Journal of Economic Entomology (1996) 89, 915-921

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Faith M. Oi, Nan-Yao Su, Philip G. Koehler and Frank Slansky (1996)
Laboratory evaluation of food placement and food types on the feeding preference of Reticulitermes virginicus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)
Journal of Economic Entomology 89 (4), 915-921
Abstract: Two pieces of cardboard or filter paper were placed in a paired or split design in a choice test to examine the effect of food placement on termite food choice. When cardboard pieces were presented within an experimental unit to Reticulitermes virginicus Banks, one piece was significantly consumed more than the other in experimental units for 24 and 48 h in the paired design. In the filter paper treatments, significant differences in consumption on pieces in the split design were detected at 48 and 72 h. Bioassays that result in significant differences when food types are the same may lead to spurious conclusions about preference when food types that are not equivalent are tested. Although the paired design may overcome the tendency for termites to feed on the 1st food source encountered, the split design was a more sensitive bioassay for detecting consumption differences between cardboard and filter paper under these conditions. Feeding behavior under our conditions was affected by food placement, indicating that termites did not feed randomly. Food type also affected feeding behavior. Because termites do not feed randomly regardless of whether the paired or the split design is used, replicating control experimental units sufficiently to overcome significant differences in consumption when food types are the same is paramount.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Database assignments for author(s): Nan-Yao Su

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

Pest and/or beneficial records:

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

Reticulitermes virginicus