Grass-feeding termites, Gnathamitermes sp., can be considered beneficial in pastureland, where they aerate topsoil, recycle nutrients from grasses and forbs, and excavate and redistribute soil. The primary objective of this report is to illustrate and determine the average physical dimensions of Gnathamitermes tubiformans soldiers by measuring key body parts, including left mandible length, as well as discuss observed foraging behavior. G. tubiformans soldiers have unique mandibles that can be used for accurate identification. Workers are morphologically similar compared with some other arid-land termite species, thus soldier characteristics are used for identification. The secondary objective is to describe observations of G. tubiformans foraging behavior. This report also provides detailed line drawings and a watercolor illustration for aid in identification. Termites were collected near Temple, Cotton County, Oklahoma, and measured with high precision microscopy. To ensure accurate identification, fourteen different soldier body measurements were determined. The ability to identify termites that are potentially beneficial or detrimental to forage grass biomass production may aid efforts to enhance livestock production on pastures.
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