Termites of Iranian Date Palm Orchards And Their Spatial and Temporal Distribution

Masoud Latifian, Bahar Rad, Behzad Habibpour


This study was conducted during 2013-2014 to determine the dominant species and behavior of termites foraging in date palm orchards in Khuzestan province, Iran. Starting in early March, the ‘cluster random sampling’ method was used within sixty-five sampling plots. Termite species were sampled by breaking open mud tubing and collecting different castes, then bringing them to the laboratory for identification using scientific keys. Glass microscope slides of different body parts, especially the labium, maxillae, palps, mandibles, labrum, and clypeus. The Simpson Diversity Index was used to determine the level of dominance. Results showed three species of termites, Microcerotermes diversus Silvestri, Microcerotermes buettikeri Chhotani and Bose and Amitermes vilis Hagen, all family Termitidae, are active in Khuzestan date palm plantations. Microcerotermes diversus was dominant with a correlation coefficient 0.997 and 8.87, respectively.  Seasonal population fluctuations of workers, nymphs, soldiers and winged castes had two, four, four and four peaks, respectively, over the years.  According to Kriging map spatial distribution, four geographic severity groupings for M. diversus can be considered.  These groups include low, medium, and high risk, and hotspot infestation geographic regions, with severity indices of 2.3 to 3.96, 3.97 to 4.82, 4.83 to 5.68, and 5.96 to 6.53, respectively.


Date palm; Iranian termites; temporal distribution; spatial distribution

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v65i1.1784


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