How To Get Rid Of Termites

Oplan Termites

Oplan Termites

You Might Start Missing Your Termites After Kickin'em Out. After All, They Have Been Your Roommates For Quite A While. Enraged With How The Termites Have Eaten Up Your Antique Furniture? Can't Wait To Have Them Exterminated Completely From The Face Of The Earth? Fret Not. We Will Tell You How To Get Rid Of Them From Your House At Least. If Not From The Face The Earth.

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Termite Extermination Information

Termites create great damage to your home, which is why you should identify and eliminate them as quickly as they appear. This eBook Oplan Termites teaches you how to solve your termite problem once and for all. Learn how to identify termites, find out if your house is really infested, and eradicate them. Discover Some Of The Most Effective And Time-Proven Methods To Get Rid Of Termites! Learn Some Mean Ways To Really Get Rid Of These Pests From Every Nook And Corner Of Your Home.

Termite Extermination Information Summary


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Termite Society

The termites, or Isoptera, differ from the social Hymenoptera in a number of ways. They derive from a much more primitive group of insects and have been described as little more than social cockroaches. Instead of the strong female bias characteristic of the ants, bees, and wasps, termites have regular sex determination thus, workers have a fifty-fifty sex ratio. Additionally, termite development lacks complete metamorphosis. Rather, the young termites resemble adults in form from their earliest stages. As a consequence of these differences, immature forms can function as workers from an early age, and at least among the lower termites they regularly do so. Termites also differ from Hymenoptera in their major mode of feeding. Instead of feeding on insects or flowers, all termites feed on plant material rich in cellulose. Cellulose is a structural carbohydrate held together by chemical bonds that most animals lack enzymes to digest. Termites have formed intimate evolutionary...


Termites are cellulose-eating social insects that live in colonies of hundreds to millions of individual members produced by a single king and queen. Termites are highly beneficial to the ecosystem because they break down dead plant material, but some species can become serious pests when they colonize manmade wooden structures. alates recently molted winged adult termites carton cardboardlike material composed of wood fragments, saliva, and fecal matter, used for constructing termite nests T ermite fossils date from about 130 million years ago, but they probably evolved much earlier from a primitive, wood-eating, roachlike ancestor. There are about 1,900 termite species divided among six families. Five of the families are considered primitive or lower termites because, like their primitive wood-eating roach relatives, they harbor symbiotic protozoa in the hindgut that digest cellulose. Without these protozoans, the termites would starve to death. The higher termite family,...

Termites Isoptera

Insect Being Step

The winged termite is the relish par excellence in Malawi, and, it appears, throughout sub-Saharan Africa. As a food source it is greatly esteemed, and most people - but not all - consider it superior as a relish to chicken or meat. Bodenheimer long ago described termites as an 'African manna', and described the collection of winged termites among peoples throughout Africa, together with their cooking procedures and nutritional value. His general conclusion was that although termites are highly favoured as a delicacy everywhere, they also, especially during the early part of the rainy season, form a crucial part, as relish, of people's regular diet. Normally people eat the winged reproductives, but also, on occasions, the soldier termites and queens. Among the important species he mentions are Acanthotermes spiniger, Macrotermes goliath, Odontotermes sp. and Bellicositermes sp. (Bodenheimer 1951 144-60). Recent studies have confirmed the crucial role that termites play in the diet of...

Resource Requirements

Some species that exploit nutritionally poor resources require extended periods (several years to decades) of larval feeding in order to concentrate sufficient nutrients (especially N and P) to complete development. Arthropods that feed on nutrient-poor detrital resources usually have obligate associations with other organisms that provide, or increase access to, limiting nutrients. Microbes can be internal or external associates. For example, termites host mutualistic gut bacteria or protozoa that catabolize cellulose, fix nitrogen, and concentrate or synthesize other nutrients and vitamins needed by the insect. Termites and some other detritivores feed on feces (coprophagy) after sufficient incubation time for microbial digestion and enhancement of nutritive quality of egested material. If coprophagy is prevented, these organisms often compensate by increasing con

Tactile and Electrical Communication

Tactile communication differs significantly from other forms of communication in that it cannot occur over a distance. This form of communication is important in many insects, equipped as they are with antennae rich in receptors. Shortly after a termite molts, for example, it strokes the end of the abdomen of another individual with its antennae and mouthparts. The individual receiving this signal responds by extruding a fluid from its hindgut. Tactile signals are frequently used in eliciting trophallaxis (food sharing) in social insects. Tactile signals are also important in the copula-tory activity of a number of vertebrates.

Nesting and Brood Care

The complex eusociality characterizing termites and the social Hymenoptera has attracted considerable attention (e.g., Matthews and Matthews 1978, E. Wilson 1975). Eusociality is characterized by multiple adult generations and highly integrated cooperative behavior, with efficient division of labor, among all castes (Matthews and Matthews 1978, Michener 1969). Members of these insect societies cooperate in food location and acquisition, feeding of immatures, and defense of the nest. This cooperation is maintained through complex pheromon-al communication, including trail and alarm pheromones (Holldobler 1995, see Chapter 3), and reciprocal exchange of regurgitated liquid foods (trophallaxis) between colony members. Trophallaxis facilitates recognition of nest mates by maintaining a colony-specific odor, ensures exchange of important nutritional resources and (in the case of termites) of microbial symbionts that digest cellulose, and may be critical to colony survival during periods of...

Competitive Defensive and Mutualistic Behavior

Marking territorial boundaries takes a variety of forms among animal taxa. Male birds mark territories by calling from perches along the perimeter. Male deer rub scent glands and scrape trees with their antlers to advertise their territory. Social insects, including ants, bees, and termites, mark nest sites and foraging areas with trail pheromones that advertise their presence. These trail markers can be perceived by other insects at minute concentrations (see Chapter 3). Many orthopterans and some beetles advertise their territories by stridulating.

Resource Availability and Distribution

Palmer (2003) explored the effect of termite-generated heterogeneity in resource availability on the competitive interactions of four ant species that reside on acacia, Acacia drepanolobium, in East Africa. Only one ant species occupied an individual tree at any given time, and violent interspecific competition for host trees by adjacent colonies was common. Acacia shoot production and densities of litter invertebrates increased with proximity to termite mounds. The competitively dominant ant, Crematogaster sjostedti, displaced other acacia ants, C. mimosae, C. nigriceps, and Tetraponera penzigi, near termite mounds, whereas the probability of subordinate species displacing C. sjostedti increased with distance from termite mounds. This variation in the outcome of competition for acacia hosts appeared to result from differential responses among the ant species to resource heterogeneity on the landscape.

Ant Wasp and Bee Societies

Scientists estimate that eusociality has evolved at least twelve times once in the Isoptera, or termites, and eleven separate times in the Hymen-optera, comprising ants, wasps, and bees. In addition, one group of aphids has been found which has a sterile soldier caste. Although the eusocial species represent diverse groups, they all show a high degree of social organization and possess numerous similarities, particularly with regard to division of labor, cooperative brood care, and communication among individuals. The organization of a typical ant colony is representative, with minor modifications, of all insect societies.

The Importance of Migration

Between two habitats, on a daily basis (as plankton and chimney swifts do) or on an annual basis (as frogs and elks do). Second, some species migrate from one habitat (usually suitable for young stages) to another (usually the adult habitat) only once during their lives (for example, salmon, eels, damselflies, and most zooplankton, which live on the bottom as adults). Third, some species (many butterflies, for example) are born and mature in one geographical area (England, for example), migrate as adults to a distant geographical area (Spain, for example), and produce offspring that mature in the second area. These migrations take place between generations. In a fourth pattern, one may include the seasonal swarming of social arthropods such as termites, fire ants, and bees. A fifth but ill-defined pattern is discernible, exemplified by locust plagues, irruptive emigration in lemmings and certain other rodents, and some mass migrations by humankind, as caused by war, famine, fear,...

Characteristics of Rain Forests

A rain forest can be divided into four zones, each of which has its own distinct characteristics. The lowest level, the forest floor, is often dark and gloomy. Little sunlight penetrates to this level, and there is little air movement. Numerous insects, such as beetles, cockroaches, and termites, live in the decaying litter and provide food for larger animals and birds. Many of the insects, birds, reptiles, and amphibians that live in the lower levels of the rain forest are brightly colored. Scientists speculate that the animals have evolved in this fashion to more easily attract potential mates. Other scientists believe that colors warn potential predators to stay away. In either case, the vivid colors make the animals more easily seen in what is otherwise a dark environment.

Household Pests and Locust Swarms

Termites, Chiswe (Order Isoptera ) Termites are seen principally as agricultural pests, particularly on maize, beans and pigeon pea but they also cause a great deal of damage to houses, especially the traditional 'wattle and daub' huts. As their diet consists essentially of plant material of a woody nature, the termites are apt to cause much damage to the wooden structures of a house - doors, beams, posts, and often their presence is undetected until the structures collapse. During the colonial period considerable damage was caused to houses even within urban areas, and directives were issued regarding measures to be taken in the building of brick houses. This entailed the construction of a termite-proof thick layer of cement, at least an inch (26 mm) thick, and treating the woodwork with creosol or a solution of mercuric chloride. Alternatively, sheets of metal were recommended as foundations to the house (MNA 51 359 31). Brick houses with a 'tin' (malata) roof are now generally...

Caterpillars Lepidoptera

Insect With Spines That Detach

Along with the winged termites, edible caterpillars are the commonest and most esteemed of the edible insects - and seem to be eaten throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Tessman at the beginning of last century recorded that the Pangwe of the Cameroon consumed more than twenty different kinds of edible caterpillar, and recognized each by its specific name and knew its particular host tree (Vide Bodenheimer 1951 188). More recently Carl Silow (1976) has recorded thirty-one edible caterpillars from mid-Western Zambia (among the Mbunda), and in a detailed survey of the edible caterpillars of sub-Saharan Africa Malaisse and Lognay (2000) recorded fifty-six species that had nutritional value, belonging to several families, although more than half the edible species belong to the family of the emperor moths, Saturniidae (Attacidae). There is evidence to suggest, as with termites, that the person who first finds a tree in the woodland with caterpillars may lay claim to this resource by marking the...

Types And Patterns Of Detritivory And Burrowing A Detritivore and Burrower Functional Groups

Boring Tunnels Wood Angiosperms Insect

General functional groupings for detritivores are based on their effect on decomposition processes. Coarse and fine comminuters are instrumental in the fragmentation of litter material. Major taxa in terrestrial ecosystems include millipedes, earthworms, termites, and beetles (coarse) and mites, collembolans, and various other small arthropods (fine). Many species are primarily fungivores or bacteriovores that fragment substrates while feeding on the surface microflora. Many fungivores and bacteriovores, including nematodes and protozoa, as well as arthropods, feed exclusively on microflora and affect the abundance and distribution of these decomposers (e.g., Santos et al. 1981). A number of species, including dung beetles, millipedes, and termites, are coprophages, either feeding on feces of larger species or reingesting their own feces following microbial decay and enrichment (Cambefort 1991, Coe 1977, Dangerfield 1994, Holter 1979, Kohlmann 1991, McBrayer 1975). Xylophages are a...

Gut Symbionts in Arthropods

Habitant Enterobacteriaceae

Insects may contain complex and diverse societies of microbes in their guts, yet relatively little is known about how these resident microbes shape the physiology of their hosts (Cazemier et al. 1997, Kaufman et al. 2000). The primary habitat for microorganisms associated with insects is the hindgut. The termite gut is one of the better studied examples, and molecular tools are improving our ability to resolve the taxonomy of the complex relationships among termite gut symbionts. The hindguts of termites can be compared to small bioreactors where wood and litter are degraded, with the help of symbiotic microorganisms, to provide nutrients. The hindgut of termites is a structured environment with distinct microhabitats (Brune and Friedrich 2000). The dense gut microbiota includes organisms from the Bacteria, Archaea, eukaryotes, and yeasts. These diverse organisms do not occur randomly within the gut but may be suspended in the gut contents, located within or on the surface of...

Polyphenetic development

Another well-known case of polyphenism is represented by the castes of many social insects (termites, ants, wasps, and bees). The best-investigated caste system is that of the worker queen polyphenism in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Experiments have shown convincingly that the development of a larva into a worker or a queen is completely under environmental control, rather than reflecting a genetic predisposition of some larvae to follow a distinct developmental pathway. Larvae are induced to develop into queens when fed a rich mixture of food throughout development, including royal jelly, a secretion from the mandibular gland of nursing workers which contains a higher concentration of sugar than worker jelly. As a consequence, queen larvae develop faster, grow larger, and have larger corpora allata, the source of juvenile hormone, which controls the differentiation of oocyctes and the production of vitellogenic proteins by the fat body. Levels of juvenile hormone are considerably...

Phylum Deuteromycota The Deuteromycetes Imperfect Fungi

Imperfect fungi are found in ant and termite nests. The insects cultivate their fungus gardens by bringing in bits of leaves, other plant debris, caterpillar droppings, and their own feces, and in so doing, they form a rich growing medium. They also lick the hyphae and constantly probe them, using them for food as they grow.

Teaestatemanagers Thyolo

Cin Expressionniste

Harvester Termite, Nthusi (Hodotermes mossambicus) (Family Hodotermidae). Although Sweeney suggests that there is no local name for this termite, apart from chiswe, it is often described as nthusi or nthedza. It is generally absent from the Shire Highlands, but common in all cotton-growing areas. Other termites might attack cotton, but this Alcidodes brevirocostris, a small black snouted beetles (HB 9 mm), which feeds on the bark of the cotton plant, leaving a typical ring of frayed fibres around the stem. The plant may then die, or become susceptible to attacks by termites. Microcerus spiniger is a dark brown, warty, terrestrial weevil lacking wings (HB 27 mm), the larva of which feeds on the root stems of the cotton just below the soil surface. The adults feed on the leaves of the cotton. Along with termites, this was a major pest of cotton recorded by the soil pests project (1990-2), some 4-9 per cent of plants in the Lower Shire, it was noted, being attacked by this weevil...

Management of Crop Forest and Urban Pests

Multiple Cropping

Management of crop, forest, and urban pests has been a major application of insect ecology. Insect roles in ecosystems may conflict with crop and livestock production and human health and habitation when conditions favor insect population growth. For example, densely planted monocultures of crop species, often bred to reduce bitter (defensive) flavors, provide ideal conditions for population growth of herbivorous species (see Chapter 6). Similarly, buildings provide protected habitats for ants, termites, cockroaches, and other species, especially when moisture and unsealed food create ideal conditions. Insects become viewed as pests when their activities conflict with human values. chemicals, including insect growth regulators (IGRs) and chitin sythesis inhibitors (CSIs), with shorter half-lives in the environment. Research results also have led to greater use of microbial pathogens, including nuclear polyhedrosis viruses (NPV) and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Effectiveness of these...

Nyanja Classification of Insects

The smaller forms of animals that are considered useless or harmful are described as kachirombo (ka, diminutive plural, tizirombo), and this term thus comes to cover a wide variety of small animals - insects, millipedes, centipedes, scorpions, spiders and crustaceans. Insects may thus be glossed as kachirombo - although edible insects like the cicada (nyenje), winged termite (ngumbi) and locust (dzombe), while important as relish, are not usually described as nyama, nor are they usually thought Chiswe is a generic term for all termites, local people distinguishing between essentially four specific kinds the mainly subterranean termites chiswe cha micholo ('of the hole'), which have little or no mound nthusi, the harvester termite chiswe chapachulu (of the termite mound) which embraces the larger termites of the genus Macrotermes that build large conspicuous termite mounds and chiswe cha chikula (of the mound that can be overturned), focused on the genus Cubitermes. The winged termites...

Herbivores have special adaptations for digesting cellulose

Large Intestine Ruminant

Cellulose is the principal organic compound in the diets of herbivores. Most herbivores, however, cannot produce cellu-lases, the enzymes that hydrolyze cellulose. Exceptions include silverfish (insects well known for eating books and stored papers), earthworms, and shipworms. Other herbivores, from termites to cattle, rely on microorganisms living in their digestive tracts to digest cellulose for them.

Insects and the conservation of ecosystem processes

The ecological grandeur of insects is in their ability as a group to transfer vast amounts of energy. As such, they are determinants of community structure and shapers of habitats. Some, like termites, are such notable movers of physical materials, that they are known as ecological engineers. Another major engineering taxon is the termites (Whitford, 2000). Nests of macrotermitines in West Africa can cover as much as 9 of the land area and have a volume of 300 m3 ha (Abbadie et al., 1992). Such mounds have a higher organic carbon and nitrogen content than the surrounding soil. Termites also play a significant role in global carbon fluxes. Global gas production by termites in tropical forests represents 1.5 of carbon dioxide and 15 of all methane produced from all sources (Bignell et al., 1997). These insect ecosystem engineers can locally influence structural, compositional and functional biodiversity. West African termites, by modifying water dynamics and organic matter status,...

Reflections on Folk Classifications

Brachycerus Labrusca

Mammals, amadya, 'it eats' is commonly invoked when people describe insects. Equally importantly, when discussing insects people clearly recognize the existence of morphotypes within a generic, and often allude to the name that it is given in another region or language. Thus someone will describe the tombolombo (dragonfly) as a creature (kachilombo) that flies and lives near water, and is given the Lomwe name mweteteri. They will suggest that it often feeds on winged termites, capturing them on the wing, and drinks with its tail (dragonflies deposit their eggs in this manner), as well as noting that there are many different forms. In discussing such morphotypes they invariably refer to colour - agrilini (green), amangamanga (spotted), ofiira (red), or akuda (dark, black). But such distinctions have little real cultural significance. insects, if eaten, are said to cause deafness, and so are described as gontham'kutu ('deafen the ear'). As was noted earlier, these include some winged...

Edible Insects of Malawi

Leaving aside the importance of honey, edible insects in sub-Saharan Africa focus essentially around five orders or groups of insects - termites, grasshoppers locusts crickets, bugs, beetles and caterpillars. The total number of edible insects in Africa probably amounts to several hundred species - or even more but the common species recorded in the literature number 113. These belong to the following families Termites

Discontinuous gas exchange cycles

Insect Gas Exchange

Schechter 1966) that resulted in a comprehensive understanding both of the pattern and the mechanisms underlying it. Subsequently, discontinuous gas exchange has been documented in a wide variety of both adult and pupal insects, although the patterns and control thereof show considerable variation among species. To date, discontinuous gas exchange has been found in cockroaches (Kestler 1985 Marais and Chown 2003), grasshoppers (Harrison 1997 Rourke 2000), hemipterans (Punt 1950), beetles of several families (Lighton 1991a Davis et al. 1999 Bosch et al. 2000 Chappell and Rogowitz 2000), lepidopterans (Levy and Schneiderman 1966b), robber flies (Lighton 1998), wasps (Lighton 1998), and ants (Lighton 1996 Vogt and Appel 2000). Similar patterns have been found in a variety of other insects including thy-sanurans, termites (Shelton and Appel 2001a,b) and Drosophila (Williams et al. 1997), but these patterns are not considered DGCs because they deviate somewhat from the standard,...

Armadillos Anteaters And Sloths

Edentates live in a number of habitats, including subtropical and tropical environments. Giant anteaters live in grasslands but also can be found in western South American forests. They feed on termites and ants, either at night or during the day. Lesser anteaters live mostly in tropical rain forests and are nocturnal in their habits, preferring to hunt at night. Tree sloths live in trees in humid tropical forests, where they feed exclusively on leaves and plants. Armadillos are found in grasslands and forests and live in burrows. They feed mainly on insects and worms. are mammals and belong to the family Myrme-cophagidae. The giant anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla, is sometimes called the ant bear. It can reach six feet in length and weigh up to eighty-six pounds and lives in swampy areas and open grasslands in South America. It is gray in color with a white-bordered black stripe on each shoulder. It has a long, bushy tail and sharp front claws used to tear open termite nests. The...

Development Of The Concept

This model does not apply to termites. Husseneder et al. (1999) and Thorne (1997) suggested that developmental and ecological factors, such as slow development, iteroparity, overlap of generations, food-rich environment, high risk of dispersal, and group defense, may be more important than genetics in the maintenance of termite eusociality, whatever factors may have favored its original development.

The Life Cycle and Habitat of Edentata

Are born one at a time with a gestation period of approximately 190 days. A mother carries a single offspring on her back for most of its growth period, which can last up to a year in the case of the giant anteater. The giant ant-eater lives in the grassland and forest of South America it is the only anteater that lives on the ground. It is an excellent swimmer, however, and is frequently seen in the Amazon River. When it lives near human populations, it is active only at night, but in the forest it can be found hunting ants and termites during the day. Its home is an old burrow abandoned by another animal, or a hollow log. The giant ant-eater is becoming rare due to the trade in exotic pets and through the destruction of its habitats. The pygmy anteater rarely comes down from the tall trees it lives in, and is active only at night. It lives high up in trees in the rain forest and feeds on termites. Its breeding habits are not known. The lesser anteater lives in trees, hanging on to...

Decomposition and Mineralization

Geographic Distribution Termites

Termites have received considerable attention because of their substantial ecological and economic importance in forest, grassland, and desert ecosystems. Based on laboratory feeding rates, K. E. Lee and Butler (1977) estimated wood consumption by termites in dry sclerophyll forest in South Australia. They reported that wood consumption by termites was equivalent to about 25 of annual woody litter increment and 5 of total annual litterfall. Based on termite exclusion plots,Whitford et al. (1982) reported that termites consumed up to 40 of surficial leaf litter in a warm desert ecosystem in the southwestern United States (Fig. 14.3). Overall, termites in this ecosystem consumed at least 50 of estimated annual litterfall (K. Johnson and Whitford 1975, Silva et al. 1985). N. M. Collins (1981) reported that termites in tropical savannas in West Africa consumed 60 of annual wood fall and 3 of annual leaf fall (24 of total litter production), but fire removed 0.2 of annual wood fall and 49...

Openended Cyclic Antimicrobial Peptides

Antimicrobial Resistance

In addition to the production of antibacterial defensins, insects respond to an experimental infection by the synthesis of cysteine-rich peptides with antifungal properties. To date three antifungal defensins have been characterized (1) drosomycin from Drosophila melanogaster (2) heliomicin from the tobacco budworm Heliothis virescens and (3) termicin from the termite Pseudacanthotermes spiniger. central part. Heliomicin and drosomycin have in common six cysteine residues and a conserved cluster of four amino acids at the C-terminal part (for details, see ref. 30). The third peptide with antifungal activity was isolated from hemocytes of the termite Pseudacanthotermes spiniger. This molecule, named termicin, is rather short, with 36 amino acids, and it has the invariant cysteine array found in the antibacterial defensins drosomycin and heliomycin (4,6). However, with the exception of the six cysteine residues, termicin shows little sequence similarity with the other insect defensins...

Group Life and Learning

Through rigorous observations, Goodall documented numerous behaviors of Pan troglodytes which exploded previously held myths. Perhaps Goodall's most significant accomplishment was to demonstrate that the woodland chimpanzee possessed the capacity for rudimentary culture. Goo-dall's research documented that woodland chimpanzees could modify and use natural objects such as branches, twigs, and stems of grass. These tools could be employed to extend the food quest, for example in termite fishing, intimidate other animals Learning accounts for much of chimpanzee behavior, acquired through play and observation. Tool use, a learned behavior, has been observed frequently among woodland chimpanzees, much less so among the bonobo. Tools (sticks, rocks, branches, leaves) have been used, and in some instances modified, in order to access and extract underground termites from their nests for consumption to intimidate other animals to facilitate drinking to clean the body and to crack open nuts.

Species Interactions

Top Down Trophic Cascade

Some insect species could be considered to be keystone species to the extent that their abundance greatly alters diversity, productivity, rates of energy or nutrient flux, etc. Many herbivorous insects increase the diversity of plant species by selectively reducing the density of abundant host species and providing space and resources for nonhost plants (Lawton and Brown 1993, Schowalter and Lowman 1999). The southern pine beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis, is capable, at high population densities, of killing pine trees and increasing the availability of woody resources that maintain populations of other xylophagous species (Flamm et al. 1993). Naiads of the large dragonfly, Tramea lacerata, prey on other dragonflies as well as on various other taxa that also are prey of other dragonfly and dam-selfly naiads. Wissinger and McGrady (1993) found that addition of T. lacerata to wetland communities had a direct negative effect on damselfly prey but also an indirect positive effect through...

Diseases Malawi Blue

Other pests mentioned were the common house fly, the maize weevil, termites, common crickets and tumbu fly. People recognize that certain insects like the house fly (ntchenche) are troublesome in that they defecate (nyera) in food, and spread diseases such as diarrhoea, although one person thought that the fly was a carrier of malaria (malungo).

Factors Affecting Succession

Rapidly growing and expanding populations are more likely to colonize even marginally suitable sites than are declining populations. For example, trees dying during a period of minimal bark beetle abundance would undergo a delay in initiation of heterotrophic succession, dominated by a different assemblage of insect species associated with different microorganisms (e.g., Schowalter et al. 1992). Wood initially colonized by decay fungi, such as inoculated by wood-boring beetles, wasps, and termites, decays more rapidly, thereby affecting subsequent colonization, than does wood initially colonized by mold fungi, such as inoculated by bark and ambrosia beetles (Kaarik 1974, Schowalter et al. 1992). Animals that construct burrows or mounds or that wallow or compact soils can kill all vegetation in small (several m2) patches or provide suitable germination habitat and other resources for ruderal plant species (D. Andersen and MacMahon 1985, MacMahon 1981 see also...

Marsupial Development

Marsupials are an example of adaptive radiation. This adaptation to their varied habitats has led to their enormous diversity of forms and niches. They are also an example of convergent evolution, as indicated by the similarities between marsupials and placentals in the rest of the world. The marsupial gliders resemble the flying squirrels and lemurs, the Tasmanian tiger or thylacine was doglike, and marsupial moles resemble eutherian moles. There are many physiological similarities as well. Wombats process grasses and sedges as horses do and numbats feed on termites as anteaters do.

How To Control Zonocerus Elegans

It is far beyond the scope of the present study to discuss in detail the numerous insect pests that damage cotton I will instead focus on nine species that are among the major pests, and are generally well known to local people. But it is worth noting, by way of preface, that as far as local people are concerned, four insects have particular salience - the bollworms, the harvester termite, the elegant grasshopper and the cotton stainers. For instance, when I visited cotton gardens near Bangula in April and May 2001, local people were adamant that four pests were particularly troublesome the larvae of certain moths, the bollworms, mbozi mfunye, especially those of Diparopsis castanea the cotton stainers, kamatowo (Dysdercus spp.) the elegant grasshopper, m'nunkhadala (Zonocerus elegans) and the harvester termite, nthusi (Hodotermes mossambicus). At Chauka village near Kasinje on the Southern Lakeshore, I found a similar situation three weeks later. Walking through the cotton fields...

Metabolism and gas exchange

Because flight is such an energetically demanding activity, and because so many insect species use flight as a major method of locomotion, much of the work done on substrate catabolism has been concerned with the aerobic provision of ATP for flight. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that only adult insects are capable of flight, that in ants and termites only the alates fly and then usually for just

Regulation of Net Primary Productivity by Insects

Fire Suppression Effects Human Body

Despite the obvious influence of animals on key ecosystem processes, their regulatory role has remained controversial and largely untested. Herbivorous insects possess the characteristics of cybernetic regulators (i.e., low maintenance cost and rapidly amplified effects, sensitivity to deviation in ecosystem parameters, and capacity to dramatically alter primary production through positive and negative feedback) and appear, in many cases, to stabilize NPP. For example, inconsequential biomass of phytophagous insects, even at outbreak densities, is capable of removing virtually all foliage from host plants and altering plant species composition (see Chapter 12). Virtually undetectable biomass of termites accounts for substantial decomposition, soil redistribution, and gas fluxes that could affect global climate (see Chapter 14).The following model for insect effect on ecosystem stability focuses on herbivores, but detritivores, pollinators, and seed dispersers also are capable of...

Opportunistic Honey Hunting among Hunter Gatherers

Honey-hunting is common and widespread among contemporary hunter-gatherers. As there are no honey-bees (Apis spp.) native to Australia, Australian Aborigines harvest the honey - as well as collecting the brood and wax - of small stingless bees (Trigona spp.). To locate the 'honeybag' of the bees the hunter-gatherers would examine trees likely to hold nesting colonies, watching for the movement of the bees, or putting their ears close to the trunk of the tree to listen to the sound of the bees through the wood, or they would attach a piece of fluff or a petal to a foraging bee by means of sticky resin, and then follow the bee to its nest. Men, women and children all engage in honey-gathering. The nests are usually to be found in hollow trees, rock crevices or termite mounds. Most of the honey gathered was consumed on the spot. The honey comb was consumed whole, the inedible wax being spat out. Nests of the Trigona carbonaria bee yielded about 2 kg of honey (Bodenheimer 1951 115-25...

The Introduction of Modern Beekeeping

The most viable form of hive for local bee-keepers - in contrast to both the traditional log or bark hives and the frame hives that had long been used by European bee-keepers. The top bar hive is in the form of a long box, measuring some 120 cm x 50 cm, with sloping sides and a narrow base, and a movable protective lid. The most common timber used for the hive is malaina (Gmelina arborea), which is rich in resin and resistant to termites. Entrances to the hive consist of ten small triangular holes 10 mm across at one end. The hive is hung from a tree 1-3 m from the ground by means of a wire.

Insect and Bird Homes

Termites, also social insects, are known for damaging wood homes. Most species are tropical, but some inhabit the Americas and Europe. They live in huge, long-lasting colonies that may hold millions of inhabitants. These colonies (called nests or termitaries) vary greatly. Tropical species build huge mounds with walls of soil particles and dried saliva. Inside the mounds are many chambers, passages, and good ventilation and drainage systems. Termites are often subterranean, burrowing up into logs and wood structures.

Booted or True Eagles

Most booted eagles are entirely carnivorous, taking a wide variety of vertebrates, especially medium-sized mammals and birds. The largest species, such as the Siberian golden eagle (a subspecies of the golden eagle) take wolves, foxes, and other large mammals. More specialized booted eagles include the black eagle (Ictinateus malayensis) of southeast Asia, which regularly robs nests of eggs and young, and the tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) of Africa and India, which seems to consume everything from termites to carrion up to dead elephants.

Benefits of Cooperation

A second benefit of group living is in nest building. Shelter is a primary need for all animals. Most solitary species use naturally occurring shelters or, at best, build simple nests. By cooperating and sharing the effort, social insects are able to build nests that are quite elaborate, containing several kinds of chambers. Wasps and bees build combs, or rows of special cells, for rearing brood and storing food. Subterranean termites can construct mounds more than six meters high, while others build intricate covered nests in trees. Mound-building ants may cover their nests with a thatch that resembles, in both form and function, the thatched roofs of old European dwellings. Colonial nesting provides two additional benefits. First, it enhances defense. By literally putting all of their eggs in one basket, social insects can centralize and share the guard duties. The effectiveness of this approach is attested by one's hesitation to stir up a hornet's nest. Nest construction also...

The Base of the Food Chain

An interesting relationship exists between protozoa and termites. Cellulolytic (cellulose-breaking) protozoa inhabit the guts of termites and are the organisms actually responsible for digestion of the wood that termites eat. Without these protozoa, the termites would not be able to feed on wood and would no longer be able to damage homes and other structures.

Decomposition and Pedogenesis

Decomposition can be categorized into four component processes photooxi-dation, abiotic catabolism resulting from exposure to solar radiation leaching, the loss of soluble materials as a result of percolation of water through material comminution, the fragmentation of organic litter, largely as a result of detritivory and mineralization, the catabolism of organic molecules by microorganisms. Vossbrinck et al. (1979) found that when arthropods and microbes were excluded, detritus lost only 5 mass, due entirely to leaching or photooxidation. A variety of macroarthropods, mesoarthropods, and microarthropods are the primary detritivores in most ecosystems. The feeding and burrowing activities of many animals, including ants, termites, and other arthropods, redistribute and mix soil and organic material. Burrowing also increases soil porosity, thereby increasing aeration and water-holding capacity.

The Eight Species of Bears

The Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) of India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh digs into termite mounds and then sucks up the angry termites as they swarm out. The Sun bear or Malayan bear (Helarctos malayanus) of the tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia eats fruit, honey, snails, eggs, lizards, rodents, termites, and earthworms.

The Role of Enzymes

The chemical breakdown of food particles takes place by means of enzyme catalysts, which are proteins that are released into the stomach and intestine (midgut) from their cells or from cells of appendages (hepatic cecae in insects, hepatopancreas in crustaceans and mollusks, and pancreas and liver in vertebrates) opening into the intestine. These enzymes are secreted in response to the entry of food in the gut. Moreover, the presence and release of specific enzymes depend on the chemical nature of the food. In plant-eating herbivores, which eat an abundance of carbohydrates (sugars), these secretions are rich in carbohydrates (carbohydrate-hydrolyzing enzymes), while in animal eaters (carnivores) protein-digesting enzymes, proteases, and fat-hydrolyzing enzymes, lipases, are predominant. In omnivores (which feed on both plants and animals), all three groups of enzymes are present. In food specialists, such as sheep blow flies (which feed on wool keratin), head lice (which feed on hair...

Social Insects

Similarly, termite colonies are cryptic and may have variable numbers of reproductive adults. Husseneder and Grace (2001b) and Husseneder et al. (1998) found DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) fingerprinting to be more reliable than aggression tests or morphometry for distinguishing termites from different colonies or sites. As expected, genetic similarity is higher among termites within collection sites than between collection sites (Husseneder and Grace 2001a, Husseneder et al. 1998). Moderate inbreeding often is evident within termite colonies, but low levels of genetic differentiation at regional scales suggest that substantial dispersal of winged adults homogenizes population genetic structure (Husseneder et al. 2003). However, several species are polygynous and may show greater within-colony genetic variation, depending on the extent to which multiple reproductives are descended from a common parent (Vargo et al. 2003). Kaib et al. (1996) found that foraging termites tended to...


A huge variety of invertebrates exist on Madagascar, due to the abundance of different ecological niches. The largest group is the insects, and most are endemic, many even to a particular locality. These include dragonflies and damselflies, grasshoppers, termites, flies, ants, fifty-two species of praying mantis, and over one hundred species of hissing cockroach. The more than eighty species of stick insects are amazing masters of camou


Reproductive harvester termites Hodotermes mossambicus (Isoptera, Hodotermitidae) form pairs after swarming flights and drink large volumes of water 82 and 42 per cent of initial wet mass in males and females, respectively (Hewitt et al. 1971). Dilute fluid is stored in large water sacs (salivary reservoirs) which extend into the abdomen, and may be an important water reserve for the founding of the new colony. Conditions are ideal for emergence after the first substantial summer rains, when desiccation is reduced, the soil is moist and soft for excavation, and free water is available (Hewitt et al. 1971). Water imbibition and transfer to the water sacs has also been described in workers and reproductives of fungus-growing termites Macrotermes michaelsoni (Termitidae, Sieber and Kokwaro 1982). Although salivary gland reservoirs are also used for water storage in cockroaches (Laird et al. 1972), in this case the fluid is a hypo-osmotic saliva (House 1980), rather than water stored...

Home Building

Land animals often live in more complex homes. For example, social insects such as bees, termites, and wasps inhabit nests or hives. Birds also build nests. They nest in trees, on the ground, or on rocky mountain terrain. In contrast, grazing animals such as deer and antelope live on the ground, wherever their search for food takes them


Hyenas are wolflike carnivore-scavengers whose useful ecological functions derive from their diet of carrion and live animals from termites to antelope. Some species form packs others live alone. Most scavenge anything they find, including carrion. Aardwolves eat carrion but prefer termites. Hyenas mate year round and have two- to four-month gestation periods, depending on species.

Large Item Ingestion

An extraordinary number of animals have adapted to eat plants. Eating plants requires special structures to free plant material for ingestion. Although invertebrates lack true teeth, they have other structures to obtain plants or plant parts. Snails have a unique structure in their mouth called a radula, which acts as a miniature rasping file that scrapes plant material from surfaces and rasps through vegetation. The freed plant material is then ingested. Sea urchins scrape algae by using a highly developed oral apparatus composed of five large pointed plates. Termites use strong jaws made of chitin, the hard structural component of their external skeleton, to cut tiny chunks of wood for ingestion.

Insect Communication

Nication between members of nonsocial or subsocial species. Moth mating attractants provide a well-studied example. Pheromones are nowhere better developed than among the social insects. They not only appear to influence caste development in the Hymenoptera and termites but also permit immediate communication among individuals. Among workers of the fire ant (Solenopsis saevissima), chemical signals have been implicated in controlling recognition of nestmates, grooming, clustering, digging, feeding, attraction or formation of aggregations, trail following, and alarm behavior. Nearly a dozen different glands have been identified which produce some chemical in the Hymenoptera, although the exact function of many of these chemicals remains unknown.

Placental Mammals

After the extinction of the dinosaurs, about 65 million years ago, the earth was open for a new group of large animals to evolve and take over the vacant ecological niches. Placental mammals underwent a tremendous diversification, until they occupied many ecological niches, and some reached the size of sheep. Most, however, were no larger than a cat. The placentals soon diversified into the edentates (anteaters, sloths, armadillos, and their relatives) and the rest of the mammalian orders (groups of genera). Like marsupials, edentates had their greatest success in isolation in South America, although the armadillo is successfully spreading northward. Edentates have a very primitive womb and a slow, variable metabolism compared to other placentals. Although the name edentate means toothless, only the anteaters are actually toothless sloths and armadillos have simple, peglike teeth. Anteaters and armadillos eat ants and termites, and sloths hang upside down from branches, slowly...

Stone Tool Culture

Stone tool culture and its development provide more insights into the dramatic growth of the brain in hominids. Toolmaking has long been regarded as a dividing line between humans and nonhumans - the distinction between man as toolmaker and ape as tooluser having been made since the 19th century. Extended field studies on chimpanzees, gorillas, and other apes, however, have recently challenged the basis of this division. It is now clear that chimpanzees do not just use tools, in common with gorillas and orang-utans, but they also have the ability to make them as well. For example, some chimpanzees have been observed modifying branches by stripping off leaves to make a fine probe that they can use to extract termites from mounds. In addition, there is strong evidence of their ability to solve problems by thinking. In captivity, for instance, chimpanzees without previous experience have been observed stacking crates on top of each other in order to reach inaccessible food placed near...


Swamps and wetlands have long been known to be sources of methane produced by anaerobic bacteria. Many animals produce methane during digestive processes, and large amounts of this gas are produced by the wood-digesting organisms within the guts of termites. Anaerobic bacteria in rice paddies produce significant quantities of methane. The total annual production of methane in the atmosphere has been slowly increasing in recent years. A small part of this increase may stem from the prodigious mushrooming in numbers of termites in cleared tropical rain forest areas, which, in 1998, were being destroyed at the rate of more than 100 acres per minute, 24 hours a day.

Tiger Facts

Tigers can catch and kill prey as large as 160 to 900 kilograms (440 to 2,000 pounds). They stalk and ambush ungulates, knocking prey to the ground and biting the neck or throat to sever the spinal cord or suffocate the animal. Tigers can consume twenty to twenty-five kilograms (sixty to seventy pounds) of meat daily. They drag carcasses into vegetated areas and gorge on a kill, then fast. Tigers also eat termites and snakes. Some tigers, especially in the Sunderbans river delta of India and Bangladesh, have attacked and killed humans.


Primary production and other processes affecting global climate and biogeo-chemistry (Chapter 12). Termites account for substantial portions of carbon flux in some ecosystems (Chapter 14). Section IV, dealing with feedbacks between insects and ecosystem properties, is the unique contribution of this book. This chapter summarizes key ecological issues, synthesizes key integrating variables, describes applications, and identifies critical issues for future study.

Ootheca Mutabilis

A serious pest of maize, although local people tend to rank the white grub (mbozi zoyera) and the elegant grasshoppers (m'Nunkhadala) as more harmful pests than the termites. No control measures are used against termites, although when they become too problematic the queen termite may be dug out and destroyed - yet people are reluctant to do this, as the winged termites (ngumbi) are a favoured and important source of relish. There is a general feeling that farmers who burn all crop residues, rather than simply burying them (kunojeka) in the usual fashion, tend to have less problems with termites, and with other insect pests. It is also evident that monocropping with maize tends to increase termite attack. People are also aware that certain trees have toxic qualities and are thus repellent to termites for example, the persian lilac tree ndya (Melia azedarach) and the milk bush nkhadze (Euphorbia tiricalli) (Morris 1996). Their use as an insecticide was described long ago by Jessie...

Lakefly Diptera

Cooking the lake-fly with termites, using only salt. The lake-fly cakes, if kept dry, can be kept for long periods - like tea, one person said to me. The CCAM cookbook suggests that, since they are rich in protein, calcium and iron, they make an extremely nourishing dish (1992 141), and that this is a relish that is well liked by Malawians. One woman cooked some especially for me, and I found the lake-fly tasty - but a little oily and fishy. In contrast, Archie Carr found it 'had a taste of dry chocolate and badly kept anchovy paste' (1965 77). The lake-fly is also used as medicine, and evidence suggests that it has a very high iron content.


Detritivores affect decomposition in three ways through comminution, effects on microbial biomass, and effects on mineralization. Comminution increases detrital surface area and facilitates colonization and decay by microflora. Low to moderate levels of grazing on microflora stimulate microbial productivity and biomass, maximizing microbial activity and respiration. High levels of grazing may reduce microbial biomass and decomposition. Grazers also disperse fungi and bacteria to new substrates. Not all organic material is converted to CO2.The low oxygen concentrations characterizing warm, humid termite colonies favor reduction of organic molecules to methane and other trace gases. Arthropod detritivores affect mineralization in different ways, depending on the chemical characteristics and biological use of the element. Detritivores often increase mineralization of nitrogen, but nitrogen released from detritus may be immobilized quickly by microorganisms. Burrowers affect soil...

Habitat and Behavior

Unlike lions, cheetahs hunt in early morning and late afternoon. They scan the countryside from a tree limb, the top of a termite mound, or even the roof of a safari car. Being carnivores, they feed primarily on gazelles, impalas, game birds, rabbits, and the young of warthogs, kudu, harte-


A number of insect and other arthropod species function as nest commensals in ant or termite colonies. Such species are called myrmecophiles or termi-tophiles, respectively. These symbionts gain shelter, and often detrital food, from their host colonies with little, if any, effect on their hosts. This relationship is distinguished from interactions involving species that intercept host food (through trophallaxis) and, therefore, function as colony parasites. Some vertebrate species also are commensals of termite castles in the tropics. These termite nests may reach several meters in height and diameter and provide critical shelter for reptile, bird, and mammal species in tropical savannas (see Chapter 14).


Mutualism Pictures

Siricid wasps also are the only means of dispersal for associated Amylostereum (decay) fungi, and larvae die in the absence of the fungus (Morgan 1968). The adult female wasp collects fungal hyphae from its gallery prior to exiting. The wasp stores and nourishes the fungus in a mycangium at the base of the ovipositor, then introduces the fungus during oviposition in the wood. The fungus decays the wood around the larva that feeds on the fungal mycelium, destroying it in the gut, and passes decayed wood fragments around the body to combine posteriorly with its frass. Phloem-feeding bark beetles transport mycangial fungi and bacteria as well as opportunistic fungi. Ayres et al. (2000) reported that mycan-gial fungi significantly increased nitrogen concentrations in phloem surrounding southern pine beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis, larvae, compared to uncolonized phloem. Opportunistic fungi, including blue-stain Ophiostoma minus, did not concentrate nitrogen in phloem surrounding larvae,...


The speed at which a chemical message affects the recipient varies. Some messages have an immediate effect on the behavior of recipients. Alarm and sex-attractant pheromones of many insects, aggregation pheromones in cockroaches, or trail substances in ants are examples. Other chemical messages, primers, affect recipients more slowly, through changes in their physiology. Examples of primers include pheromones that control social structure in hive insects such as termites. Reproductive members of the colony secrete a substance that inhibits the development of reproductive capacity in other hive members. The chemicals important for controlling the hive are spread through grooming and food sharing (trophallaxis). Chemical communication is important not only among social and semisocial insects but also among animals, both vertebrate and invertebrate. Particularly common is the use of a pheromone to indicate that an animal is sexually receptive.

Insect Anatomy

Scavengers also serve an important purpose by recycling nutrients found in dead plant and animal matter. Termites are a nuisance when they infest a house but are invaluable at breaking down dead wood in nature. Dung beetles have the curious habit of forming animal feces into balls and rolling them away to feed their young. Carrion feeders assist in the decomposition of animal corpses. A succession of flies and beetles reduce a corpse to bones.


Mermithid Nematode Chironomids

The fossil record contains abundant evidence of functions and behaviors similar to those observed currently. For example, haustellate mouthparts of proto-Hemiptera suggest early appearance of feeding on plant sap (Labandeira and Sepkoski 1993, Scott and Taylor 1983). A fossil termite bug, Termitaradus protera, in Mexican amber has the same morphological modifications as its extant congeners for surviving in termite colonies and therefore can be assumed to have had similar interactions with termites (Poinar 1993). Dental structure of Upper Carboniferous amphibians suggests that most were predaceous and many were insectivorous (Scott and Taylor 1983). Evidence of consistent species roles suggests that host selection behaviors and other species associations within communities have been conserved over time the behavioral fixity hypothesis (Boucot 1990, Poinar 1993, Poinar and Poinar 1999). Association of potentially interacting taxa in the same deposits and anatomical evidence of...

The Fish Eagles

Venom, but rather depend on quickness to avoid being fatally bitten. The European serpent or short-toed eagle (Circaetus gallicus) is also included in this group, although it seems more closely related to harriers. Another aberrant form is the dark, long-winged bateleur (Terathopius ecudatus) of central and southern Africa. Unlike the other snake eagles, the bateleur hunts for small mammals and reptiles across the African plains and savanna in low, searching flights, attacking in tight downward spirals. Groups of immature bateleurs gather to feed on abundant insects, especially at termite mounds when alates emerge.


From the historical record it seems that humans, like their closest primate relatives, have been essentially eclectic omnivores, eating leafy matter, roots, fruits and nuts, and a variety of animals, including insects. With regard to the common primates of Southern Africa - the chacma baboon, the vervet monkey and the blue monkey - they are omnivorous, but feed primarily on fruit and leaves. The chacma baboons feed mostly on above-ground items, as the gathering of roots and bulbs can be time-consuming, and may, occasionally, collectively hunt small mammals -but the latter represent only about 1 per cent of their diet. Insects, however, are important, forming a more complete and concentrated form of protein than plant material, and wherever baboons have been feeding one usually finds almost every stone turned over as they hunt for insects and other arthropods. Vervet monkeys are also primarily vegetarians, but they too eat insects, grasshoppers and termites having been recognized from...

Bugs Hemiptera

In Malawi the cicada (nyenje) is highly esteemed as food. The generic term includes several species of cicada, of the commoner genera Ioba, Platypleura and Pycna. In Yao a distinction is made between the larger cicadas, such as Ioba leopardina (nyesele) and the smaller species Platyspleura brevis, which is described as lilangwe. All species of cicada seem to be considered edible. They are collected by the use of latex. A long stem of bango reed (Phragmites mauritianus) or nsenjere grass (Pennisetum purpureum) is cut, some 3-4 metres long, and on the tip of the reed is smeared some plant latex (ulimbo) usually that taken from the freshly-cut inner bark of the kachere tree (Ficus natalensis). As with the use of latex in trapping birds, several other plants may be utilized to obtain the latex. Significantly in trapping birds a winged termite may be used as bait (for a discussion of the plants used as ulimbo, and the preparation of the latex see Morris and Patel 1994). and hearing to...

Praying Mantis

P raying mantis is the common name for any insect in the order Dictyoptera, suborder Mantodea. All of these insects are predators. The most important family in this group is Mantidae hence, the general name for these insects often is given as mantid, rather than mantis. Mantids are closely related to cockroaches, termites, and grasshoppers. Approximately 1,800 species have been identified worldwide, most of which are tropical. The most common native species in the United States is the Carolina mantid, Stagmomantis carolina, which is found from New Jersey to the Gulf Coast in the eastern half of the United States. The most abundant and widespread species, the

Hyena Facts

Aardwolves differ from hyenas in having five-toed front feet. Aardwolf teeth are small and suitable only for eating their main food, termites and other insects. Their maximum length is 2.5 feet, their height is 1.5 feet, and their weight is twenty-five pounds. The termites that aardwolves eat are active at night, so aardwolves are nocturnal and eat termites with their long, sticky tongues. Aardwolves live alone and mark territories with musk, denning in empty burrows of other animals.


Nonpathogenic or beneficial host-parasite associations are among the most highly evolved of reciprocal interactions between species. The extreme degree of intimacy of the symbiotes (not lack of pathogenicity) distinguishes this type of parasitism from mutualism. Parasitic dinoflagel-lates (relatives of the algae that cause red tides ) are found in the tissues of all reef-building corals. These photosynthetic organisms use carbon dioxide and other waste products produced by corals. In turn, the dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium microadriaticum) provide their hosts with oxygen and nutrients that the corals cannot obtain or produce by themselves. Without parasitic dino-flagellates, reef-building corals starve to death. Similar host-parasite relationships occur in termites, which, without cellulose-digesting parasitic protozoans in their gut, would starve to death.


How Parakeets Lay Eggs Diagram

Males attract mates by hopping, bowing, wagging tails, and flapping wings. After mating, females lay two to eight small white eggs. A mated pair does not part after breeding. They eat together and groom each other year round. Most parrots nest in holes in trees, termite mounds, and rock or ground tunnels. Others lay eggs in large grass or twig nests. Females incubate eggs for eighteen to thirty-five days, while males supply mates with food. Parrots are born blind and dependent on their parents. Young leave the nest after 1 month in smaller species and after 3.5 months in larger species. Some parrots live for sixty to eighty years.

Bees and Beeswax

The second is the so-called mopane bee, nsikisa (Trigona bottegoi), tiny stingless bees that construct their nests in crevices in walls or rocks, in hollow trees, or in termite mounds. There is usually a slender tube at the entrance of the nest. Again, several species of the sub-family Meliponidae are probably involved. Both the honey and the brood of these bees are eaten by Malawians the honey is very sweet, well liked, and usually described as tongole. The honey of stingless bees is eaten throughout Africa, and in many other parts of the world (Crane 1999 15-16). But neither species of the stingless bees is well known to many Malawians, as opposed to being simply recognized. The honey of these bees often has toxic qualities, and may cause illness but as with the edible caterpillars, the toxins may derive from the trees on which the bees feed, rather than from the honey itself (Crane 1999 61).

Insect Societies

Ants, termites, and many kinds of bees and wasps live in complex groups known as insect societies. Studies of such societies have enriched scientific knowledge about some of the most successful species on earth and have provided insights into the biological basis of social behavior in other animals. Many of the most robust, thriving species today owe their success in great part to benefits that they reap from living in organized groups or societies. Nowhere are the benefits of group living more clearly illustrated than among the social insects. Edward O. Wilson, one of the foremost authorities on insect societies, estimates that more than twelve thousand species of social insects exist in the world today. This number is equivalent to all the species of known birds and mammals combined. Although insect societies have reached their pinnacle in the bees, wasps, ants, and termites, many insects show intermediate degrees of social organization providing insights regarding the probable...

Insect Facts

Orders Common orders include Coleoptera (beetles) Diptera (flies, mosquitoes) Hemiptera (true bugs) Homoptera (cicadas), Hymen-optera (ants, bees, wasps) Isoptera (termites) Lepidoptera (butterflies, moths) Odonata (dragonflies, damselflies) Orthoptera (crickets, grasshoppers) Geographical location Every continent except Antarctica Habitat Mainly terrestrial, some aquatic, primarily freshwater Gestational period Highly variable some insects produce one, two, or several generations per year conversely, relatively large insects may take more than one year for larval development Life span Highly variable adult mayflies live less than one week, while queen termites have been known to live for more than twenty years

Studying Ingestion

Tabolism and as building blocks for growth, maintenance, and repair. Obtaining sufficient food is of paramount importance for survival. Therefore, the limited availability of food is selected by animals that have the most-successful feeding strategies and body designs for procurement and ingestion of nutrients. Because different sources of nutrition are utilized, the selection pressures for obtaining food may result in vastly different feeding mechanisms among closely related animals. For example, giant water bugs, termites, and aphids are all classified as insects. Yet, they rely on different diets and therefore possess divergent methods of feeding and structures for ingestion. In addition, and conversely, selection pressures for obtaining food may result in the development of similar body structures in distantly related species (convergent evolution). Baleen whales and flamingos, for example, are classified in different taxonomic groups (mammals and birds) but have similar feeding...

Invertebrate Feeding

Among the protozoans there are a variety of diets and feeding mechanisms. Organisms in the phylum Ciliophora have a cytostome, a cell mouth that can be found anteriorly, laterally, or ventrally, depending on species, on these single-celled creatures. Ciliates feed primarily on bacteria, algae, and other protozoans. Members of the phylum Amoebozoa have a similar diet to the ciliates but, in the absence of mouths, use pseudopodia to wrap around a food item, engulfing it. Euglena (phylum Euglenozoa), a flagellate protozoan commonly used in biology laboratories, is a self-feeder (autotroph). It contains chloroplasts and uses light energy to produce sugars, photosynthesized as in plants. It is interesting to note that some euglenids can and do ingest solid food if they are exposed to darkness for too long. Another group of interesting flagellates is the hypermastigotes. Species such as Trichonympha campanula live in the guts of termites. T. campanula breaks down the high cellulose content...

Forensic Entomology

Social insects exhibit the most complex behavior, approaching learning. Honeybees can communicate direction of a food source, and distance from the hive, to other bees through a multipart waggle dance. Some ants are farmers, planting and nurturing fungus gardens. Mound-building harvester ants ensure that the colony's young are kept at the optimal temperature through vertical migrations. The young are transported to top levels within the mound to warm up in the morning and evening. During the heat of the day, the young are carried to lower levels to cool off. Kidnapping of ants from other colonies to serve as workers in the home colony may not be considered a socially advanced behavior, but it is a complex one. The other major group of social insects, the termites, work together to build huge mounds, called termitaria, some reaching heights of 6 meters and diameters of over 3.5 meters. They engineer series of chimneys into the structure that can be opened and closed to regulate airflow...