Suitable Light Regimes for Filming Termites in Laboratory Bioassays

Yuri Carvalho de Carvalho, Lara Oliveira Clemente, Marco Paulo Guimarães, Og DeSouza


Laboratory bioassays require strategies to minimize stress and keep animals alive as long as the test demands. Sometimes, however, experimental procedures seem notoriously stressful as, for instance, when exposing termites to the illumination needed for video recordings. Being a condition opposed to what termites naturally experience, light might easily stress such insects or might not affect them at all, as they are blind. Here we check for the effects of distinct light regimes on the survival of termites confined in a typical bioassay setup involving footage. The survival of Cornitermes cumulans (Termitidae: Syntermitinae) workers kept in the dark, or subjected to infrared or to cold white light was compared, finding no statistical difference in their survival in these three treatments. While pointing directions for further research on the reasons for such results, we conclude that video recordings of C. cumulans termite workers can be conducted under infrared or cold white LEDs, as these light regimes do not affect the survival of tested individuals.


Cornitermes cumulans; infrared; LED; Isoptera

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