Muhammad, Afzal (1981) STUDIES ON THE BIOLOGY OF BIFIDITERMES BEESONI (GARDNER) (ISOPTERA: KALOTERMETIDAE). Doctoral thesis, University of the Punjab.

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A detailed study of various aspects of the biology of Bifiditermes beesont (Gardner) was carried out under laboratory conditions and in nature at Lahore during 1973 – 79. The population dynamics of different castes in the natural colonies during different parts of the year was studied and correlated with the climatic conditions. A change in the meteorological conditions changes the behaviour of the colony with respect to the egg-laying and hatching, development of nymphs and caste differentiation and the production of alates and their exodus for swarming. During swarming season, temperature of one the laboratory colonies and its adjacent air was recorded about half-an-hour before expected time of swarming to find out if with the approach of swarming, there is any increases of temperature inside the colony. It was found that the temperature inside the colony rose by 2oc when swarming was about to begin. The weather conditions determining the swarming season of B. beesoni at Lahore were studied during 1973 – 77. The critical meteorological conditions which initiate or prevent the swarming of B. beesoni have been evaluated. The swarming of B. beesoni triggers at a combination of specific range of temperature, relative humidity, evaporation, atmospheric pressure, which have been determined to deviate within 28 – 30. 8oc, 60 – 90 %, 0 – 0.93/day and 889.3 – 1000.7 mb, respectively, on calm evenings or when the wind velocity does not exceed 03 knots. The timings, duration and number of swarming alates under laboratory and natural conditions were also compared. The studies on post flight behaviour included colour preference, tandem behaviour, calling attitude, preferred size of entrance hole and the number of dealates which may occupy a single hole. The alates of Bl beesoni are attracted most to the light blue colour and ignore altogether the red colour light. Unlike most of the local termites, the alates of the species do not shed their wings for a long time after swarming. No tandem formation takes place and that the rare apparently calling attitude evokes no response on the part of the opposite sex. The male sex has been reported in the literature to be absent in B. beesoni. The present study, however, reveals that these reports are not correct. Males are present in this termite as in other termites and that the normal mode of reproduction is sexual and not parthenogenetic. The mating behaviour has been also studied in detail. The factors controlling the growth of the ovarioles and their consequent influence on the initiation of egg lying have been studied. In the females. Shedding of wings and pairing with a male are the important factors which control the growth of the ovarioles and consequently the initiation of the egg-laying. The rate and pattern of egg-laying and the duration of the first three oviposition periods have been investigated. The development of colony under laboratory conditions has been followed in detail. As a result, eight nymphal instars were recorded as against a maximum of seven instars in other kalotermitids. The differentiation of soldiers and replacement reproductive among the incipient colonies and the orphaned groups of nymphs was studied. The potentiality of different instars to transform into soldiers and *************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** effect of pre-conditioning to very high as well as very low relative humidities on the survival and rate was investigated. The termites pre-conditioned to saturated air lost more moisture as compared with those pre-conditioned to dry air. The upper and lower lethal temperature limits of B. beesoni were also determined. In addition to this, studies on the effect of pre-conditioning to very low as well as very high temperature on the capacity of the termites to survive at the higher temperatures were carried out. Study on food preference of B. beesoni using 24 wood species was carried out. The termites preferred the wood on which they had been bred in nature. Studies were also carried out on some aspects of physiological relationship between B. beesoni and its flagellates. The survival and feeding of faunated and defaunated individuals was also compared. The capacity of the defaunated termites to get refaunated from the normally faunated individuals and the comparative donating ability of soldiers and nymphs was also studied. The comparative donating ability of nymphs and soldiers was further investigated using radioisotope tracer techniques. The food exchange ability of single donor nymph among the groups of 25, 50, 100 and 200 recipient nymphs after different exposures was also studied. As the colony density increased, the average amount of radioactivity acquired by the recipient nymphs decreased. The biological half-life of 1 131 when given to different castes and instars was evaluated by first determining the effective half-life of the isotope after fitting the regression equation. The biological half-life of 1 131 in the termites under starvation conditions and in the presence of food was also compared.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: bifiditermes beesoni, trophallaxis, b. beesoni, flagellates, isoptera: kalotermetidae
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Depositing User: Muhammad Khan Khan
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2016 04:11
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2016 04:11

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