Longterm monitoring of termite activity on multiple feeding sites: a laboratory method intended for the determination of attractant/repellent properties of wood preservatives and baits
M Pallaske, E Graf, H Takiuchi
A method is introduced allowing the continuous monitoring of the activity of a small laboratory termite- colony at 8 different feeding sites simultaneously. The test assembly consists of a small central polycarbonate-tube containing a colonie of Reticulitermes santonensis (de Feytaud) beeing connected with 8 external feeding sites by small glass-capillaries. The termites passing through the glass capillaries to and from the feeding sites are interrupting an infrared light-barrier. Each signal from the light-barriers is conditioned and fed to a PC-based signal-recognition-, monitoring- and storage-system. First results show that a colony of 500 individuals of Reticulitermes santonensis (de Feytaud) will need approx. 2 to 3 weeks for establishing a new, full functional hierarchy. A well established Reticulitermes- colony will show 80 to 100 passings per minute to and from the eight feeding sites. The activity of Reticulitermes santonensis (de Feytaud) shows no circadian activity rhythmic.