0362 Pecan cultivar preference assessment of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in Texas

Monday, December 14, 2009: 10:21 AM
Room 102, First Floor (Convention Center)
Chris Swain , Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Roger E. Gold , Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Robert Puckett , Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki is an invasive termite native to eastern Asia. It is estimated that Formosan termite damage exceeds $1 billion in the U.S. annually. Research has shown pecan to be a preferred host species. A laboratory analysis of the consumption of fifty selected pecan cultivars, which consists of 30 relics and 20 commercially important cultivars, will be offered to C. formosanus. All cultivars were selected from a USDA pecan orchard in Burleson County, TX. Two hundred and fifty termites were placed in Petri dishes with sand, water and a wood sample of known mass. The termites were allowed to feed for eight days, then the wood samples were dried and re-weighed. The weight differentials were analyzed for feeding preferences. Green leaf volatile attractiveness or repellency was then tested by placing injured pecan leaves in an arena consisting of a center Petri dish (containing 250 termites) connected to four surrounding Petri dishes (containing leaf samples). Air flow passed through the four outer Petri dishes carrying the leaf volatiles to the center Petri dish. Termite foraging behavior was observed every eight hours for a period of forty eight hours. The results of this research are expected to contribute to a greater understanding of potentially high or low risk pecan cultivars.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.43892