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Insects 2017, 8(1), 14; doi:10.3390/insects8010014

Potential Hybridization between Two Invasive Termite Species, Coptotermes formosanus and C. gestroi (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), and Its Biological and Economic Implications

Department of Entomology and Nematology, Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314, USA
Department of Entomology, National Chung Hsing University, 145 Xingda Rd., Taichung 40227, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mary L. Cornelius
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 23 January 2017 / Published: 25 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Insect Species)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1257 KB, uploaded 25 January 2017]   |  


The Asian subterranean termite, Coptotermes gestroi, is a tropical species but has increasingly been collected from the subtropics in recent years, making it sympatric to the Formosan subterranean termite, C. formosanus in at least three areas, Taiwan, Hawaii, and Florida. Simultaneous flights by these two species were observed since 2013 in South Florida, during which interspecies tandems were observed. Laboratory mating of C. formosanus and C. gestroi alates produced hybrid incipient colonies of larger population size. Studies are underway to examine the presence in the field of hybrid colonies in sympatric areas of Taiwan and Florida. Other biological characteristics of C. formosanus × C. gestroi hybrids being studied include temperature tolerance and preference, colony growth rate, wood-consumption rate, and reproductive fertility. This current research aims to determine the potential establishment of a hybrid termite population in south Florida and Taiwan. It investigates the risk of introgressive hybridization in field populations, with an emphasis on its potential ecological, evolutionary, and economic consequences. View Full-Text
Keywords: termite; introgression; hybrid vigor; social insect; structural pest termite; introgression; hybrid vigor; social insect; structural pest

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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Su, N.-Y.; Chouvenc, T.; Li, H.-F. Potential Hybridization between Two Invasive Termite Species, Coptotermes formosanus and C. gestroi (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), and Its Biological and Economic Implications. Insects 2017, 8, 14.

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