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Eur. J. Entomol. 2005, 102(2): 307311
Development of neotenics induced by a temporary absence of functional reproductives in Kalotermes flavicollis (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae)
KINDL J.* & HRDY I.
The effect of removing the functional pair of Kalotermes flavicollis from an experimental colony for 12, 24 or 48 h and the repeated removal for a particular number of hours per day (2, 4, 6, 12, 18, 20, and 22 h) was studied. An absence of the functional pair for 12 h had no affect on the development of new neotenics, whereas 24-h absence induced the development of new neotenics in 5 out of 12 experimental groups. A 48-h absence induced development of new neotenics in all 12 experimental groups. Pseudergates and nymphs can be orphaned for up to 12 h a day without being stimulated to differentiate, after which the number of new neotenics increased gradually with the time for which the reproductive pair was absent. This suggests that the inhibitory process is continuous and cumulative. Both sexes showed similar sensitivity to the absence of reproductives. The study also tested, by exchanging pseudergates between groups with functional pairs and orphaned groups, whether pseudergates in experimental groups actively spread inhibitory factors; however, this was not proven. Only pseudergates and nymphs that were in direct contact with the functional pair were inhibited.
AddressInstitute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Academy of Science of the Czech Republic, Flemingovo nám. 2, 166 10 Praha 6, Czech Republic; e-mail: email@example.com
KeywordsInhibition of neotenics, replacement reproductives, temporary absence, Isoptera, Kalotermes