Subterranean termite colonies can be as large as 1 million individuals with a foraging territory and underground galleries stretching up to 100 meters long. How does an entomologist study something that large? Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how researchers at the University of Florida have raised entire termite colonies from scratch and devised experimental setups that mimic large foraging and nesting areas while still fitting inside a lab.
A visual analogy created by termite researcher Thomas Chouvenc, Ph.D., illustrates the damage termites can wreak upon a house. Given a small, two-dimensional wooden replica of a house (30x20 cm, 2 mm thick), a colony of 2,000 Formosan subterranean termites took only three weeks to consume it.
A new study in the Journal of Economic Entomology shows exposure to an insecticide bait known as a chitin synthesis inhibitor for as little as one day may be sufficient to eliminate a colony of Asian subterranean termites
The little yellow ant is a tropical species, native to Madagascar, but now it's been found in Florida.
By Thomas Chouvenc, Ph.D. The Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) is an infamous termite pest species, but it is also an interesting model for studying the evolution of termites and […]
In March 2016, Thomas Chouvenc, a research assistant at the University of Florida Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, noticed a major swarm of Asian subterranean termites (Coptotermes gestroi) in […]
By Thomas Chouvenc Well, they don’t exactly change diapers, but when it comes to the latrine and nest sanitation, old termites are in charge. Age polyethism, where workers change tasks […]
Asian and Formosan subterranean termites cause about $40 billion a year in structural damage globally, and researchers from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences predict these […]
By Richard Levine Coptotermes is one of the most economically destructive genera of termites, and it includes the Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus). For years, taxonomists have struggled with a […]
An important part of an entomologist’s job is to stay up-to-date with the published scientific literature. However, keeping up with it is more challenging than it used to be, and […]
By Richard Levine Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus) and Asian subterranean termites (Coptotermes gestroi) are the most damaging pest species in the world. Both are highly invasive and have spread […]