Nitrogen recycling through proctodeal trophallaxis in the Japanese damp-wood termite Hodotermopsis japonica (Isoptera, Termopsidae)

  title={Nitrogen recycling through proctodeal trophallaxis in the Japanese damp-wood termite Hodotermopsis japonica (Isoptera, Termopsidae)},
  author={Mitsuyo Machida and Osamu Kitade and Toru Miura and T. Matsumoto},
  journal={Insectes Sociaux},
Summary: Trophallaxis is one of a variety of nutritional tactics that enable termites to conserve and recycle nitrogenous compounds. In this study, we designed three experiments to reveal the function and importance of proctodeal trophallaxis in the Japanese damp-wood termite Hodotermopsis japonica. First, our observations showed that younger instars and soldiers tended to behave as recipients of proctodeal fluid, while older instars acted mainly as donors. Secondly, nitrogen-deficient groups… 

A double-edged sword? The cost of proctodeal trophallaxis in termites

This work represents a first attempt to identify the role of proctodeal trophallaxis within a socio-immunological context and shows that termites frequently engage in these exchanges in spite of the heightened survival costs, revealing possible evolutionary trade-offs between the nutritional benefits accrued through these exchanges and the risks of disease transmission.

Liquid exchange via stomodeal trophallaxis in the ponerine ant Diacamma sp. from Japan

Trophallaxis plays a major role in the sharing of food in colonies of many social insects, and two modes of this are known: stomodeal (oral) and proctodeal (abdominal) trophallaxis. In social

Studies on feeding and trophallaxis in the subterranean termite Odontotermes formosanus using rubidium chloride

Results indicate that soldiers are completely dependent on workers for nutrition, and nutritional material from foraging workers could be transferred to non‐foraging workers, soldiers, and fifth and sixth instars by trophallaxis.

Limited survival strategy in starving subterranean termite colonies

The hemimetabolous developmental pathway, the difference of timing in the molting cycle of termite instars and the relatively rapid exhaustion of soldiers, indirectly determined the sequence of starvation-induced mortality and subsequent cannibalism.

Effect of nutritional condition on larval food requisition behavior in a subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

It is shown here that a Japanese subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus uses an overt food solicitation by larva, “pecking”, as a cue for worker feeding, which indicates that workers can feed more starved larvae than less starved ones because pecking honestly reflects larval hunger state.

Gut Content and Laboratory Survival of the Termite Cornitermes cumulans (Isoptera: Termitidae: Syntermitinae) with Different Diets Including Nest Stored Food

The qualitative analysis of the gut contents showed different materials, such as plant parts, fungi, and minerals, showed that the most adequate artificial foods to maintain populations of C. cumulans in the laboratory were the diets of α-cellulose, corn stalk, and sugarcane bagasse.

The Role of Symbionts in the Evolution of Termites and Their Rise to Ecological Dominance in the Tropics

It is argued that the behavioural and ontogenetic characteristics of termite societies are the internalisation of a community of microorganisms derived from and representing an earlier external rumen, resulting in the extant eusociality characterised by generational overlap, proctodaeal feeding, altricial development, paedomorphosis and co-evolution with microorganisms.

Origin of Mutualism Between Termites and Flagellated Gut Protists: Transition From Horizontal to Vertical Transmission

  • C. Nalepa
  • Biology
    Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
  • 2020
The strong integration between flagellate encystment cycles and host developmental physiology in Cryptocercus indicates that the relationship of the flageLLates with their proposed gregarious cockroach ancestor was not commensal, but parasitic, with flageellates likely obtaining benefits by taking advantage of host gut metabolites and ingested plant debris.

Symbiotic nitrogen fixation in the New Zealand dampwood termite (Stolotermes ruficeps).

The majority of sequences obtained in this study were most closely related to sequences obtained from basal families Kalotermitidae, Termopsidae and the closely related wood-feeding cockroach species Cryptocercus, adding to the growing amount of evidence suggesting that the composition of nifH sequences is characteristic of a termite family.



Caste developmental system of the Japanese damp-wood termite Hodotermopsis japonica (Isoptera: Termopsidae)

The linear developmental pathway found in this study is thought to be the typical pattern in lower termites, and males and females appear to follow the same caste developmental pathway.

Diet and nest material of the processional termite Hospitalitermes, and cohabitation of Termes (Isoptera, Termitidae) on Borneo Island

The chemical composition (CHN ratio, amino acid composition and ash content) of food balls which the workers carry back from foraging sites to the nest suggest that the food balls are an important dietary source of nitrogen in this genus.

Nitrogen Fixation in Termites

The question of N2 fixation in termites is reinvestigated by exploiting the sensitivity of the acetylene reduction assay, a reliable indicator of N1 fixation and preliminary reports of these results have already been published.

Gut bacteria recycle uric acid nitrogen in termites: A strategy for nutrient conservation.

Symbiotic recycling of uric acid N appears to be important to N conservation in these oligonitrotrophic insects, either directly via glutamine synthetase activity of fat body tissue or indirectly through microbe assimilation.


Although the supply of N in wood is meager, wood-destroying fungi readily metabolize the carbon-rich constituents of wood and produce large fruiting structures that release vast numbers of spores in nature.

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.

Experiments on the Nitrogen Economy of Termites

The most difficult problem is not the digestion of cellulose, but how to discover the means by which the deficient nitrogen is obtained.

The Insects: Structure and Function

The aim of this monograph is to clarify the role of pheromones and chemicals in the lives of Insects and to propose a strategy to address their role in the food web.

The Digestive System

This chapter discusses the diseases and related pathologic alterations that may be encountered in the gastrointestinal tract and associated organs of various species of laboratory animals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians and provides an extensive review of these lesions.

Cannibalism and necrophagy in a subterranean termite (Reticulitermes lucifagus var

  • santonensis). Malay. Nat. J
  • 1978