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Cuticular hydrocarbons for species determination of tropical termitesAuthor(s): Michael I. Haverty; Lori J. Nelson; Barbara L. Thorne; Margaret S. Collins; Johanna P.E.C. Darlington; Marion Page
Source: In: Conrad, Engene C.; Newell, Leonard A., tech. cords. Proceedings on the session on tropical forestry for people of the Pacific, XVII Pacific Science Congress; May 27-28. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-129. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 58-66
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
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DescriptionCuticular hydrocarbons can be used to discriminate species in Coptotermes and Nasutitermes, here discussed for selected species from locations in the Pacific Rim and several Caribbean islands. We recently reexamined the cuticular hydrocarbons of Coptotermes formosanus and identified several dimethylalkanes that may be unique to this species. Cuticular hydrocarbons of C. curvignathus are similar to those of C. formosanus; the primary difference is the absence of 9,13-DimeC27 and 13,15-DimeC29 in C. curvignathus. Hydrocarbons of C. acinaciformis include abundant quantities of C27:1, which does not occur in any other species of Coptotermes examined thus far. C. lacreus makes two unusual dimethylalkanes: 15,17-DimeC and 15,17-DimeC. C. testaceus is notably different from the other Coptotermes species described here. Nearly all of the hydrocarbon components are monomethylalkanes. No n-alkanes or alkenes were identified. The predominant hydrocarbons in Nasutitermes costalis are mono- and dimethylalkanes: 13,17-DimeC31 accounts for nearly half of the total hydrocarbon. The most abundant hydrocarbons in N. ephratae are also mono-, di- and trimethylalkanes. Two dimethylalkanes (15,17-DimeC37 and 15,17-DimeC39) separate N. ephratae from N. costalis. The hydrocarbon mixtures of N. gaigei and N.guayanae contain only late-eluting alkenes (C337:2 through C41:1) . The major difference between these two species is the degree of unsaturation. The hydrocarbon profile of N. acajutlae appears to be bimodal: early-eluting hydrocarbons consist of n-alkanes, alkenes, and monomethylalkanes, while late-eluting compounds consist entirely of alkenes. N. intennedius predominantly makes long-chain alkenes with one or two double bonds (C37:2 through C41:1), including a homologous series of alkenes with an even number of carbons in the chain (C36:2 through C40:1).
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CitationHaverty, Michael I.; Nelson, Lori J.; Thorne, Barbara L.; Collins, Margaret S.; Darlington, Johanna P.E.C.; Page, Marion. 1992. Cuticular hydrocarbons for species determination of tropical termites. In: Conrad, Engene C.; Newell, Leonard A., tech. cords. Proceedings on the session on tropical forestry for people of the Pacific, XVII Pacific Science Congress; May 27-28. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-129. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 58-66
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