Survey of Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) Utilization of Temperate Forests

Nathan S Little, Nathan A Blount, Michael A Caprio, John J Riggins

Abstract


Both native and invasive subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), including the Formosan subterranean termite, are well known pests of urban areas, but little is known about their distribution or impact in forest ecosystems of the southeastern United States. Recently harvested timber stumps were mechanically inspected for the presence of subterranean termites in multiple locations across southern Mississippi and eastern Louisiana. A systematic line plot cruise with 100 x 200m spacing and1/20thha plots was implemented, and all stumps with a diameter greater than 7.6cm were inspected. In total, 7,413 stumps were inspected for the presence of subterranean termites, and 406 of those contained native subterranean termite (Reticulitermes spp) infestations. Light traps were also placed at 8 sites to detect the presence of subterranean termite alates. While no invasive Formosan subterranean termites were found during mechanical inspection of tree stumps, alates were captured in light traps at three sites. The proportion of stumps infested with subterranean termites was negatively correlated with the number of stumps in each plot. Although 6.27% of pine stumps and 1.86% of hardwood stumps were infested, no correlation was found between subterranean termite presence and type of stump (pine or hardwood). Infestations of stumps by subterranean termites ranged from 0.94% to 14.97% depending on site.

Keywords


Formosan subterranean termites; Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki; timber stumps; mechanical inspection; hardwood; softwood

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v61i2.198-206

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