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New paper on termitaria invaders

New paper on termitaria invaders

by Og DeSouza -
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The most downloaded paper from Insectes Sociaux's homepage in the week (01-06/July/2012) is by our lab:

Cristaldo, P. F.; Rosa, C. S.; Florencio, D. F.; Marins, A. & DeSouza, O. (2012) Termitarium volume as a determinant of invasion by obligatory termitophiles and inquilines in the nests of Constrictotermes cyphergaster (Termitidae: Nasutitermitinae) Insectes Sociaux, 59(4); DOI 10.1007/s00040-012-0249-3.

During the first week of its appearance in "Online First" section of Insectes Sociaux's homepage, the article has already achieved the mark of most downloaded PDF!

The paper reports on the existence of a critical nest size above which inquilines and termitophiles are more likely to cohabit termitaria of Constrictotermes cyphergaster.

Abstract A range of organisms can be found inside termite
nests where the degree of association can vary from faculta-
tive to obligatory dependence. Studies of the dynamics of nest
invasion are still unresolved, so how and when cohabitants
enter termite nests remain open questions. This study analyzed
one specific aspect of the dynamics of termite nest invasion by
obligatory termitophiles and inquilines, i.e., whether cohabi-
tants were more likely to invade a nest when it reached a critical
nest size. We collected 36 Constrictotermes cyphergaster nests
of different sizes and sampled their cohabitant fauna. Our
results indicated that the invasion of C. cyphergaster nests by
obligatory termitophiles and inquilines was dependent on nest
size. There appeared to be a critical nest size above which nests
were more prone to invasion. Above this size, there was a
significantly higher likelihood of finding obligatory cohabi-
tants. Termitophile species were observed in nests C2.2 L,
whereas inquiline species were only occur in nests C13.6 L.
This may indicate that the obligatory cohabitants studied here
did not occupy C. cyphergaster nests at random and that they
were dependent on features that made these nests suitable for
cohabitation, which are linked to colony development.