Monday, December 10, 2007 - 8:41 AM

Ecology, biology and taxonomy of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) on the tallgrass prairie preserve Cross-timbers

Matthew P. Smith, matthew.smith@okstate.edu1, Anita L. Smith, anita.smith@okstate.edu1, Greg H. Broussard, osubroo@yahoo.com1, Kenneth S. Brown, kennesb04@yahoo.com2, and Brad Kard, kard@okstate.edu1. (1) Oklahoma State University, Entomology and Plant Pathology, 127 Noble Research Center, Stillwater, OK, (2) City of New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board, 6601 Stars and Stripes Blvd, New Orleans, LA

During the past 20 years, termite management strategies have become more diversified with the introduction of baiting systems, non-repellent termiticides, and physical exclusion barriers. An increased knowledge of termite basic ecology and biology will aid in implementing effective use of these new strategies. Currently, knowledge of termite ecology in native tallgrass prairie habitats is limited. The objective of this study is to characterize termite colonies on the Nature Conservancy’s Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in northeastern Oklahoma. Three test sites have been established. Site 1 is on the cross-timbers prescribed-burn area and Sites 2 and 3 are on the cross-timbers no-burn area. On the prescribed-burn site a 31.5 × 30m grid of 121 in-ground stations and 111 soil surface ground-boards was installed. Sites 2 and 3 consist of 25 in-ground stations and 25 soil surface ground-boards and 75 in-ground stations and 82 soil surface ground-boards, respectively. Triple-mark-release-recapture methods with dyed termites were used to delineate foraging territories. Lincoln Index and Weighted Means Model calculations were used to estimate numbers of foraging termites. Caste ratios were determined during each recapture cycle. Estimates of foraging populations and territory sizes were compared with those from previous studies in different habitats. Samples of collected termites were identified morphologically and with PCR.

Species 1: Isoptera Rhinotermitidae Reticulitermes flavipes (eastern subterranean termite)