Behavior Of Reticulitermes Flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) During Colony Fusion
  Key Words  
  Subterranean termites, R. flavipes, agonistic behavior.
  Abdul Hafiz Ab Majid And Shripat T. Kamble
  Limited data exist on foraging, agonistic and feeding behavior of subterranean termites of the same species but from different colonies. We conducted research to determine if subterranean termites, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) from different colonies may express unusual foraging, agonistic and feeding behavior during colony fusion at various temperatures. Fifty R. flavipes workers from two different colonies (colony #1 undyed and colony #2 dyed with Nile blue-A)) were placed in separate feeding chambers and connected with polyethylene tubes to a common feeding chamber for foraging interaction at 15, 20, 23, 25 and 30oC. Each treatment had three replications. Data were recorded on foraging, agonistic/aggressive behavior and food consumption of termite workers at 1, 3, 24, 72 h and 7, 14 and 21 d intervals. Our data revealed that different colony members did not display agonistic behavior and fused together at 15-25oC with maximum food consumption at 20oC. Food consumption was not significantly different (P = 0.05) at 15-30oC and the 30oC was not the optimum temperature for termite survival.