Prevalence of a koinobiont endoparasitoid Misotermes mindeni (Diptera: Phoridae) in colonies of the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes gilvus (Blattodea: Termitidae) in Malaysia
Foo, F.-K.; Singham, G.V.; Othman, A.S.; Lee, C.-Y.
Journal of Economic Entomology 104(5): 1675-1679
ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0493 PMID: 22066198 DOI: 10.1603/ec11030
A survey of the infestation rate of colonies of Macrotermes gilvus (Hagen) (Termitidae: Macrotermitinae) with the koinobiont endoparasitoid Misotermes mindeni Disney & Neoh (Diptera: Phoridae) was conducted in Malaysia from September 2009 to January 2011 in the states of Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Terengganu, and Sarawak. Of the 1,125 M. gilvus mounds surveyed, 12.4% contained termites parasitized by M. mindeni and these mounds occurred only in the states of Penang and Perak. High frequencies of mounds containing parasitized termites were found at sites in Penang: Bayan Lepas (21.1%), Minden Campus of Universiti Sains Malaysia ([USM]; 24.5%), Teluk Bahang (28.0%), and Bukit Mertajam (35.0%); the lowest frequency (4.0%) was recorded from Gelugor. The parasitized colonies at all sites were classified as healthy, with exception of several from the Minden Campus of USM (96.4% healthy) and Ayer Itam (87.5% healthy). Most parasitized colonies (71.2%) had a low level of M. mindeni infestation. Only 16.7 and 12.1% of the infested colonies had moderate or high parasite infestation levels, respectively. The height of infected mounds was significantly higher than that of the healthy mounds, but there was no difference between the mound diameters of infested and uninfested mounds. Parasite infestation level was not significantly correlated with mound height or mound diameter. The ambient light intensity at sites with infested mounds was significantly lower than that of uninfested mounds. There was also a significant negative relationship between light intensity and degree of parasitism.