Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/19/2016
Publication Date: 2/28/2017
Citation: Bernard, S.J., Osbrink, W.L., Su, N. 2017. Response of the formosan subterranean termite to neighboring con-specific populations after baiting with noviflumuron. Journal of Economic Entomology. 110(2):575-583.
Interpretive Summary: Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki are economically important subterranean termites, particularly in the Southeastern United States where they are considered invasive. Where two C. formosanus populations met, aggressive encounters resulted in tunnel blockages, but invading termites unblocked obstructions or constructed new tunnels. In related experiments, planar arenas containing a population of C. formosanus were treated with noviflumuron toxic bait, which resulted in elimination of these termites. Interestingly, when another termite colony was allowed access, they invaded the now vacant territory and fed on remaining noviflumuron toxic bait and subsequently were also eliminated. Our results confirmed that re-invading termites used the galleries and consumed old bait left by the former inhabitants. This supports maintaining a baiting program as a means of continuous area-wide suppression in areas of high termite density. A scientist at the Center for Medical, Agriculture, and Veterinary Entomology, USDA-ARS, Gainesville, Florida carried out this work as part of thesis research before joining USDA-ARS.
Technical Abstract: Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki are economically important subterranean termites, particularly in the Southeastern United States where they are considered invasive. Where two C. formosanus populations met, aggressive encounters resulted in blockages in tunnels, but reinvading termites unblocked obstructions or constructed new tunnels. Experiments in planar arenas in which one population of C. formosanus was baited resulted in elimination of baited termites and subsequent reinvasion of territory by neighboring termites. Territories held by unbaited neighboring termites increased significantly, nearly doubling after reinvasion. Reinvading termites consumed baits left by baited colonies and were eliminated.