The effect of temperature on [14C]fipronil uptake and transfer from donor (D) to recipient (R) Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) workers was evaluated. Test chambers used in the fipronil uptake study were constructed from petri dishes containing autoclaved soil treated with 1 ppm [14C]fipronil (1.14 μCi of total radioactivity per petri dish), distilled water, and R. flavipes workers. Test chambers were held in environmental growth chambers preset at 12, 17, 22, 27, and 32°C. For the fipronil transfer study, donor termites stained with Nile blue-A were exposed to soil treated with 1 ppm [14C]fipronil for 2 h. Donors were then combined with unexposed recipient termite workers at either 1D:5R, 1D:10R, or 1D:20R ratios. Test chambers consisted of a nest and feeding chamber connected by a piece of polyethylene tube and held in growth chambers at 12, 17, 22, 27, and 32°C. Worker termites were sampled over time and the amount of [14C]fipronil present was measured by scintillation counting. Some degree of uptake and transfer occurred at all temperatures and ratios in this study. The highest level of uptake occurred by termites held at 22–32°C, followed decreasingly by 17 and 12°C. Maximum transfer of [14C]fipronil occurred at the higher ratios (1:5 > 1:10 > 1:20) of donors to recipients. Data presented in this study suggest that temperature is one of the key factors affecting the rate of uptake and subsequent horizontal transfer of [14C]fipronil in subterranean termites.
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Vol. 101 • No. 3