Anaerobiosis in the queen of macrotermes bellicosus isoptera termitidae
Insectes Sociaux 23(2): 109-116
Lactic acid determinations of the blood of physogastric queens of M. bellicosus were performed either immediately after their extraction from the nest, or after exposure to the open air, or after artificial closure of the spiracles. Queens in the nest showed 1.3 .mu.mol of lactic acid/ml blood; its gradual disappearance during exposure to open air completed after 5 1/2 h. After artificial closure of the spiracles 3 remol/ml blood was reached. Anaerobiosis in the queen in the nest is probably due to the confined atmosphere there. This suggests a very low renewal of the gases inside the royal chamber. The physiological significance of this reversible anaerobiosis which appears limited, is discussed. The tracheae and the tracheoles were always functional in the physogastric queen, despite their very modified cuticular intima.