Effects of the chitin synthesis inhibitors (CSIs) diflubenzuron, hexaflumuron, and lufenuron on the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, primary reproductives were studied in the laboratory. Incipient colonies were established by collecting and pairing C. formosanus alates and placing them in dishes containing an artificial diet. Three groups of 56 colonies each were fed with a diet containing 10 ppm of one of each of the CSIs and were compared with a control group fed with an untreated diet. All eggs oviposited by treated young queens failed to hatch at the end of 6 mo. Estimated queen fecundity was significantly lower in the lufenuron treatment compared with the control group. Fecundity of hexaflumuron-treated queens did not differ significantly from that of queens from the control group and the other treatments. Adult mortality was significantly higher in the diflubenzuron and lufenuron treatments than in the control group at the end of 6 mo., but not in the hexaflumuron treatment. All the pairs died within 8 mo. in the diflubenzuron and lufenuron treatments, even after treatment was suspended at the end of 6 mo. Mortality in the hexaflumuron treatment was significantly higher than in the control group by the end of 9 mo. The three CSIs tested eliminated reproduction in C. formosanus by preventing egg hatching and induced adult mortality. Possible mechanisms by which CSIs induce termite adult death are discussed.
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Vol. 97 • No. 6