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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Procapritermes Sp1

Procapritermes genus of termites can be call pre-Pericapritermes as the transformation of the mandibles appeared to be moving to the reverse (or back) flick response where the resting or prestrike state have the mandibles crossed. Pericapritermes flicks apparently (from my personal experiment with the palm of my hand as the measuring device) delivers a stronger force than those of Procapritermes.

A worker and soldier of a Procapritermes termite species. Most species of Procapritermes nest in excrement nest build on the ground commonly at the base of a tree. This first species in terms of overall length is shorter, at just over 5 millimeters, than the second species below.
Procapritermes termite

The mandibles of Procapritermes typically are slightly longer proportionately then those of their new world cousin, the Neocapritermes.


In this Procapriternes termite species the left mandible of the soldier already has signs of a wavy curvature which in Pericapritermes is much more pronounced.

Soldiers and workers of a large Procapritermes species.



The soldiers of this Procapritermes (sp2) has a disproportionately longer head. This Procapritermes soldier measured at close to 8 millimeters. 

Soldiers of this species of Procapritermes has a very short abdomen that gives it a disproportionate appearance. The head-mandibles is two third of the total length.
Microcerotermes termite

Photo below shows the Procapritermes sp2's soldiers against a millimeter tape at around 8 millimeters.



Soldier and worker of Procapriternes setiger ssp2.
Soldier and worker of Procapriternes setiger

Soldier of Procapriternes setiger ssp1.

Procapritermes sp6.
This species resembles Procapritermes setiger above but with more curves in the mandibles and a shorter and thicker head capsule. See more images of this species in the Undocumented Species page.


Procapritermes sp7
A large Procapritermes species, the soldiers measuring over 9 millimeters.
arge Procapritermes species, the soldiers measuring over 9 millimeters

Workers and soldiers of a large Procapritermes species.
arge Procapritermes species


rocket scientist wannabe commented that the soldiers of Pericapritermes do not appear to play a significant role in colony defense. I conducted an experiment on the effectiveness of Procapritermes and Pericapritermes soldiers against their common enemy - small ants that may manage to enter into their foraging tunnels or nest passage ways - by dropping three soldiers of this Proocapritermes species into a nest of Pheidologeton affinis. The kill rate of these soldiers averaged four Pheidologeton workers each, and this while they were completely overwhelmed and being dismembered. Below are some photos of the Pheidologeton's casualties. The kill rate is better than that on Amitermes, Globitermes and Coptotermes which average less than zero point five.

The head and upper body of this Pheidologeton worker completely flicked off.

'
This minor worker of Pheidologeton suffered a direct hit on the head and is totally dead.

This minor worker of Pheidologeton was hit in the mandibles and knocked out for over half an hour, one half of the mandible completed broken with a part of the antennae.

In the narrow confines of their tunnel passageways these Procapritermes, Paracapritermes and Pericapritermes termites soldiers are formidable opponents. Needless to say unlike Coptotermes and other normal mandibled species Procapritermes, Paracapritermes and Pericapritermes soldiers do not venture out into the open where they become highly vulnerable and ineffective. This might be perceived by some as being non aggressive.


See also:
Procapritermes sp2


Taxonomy
Domain - Eukaryota
Kingdom - Animalia
Subkingdom - Bilateria
Branch - Protostomia
Infrakingdom - Ecdysozoa
Superphylum - Panarthropoda
Phylum - Arthropoda
Subphylum - Mandibulata
Infraphylum - Atelocerata
Superclass - Panhexapoda
Epiclass: Hexapoda
Class - Insecta
Subclass - Dicondylia
Infraclass - Pterygota
Superorder - Dictyoptera
Order - Isoptera
Family - Termitidae
Subfamily - Termitinae
Genus - Procapritermes


Last Updated: 2012 07 31
© 2011 - 2012 Quah. All rights reserved.

3 comments:

  1. It is easy to forget about termites. What can I do to prevent termite infestation?

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was obviously a teaser to get free advertising and should be considered as spam but since the question is relevant I will answer it.
    Not too different from the heath industry the termite control industry is greatly influenced by vested interest.
    And quite like health, termites infestation prevention and control is a continuous affair. Of course living in countries or areas where termites cannot survive would make this a non issue. That said most researches done on termite control were focused on only two areas namely barrier and chemicals. There are two totally unexplored areas which would proof equally if not more effective. Not only that they would also be environment friendly not to mention probably a lot cheaper too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I didn't know there was Neocapritermes in Malaysia. As far as I know the genus is only Neotropical. I guess you could put both species on your undocumented species list.

    ReplyDelete

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