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1 October 2011 Relative Humidity Preference and Survival of Starved Formosan Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) at Various Temperature and Relative Humidity Conditions
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Abstract
Foraging groups of Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki were tested for their relative humidity (RH) preference in a humidity gradient arena in the laboratory at a constant temperature of 26°G Five RH levels (9%, 33%, 53%, 75%, and 98%) were maintained in the test arena comprising of a series of closed containers by using dry silica gel, saturated salt solutions, or distilled water alone. Termites gradually aggregated to the highest RH chamber in the arena. After 1h, a significantly greater percentage of termites (≈46%) aggregated to the highest RH chamber (98%) than to the lower RH chambers (≤75%). After 12 h, > 97% of the termites aggregated to the 98% RH chamber. In survival tests, where termites were exposed to 15 combinatorial treatments of five RH levels (9%, 33%, 53%, 75%, and 98%) and three temperatures (20°C, 28°C, and 36°C) for a week, the survival was significantly influenced by RH, temperature, and their interaction. A significantly higher mortality was observed on termites exposed to ≤75% RH chambers than to 98% RH chamber at the three temperatures and significantly lower survival was found at 36°C than at 28°C or 20°C. The combination of temperature and RH plays an important role in the survival of C. formosanus.
© 2011 Entomological Society of America
Bal K. Gautam and Gregg Henderson "Relative Humidity Preference and Survival of Starved Formosan Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) at Various Temperature and Relative Humidity Conditions," Environmental Entomology 40(5), (1 October 2011). https://doi.org/10.1603/EN11062
Received: 2 March 2011; Accepted: 9 July 2011; Published: 1 October 2011
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