species) historically played, and continue to have, an important part as a normal component of the human diet (DeFoliart, 1992, 1999).

Soil Dwelling and Scavenging Insects

By their very habit the majority of soil-dwelling insects are ignored by humans. Only those that adversely affect our well-being, for example, termites, wireworms, and cutworms, normally merit our attention. When placed in perspective, however, it seems probable that the damage done by such pests is greatly outweighed by the benefits that soil-dwelling insects as a group confer. The benefits include aeration, drainage, and turnover of soil as a result of burrowing activity. Many species carry animal and plant material underground for nesting, feeding, and or reproduction, which has been compared to ploughing in a cover crop.

Box 71 How do entomologists recognize insect species

In termites, which can be difficult to identify morphologically (particularly based on workers), there is some convincing evidence that hydrocarbon profiles can differentiate species. In a few studies that report more than one hydrocarbon phenotype for a named termite species, other sources of evidence (such as intercolony agonistic experiments and genetic data) suggest that these phenotypes are distinct taxa or species. However, data must be interpreted with care because there might be an environmental influence on hydrocarbon composition, as found for Argentine ants fed on different diets. Also a detailed behavioral study of an African Mastotermes species showed that although the level of mortality due to aggressive encounters increased with differences in cuticular hydrocarbons between colonies, termites displayed lower aggression to neighboring colonies than to more distant ones regardless of hydrocarbon phenotype. Clearly more studies are needed of different types of insects...

Insect Pests of Stored Products

Almost any stored material, whether of plant or animal origin, may be subject to attack by insects, especially species of Coleoptera (larvae and adults) and Lepidoptera (larvae only). Among the products that are frequently damaged are grains and their derivatives, beans, peas, nuts, fruit, meat, dairy products, leather, and woolen goods. In addition, wood and its products may be spoiled by termites or ants. Again, readers should refer to the appropriate chapters describing these groups for specific examples.

Class Insecta True Insects

The previous edition of this book recognized 30 orders of true insects. However, new data have shown that two of the traditional orders (Blattodea and Psoco-ptera) are each paraphyletic. In each case, another group nested within had been accorded order status due to its possession of diagnostic autapomorphic features. The requirement for monophyly of orders means that only 28 orders of insects are recognized here, with the Isoptera (termites) subsumed into the Blattodea, and the Phthiraptera (parasitic lice) + Psocoptera forming the order Psocodea. Evidence for these relationships is discussed below. Although a new ordinal-level classification is used for these groups, separate taxoboxes have been provided for the termites and parasitic lice due to the distinctive biology and morphology of each group. Hypotheses of relationships for all insect orders are summarized in Fig. 7.2, with uncertain associations or alternate hypotheses shown by broken lines.

Apterygote Insecta former Thysanura sensu lato

Fig. 7.2 (opposite) Cladogram of postulated relationships of extant hexapods, based on combined morphological and nucleotide sequence data. Broken lines indicate uncertain relationships or alternative hypotheses. Thysanura sensu lato (s.l.) refers to Thysanura in the broad sense. An expanded concept is depicted for each of two orders - Blattodea (including termites) and Psocodea (former Psocoptera and Phthiraptera) - but intra-ordinal relationships are shown simplified (see Figs 7.4 and 7.5 for full details). (Data from several sources.)

Suborder Cyclorrhapha

They occur in a variety of habitats but probably most often where there is decaying vegetation. Larvae vary in habits some live in decaying materials or in fungi, some are parasites of other insects, and some live in the nests of ants and termites.

Mycetomes in Psocoptera

Psocids are microbial surface feeders Toothed laciniae enable them to scrape spores, fungal hyphae, lichens, algae, and films of yeast or bacteria from the surfaces of living and decaying plants Typical habitats are found under bark and stones, on leaf litter, in galleries of wood-boring insects, in caves, and in nests of paper wasps and bees, termites, ants, and vertebrates (Grimaldi and Engel, 2005) . With such a rich diet, primary or nutritional endo-symbionts are not expected . Obligate nutritional endosymbionts are normally catered for by the host through the provisions of specialized organs to hold the vitamins, cofactors, or amino acid-providing bacteria or, less common, yeasts . These mycetomes often exhibit a prominent structure . Not long after the introduction of microscopes, the first mycetomic structure was described by Robert Hooke in 1664 as the liver of human lice (Hooke, 1665) Shortly afterwards, in 1669, Jan Swammerdam illustrated details in the louse mycetome that...

Box 43 Reception of communication molecules

Aphrodisiacs Danaus

Nearly two centuries ago it was recognized that workers of honey bees (Apis mellifera) were alarmed by a freshly extracted sting. In the intervening years many aggregating insects have been found to produce chemical releasers of alarm behavior - alarm pheromones - that characterize most social insects (termites and eusocial hymenopterans). In addition, alarm pheromones are known in several hemipterans, including subsocial treehoppers (Membracidae), aphids (Aphididae), and some other true bugs. Alarm phero-mones are volatile, non-persistent compounds that are

Insects and the conservation of ecosystem processes

The ecological grandeur of insects is in their ability as a group to transfer vast amounts of energy. As such, they are determinants of community structure and shapers of habitats. Some, like termites, are such notable movers of physical materials, that they are known as ecological engineers. Another major engineering taxon is the termites (Whitford, 2000). Nests of macrotermitines in West Africa can cover as much as 9 of the land area and have a volume of 300 m3 ha (Abbadie et al., 1992). Such mounds have a higher organic carbon and nitrogen content than the surrounding soil. Termites also play a significant role in global carbon fluxes. Global gas production by termites in tropical forests represents 1.5 of carbon dioxide and 15 of all methane produced from all sources (Bignell et al., 1997). These insect ecosystem engineers can locally influence structural, compositional and functional biodiversity. West African termites, by modifying water dynamics and organic matter status,...

Diversity In Genitalic Morphology

Aedeagus Female Organ

In contrast, the female-choice hypothesis involves female sexual discrimination amongst conspecific males based on qualities that can vary intraspecifically and for which the female shows preference. This idea has nothing to do with the origin of reproductive isolation, although female choice may lead to reproductive isolation or speciation as a by-product. The female-choice hypothesis predicts diverse genitalic morphology in taxa with promiscuous females and uniform genitalia in strictly monogamous taxa. This prediction seems to be fulfilled in some insects. For example, in neotropical butterflies of the genus Heliconius, species in which females mate more than once are more likely to have species-specific male genitalia than species in which females mate only once. The greatest reduction in external genitalia (to near absence) occurs in termites, which, as might be predicted, form monogamous pairs. because different explanations no doubt apply in different groups. For example,...

Box 42 Reception of communication molecules

Moth Releasing Pheromones Diagram

Nearly two centuries ago it was recognized that workers of honey bees (Apis mellifera) were alarmed by a freshly extracted sting. In the intervening years many aggregating insects have been found to produce chemical releasers of alarm behavior - alarm pheromones - that characterize most social insects (termites and eusocial hymenopterans). In addition, alarm pheromones are known in several hemipter-ans, including subsocial treehoppers (Membracidae), aphids (Aphididae), and some other true bugs. Alarm pheromones are volatile, non-persistent compounds that are readily dispersed throughout the aggregation. Alarm is provoked by the presence of a predator, or in many social insects, a threat to the nest. The behavior elicited may be rapid dispersal, such as in hemipterans that drop from the host plant or escape from an unwinnable conflict with a large predator, as in poorly defended ants living in small colonies. The alarm behavior of many eusocial insects is most familiar to us when...

Box 33 The filter chamber of Hemiptera

Fetal Pig Reproductive System

Typically the foregut is subdivided into a pharynx, an oesophagus (esophagus), and a crop (food storage area), and in insects that ingest solid food there is often a grinding organ, the proven-triculus (or gizzard). The proventriculus is especially well developed in orthopteroid insects, such as cockroaches, crickets, and termites, in which the epithelium is folded longitudinally to form ridges on which the cuticle is armed with spines or teeth. At the anterior end of the foregut the mouth opens into a preoral cavity bounded by the bases of the mouthparts and often divided into an upper area, or cibarium, and a lower part, or salivarium (Fig. 3.14a). The paired labial or salivary glands vary in size and arrangement from simple elongated tubes to complex branched or lobed structures.

Digestion Of Carbohydrates

Although cellulose is abundant in plants, most plant-feeding insects, such as caterpillars and grasshoppers, do not use it. Cellulose is a nonramified chain of glucose units linked by P-1,4 bonds (Fig. 1C) arranged in a crystalline structure that is difficult to disrupt. Thus, cellulose digestion is unlikely to be advantageous to an insect that can meet its dietary requirements using more easily digested food constituents. The cellulase activity found in some plant feeders facilitates the access of digestive enzymes to the plant cells ingested by the insects. True cellulose digestion is restricted to insects that have, as a rule, nutritionally poor diets, as exemplified by termites, woodroaches, and cerambycid and scarabaeid beetles. There is growing evidence that insects secrete enzymes able to hydrolyze crystalline cellulose, challenging the longstanding belief that microbial symbionts are necessary for cellulose digestion. The end products of cellulase action are glucose and...

Inorganic insecticides

Arsenic-based pesticides are stomach poisons and are typically used for insect and rodent control. The most common compounds are lead and calcium arsenate calcium is the most toxic to insects and mammals. Arsenic trioxide dust is used for termite control. Arsenic compounds have a complex mode of action. They uncouple oxidative phosphorylation (by substitution of the arsenite ion for the phosphorus), which is a major energy-producing process of the cell. The arsenate ion inhibits certain enzymes that contain sulfhydryl groups and both the arsenite and arsenate ions coagulate proteins. Boron compounds have a long history in household insect control as nonselective insecticides. The mode of action is a stomach poison when a lethal dose is ingested. The target sites may be the mid- and hindgut in the hindgut borates may disrupt water regulation. Borates are also used as a contact poison because borate dusts absorb insect cuticle wax. Surface applications of boric acid and water dilutions...

Mycetomes In Oriental Fruit

Intestinal microbiota of termites and other xylophagous insects. Ann. Rev. Microbiol . 36 323-343. Breznak, J.A ., Brill, W.J., Mertins, J.W., et al. (1973) . Nitrogen-fixation in termites . Nature 244 577-579 Donovan, S .E ., Purdy, K .J., Kane, M. D., et al. (2004) . Comparison of Euryarchaea strains in the guts and food-soil of the soil-feeding termite Cubitermes fungifaber across different soil types Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70 3884-3892 . Ikeda-Ohtsubo, W., Desai, M ., Stinglt, U., et al . (2007) . Phylogenetic diversity of Endomicrobia and their specific affiliation with termite gut flagellates . Microbiol.-Sgm . 153 3458-3465. Potrikus, C .J., and Breznak, J.A . (1980a) . Uric-acid degrading bacteria in guts of termites Reticuli-termes flavipes (Kollar) . Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 40 117-124. Potrikus, C J , and Breznak, J A (1980b) Anaerobic degradation of uric-acid by gut bacteria of termites . Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 40 125-132 . Potrikus, C J ,...

Digestive Physiology Overview

Little Elegant Boarders

Isoptera Termites are derived from and are more adapted than wood roaches in dealing with refractory materials such as wood and humus. Associated with this specialization, they lost the crop and midgut ceca and enlarged their hindgut structures (Fig. 2D). Termites digest cellulose with their own cellulase, and the products pass from the midgut into the hindgut, where they are converted into acetate and butyrate by hindgut bacteria as in wood roaches. Symbiotic bacteria are also responsible for nitrogen fixation in hindgut, resulting in bacterial protein. This is incorporated into the termite body mass after being expelled in feces by one individual and being ingested and digested by another. This explains the ability of termites to develop successfully in diets very poor in protein. midgut, which has three rows of ceca (Fig. 2F), with a ventral groove between the middle and posterior row. The alkalinity of gut contents increase to almost pH 12 along the midgut ventral groove. This...

Trace Fossils Ichnofossils

These occur in fossil soils, or pale-osols, and are usually formed by beetles, wasps, and bees, sometimes by ants and termites. In all cases the burrows are not mere excavations, but rather constructions consisting of corridors with brood cells that are provisioned with food for developing larvae. The architecture of some can be impressive. Genise et al. (2000) thoroughly reviewed all known 58 examples of fossil insect nests burrows. Some types of burrows are abundant and widespread, such as Coprinisphaera (a form genus, or generic name used for a trace fossil). Though the actual beetle is unknown, Coprinisphaera burrows were made by scarabaeine dung beetles, modern species of which provision brood cells with balls of dung for development of their larvae. Nests of modern dung beetle species are usually distinctive (Halffter and Edmonds, 1982). Coprinisphaera lived from the Paleocene to the Pleistocene and was widespread from Antarctica to Ecuador, eastern...

The Tracheal System And Gas Exchange

Level Immaturity

Insects of different groups consume an astonishing variety of foods, including watery xylem sap (e.g. nymphs of spittle bugs and cicadas), vertebrate blood (e.g. bed bugs and female mosquitoes), dry wood (e.g. some termites), bacteria and algae (e.g. black fly and many caddisfly larvae), and the internal tissues of other insects (e.g. endoparasitic wasp larvae). The diverse range of mouthpart types (section 2.3.1) correlates with the diets of different insects, but gut structure and function also reflect the mechanical properties and the nutrient composition of the food eaten. Four major feeding specializations can be identified depending on whether the food is solid or liquid or of plant or animal origin (Fig. 3.12). Some insect species clearly fall into a single category, but others with generalized diets may fall between two or more of them, and most endoptery-gotes will occupy different categories at different stages of their life (e.g. moths and butterflies switch from solidplant...

Digestive strategies in insects

Moth Gut Structure

Of fibrous proteins (wool, keratin, silk etc.) they are pests of carpets, clothes, furs and museum specimens. Termites and book lice attack libraries and book stores, as they are efficient, thanks to their symbionts, in digesting and assimilating cellulose. Many insects digest cellulose in their food with the help of symbiotic bacteria and Protozoa. Such insects are Rhagium (Coleoptera), Tipula (Diptera), the cockroach Cryptocercus and termites. In termites, cellulose digestion occurs in the hind-gut. A part of the hind-gut is dilated, and lodges a number of different flagellate Protozoa. The flagellates ingest pieces of cellulose and digest them. The termite host gets nourishment by digesting dead flagellates and by absorbing their secretion. The symbiotic Protozoa make about 1 3rd of the weight of the nymphs of Zootermopsis (Day and Waterhouse, 1953). When in an experiment the flagellates are removed from the gut of termites, the insects are unable to digest cellulose. When...

Symbolism And Reverence

Because of the perceived similarities between human and insect societies, social insects figure prominently in the symbolic representation of insects. Social insects such as ants, termites, and some bees represent desirable qualities such as unity, cooperation, and industriousness. For example, ants represent the benefits of teamwork and cooperation for the good of all. Many symbolic depictions feature the ancient activities of honey hunting and beekeeping. In Europe, bees and hives also are widely used in various signage and as heraldic emblems, perhaps extolling various qualities of bees upon their bearer. A fine example of the latter is found on the coat of arms of Pope Urban VIII, Maffeo Barberini, who consecrated the present church in St. Peter's Basilica in 1626. The three Barberini bees adorn various ornamentations at the church and many papal objects located in the Vatican museum, including the building itself. In the United States, honey bees are used to symbolize virtuous...

Modes Of Foundation Independent Swarming And Budding

Size versus number of propagules Insect colonies vary widely in the amount of investment they make in each of their offspring colonies. At the low end are independently founded colonies, wherein single inseminated females (such as eusocial thrips and aphids and some Hymenoptera) initiate new colonies alone. In these species, the colony passes through a solitary phase. Examples of independent founders include sweat bees (Halictidae), bumble bees (Bombus), several genera of paper wasps most Vespinae (hornets and yellowjackets), Parapolybia, some Ropalidia, Mischocyttarus, and Polistes , and many ants (Formicidae). In some species, the lone foundress may be later joined by one or more conspecific cofoundresses. In other species, cofoundresses are not tolerated. In many termites, the smallest possible social group founds the new colony a single reproductive male female pair. At the other extreme, the relatively large colonies of some species issue discrete colony-founding swarms. Swarms...

Inherited symbionts in grapevinefeeding leafhoppers and planthoppers

A particular insect cell morphotype with the cytoplasm filled with Cardinium was found to be present in the apical region of the ovary (Sacchi et al ., 2008) . These cells resemble bac-teriocytes, i e , cells harboring symbiotic bacteria described in a variety of insects, including cockroaches and aphids (e.g., Sacchi and Grigolo, 1989 Nardon and Nardon, 1998) . It has been proposed that the bacteriocyte-like cells play an active role in the transmission of the symbionts to the progeny (Sacchi et al , 2008), similarly to the bacteriocytes of cockroaches and the termite Mastotermes darwiniensis (Sacchi and Grigolo, 1989) . In these insects another Bacteroidetes symbiont of the genus Blattabacterium lives within bacteriocytes that infiltrate the ovarioles, ensuring bacterial transmission to the oocytes In S. titanus such a transmission pattern was supported also by the detection of (symbiotic) Cardinium cells in the initial phases of embryo development and during the third nymphal...

Coprophagy insect brethren of the crowned pigs of Borneo

Lewin seems to assign partial production of greenhouse gases to the flatulence of cows. Termites also contribute gases in this process. In amber, when termites are caught, you can see the fossil traces, as tiny bubbles, of their palaeontological flatulence. He also mentions frequency of defecation among insects and vertebrates. He says that the Guatemala viper excretes once a month (practically it is the same for the sloth, but the ceremony involves also moths living in the sloth's fur) and that the rabbits do it once every three minutes. Termites feed on plant matter and fungi along with their intestinal fauna (Hypermastiginae). They produce gases abundantly. Their number compensates for their small body size. Americans have attributed yellow rain in Vietnam to the overabundant excreta of the bees.

Imaginal or adult phase

Decticous Pupa

Except for the mayflies, insects do not molt again once the adult phase is reached. The adult, or imaginal, stage has a reproductive role and is often the dispersive stage in insects with relatively sedentary larvae. The imago that emerges (ecloses) from the cuticle of the previous instar may be capable of reproduction almost immediately or a period of maturation may precede sperm transfer or oviposition. Depending on species and food availability, there may be from one to several reproductive cycles in the adult stadium. The adults of certain species, such as some mayflies, midges, and male scale insects, are very short-lived. These insects have reduced or no mouthparts and fly for only a few hours or at the most a day or two they simply mate and die. Most adult insects live at least a few weeks, often a few months, and sometimes for several years termite reproductives and queen ants and bees are particularly long-lived. The evolution of eusociality (section 12.4) is associated with...

Antimicrobial peptides to kill gut symbionts

Because it has been shown that antimicrobial peptides can have activity against insect transmitted parasites (Shahabuddin et al , 1998), several paratransgenic approaches to control vector borne diseases involve the use of lytic peptides to kill the protozoan disease agent in the insect host For example, Hu and Aksoy (2005) discussed a paratransgenic strategy of using Sodalis glossinidius, a midgut symbiont of the tsetse fly, to express lytic peptides that were characterized from the tsetse fly fat body to control trypanosome transmission by tsetse The proposed host bacterium S. glossinidius shows high level of resistance against lytic peptides that are part of the innate immune system of the tsetse fly (Hu and Aksoy, 2005). Durvasula et al . (1997) genetically engineered Rhodococcus rhodnii, the endosymbiont of the triatomid Rhodnius prolixus, to express Cecropin A, a lytic peptide lethal to the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas disease . Stable expression of the lytic...

Rickettsia as obligate and mycetomic endosymbionts

Pectoralis Muscle Tear Mri Axial

A characteristic that Rickettsia share with endosymbionts of ciliates and termites is their presence and replication in host nuclei Rickettsia can replicate in the nuclei of invertebrate and vertebrate host cells although the majority of bacterial replication occurs in the cytoplasm Nuclear presence is much more common for psocid Rickettsia and R. felis than for other Rickettsia and Orientia

Peridomestic and domestic habitats

Harborage substrates, food resources, and environmental conditions of urban landscapes around the world generally support a large number of different species, if not individual species in large numbers. The soil-inhabiting and -nesting arthropods in this environment include ants thatforage indoors and termites that damage structural wood, ground-nest bees and wasps, and occasional or nuisance pests such as clover mites, millipedes, centipedes, and springtails. Plant-feeding insects utilize the cultivated urban and suburban trees and shrubs, and manyare aesthetic pests. Blood-feedingmites (chiggers), ticks, mosquitoes and other biting flies are associated with domestic and feral vertebrates. Species utilizing building surfaces or perimeter substrates include the umbrella wasps, hornets, yel-lowjackets, spiders, and scorpions. Underground sewer and storm drainage pipes provide some cockroach and rodent species access to urban and suburban neighborhoods. The garbage disposal network of...

Arthropods And Insects

The insects are the largest single group of animals, with over 800,000 identified species, far more than all the other animals put together. New species are reported at the rate of about 5,000 per year, and total number estimates range from 1 to 10 million. It is estimated there are 1018 individuals alive at any time. They are divided into the Apterygota, primitive wingless insects (springtails and silverfish) which have as yet received little chemical study and the Pterygota, or winged insects, which form the great majority. The latter in turn are divided into the Exopterygota or Hemimetabola, which hatch from eggs to nymphs which closely resemble their final adult form or imago (grasshoppers, cockroaches, termites, bugs, stick insects, etc.) (Figure 1.5) and Endopterygota or Holometabola, which hatch from egg to larvae which may have a very different form and habitat from the adult. They then go into a resting form called the pupa, while the tissues are completely remodelled and...