Biology of Termites, Volume I presents the anatomical, physiological, biochemical, and behavioral laboratory and field studies of termite species. Although termites have been associated mainly with damage, only less than 10% of the species have actually been recorded as pests, obscuring their important ecological role in the breakdown of vegetative matter and their variety and complexity of structure, physiology, social behavior, caste differentiation and regulation, and other aspects of their biology.
After briefly describing the social organization, classification, and research history of termites, the book discusses the external morphology of these species and the similarities and differences between the various groups and the different castes. The subsequent chapters cover the internal anatomy of termites, including their digestive physiology, exocrine and endocrine glands, reproductive and nervous systems, and sense organs. Other chapters deal with the social behavior and communication in the termites and the termite colonizing flights and associated activities. The book also examines caste differentiation in the three lower termite families, namely, Hodotermitidae, Kalotermitidae, and Rhinotermitidae. This volume includes discussions on the rearing, feeding, and biochemistry of termites; the radioisotopes for feeding studies; and the moisture requirements for termite survival. The concluding chapters deal with the introduction or interception of termites by humans and their association with fungi, as well as the relationships of termite hosts with termitophiles.
Termite biologists, zoologists, botanists, ecologists, behaviorists, biochemists, endocrinologists, and economic entomologists will find this volume invaluable.