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Measurement of time taken by the Formosan termite, Coptotermes formosanus, to pass tunnel intersections.

Ku SJ, Nan-Yao S, Sang-Hee L - J. Insect Sci. (2012)

Bottom Line: The spent time is likely to be directly connected to the termites' survival because depending on the time, the total traveling time taken by the termites for transferring food resources from the site of food to their nest can vary significantly because of many intersections.For (W(1), W(2) ) = (3, 2), (4, 2), and (4, 4), τ(s) was shorter than τ(R) and τ(R) in each case.The experimental results are briefly discussed in relation to the termite foraging efficiency.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Forest Resources, College of Forest and Environmental Sciences, Kangwon National University, Kangwon, South Korea.

ABSTRACT
Subterranean termites build complex tunnel networks below ground for foraging. During the foraging activity, termites may encounter a considerable number of tunnel intersections. When they encounter the intersections, they spend some time gathering information for making a decision regarding their moving direction by anntenation. The spent time is likely to be directly connected to the termites' survival because depending on the time, the total traveling time taken by the termites for transferring food resources from the site of food to their nest can vary significantly because of many intersections. In the present study, we measured the time spent by a termite to pass an intersection with widths of W(1) and W(2) (W(1) and W(2) : 2, 3, or 4 mm); τ(L) , τ(R) , and τ(s) are the passing time for turning left, turning right, and going straight, respectively. W(1) represents the width of the tunnel in which the termites advanced, and W(2) represents the width of the other tunnel encountered by the advancing termites. For the combinations of W(1) and W(2), (W(1), W(2) ) = (2, 2), (3, 3), (2, 3), (2, 4), (3, 4), and (4, 3), the values of Tτ(L), τ(R), and τ(s) in each case were statistically equal. For (W(1), W(2) ) = (3, 2), (4, 2), and (4, 4), τ(s) was shorter than τ(R) and τ(R) in each case. The experimental results are briefly discussed in relation to the termite foraging efficiency.

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Schematic representation of tunnel intersection with two tunnel widths, W1 and W2. W1 represents the width of a tunnel in which a termite advances, and W2 is the width of the other tunnel. The red box represents the tunnel intersection defined in this study. High quality figures are available online.
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f01_01: Schematic representation of tunnel intersection with two tunnel widths, W1 and W2. W1 represents the width of a tunnel in which a termite advances, and W2 is the width of the other tunnel. The red box represents the tunnel intersection defined in this study. High quality figures are available online.

Mentions: After opening the top layer, two tunnels intersecting at a 90° angle in the sand substrate were carefully excavated using a sharp cutting knife which took less than one minute. As soon as the excavation was complete, the top layer was covered to minimize moisture evaporation. The ends of the two tunnels were connected to the introduction holes, and the tunnels had varying widths of W1 and W2 (i.e., 2, 3, or 4 mm), where W1 represents the width of the tunnel in which the termites advanced, and W2 represents the width of the other tunnel encountered by the advancing termites (Figure 1).


Measurement of time taken by the Formosan termite, Coptotermes formosanus, to pass tunnel intersections.

Ku SJ, Nan-Yao S, Sang-Hee L - J. Insect Sci. (2012)

Schematic representation of tunnel intersection with two tunnel widths, W1 and W2. W1 represents the width of a tunnel in which a termite advances, and W2 is the width of the other tunnel. The red box represents the tunnel intersection defined in this study. High quality figures are available online.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3472922&req=5

f01_01: Schematic representation of tunnel intersection with two tunnel widths, W1 and W2. W1 represents the width of a tunnel in which a termite advances, and W2 is the width of the other tunnel. The red box represents the tunnel intersection defined in this study. High quality figures are available online.
Mentions: After opening the top layer, two tunnels intersecting at a 90° angle in the sand substrate were carefully excavated using a sharp cutting knife which took less than one minute. As soon as the excavation was complete, the top layer was covered to minimize moisture evaporation. The ends of the two tunnels were connected to the introduction holes, and the tunnels had varying widths of W1 and W2 (i.e., 2, 3, or 4 mm), where W1 represents the width of the tunnel in which the termites advanced, and W2 represents the width of the other tunnel encountered by the advancing termites (Figure 1).

Bottom Line: The spent time is likely to be directly connected to the termites' survival because depending on the time, the total traveling time taken by the termites for transferring food resources from the site of food to their nest can vary significantly because of many intersections.For (W(1), W(2) ) = (3, 2), (4, 2), and (4, 4), τ(s) was shorter than τ(R) and τ(R) in each case.The experimental results are briefly discussed in relation to the termite foraging efficiency.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Forest Resources, College of Forest and Environmental Sciences, Kangwon National University, Kangwon, South Korea.

ABSTRACT
Subterranean termites build complex tunnel networks below ground for foraging. During the foraging activity, termites may encounter a considerable number of tunnel intersections. When they encounter the intersections, they spend some time gathering information for making a decision regarding their moving direction by anntenation. The spent time is likely to be directly connected to the termites' survival because depending on the time, the total traveling time taken by the termites for transferring food resources from the site of food to their nest can vary significantly because of many intersections. In the present study, we measured the time spent by a termite to pass an intersection with widths of W(1) and W(2) (W(1) and W(2) : 2, 3, or 4 mm); τ(L) , τ(R) , and τ(s) are the passing time for turning left, turning right, and going straight, respectively. W(1) represents the width of the tunnel in which the termites advanced, and W(2) represents the width of the other tunnel encountered by the advancing termites. For the combinations of W(1) and W(2), (W(1), W(2) ) = (2, 2), (3, 3), (2, 3), (2, 4), (3, 4), and (4, 3), the values of Tτ(L), τ(R), and τ(s) in each case were statistically equal. For (W(1), W(2) ) = (3, 2), (4, 2), and (4, 4), τ(s) was shorter than τ(R) and τ(R) in each case. The experimental results are briefly discussed in relation to the termite foraging efficiency.

Show MeSH