Fast marking of termites (Isoptera Rhinotermitidae)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Termites are typically marked by forcing them to eat fat-soluble stains in paper, a procedure that generally requires one week. A new and faster method forces termites to drink a water solution of the same fat-soluble stains, is described and tested. Coptotermes acinaciformis and C. lacteus (Rhinotermitidae) were 'fast' marked within 24hr with similar to 95% success and survivorship; this level was maintained for a week postmarking. This was significantly better than typical 'slow' marking, which had similar to 90% success and survivorship after the week-long marking period, a level which declined to similar to 70% after a second week. More importantly, the 'fast' method reduced termite laboratory and handling time, which may be the cause of delayed mortality. As there were no apparent advantages of the 'slow' marking method over the 'fast' method, a switch to this new method is advocated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-523
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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