Mound structure of the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes gilvus in Thailand
Inoue, T.; Vijarnsorn, P.; Abe, T.
Journal of Tropical Ecology 13(1): 115-124
ISSN/ISBN: 0266-4674 DOI: 10.1017/s0266467400010294
The change of mound structure of the fungus growing termite, Macrotermes gilvus, which has no clear air passage system in the mound, was examined in relation to the mound growth in a rubber plantation of southern Thailand. The nest proper consisted of the hive with a royal chamber and nursery, and diffused chambers with fungus combs. The location of the hive became higher with the growth of the mound. Therefore, colonies with a very large mound utilize only the upper mound part and this may be due to the lack of air passage systems in this species. A colony with a very large mound is not in reality commensurately large in colony size and this may be the reason why the density of huge mounds of M. gilvus in Thailand is much higher than that of Macrotermes in Africa.