Advance in Biology and Management of Termites—In Memory of Professor Yoshimura (Closed)

A topical collection in Insects (ISSN 2075-4450). This collection belongs to the section "Insect Pest and Vector Management".

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Editors


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Guest Editor
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan
Interests: termite; biosensing; wood protection
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Guest Editor
Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
Interests: urban and industrial pest management; insecticide resistance
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Guest Editor
College of Natural Resources, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
Interests: urban pest management; termite detection; nonchemical control
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Alongside their vital ecological roles, termites cause serious damage to wood and wood products worldwide. Termite management is one of the most important research topics in urban entomology. In this Special Issue, we would like to invite papers concerning different aspects of termite biology and management. Studies on termite behavior, ecology and physiology are welcomed, as well as new ideas and innovative technological trials from around the world focusing on future termite management. Contributions in the form of mini-reviews and short technical reports are also encouraged.

Special Statement:

We are saddened to announce the demise of one of the Guest Editors of this Special Issue, Prof. Tsuyoshi Yoshimura, on 18 May 2021, at the age of 59.

Prof. Yoshimura was a faculty member of the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere (RISH) (earlier known as Wood Research Institute) in Kyoto University from 1990 to 2021. He has significantly advanced research on the nutritional physiology of termites by revealing the contribution of protozoan fauna in the hindgut to wood decomposition in termites. His research on termite feeding ecology, termite feeding behavior, and biological control using insect–pathogen has led to a comprehensive termite management system in Japan.

Prof. Yoshimura's research, education, international activities, and network reflected his outstanding achievements in his career. He authored 187 peer-reviewed papers, 20 books, and 24 review articles in academic journals. Prof. Yoshimura was highly regarded as one of the most respected drywood termite researchers in the academic world. Besides that, Prof. Yoshimura's effort in university education and interdisciplinary science included the training of many scientists throughout the Asian region and beyond.

In honor of Prof. Yoshimura's lifetime achievements, we have extended the deadline for manuscript submissions to this Special Issue until 31 December 2021. We hope that this extension will allow manuscript submissions from scientists who wish to pay tribute to the scientific achievements of Prof. Tsuyoshi Yoshimura.

Prof. Dr. Wakako Ohmura
Prof. Dr. Chow-Yang Lee
Dr. Vernard Richard Lewis
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • termite management
  • sustainability
  • non-destructive detection
  • monitoring
  • less-chemical strategies
  • non-chemical strategies

Published Papers (9 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021

11 pages, 1831 KiB  
Article
Influence of Soldiers on Exploratory Foraging Behavior in the Formosan Subterranean Termite, Coptotermes formosanus (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae)
by Joseph McCarthy, Arjun Khadka, Hasim Hakanoglu and Qian Sun
Insects 2023, 14(2), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14020198 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1685
Abstract
Termites are eusocial insects that live in organized colonies consisting of reproductives, workers, and soldiers. Soldiers are specialized for defense but are expensive to maintain, as they are incapable of husbandry and must be fed and groomed by workers. The soldiers of several [...] Read more.
Termites are eusocial insects that live in organized colonies consisting of reproductives, workers, and soldiers. Soldiers are specialized for defense but are expensive to maintain, as they are incapable of husbandry and must be fed and groomed by workers. The soldiers of several species influence foraging behavior by acting as scouts that initiate foraging or by mediating worker behavioral plasticity during food exploration. These behaviors imply that soldiers may play a keystone role in termite colony function, apart from defense. Subterranean termite workers tunnel through soil in search of food while accompanied by varying proportions of soldiers, depending on the species and colony conditions. Previous studies have shown that soldiers accelerate worker exploratory tunneling behavior in two Reticulitermes species, the colonies of which contain fewer than 2% soldiers. This effect, however, is unknown in other subterranean species with different soldier proportions. In this study, we examined the influence of soldiers on exploratory foraging behavior in the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, which is an economically devastating invasive species that maintains a relatively high soldier proportion (about 10%). When 100 foraging workers were grouped with 0, 2, 10, or 30 soldiers in two-dimensional foraging arenas, we found no significant effect of soldiers on the tunnel length, branch pattern, food source interception, or food collected within 96 h. These results suggest that C. formosanus colonies maintain food exploration efficiency regardless of soldier proportion variation. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2023, 2021

15 pages, 2129 KiB  
Article
Biodiversity and Distribution of Reticulitermes in the Southeastern USA
by Allison Johnson and Brian T. Forschler
Insects 2022, 13(7), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13070565 - 22 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2996
Abstract
Reticulitermes subterranean termites are widely distributed ecosystem engineers and structural pests, yet describing their species distribution worldwide or regionally has been hindered by taxonomic uncertainties. Morphological plasticity confounds the use of taxonomic keys, while recent species descriptions and molecular techniques lacking taxonomic support [...] Read more.
Reticulitermes subterranean termites are widely distributed ecosystem engineers and structural pests, yet describing their species distribution worldwide or regionally has been hindered by taxonomic uncertainties. Morphological plasticity confounds the use of taxonomic keys, while recent species descriptions and molecular techniques lacking taxonomic support have caused a muddle in interpreting the literature on Reticulitermes species distributions. We employed an integrative taxonomic approach combining behavioral, morphological, and molecular techniques to identify 4371 Reticulitermes samples to species. Five Reticulitermes species were collected from wood-on-ground at 1570 sites covering 153,900 km2 in the state of Georgia, USA. Three species were collected throughout Georgia, with R. flavipes identified from every one of the 159 counties. R. nelsonae was the second most frequently collected species, found in 128 counties, with R. virginicus third with 122. Two species had distributions confined to the northern part of the state. R. malletei was collected from 73 counties, while the least collected species, R. hageni, was found in 16. Results show that the most recently described species (R. nelsonae, 2012) is widely distributed and the second-most frequently encountered termite, representing 23% of all samples. The invasive species R. flavipes represented half of all the samples collected, while R. hageni, the least at less than 1%. A search of GenBank identified a number of accessions mismatched to a species designation resulting in the literature under-reporting the biodiversity of the genus. We, therefore, outline a path to standardize methods for species identification using an integrated taxonomic approach with appropriate barcodes for consistent identification across research teams worldwide. The data also illuminate new opportunities to examine questions related to the ecology, evolution, dispersal, and resource partitioning behaviors of these sympatric species across distinct geographical regions. Full article
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9 pages, 1690 KiB  
Article
Installation Season May Significantly Impact Time Required for Subterranean Termites to Find and Feed on In-Ground Baits
by Andrew M. Sutherland, Casey Hubble and Molly Barber
Insects 2022, 13(5), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13050445 - 7 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3031
Abstract
Rhinotermitid termites, serious pests of wooden structures throughout the world, are commonly controlled with chitin synthesis inhibitor bait systems. Seasonal termite foraging patterns in some regions may prolong bait interception time, however, significantly decreasing colony elimination speed. We hypothesized that installing baits immediately [...] Read more.
Rhinotermitid termites, serious pests of wooden structures throughout the world, are commonly controlled with chitin synthesis inhibitor bait systems. Seasonal termite foraging patterns in some regions may prolong bait interception time, however, significantly decreasing colony elimination speed. We hypothesized that installing baits immediately prior to the season of highest foraging activity will minimize interception time when baiting for Reticulitermes spp. in California, a region characterized by a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. To test this theory, we installed three different bait systems on four dates corresponding to the major seasons (spring, summer, autumn, winter) at five field locations known to harbor the target species. We then recorded initial termite discovery events every 60 days for two years, considering effects of installation season, bait system, site, and distance from previously observed termite incidence on bait interception time. Observed foraging activity in bait stations was highest during late winter and spring. Baits installed during winter exhibited interception times more than 100 days shorter than those of baits installed during summer. From these findings, we conclude that colony elimination speed and perceived CSI bait utility may be increased in Mediterranean climate regions when baits are installed immediately prior to the wet season. Full article
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14 pages, 4587 KiB  
Review
A Review of Termite Species and Their Distribution in Thailand
by Watthanasak Lertlumnaphakul, Ratchadawan Ngoen-Klan, Charunee Vongkaluang and Theeraphap Chareonviriyaphap
Insects 2022, 13(2), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13020186 - 10 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2998
Abstract
Although 3105 termite species have been documented worldwide, little information is available on those in Thailand. In this review, the Google Scholar search platform and the Scopus and Science Direct databases were used to obtain information on termite species and for georeferencing. The [...] Read more.
Although 3105 termite species have been documented worldwide, little information is available on those in Thailand. In this review, the Google Scholar search platform and the Scopus and Science Direct databases were used to obtain information on termite species and for georeferencing. The QGIS software was used to create point localities that were overlaid on the Thailand administrative level 1 (province) to map the distribution of termite species in the country based on the World Geodetic System 1984. From the 19 reviewed sources, 44 defined coordinates were identified in 14 provinces across Thailand. Among these 44 coordinates, we found 75 termite species and 83 unknown species of termites; in total, 36 termite species were from the North (6 locations), 33 species were from the Northeast (10 locations), 34 species were from the West (4 locations), 29 species were from the Central region (3 locations), 44 species were from the East (8 locations), and 54 species were from the South (13 locations). The most predominant species in all regions were Globitermes sulphureus, Macrotermes gilvus, Microcerotermes crassus, and Microtermes obesi. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2023, 2022

12 pages, 2758 KiB  
Article
Effects of Menadione on Survival, Feeding, and Tunneling Activity of the Formosan Subterranean Termite
by Kieu Ngo, Paula Castillo, Roger A. Laine and Qian Sun
Insects 2021, 12(12), 1109; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12121109 - 12 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2973
Abstract
The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, is a highly destructive pest and a cosmopolitan invasive species. Sustainable termite management methods have been improving with the search for novel insecticides that are effective, safe, and cost efficient. Menadione, also known as vitamin K [...] Read more.
The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, is a highly destructive pest and a cosmopolitan invasive species. Sustainable termite management methods have been improving with the search for novel insecticides that are effective, safe, and cost efficient. Menadione, also known as vitamin K3, is a synthetic analogue and biosynthetic precursor of vitamin K with low mammalian toxicity. Menadione has shown insecticidal activity in several insects, presumably due to interference with mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. However, little is known about its effectiveness against termites. In this study, we evaluated the toxicity and repellency of menadione in C. formosanus. Our results showed that menadione affected the survival and feeding activity of termites both in filter paper and substrate (sand) treatments, and menadione influenced termite tunneling activity in treated sand. In a no-choice assay, ≥90% mortality after seven days and minimal or no food consumption were recorded when sand was treated with menadione at 6 to 600 ppm. In a two-choice assay with a combination of treated and untreated sand, termites were deterred by menadione at 6 to 600 ppm and exhibited low mortality (≤30%) over seven days, while tunneling activity was prevented with 60 to 600 ppm of menadione treatment. Overall, our study demonstrated dose-dependent toxicity and repellency of menadione in C. formosanus. The potential use of menadione as an alternative termite control agent is discussed. Full article
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12 pages, 6987 KiB  
Article
Field Demonstration of Heat Technology to Mitigate Heat Sinks for Drywood Termite (Blattodea: Kalotermitidae) Management
by Jia-Wei Tay and Devon James
Insects 2021, 12(12), 1090; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12121090 - 5 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2892
Abstract
With heat treatments to control drywood termites (Blattodea: Kalotermitidae), the presence of heat sinks causes heat to be distributed unevenly throughout the treatment areas. Drywood termites may move to galleries in heat sink areas to avoid exposure to lethal temperatures. Our studies were [...] Read more.
With heat treatments to control drywood termites (Blattodea: Kalotermitidae), the presence of heat sinks causes heat to be distributed unevenly throughout the treatment areas. Drywood termites may move to galleries in heat sink areas to avoid exposure to lethal temperatures. Our studies were conducted in Crytotermes brevis-infested condominiums in Honolulu, Hawaii to reflect real-world condominium scenarios; either a standard heat treatment performed by a heat remediation company, or an improved heat treatment was used. For improved treatments, heated air was directed into the toe-kick voids of C. brevis infested cabinets to reduce heat sink effects and increase heat penetration into these difficult-to-heat areas. Eight thermistor sensors placed inside the toe-kick voids, treatment zone, embedded inside cabinets’ sidewalls, and in a wooden cube recorded target temperatures of above 46 °C or 50 °C for 120 min. Pre-treatment and follow-up inspections were performed at 6 months posttreatment to monitor termite inactivity using visual observations and by recording the numbers of spiked peaks on a microwave technology termite detection device (Termatrac). In improved treatment condominiums, significantly higher numbers of spiked peaks were recorded at pre-treatment as compared to 6 months posttreatment. Efficacious heat treatment protocols using the improved methods are proposed. Full article
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24 pages, 5199 KiB  
Article
Morphometric Analysis of Coptotermes spp. Soldier Caste (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) in Indonesia and Evidence of Coptotermes gestroi Extreme Head-Capsule Shapes
by Bramantyo Wikantyoso, Shu-Ping Tseng, Setiawan Khoirul Himmi, Sulaeman Yusuf and Tsuyoshi Yoshimura
Insects 2021, 12(5), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12050477 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4750
Abstract
Linear and geometric morphometrics approaches were conducted to analyze the head capsule (HC) shape of collected soldier caste specimens of Coptotermes from various locations in Indonesia. The soldiers’ morphology was observed and measured. The results of the principal component analysis of the group [...] Read more.
Linear and geometric morphometrics approaches were conducted to analyze the head capsule (HC) shape of collected soldier caste specimens of Coptotermes from various locations in Indonesia. The soldiers’ morphology was observed and measured. The results of the principal component analysis of the group of all species showed two important groups of variables, i.e., the body size and setae characteristics of the pronotum and head. The multicollinearity of the morphometric variables showed the importance of body measurements as well as important alternative characteristics such as the pronotum setae (PrS) and HC setae. Four trends of HC shape were observed across the species. Interestingly, three extreme shapes were depicted by geometric morphometrics of the C. gestroi HC. The phylogenetic tree inferred from 12S and 16S mitochondrial gene fragments showed high confidence for C. gestroi populations. The lateral expansion of the posterior part of the HC across the species was in accordance with the increasing of the number of hairlike setae on the pronotum and HC. These differences among species might be associated with mandible-force-related defensive labor and sensitivity to environmental stressors. Full article
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26 pages, 8651 KiB  
Article
Colony Suppression and Possible Colony Elimination of the Subterranean Termites Coptotermes formosanus and Reticulitermes speratus by Discontinuous Soil Treatment Using a Diluent of Fipronil Suspension Concentrate
by Shuji Itakura, Johji Ohdake, Takashi Takino and Kiwamu Umezawa
Insects 2021, 12(4), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12040334 - 8 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2121
Abstract
We assessed the efficacy of a discontinuous soil treatment using a diluent of fipronil suspension concentrate in controlling colonies of Coptotermes formosanus and Reticulitermes speratus. In-ground monitoring stations were installed at Isogi Park and Kindai University, and individual termites inhabiting the stations [...] Read more.
We assessed the efficacy of a discontinuous soil treatment using a diluent of fipronil suspension concentrate in controlling colonies of Coptotermes formosanus and Reticulitermes speratus. In-ground monitoring stations were installed at Isogi Park and Kindai University, and individual termites inhabiting the stations were collected for four or six years to determine the numbers and locations of colonies present in test areas before and after the discontinuous soil treatment. Microsatellite genotyping indicated that two C. formosanus and two R. speratus colonies in the test area at Isogi Park and five R. speratus colonies in the test area at Kindai University were active and that their territories fluctuated every year. One of the two C. formosanus colonies at Isogi Park and one of the five R. speratus colonies at Kindai University were subjected to discontinuous soil treatments with fipronil and were strongly affected by the treatment at the colony level, resulting in the suppression and possible elimination of colonies. Termite activity of the fipronil-treated colony of C. formosanus was detected within one week after the discontinuous soil treatment and was not found for more than two years (28 months), while termite activity of the fipronil-treated colony of R. speratus was detected within four days and three weeks after the discontinuous soil treatment and was not detected thereafter for three years. Fipronil residue analysis showed that workers of C. formosanus moved at least 28 m and that workers of R. speratus moved 6 m from the treated soil locations for up to three weeks. Full article
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8 pages, 910 KiB  
Article
Concentration-Dependent Feeding Deterrence to 20-Hydroxyecdysone for Three Subterranean Termite Species (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae)
by Lucas Carnohan, Sang-Bin Lee and Nan-Yao Su
Insects 2021, 12(3), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12030218 - 4 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1951
Abstract
Effective active ingredients in toxicant bait formulations must be non-deterrent to insect feeding behavior at lethal concentrations. This study evaluated feeding deterrence for Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, C. gestroi (Wasmann), and Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) when provided access to cellulose impregnated with various concentrations of [...] Read more.
Effective active ingredients in toxicant bait formulations must be non-deterrent to insect feeding behavior at lethal concentrations. This study evaluated feeding deterrence for Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, C. gestroi (Wasmann), and Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) when provided access to cellulose impregnated with various concentrations of the insect molting hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). Termites were exposed to 20E concentrations of 200, 500, 1000 and 2000 ppm and to noviflumuron at 5000 ppm in a 24 h choice-test, and the mass of substrate consumption from treated and untreated media pads was compared for each treatment. 20E feeding deterrence was detected at 500, 1000 and 2000 ppm for C. gestroi, and at 2000 ppm for C. formosanus. No significant differences in consumption of treated and untreated substrate was detected at any concentration for R. flavipes. Potential methods for reducing deterrence are discussed. Full article
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