It has been shown previously that termites are sensitive to vibrations, using them as a communication channel. However, their ability to use vibrations in assessment of food structures is little understood. Here we present timber of differing quantities to two drywood termite species, Cryptotermes domesticus and Cr. secundus. We also expose the termites to vibration signals produced as a by-product of their feeding, and to food sources with altered effective material properties. We show here that both species have a food size preference, which is determined by vibrations. We also show that Cr secundus is able to discriminate material properties. Although the exact characteristics in the vibration signals they utilise are yet to be fully identified, these observations reveal previously unexplored aspects of termite foraging decision-making, which might help to minimise their economic impact.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2007|