Changes in Distribution of Subterranean Termite Colonies (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in a New Orleans, Louisiana City Park After Hurricane Katrina
  Key Words  
  Coptotermes formosanus, Reticulitermes, foraging ranges, monitoring
  Mary L. Cornelius
  Termite activity had been continuously monitored in four sections of City Park since 2002. Between 2002 and 2005, 12 distinct Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, colonies had been delineated using mark-release-recapture techniques. This study examines how the distribution of subterranean termites has changed in City Park two years after Hurricane Katrina by using mark-release-recapture techniques to delineate distinct C. formosanus colonies post-Katrina. Pre-Katrina, there were nine monitoring stations occupied by Reticulitermes sp. Of the nine stations that were occupied by Reticulitermes sp. pre-Katrina, 5 are unoccupied, 2 are occupied by C. formosanus, and 2 stations are missing due to downed trees. Boundaries for Formosan subterranean termite colonies were relatively stable between 2003 and 2005. Mark-release-recapture methods have determined that there have been more changes in the foraging ranges of C. formosanus colonies after Hurricane Katrina than in the two year period before the storm. The temporary vacancy of gallery systems due to flooding may have provided the opportunity for a new colony to move into parts of a gallery system previously occupied by another colony without encountering members of the other colony.