oa Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa - The collection and utilization of redgrass (Themeda triandra Forsk.) by laboratory colonies of the harvester termite, Hodotermes mossambicus (Hagen) and its relation to population density

Volume 33, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0013-8789



Food collection by laboratory colonies of Hodotermes mossambicus (Hagen) showed a cyclical tendency which might be an indication that population regulation by individual colonies takes place. An experiment was set up in which it was arranged that adult workers were randomly and continually lost by nine colonies. These losses also were of a cyclical nature, but the cycles were out of phase with the food cycles, indicating that food collection was not dependent upon ""predation"". The only constituents of dry redgrass (Themeda triandra Forsk.) utilized to a large extent by the termites were the hexosans and pentosans. The nitrogen content of the food was low.

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