Flight speed of tethered Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) alates
Alates of the Eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) were collected over two flight seasons (2002 and 2004) and flown on flight mulls. Data were collected to test if alate mass, colony origin, or gender influenced flight speed. Flight speed ranged from 3.14 to 69.12 cm s-1 and the maximum distance flown by an alate was 458.3 m. Alate mass (P= 0.9506), gender and colony (P=0.7093) did not significantly influence flight speed. Additionally, an electronic counting device was used to provide instantaneous flight speeds and allowed flight speed to be modeled during acceleration, cruising, and deceleration periods of flight. Mean (± SEM) flight speeds in 2004 were 20.64 (±2.21) cm s-1 (n = 13) for males and 17.76 cm s-1 (n=1) for the single female flow, falling within the range of 2002 values.