International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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IIncipient Formosan subterranean Termite, Coptotermes formosanus (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) Colonies in a laboratory environment

Eric Glenn Guidry, Eric Glenn Guidry , Barry Yokum , Carrie Cottone , Claudia Riegel
University of New Orleans, USA; University of New Orleans, USA ; University of New Orleans, USA ; University of New Orleans, USA ; University of New Orleans, USA
The Formosan subterranean termite (FST), Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) was introduced into the United States from southeast China following World War II. Initially discovered in Lake Charles, LA and New Orleans, LA via military cargo ships returning from the Pacific Theater, this destructive pest has gradually expanded its range across the southeastern United States. Formosan subterranean termite colony expansion is facilitated with the aide of human transport of termite-infested timbers (i.e. railroad ties, building lumber, mulch), and through its natural alate dispersal during flight season. In New Orleans, and the surrounding metropolitan area, these termites swarm during April, May, and June and disperse into the environment. During the flight season in May and June 2017, containers were placed outside one suburban location to collect reproductive pairs of FST. The containers were constructed with features attractive to the alates. Thirty small containers, termed nuptial chambers, containing damp wood and cardboard stacks were placed in a large bin with mulch. Four incandescent lightbulbs were installed above the nuptial chambers as an attractant for the swarming termites.   A total of 113 mated pairs were sampled during the three nights that the containers were placed outside. After removing the tandem pairs from the original collection chambers, mated pairs were transferred to a second housing unit, and raised in a controlled environment for future laboratory studies. Currently 42 of the original 113 pairs of FST remain alive and the majority have successfully reproduced. Incipient Formosan Subterranean Termite, Coptotermes formosanus (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) Colonies in a Laboratory Environment