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The initiation of fungus comb construction in laboratory colonies of Ancistrotermes guineensis

The initiation of fungus comb construction in laboratory colonies of Ancistrotermes guineensis

Insectes Sociaux 7(3): 251-263

ISSN/ISBN: 0020-1812

DOI: 10.1007/bf02224496

Ancistrotermes guineensis colonies were reared in observation nests. The timetable of development of the young colony is given. Construction of fungus comb from the feces of the worker caste was observed: chewed wood was not used in constructing the comb. The fungus comb remained sterile until the correct species of Termitomyces was introduced. Symbiosis between termite and fungus would appear to be specific. It seems that the alates do not carry an inoculum of viable spores of the fungus from the parent colony, but that workers introduce basidiospores in early foraging. This may be an important factor controlling abundance of the termites. Phylogeny of the Macro-termitinae is reviewed in the light of new evidence.

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Accession: 025833777

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