Insects 2012, 3(2), 367-377; doi:10.3390/insects3020367
Article

Individual Behavior of Workers of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) on Consecutive Days of Tunnel Construction

Received: 20 February 2012; in revised form: 1 March 2012 / Accepted: 16 March 2012 / Published: 23 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers 2012)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: This study examines the individual behavior of workers of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shirkai, on two consecutive days of tunnel construction. In each trial, a group of 30 termite workers was observed continuously during the first 60 min of construction of a new tunnel on two consecutive days. On each day, an average of 68% of individuals did not participate in tunnel construction, 19% spent < 25 min tunneling, and 13% spent ≥ 25 min tunneling. There were specific individuals that did most of the work in the construction of new tunnels on both days. An individual that spent at least 25 min tunneling on Day 1 was significantly more likely to spend at least 25 min tunneling on Day 2 than individuals that spent < 25 min tunneling on Day 1. When individuals were ranked based on the time spent tunneling on Day 1 and Day 2, there were individuals ranked as one of the top four excavators on both days in three of the four groups. These results indicate that there is evidence of task allocation by termite workers during the construction of a new tunnel.
Keywords: tunnel; behavior; social insects; subterranean termite; task allocation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cornelius, M.L. Individual Behavior of Workers of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) on Consecutive Days of Tunnel Construction. Insects 2012, 3, 367-377.

AMA Style

Cornelius ML. Individual Behavior of Workers of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) on Consecutive Days of Tunnel Construction. Insects. 2012; 3(2):367-377.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cornelius, Mary L. 2012. "Individual Behavior of Workers of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) on Consecutive Days of Tunnel Construction." Insects 3, no. 2: 367-377.

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