Report 
  Title  
  COLONY STUDIES of the SUBTERRANEAN TERMITE, RETICULITERMES SANTONENSIS FEYTAUD (ISOPTERA: RHINOTERMITIDAE), in the CITY of PARIS
  Key Words  
  Reticulitermes termites colony structure inbreeding relatedness urban infestation
  Author  
  S. Dronnet, M. Ohresser, E.L. Vargo, C. Lohou, J.-L. Clément and A.-G. Bagnères
  Abstract  
  Subterranean termites of the genus Reticulitermes play a critical role in decomposition of dead wood in natural ecosystems. But in urban areas they are pests that cause serious damage. Reticulitermes santonensis Feytaud is found in distinct areas in Paris (France). More than half the neighborhoods (arrondissements) have this pest in buildings as well as in trees along streets. Our understanding of how colonies and populations are organized is fundamental to controlling these pests in a targeted and efficient manner. Preliminary results are presented regarding the colony genetic structure of R. santonensis in Paris, using the technique of molecular marker genotyping. Inferences of colony social organization based on the genotype of workers suggest that all colonies were headed by numerous replacement reproductives inbred for at least three generations. Future work with more colonies over both smaller and bigger spatial scales is necessary to advance our knowledge of R. santonensis colony and population structure in urban areas. Its distribution in natural habitats is very small and localized (western France), whereas distant cities are infested in France and in Germany (Hamburg). We will also try to understand how such a species can spread and adapt to urban environments. Another area of study will concern the origin of this species in Europe.