Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Theresa L. Pitts-Singer; Brian T. Forschler
    Date: 2000
    Source: Journal of Insect Behavior, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2000
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (292 KB)


    Tunneling behavior of laboratory-maintained cultures of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and R. virginicus (Banks) was examined to determine (1) if the termites build tunnels along preexisting wires or tunnels, and (2) whether tunnels are arranged, to optimize search efficiency. Tunnel patterns were considered optimal if ,for the number of tunnels present, the maximum area was explored. Termites entered either control arenas or arenas in which they encountered a wire or a pre-formed tunnel, Analyses revealed that R. fiavipes and R. virginicus almost always follow pre-formed tunnels, but do not follow wires as readily. Within each species, the distributions of tunnels in treatment arenas were different from distributions in control arenas, most often when pre-formed tunnels were the treatment. Optimal tunnel arrangements in control arenas were found in 42% of R. flavipes patterns with 2 tunnels and in 43% of R. virginicus patterns with 2 tunnels. None of the 3-tunnel patterns from control arenas of R. flavipes and 29% of those of R. virginicus had optimal arrangements. Overall, the spatial arrangement of tunnels in control arenas was significant{y different between R. flavipes and R. virginicus.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Pitts-Singer, Theresa L.; Forschler, Brian T. 2000. Influence of Guidelines and Passageways on Tunneling Behavior of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and R, virginicus (Banks) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Journal of Insect Behavior, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2000


    Reticulitermes flavipes, R. virginicus, Rhinotermitidae, tunneling behavior, termites

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page