The aim of this survey was to evaluate three field termite sampling methods to investigate whether there is a method for the evaluation of termite diversity which does not require experienced personnel. The sampling methods included the cattle dung method, toilet paper roll method and the visual searching (scouting) method. The methods were evaluated in a transect of 2 × 100 m in cattle grazing lands during the dry and wet seasons. Thirteen species from eight genera and three subfamilies were recorded with all three methods. The results for the number of species detected revealed differences between the three methods with 57%of the termite species found using the transect search method, 29%of the species were attracted to the cattle dung bait and 14%attracted to the toilet roll bait. The most abundant species, based on the number of encounters, was for individuals in the Odontotermes genus 15 (33 %), followed by Microtermes 12 (27 %). A higher Shannon diversity index (1.80) was recorded with the transect search method, followed by the cattle dung bait method (1.54), while the toilet roll bait method recorded the lowest diversity index (0.95). Results of the Chao2 and Jackknife estimators showed that all the methods underestimated the taxa present. A combination of the transect search method and the cattle dung bait method is recommended for monitoring termite diversity.
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Vol. 26 • No. 1