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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #100865


item Rojas, Maria - Guadalupe
item Morales Ramos, Juan
item Klich, Maren
item Wright, Maureen

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2000
Publication Date: 3/20/2001
Citation: Rojas, M.G., Morales Ramos, J.A., Klich, M.A., Wright, M.S. 2001. Three fungai species isolated from coptotermes formosanus shiraki (isoptera: rhinotermitidae) body, carton material, and infested wood. Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

Interpretive Summary: The Formosan subterranean termite (FST) (Coptotermes formosanus) is one of the most important urban pest in the USA. This insect is causing extensive damage to houses and trees in the Greater New Orleans area and 11 other US states with annual losses in the millions of dollars. Understanding the biology and ecology of the FST is important for the development of effective control methods. One of the most important aspects of their biology is nutrition. Earlier research has shown that native subterranean termites such as Reticulitermes flavipes are attracted to decayed wood and tend to prefer woods infected by some fungi. The objective of this research work is to isolate and identify the fungi associated with the Formosan subterranean termite. Three species of fungi were isolated from the body of termite adults and workers, infested trees, and nest material. The importance of these fungi on the ecology and biology of the FST is in the process of being studied. The implications of these discoveries may include the improvement of termite baits and the development of attractants. To optimize the control of the FST in urban areas.

Technical Abstract: Curvularia lunata (Wakker) Boedijn, Aspergillus fumigatus Fresenius, and Aspergillus nomius Kurtzman, Horn, and Hesseltine were isolated from the body of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki alates and workers from 6 different locations around the Greater new Orleans area. These fungi were also isolated from seven species of C. formosanus infested trees, as well as carton material. C. lunata growth was favored in the carton material while the Aspergillus species growth was favored in the wood material. The possibility of a termite-fungi association is discussed.