Evidence of cue synergism in termite corpse response behavior

  title={Evidence of cue synergism in termite corpse response behavior},
  author={Michael D Ulyshen and Thomas G. Shelton},
Subterranean termites of the genus Reticulitermes are known to build walls and tubes and move considerable amounts of soil into wood but the causes of this behavior remain largely unexplored. In laboratory assays, we tested the hypothesis that Reticulitermes virginicus (Banks) would carry more sand into wooden blocks containing corpses compared to corpse-free controls. We further predicted that the corpses of predatory ants would elicit a stronger response than those of a benign beetle species… 

Spatial Aspects of Corpse Removal in the Western Harvester Ant, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis

Spatial patterns of corpse depositions by colonies of the western harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, were examined and suggest that this is a more dynamic activity than previously thought.

Differential undertaking response of a lower termite to congeneric and conspecific corpses

The findings suggest elicitation of undertaking behaviour depends on the origin of corpses which is associated with different types of risk, and that R. flavipes exhibited distinctively different behaviours toward dead termites from various origins.

A Comprehensive Understanding of Corpse Management in Termites

This work reviews mechanisms of death recognition, convergent and divergent behavioral responses toward dead individuals, and undertaking task allocation from the perspective of division of labor in hymenoptera and Isoptera.

Post-mortem Changes in Chemical Profile and their Influence on Corpse Removal in Ants

Oleic and linoleic acids appear to be important cues involved in corpse recognition and necrophoresis over a long timeframe, and the hypothesis that these fatty acids in combination with other cues may also trigger other behaviors such as prey retrieval is advanced.

Dynamic changes in death cues modulate risks and rewards of corpse management in a social insect

This study reveals a behavioural shift in corpse management triggered by the interplay of an early death cue and late death cues, which balances risks and rewards associated with corpses.

Linoleic acid as corpse recognition signal in a social aphid

The commonality of the death pheromones across the divergent social insect groups highlights that these unsaturated fatty acids are generally produced by enzymatic autolysis of cell membranes after death and therefore amenable to utilization as a reliable signal of dead insects.

Conspecific mortality cues mediate associative learning in crickets, Acheta domesticus (Orthoptera: Gryllidae)

Evidence is provided that necromones can mediate associative olfactory learning in an insect by acting as an aversive reinforcement and it is suggested that Necromone-mediated learning responses might vary depending on synergistic or antagonistic interactions with sex or species-specific recognition cues.



Interspecific Competition and Territory Defense Mechanisms of Coptotermes formosanus and Coptotermes gestroi (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

Results of two bioassays in the current study showed that C. gestroi was more aggressive than C. formosanus, and sealed individual tunnels in response to encounters with other species acts to prevent further agonism and mortality, and on a broad scale the aggregate of such blocked tunnels may come to define the borders between adjacent colonies.

Burial behaviour by dealates of the termite Pseudacanthotermes spiniger (Termitidae, Macrotermitinae) induced by chemical signals from termite corpses

It is shown that in young pleometrotic colonies, reproductives of Pseudacanthotermes spiniger had the ability to perform the burial of the cadaver within the initial chamber, which resulted in the physical isolation of corpses, thus reducing the chances for opportunistic pathogens to spread among the rest of the individuals.

Behavioral Interactions Between Aphaenogaster rudis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae): The Importance of Physical Barriers

Examination of predator–prey interactions between the woodland ant and the eastern subterranean termite suggests that under natural field conditions termites may be less susceptible to attacks by ants when they nest in solid wood, which may offer more structural protection than sand alone.

Fatty acid necromones for cockroaches

The identity and bioassay of the active constituents of this death-recognition signal are reported and they are found to be cockroaches that avoid shelters containing dead conspecifics and shelters in which a cockroach has been killed by crushing and removed.

Apparent Synergy Among Defense Mechanisms in Subterranean Termites (Rhinotermitidae) Against Epizootic Events: Limits and Potential for Biological Control

A multimodal approach of the currently identified defense mechanisms allowed us to show that subterranean termites have the ability to prevent an epizootic from occurring, and it is suggested that these mechanisms act synergistically to produce an efficient defense against the infection of the fungus at the individual and group level so as to protect the colony fromEpizootics.

Behavioral Plasticity in Division of Labor in the Lower Termite Reticulitermes fukienensis

Behavioral flexibility among workers of different instars of the subterranean termite Reticulitermes fukienensis is described, and it is demonstrated that task flexibility can accompany alterations in colony demography and colony needs in the social Hymenoptera.

Alarm, aggregation, and defense by Reticulitermes flavipes in response to a naturally occurring isolate of Metarhizium anisopliae

Observations suggest that circumvention of behavioral defenses may be necessary in order to further develop effective microbial control of termites with M. anisopliae, which may be exploitable in the development of termite repellent product additives and barriers.

Chemical signals associated with life inhibit necrophoresis in Argentine ants

It is demonstrated how the cuticular chemistry of Argentine ant workers, Linepithema humile, undergoes rapid changes after death, which supports an alternative mechanism of ant necrophoresis in which the precise recognition and rapid removal of dead nestmates are elicited by the disappearance of these chemical signals associated with life.

Semiochemicals Extracted from a Dolichoderine Ant Affects the Feeding and Tunneling Behavior of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

The results suggest that ant semiochemicals are a potential source of natural products that could prove useful for termite control.

Interaction Between the Subterranean Termite Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) and the Entomopathogenic Fungus Metarhizium anisopliae in Foraging Arenas

The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.) Sorokin was tested in the laboratory against field-collected groups of eastern subterranean termite groups in foraging arenas to determine the potential effect of a “trap and treat” protocol.