Skip to main content Accessibility help

Mechanisms of recruitment for the retrieval of food in Amitermes evuncifer Silvestri (Isoptera: Termitidae: Termitinae)

  • S. L. Omo Malaka (a1) and R. H. Leuthold (a2)


The study revealed that there was quantitative recruitment in colonies of Amitermes evuncifer, whenever food was discovered by the scouting foragers. Discovered food stimulated the termites to accelerate their running speed, to and from the food source. Increased trail-laying activity, accelerated movement and carrying of food by the returning workers facilitated recruitment of other confederates from their nest. These activities equally directed the recruited termites to the food source.

Amitermes evuncifer was observed to regulate traffic in relation to newly discovered food source. The results showed that there was rapid communication between the termites of food source within 3–4 min. It was further observed that the trail to newly found food source did not become dominant over the trail to the already existing food source. The results showed clearly the effect of food on vital activities of termites.

Cette étude montre qu'il y a un accroissement numérique des colonies d'Amitermes evuncifer chaque fois que les fourrageurs découvrent des sources d'alimentation. De telles sources incitent les termites a forcer la vitésse de déplacements entre le point de départ et les sources d'alimentation. Le dépôt de traces de pheromone les deplacements entre le point de départ et les sources d'alimentation et la transportation des vivres par les ouvriers facilitent le recrutement des confédéres de leur nid. Les mêmes activites servent aussi à diriger les termites nouvellement recrutés vers les sources d'alimentation.

On a pu observer que l'Amitermes evuncifer régit le trafic vers des sources d'alimentation nouvellement découvertes. Les données montrent que les renseignements sur la decouverte des sources d'alimentation sont transmis parti les termites en trois ou quatre minutes environi après la découverte. On a noté également que les traces menant à une source d'alimentation nouvellement découverte n'a aucun avantage sur une source qui préexistat. Les données démontrent clairement les effets qu'ont les vivres sur les activités essentielles des termites.



Hide All
Atkins, M. D. (1980) Introduction to Insect Behaviour. Macmillan, New York.
Blum, M. S. and Ross, G. N. (1965) Chemical releasers of social behaviour V. Source, specificity and properties of odour trail pheromone of Tetramorium guineense F. J. Insect Physiol. 11, 857868.
Butler, C. F. (1967) Insect pheromones. Biol. Rev. 42, 4287.
Carthy, J. D. (1951) The orientation of two allied species of British ants II; Odour trail laying and following in Acanthomyops (Lasius) fuliginosus. Behaviour 3, 304318.
Hangartner, W. (1969) Trail laying in the subterranean ant Acanthomyops interjectus. J. Insect Physiol. 15, 14.
Holldobler, B. (1971) Recruitment behaviour in Camponotus sociux (Hym. Formicidae). Z. vergl. Physiol. 75, 123142.
Holldobler, B. (1976) Recruitment behaviour, home range orientation and territoriality in harvester ants Pogonomyrmex. Behav. Ecol. Socio-biol. 1, 344.
Howard, R., Matsumura, F. and Coppel, H. C. (1976) Trail following pheromones of the Rhinotermitidae: approaches to their authentication and specificity. J. chem. Ecol. 2, 147166.
Jane, K. and Howse, P. E. (1979) The mass communication system of the leaf cutting ant, Atta cephalotes (L.). Anim. Behav. 227, 930939.
Jander, R. and Daumer, K. (1974) Guideline and gravity orientation of blind termites foraging in the open (Termitidae: Macrotermes, Hospitalilermes). Insectes soc. 21, 4569.
Leuthold, R. H. (1968) Recruitment to food by the ant Crematogaster ashmeadi. Psyche 75, 334350.
Malaka, S. L. O. (1973) Observations on termites in Nigeria. Nigeria Field 38, 2440.
Malaka, S. L. O. (1977a) A study of the chemistry and hydraulic conductivity of mound material and soils from different habitats of some Nigerian termites. Aust. J. Soil Res. 15, 8791.
Malaka, S. L. O. (1977b) A note on bulk density of termite mounds. Aust. J. Soil Res. 15, 9394.
Malaka, S. L. O. (1977c) Temperature studies of the mound and environment of Amitermes evuncifer Silvestri (Isoptera: Termitidae). Aust. J. Zool. 25, 711719.
Malaka, S. L. O. (1980a) The reaction of Amitermes evuncifer Silvestri (Isoptera: Termitidae: Amitermitinae) towards the bodies of different insect species and their extracts. J. nat. Hist. 14, 339350.
Malaka, S. L. O. (1980b) Foraging behaviour of Amitermes evuncifer Silvestri (Isoptera: Termitidae: Amitermitinae). J. nat. Hist. 14, 351361.
Malaka, S. L. O. (1983) Economic importance of termites; six case studies in Nigeria and Ghana. Nigeria Field 47, 222230.
McFarlane, J. (1981) Observations on sternal gland trail pheromone, trail laying and longevity of natural trails in the termite Macrotermes michaelseni. Unpublished report.
Moglich, M. and Holldobler, B. (1975) Communication and orientation during foraging and emigration in the ant Formica fusca. J. comp. Physiol. 101, 275288.
Oloo, G. W. (1979) Specificity of pheromonal trail in Trinervitermes bettonianus. ICIPE Publication No. 78, pp. 3032.
Oloo, G. W. and Leuthold, R. H. (1979) The influence of food on trail laying and recruitment behaviour in Trinervitermes bettonianus (Termitidae: Nasutitermitinae). Entomologia exp. appl 26, 267278.
Sands, W. A. (1962) Observations of termites destructive to tree and crops in Nigeria. North. Reg. Min. Agric. Samaru Res. Bull. 26, 114.
Sands, W. A. (1971) Termites as pests of tropical food crops. A paper presented at a seminar on Agricultural Research in West Africa. Sponsored by IITA at Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.
Szlep-Fessel, R. (1970) The regulatory mechanism in mass foraging and the recruitment of soldiers of Pheidole. Insectes soc. 17, 233244.
Traniello, J. F. A. (1981) Enemy deterrence in the recruitment strategy of a termite: soldier organized foraging in Nasutitermes costalis. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 78, 19781979.
Traniello, J. F. A. (1982) Recruitment and orientation components in a termite trial pheromone. Naturwissenschaften 69, 343345.
Wilson, E. O. (1962) Chemical communication among workers of the ant Solenopsis saevissima (Fr. Smith) 1. The organization of mass foraging. Anim. Behav. 10, 134147.
Wilson, E. O. (1965) Chemical communication in social insects. Science 149, 10641071.
Wilson, E. O. (1971) The Insect Society. Belknap Press, Cambridge, Mass.


Mechanisms of recruitment for the retrieval of food in Amitermes evuncifer Silvestri (Isoptera: Termitidae: Termitinae)

  • S. L. Omo Malaka (a1) and R. H. Leuthold (a2)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed