The critical thermal maxima (CTMax) and minima (CTMin), and upper lethal limits (ULL) of two species of subterranean termite workers and soldiers were determined monthly from September 2001 to August 2002 in Alabama. Termites were obtained from field traps and were acclimated at 23oC for a maximum of 4 h prior to testing. Bioassays were conducted in a specially-designed instrument programmed to begin an experiment at 23oC and to raise or lower temperature at 1.0oC/min. CTMax and ULL of both species fluctuated slightly during the season. In contrast, CTMin of both species changed significantly. The CTMax and ULL of C. formosanus were significantly greater than those of R. flavipes. The CTMin of C. formosanus were significantly greater than the CTMin of R. flavipes as well. The CTMax, CTMin, and ULL of stages within each species were not significantly different. In addition, temperature tolerances were not significantly correlated with individual termite masses.
Species 1: Isoptera Rhinotermitidae Coptotermes formosanus (Formosan subterranean termite)
Species 2: Isoptera Rhinotermitidae Reticulitermes flavipes (eastern subterranean termite)
Keywords: critical temperatures, lethal temperature
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