Cuticular permeability of two species of Coptotermes Wasmann (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

  • Authors: Shelton, Thomas G.; Grace, J. Kenneth
  • Publication Year: 2003
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Source: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A 134: 205-211


cuticular permeability (CP) values of worker and soldier castes of copotermes formosanus Shiraki and coptotermes vastator light were determined using gravimetric techniques. Comparisons were made between castes, species and betweencolonies of C. Formosanus and C. vastator. CP values did not differ among either species or colony, however, they did differ between castes. Data reported here and that of established data in the literature for c. formosanus are inconsistent, with the current report having values oas small as half that of previously published data. Examining mean CP data by colony indicated that there is a range for copotermes spp. termites, from 6.84 ± 1.2 to 25.61 ± 1.49 ųgH2Ocm-2mmHg-1h-1 dependent upon caste. A novel method of examining intercaste CP variability is the use of workers:soldier CP rations. ratios for C. formosanus were consistent between the current study and previous reports. Mean percentage total body water (%TBW) lost at the time of deat hwas 33.75±3.31% (soldiers) and 52.87±3.65% (workers) for C. vastator. Consistently, %TBW (and fresh mass) was greater in worker than in soldier castes. These data suggest the use of water storage mechanisms in worker termites, as hown for other rhinotermitids.

  • Citation: Shelton, Thomas G.; Grace, J. Kenneth 2003. Cuticular permeability of two species of Coptotermes Wasmann (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A 134: 205-211
  • Keywords: Cuticular permeability, subterranean termites, water balance, coptotermes formosanus,
  • Posted Date: April 1, 1980
  • Modified Date: August 22, 2006
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