CO2 release and water loss of unmated alates of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), collected immediately before flight, were examined using flow-through respirometry. Whole body lipid and water content and cuticular permeability were also determined. Two models were used to estimate cuticular surface area for permeability calculation. CO2 release and water loss cycled concurrently in 90.9 and 66.7% of the recordings for males and females, respectively. Level of cycling of the recordings was determined by use of the coefficient of variability of the V˙CO2. Cyclic traces (40.4 ± 3.4 for females and 53.7 ± 2.1% for males) had greater coefficient of variability than acyclic traces (31.7 ± 6.1 and 40.5 ± 3.2%, for females and males, respectively) from both genders. Mean overall V˙CO2 did not vary significantly with alate gender. Lipid content (≈12%) was not significantly different between genders of R. flavipes alates. However, cuticular permeability values varied depending on the model for determining surface area used. Cuticular permeability values calculated using Meeh’s formula were comparable to those reported in the literature (28.3 and 36.1 μg H2O lost cm−2 h−1 mmHg−1, for females and males, respectively).
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