Ecology and Evolution (2020) 10, 2145-2152

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Sang-Bin Lee, Nan-Yao Su, Hark-Soo Song and Sang-Hee Lee (2020)
Minimizing moving distance in deposition behavior of the subterranean termite
Ecology and Evolution 10 (4), 2145-2152
Abstract: Subterranean termite nests are located underground and termites forage out by constructing tunnels to reach food resources, and tunneling behavior is critical in order to maximize the foraging efficiency. Excavation, transportation, and deposition behavior are involved in the tunneling, and termites have to move back and forth to do this. Although there are three sequential behaviors, excavation has been the focus of most previous studies. In this study, we investigated the deposition behavior of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, in experimental arenas having different widths (2, 3, and 4 mm), and characterized the function of deposited particles. We also simulated moving distance of the termites in different functions. Our results showed that total amounts of deposited particles were significantly higher in broad (4 mm width) than narrow (2 mm) tunnels and most deposited particles were observed near the tip of the tunnel regardless of tunnel widths. In addition, we found that deposited particles followed a quadratic decrease function, and simulation results showed that moving distance of termites in this function was the shortest. The quadratic decrease function of deposited particles in both experiment and simulation suggested that short moving distance in the decrease quadratic function is a strategy to minimize moving distance during the deposition behavior.
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Database assignments for author(s): Nan-Yao Su

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution


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Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Coptotermes formosanus U.S.A. (SE)