The impact of seasonal ground temperature on consumption rate and worker survival in R. flavipes and R. virginicus was evaluated in the laboratory with 3 colonies from each species. Termites were kept in growth chambers at 10, 18, and 28 C, for 28 days. These temperatures represent the mean ground temperatures (10 cm deep) in Clemson, SC for winter, spring/fall and summer months. On average, the highest consumption rate for both species was at 28 C, where R. flavipes consumed 9.75 mg of filter paper/g workers/day and R. virginicus consumed 13.13 mg of filter paper/g workers/day. However, survival rate for both species was highest at 18 C.
Species 1: Isoptera Rhinotermitidae Reticulitermes flavipes (eastern subterranean termite)
Species 2: Isoptera Rhinotermitidae Reticulitermes virginicus (southeastern subterranean termite)
Keywords: feeding survivorship
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