Monday, December 10, 2007 - 9:17 AM

PAPER CANCELLED--Foraging and feeding preferences of Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) to eight mulches used in horticulture

Polana Lavanya,, Auburn University, Entomology and Plant Pathology, 301 Funchess hall, Auburn, AL and Xing Ping Hu,, Auburn University, Deptartment of Entomology, 203 Extension Hall, Auburn, AL.

Subterranean termites live in soil and feed on cellulose causing widespread damage to wood. Organic mulches used in horticulture and nursery management for various benefits are by-products of wood. This study was to investigate: 1) foraging preference of existing termite colonies towards selected organic and inorganic mulches under natural field over a year period; 2) preference of termites initiating new colonies in the selected mulches under field conditions; and 3) suitability of aged mulches as food sources in non-choice tests measured by survivorship, mulch consumption, and termite weight change. The eight landscape mulches evaluated were: pine straw, pine bark, pine fine, pine shavings, cypress, cedar, compost and rubber, with southern yellow pine wood served as control.

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