Lab studies on trail following behavior of the termite Hypotermes obscuriceps towards 2-Phenoxyethanol

Gurjeet T. Kaur, Anantharaju S. Gajalakshmi, S. A. Abbasi


Hypotermes obscuriceps is the most abundant of termite species found in North-eastern Puducherry. It has been seen to assimilate ligninous waste kept for degradation in the termireactors designed earlier by the authors by the process of termigradation. Termigradation is a termite-based biodegradation process and involves attracting termites towards the ligninous waste in specially designed reactors. Such reactors are kept in pits or aboveground near termite mounds. In order to increase the number of termites that will move towards the feed kept in such termireactors, 2-Phenoxyethanol (2-PE) was explored in the laboratory for making trails that may attract H. obscuriceps. Five different concentrations of 2-PE, ranging from 0.1 to 0.0005% were explored and in controlled experiments, the numbers of termites that followed the trails made by these levels of 2-PE as a function of time were determined. It was seen that all the trails that contained 2-PE attracted H. obscuriceps and none was toxic to termites for the first 60 minutes.


2-Phenoxyethanol; Hypotermes obscuriceps; trail; termites; attractant

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