Field Activity of Reticulitermes grassei (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in Oak Forests of the Southern Iberian Peninsula
Keywords:Field activity, Iberian Peninsula, Quercus suber, Reticulitermes Grassei, Rhinotermitidae
This paper presents preliminary data on the field activity of Reticulitermes grassei Clément in oak forests of the southern Iberian Peninsula. Recent research has provided information on the nature and intensity of termite damage to cork oaks (Quercus suber, L.) in northern Andalusia (Spain). Taking that information into account, the present study sought to determine annual field activity pattern in R. grassei, with a view to identifying more precisely the best time for applying control techniques. Data were obtained from field monitoring experiments conducted over a complete one-year cycle using termite-specific baited traps. Results for relative termite numbers at different periods indicated that forest activity was most intense in mid-summer, whilst the surface foraging area was greatest from late summer to early fall, peaking after the first autumnal rains. The findings of this study may help to enhance the efficacy of termite bait treatments in natural environments, since baits decay and lose effectiveness over time, and are also dispersed by the termites themselves. Accurate information on peak termite activity periods would enable products to be applied in most favorable timing, thus optimizing the results of treatment.
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