Changes in fat and moisture contents, and nitrogen fixation in laboratory maintained termites
J R J French, P J Robinson, L G Turner, P J Pahl
Orphaned groups of termites of Coptotermes acinaciformis and Mastotermes darwiniensis were maintained in the laboratory for several months on two dietary regimes, and changes in their fat contents, moisture contents and nitrogen fixation rates were examined. There were no significant feed or feed time effects for either species. For Coptotermes acinaciformis, there was a highly significant time effect for fat and moisture contents, but this was not the case for Mastotermes darwiniensis. Nitrogen fixation decreased markedly with time for both termite species, irrespective of diets. The time effect for nitrogen fixation for Coptotermes acinaciformis was almost significant, whereas it was significant for Mastotermes darwiniensis. In viewing termite vitality, the importance of conducting concurrent field and laboratory experiments is discussed.