Subterranean termites of Toru-Orua: a university community in Bayelsa State, Southern Nigeria
Richard Uzakah1* & Oscar Maika1
Termites play beneficial and crucial roles in ecosystems especially in decomposition of organic matter, recycling of nutrients, and soil fertility improvements. However, they are more of a menace, particularly to man and society globally due to their devastations to food and agriculture; building materials to, household furniture etc., and in causing serious depletions of people’s sources of livelihood. This study was aimed at unravelling the species composition, distribution, and prevalence of subterranean termites within the university community at Toru-Orua and, the microflora facilitating cellulose digestion within termite guts. The study area was split into ten zones for easy project management and painstaking investigations. Random field samplings undertaken, after 5-10m transect walks across the community, and followed by laboratory analyses/identification of collected termite specimens revealed three main termites, Globitermes Holmgren, Dicuspiditermes Krishna, and Amitermes Silvestri (in order of importance) respectively, as the predominant species. The Simpson’s index on the termites’ species diversity (0.40) depicted a somewhat moderate species distribution and abundance. Knowledge of pest species composition, distribution, and prevalence rankings are fundamental in planning for environmentally friendly, effective and sustainable pest management strategies. Preliminary microflora investigations on termite guts suggested involvement of cellulolytic bacteria with termites’ food digestions; a finding that may also have some potential benefit in planning novel control options for this pest.
Keywords: subterranean termites, species composition, prevalence ranking, Simpson’s diversity index, cellulolytic bacteria, synergistic relationship.
1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Africa, Toru-Orua, Sagbama, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
African Journal of Tropical Entomology Research: 1 (3) pp. 176-182.
© 2022 Uzakah & Maika
ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE/ OPEN ACCESS
*Corresponding author: [email protected]
Received: 17 September 2022
Accepted: 22 November 2022
Published : 29 December 2022