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, 104 (2), 622-8

Developmental Stages and Caste Composition of a Mature and Incipient Colony of the Drywood Termite, Cryptotermes Dudleyi (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae)

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Developmental Stages and Caste Composition of a Mature and Incipient Colony of the Drywood Termite, Cryptotermes Dudleyi (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae)

Kok-Boon Neoh et al. J Econ Entomol.

Abstract

The caste composition and sex ratio in a mature and an incipient colony of Cryptotermes dudleyi Banks (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae) was studied. Biometric descriptors of both immature and sexual castes were developed. Morphometric analysis revealed that there are four larval instars, a pseudergate, and three nymphal instars in the development of C. dudleyi. To differentiate between the fourth larval instars and the pseudergate, pronotal width and tibial length must be taken into account, because the head width overlaps between the two groups. The number of antennal segments increases in parallel with instar development. The mature colony was headed by a pair of physogastric nymphoid neotenics; the colony also contained multiple pairs of nonphysogastric de-alates and wing-torn alates. The majority of eggs and larvae were confined to galleries that connected to locations where nymphoid neotenics were found, whereas in general only pseudergates and nymphs were found together with de-alates and wing-torn alates. In contrast, the incipient colony contained only a pair of primary reproductives. Nymphs formed a major group in both mature and incipient colonies, as did pseudergates. The sex ratio of the mature colony was slightly but significantly biased in favor of females, whereas it was skewed toward males in the incipient colony. The data also suggested that the soldier caste was female skewed.

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