Comparison of cellulose consumption between Coptotermes formosanus and Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) under laboratory conditions
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We are interested in determining the effects of subterranean termite soldier ratios on the overall cellulose consumption of Coptotermes formosanus and Reticulitermes flavipes. In nature, Coptotermes formosanus is found in very large colonies and a higher soldier ratio than Reticulitermes flavipes. In this project, each test colony was established at a specific size and soldier ratio. The soldier ratios tested for Coptotermes formosanus were 0:100, 5:100, 10:100, and 15:100, and the ratios tested for Reticulitermes flavipes were 0:100, 3:100, 5:100, and 10:100. These ratios were selected based on the research of other scientists. Since each species is specially adapted to different environments, these studies were carried out within their optimum temperature and humidity conditions. The Reticulitermes flavipes test colonies were kept inside of a plastic container at 27 ± 2 ºC, and relative humidity of 40 – 60%. The Coptotermes formosanus test colonies were kept at 30 ± 2 ºC and 80% relative humidity. The cellulose consumption results of this project are reported as g/h, and within each species and soldier ratio there are no significant differences. Because of this, the cellulose consumption values per species could be combined and compared on the species level. In analyzing the data this way, the C. formosanus test colonies consumed a significantly larger amount of cellulose per hour compared to R. flavipes.
Lancaster, Denise (2007). Comparison of cellulose consumption between Coptotermes formosanus and Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) under laboratory conditions. Available electronically from