COMPARATIVE FEEDING OF SEVERAL CELLULOSE BAITS BY THE SUBTERRANEAN TERMITE Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (ISOPTERA: RHINOTERMITIDAE).
Munizaga, María José
Cellulose baits are important for the early detection of infestation by subterranean termites Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). The feeding preferences of this termite were studied on Pinus radiata L. pinewood, corrugated cardboard, paper towel, pinewood sawdust, and roneo paper, set separately in PVC containers with a sand and distilled water substrate, each with 100 workers, during 10, 20, 30, or 40 d, with four replicates per period. Consumption in mg/ termite/day was significantly greater on pinewood and roneo paper than on corrugated cardboard and paper towel. Pine sawdust had an intermediate consumption, while differences were observed only with pinewood. No significant differences in consumption were observed between the time periods. Termite survival was significantly lower on corrugated cardboard compared to paper towel, but similar to the other materials. In addition, the survival of R. flavipes was significantly lower at 30 and 40 d compared to the values observed at 10 and 20 d. The higher survival of insects observed in the towel paper treatment suggests that the consumption of nutritionally favorable food may be lower when it is the only alternative. This indicates that consumption in no-choice tests does not reveal the food preference that may occur in the field.