Florida Entomologist (2017) 100, 532-538

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John Zukowski and Nan-Yao Su (2017)
Survival of termites (Isoptera) exposed to various levels of relative humidity (RH) and water availability, and their RH preferences
Florida Entomologist 100 (3), 532-538
Abstract: Termites (Isoptera) are widely believed to be one of the most desiccation-prone insects. They must combat desiccation by locating and efficiently conserving water resources. Termites have evolved morphological, physiological, and behavioral characteristics that aid in the tolerance of desiccation. In 3 studies using 4 termite species, water loss tolerance and relative humidity (RH) preferences of termites exposed to 5 different RH, as well as the use of different water sources, were examined. Our results showed that Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Rhinotermitidae) preferred and survived better at high RH and with readily available water sources. Neotermes jouteli (Banks in Banks and Snyder) (Kalotermitidae) also preferred a high RH, but was more capable of tolerating lower RH and a lack of free water than C. formosanus. Cryptotermes brevis Walker (Kalotermitidae) and Cryptotermes cavifrons Banks (Kalotermitidae) did not exhibit greater survival in a certain RH nor when exposed to various sources of water. These two species also did not exhibit a preference for a certain RH.
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Full text of article
Database assignments for author(s): Nan-Yao Su

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

Pest and/or beneficial records:

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

Coptotermes formosanus U.S.A. (SE)
Cryptotermes brevis U.S.A. (SE)
Neotermes jouteli U.S.A. (SE)