Acoustic emission monitoring of the effect of temperature on activity rhythms of the subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus

Taro Fuchikawa, Kenta Matsubara, Takahisa Miyatake, Kenji Matsuura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Daily activity rhythms are widespread characteristics among many organisms and are usually related to one or more physical environmental variables, such as light and temperature. Even organisms that are not obviously exposed to wide fluctuations in environmental variables, such as troglodytic and endogeic species, exhibit some daily activity patterns. Termites inhabit underground areas or tree trunks where little or no fluctuation in light occurs. In the present study, the activity rhythms of field colonies of the subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus Kolbe (Blattodea: Termitidae) are examined, during all four seasons, by monitoring their acoustic emissions using a newly-modified method. Nest temperature affects termite activity significantly during all four seasons. By contrast, no significant effect of time is observed during the different seasons, with the exception of autumn. Activity and nest temperature are negatively correlated in summer and autumn, although thay are are positively correlated during winter and spring. The greatest activity occurs at 23-25 °C. The experimental observations suggest that the activity of R. speratus termite colonies is affected mainly by ambient temperature, in a manner that is based on optimum temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-308
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiological Entomology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012



  • Acoustic emission
  • Colony
  • Daily rhythm
  • Reticulitermes speratus
  • Termite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Physiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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