Reaction of Termites to Ballpen Ink

Topics: Termite, Termites, Experiment Pages: 4 (1148 words) Published: November 20, 2011
The termites’ reaction to pheromones in different colors of ballpoint pen ink. Abstract:
We conducted the experiment with termites in order to determine how they react to pheromones present in different colors of ballpoint pen ink. The experiment consisted of two parts: in first part we used a ballpoint pen with blue ink, in second – a ballpoint pen with red ink. The reaction of termites was measured by their performance in 1 minute. Every termite in experimental group went through 3 tries in each part of the experiment. The results were recorded and analyzed. The experiment showed that the termites’ reaction was virtually the same for different colors of ink. Introduction:

The most common and economically important wood-destroying organisms in the United States are Subterranean Termites (Reticulitermes flavipes). Termites feed on materials that contain cellulose, primarily dead wood and wood by-products. Subterranean termites are social insects that live in colonies that may contain hundreds of thousands of individuals. Each termite colony contains three forms or castes, which are the workers, soldiers, and reproductives (Picture # 1).These castes are physically distinct and perform different tasks in the termite society. Workers are about 1/8 inch long and are blind, wingless, soft-bodied, creamy white to grayish-white with a round head. Workers are the most numerous individuals in a termite colony, and they are the termite caste that actually eats the wood. These sterile individuals forage for food and water, construct and repair shelter tubes, feed and groom other termites, care for eggs and young, and participate in colony defense. Soldiers are also wingless and resemble workers except that they have a large, rectangular, yellowish-brown head with large mandibles (jaws). The soldiers’ primary function is colony defense. Male and female reproductives can be winged (primary) or wingless (neotenic). Each can produce new offspring. Winged primary...
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