Architecture and Nutrient Analysis of Arboreal Carton Nests of Two Neotropical Nasutitermes Species (Isoptera: Termitidae), with Notes on Embedded Nodules

  • Thorne B
  • Collins M
  • Bjorndal K
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Nest architecture of the arboreal Neotropical termites Nasutitermes acajutlae (Holmgren) and N. nigriceps (Haldeman) is described, with special reference to carton inclusions or nodules found within the normal gallery matrix of some nests. Nutrient analyses of these nodules show that they have high cellulose and low cutin concentrations in comparison to normal nest carton. These data support the hypothesis that the nodule inclusions serve as a form of facultative food storage in some nests of these termite species. These cases appear to represent a rare situation in which food is not stockpiled or cultured by termites, but rather some partially processed, masticated food is incorporated into the nest matrix for future consumption.

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  • Barbara L. Thorne

  • Margaret S. Collins

  • Karen A. Bjorndal

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