Methane emission by termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki
K Tsunoda, W Ohmura, M Tokoro, T Yoshimura
Association of methanogenic bacteria only with the smallest-sized symbiotic protozoa Spirotrichonympha leidyi Koidzumi was evidenced by epifluorescence microscopic observations. Workers, which were collected from a laboratory colony and placed in a test container with water supply emitted methane at a relatively constant rate with a peak of 0.76 nmol/termite/hr within the first 72 hrs after the initiation of measurement. Soldiers, as expected, produced less methane with a maximum rate of 0.019 nmol/termite/hr. Although methane formation is considered important to termites in order to keep physiological balance, that undesirably contributes to global warming.