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Search results for: Heterotermes indicola

3 Effects of Essential Oils on the Intestinal Microflora of Termite (Heterotermes indicola)

Authors: Ayesha Aihetasham, Najma Arshad, Sobia Khan

Abstract:

Damage causes by subterranean termites are of major concern today. Termites majorly treated with pesticides resulted in several problems related to health and environment. For this reason, plant-derived natural products specifically essential oils have been evaluated in order to control termites. The aim of the present study was to investigate the antitermitic potential of six essential oils on Heterotermes indicola subterranean termite. No-choice bioassay was used to assess the termiticidal action of essential oils. Further, gut from each set of treated termite group was extracted and analyzed for reduction in number of protozoa and bacteria by protozoal count method using haemocytometer and viable bacterial plate count (dilution method) respectively. In no-choice bioassay it was found that Foeniculum vulgare oil causes high degree of mortality 90 % average mortality at 10 mg oil concentration (10mg/0.42g weight of filter paper). Least mortality appeared to be due to Citrus sinensis oil (43.33 % average mortality at 10 mg/0.42g). The highest activity verified to be of Foeniculum vulgare followed by Eruca sativa, Trigonella foenum-graecum, Peganum harmala, Syzygium cumini and Citrus sinensis. The essential oil which caused maximum reduction in number of protozoa was P. harmala followed by T. foenum-graecum and E. sativa. In case of bacterial count E. sativa oil indicated maximum decrease in bacterial number (6.4×10⁹ CFU/ml). It is concluded that F. vulgare, E. sativa and P. harmala essential oils are highly effective against H. indicola termite and its gut microflora.

Keywords: bacterial count, essential oils, Heterotermes indicola, protozoal count

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2 Effect of Varied Climate, Landuse and Human Activities on the Termite (Isoptera: Insecta) Diversity in Three Different Habitats of Shivamogga District, Karnataka, India

Authors: C. M. Kalleshwaraswamy, G. S. Sathisha, A. S. Vidyashree, H. B. Pavithra

Abstract:

Isoptera are an interesting group of social insects with different castes and division of labour. They are primarily wood-feeders, but also feed on a variety of other organic substrates, such as living trees, leaf litter, soil, lichens and animal faeces. The number of species and their biomass are especially large in tropics. In natural ecosystems, they perform a beneficial role in nutrient cycles by accelerating decomposition. The magnitude and dimension of ecological role played by termites is a function of their diversity, population density, and biomass. Termite assemblage composition has a strong response to habitat disturbance and may be indicative of quantitative changes in the decomposition process. Many previous studies in Western Ghat region of India suggest increased anthropogenic activities that adversely affect the soil macrofauna and diversity. Shivamogga district provides a good opportunity to study the effect of topography, cropping pattern, human disturbance on the termite fauna, thereby acquiring accurate baseline information for conservation decision making. The district has 3 distinct agro-ecological areas such as maidan area, semi-malnad and Western Ghat region. Thus, the district provides a unique opportunity to study the effect of varied climate and anthropogenic disturbance on the termite diversity. The standard protocol of belt transects method developed by Eggleton et al. (1997) was used for sampling termites. Sampling was done at monthly interval from September-2014 to August-2015 in Western Ghats, semi-malnad and maidan habitats. The transect was 100m long and 2m wide and divided into 20 contiguous sections, each 5 x 2m in each habitat. Within each section, all the probable microhabitats of termites were searched, which include dead logs, fallen tree, branch, sticks, leaf litter, vegetation etc.,. All the castes collected were labelled, preserved in 80% alcohol, counted and identified to species level. The number of encounters of a species in the transect was used as an indicator of relative abundance of species. The species diversity, species richness, density were compared in three different habitats such as Western Ghats, semi-malnad and maidan region. The study indicated differences in the species composition in the three different habitats. A total of 15 species were recorded which belonging to four sub family and five genera in three habitats. Eleven species viz., Odontotermes obesus, O. feae, O. anamallensis, O. bellahunisensis, O. adampurensis, O. boveni, Microcerotermes fletcheri, M. pakistanicus, Nasutitermes anamalaiensis, N. indicola, N. krishna were recorded in Western Ghat region. Similarly, 11 species viz., Odontotermes obesus, O. feae, O. anamallensis, O. bellahunisensis, O. hornii, O. bhagwathi, Microtermes obesi, Microcerotermes fletcheri, M. pakistanicus, Nasutitermes indicola and Pericapritermes sp. were recorded in semi-malnad habitat. However, only four species viz., O. obesus, O. feae, Microtemes obesi and Pericapritermes sp. species were recorded in maidan area. Shannon’s wiener diversity index (H) showed that Western Ghats had more species dominance (1.56) followed by semi- malnad (1.36) and lowest in maidan (0.89) habitats. Highest value of simpson’s index (D) was observed in Western Ghats habitat (0.70) with more diverse species followed by semi-malnad (0.58) and lowest in maidan (0.53). Similarly, evenness was highest (0.65) in Western Ghats followed by maidan (0.64) and least in semi-malnad habitat (0.54). Menhinick’s index (Dmn) value was ranging from 0.03 to 0.06 in different habitats in the study area. Highest index was observed in Western Ghats (0.06) followed by semi-malnad (0.05) and lowest in maidan (0.03). The study conclusively demonstrated that Western Ghat had highest species diversity compared to semi-malnad and maidan habitat indicating these two habitats are continuously subjected to anthropogenic disturbances. Efforts are needed to conserve the uncommon species which otherwise may become extinct due to human activities.

Keywords: anthropogenic disturbance, isoptera, termite species diversity, Western ghats

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1 Genetic Diversity of Termite (Isoptera) Fauna of Western Ghats of India

Authors: A. S. Vidyashree, C. M. Kalleshwaraswamy, R. Asokan, H. M. Mahadevaswamy

Abstract:

Termites are very vital ecological thespians in tropical ecosystem, having been designated as “ecosystem engineers”, due to their significant role in providing soil ecosystem services. Despite their importance, our understanding of a number of their basic biological processes in termites is extremely limited. Developing a better understanding of termite biology is closely dependent upon consistent species identification. At present, identification of termites is relied on soldier castes. But for many species, soldier caste is not reported, that creates confusion in identification. The use of molecular markers may be helpful in estimating phylogenetic relatedness between the termite species and estimating genetic differentiation among local populations within each species. To understand this, termites samples were collected from various places of Western Ghats covering four states namely Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra during 2013-15. Termite samples were identified based on their morphological characteristics, molecular characteristics, or both. Survey on the termite fauna in Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu indicated the presence of a 16 species belongs to 4 subfamilies under two families viz., Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae. Termititidae was the dominant family which was belonging to 4 genera and four subfamilies viz., Macrotermitinae, Amitermitinae, Nasutitermitinae and Termitinae. Amitermitinae had three species namely, Microcerotermes fletcheri, M. pakistanicus and Speculitermes sinhalensis. Macrotermitinae had the highest number of species belonging two genera, namely Microtermes and Odontotermes. Microtermes genus was with only one species i.e., Microtermes obesi. The genus Odontotermes was represented by the highest number of species (07), namely, O. obesus was the dominant (41 per cent) and the most widely distributed species in Karnataka, Karala, Maharashtra and Tamil nadu followed by O. feae (19 per cent), O.assmuthi (11 per cent) and others like O. bellahunisensis O. horni O. redemanni, O. yadevi. Nasutitermitinae was represented by two genera namely Nasutitermes anamalaiensis and Trinervitermes biformis. Termitinae subfamily was represented by Labiocapritermes distortus. Rhinotermitidae was represented by single subfamily Heterotermetinae. In Heterotermetinae, two species namely Heterotermes balwanthi and H. malabaricus were recorded. Genetic relationship among termites collected from various locations of Western Ghats of India was characterized based on mitochondrial DNA sequences (12S, 16S, and COII). Sequence analysis and divergence among the species was assessed. These results suggest that the use of both molecular and morphological approaches is crucial in ensuring accurate species identification. Efforts were made to understand their evolution and to address the ambiguities in morphological taxonomy. The implication of the study in revising the taxonomy of Indian termites, their characterization and molecular comparisons between the sequences are discussed.

Keywords: isoptera, mitochondrial DNA sequences, rhinotermitidae, termitidae, Western ghats

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