Trail-Pheromone Specificity of Two Sympatric Termites (Rhinotermitidae) from Southeastern Brazil
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Studies on pheromone specificity are of ecological interest in termite biology where different species share the same habitat. In this work we evaluated the role of the trail pheromones as a mechanism for the isolation of sympatric populations of Coptotermes gestroi and Heterotermes tenuis (Rhinotermitidae) in Brazil. Based on our results, we conclude that trail pheromones are potentially capable of separating sympatric colonies of these species. Furthermore, the trail-pheromone specificity found in these species could be explained by quantitative differences of the common component of the trail pheromone. However, secondary components on the trail pheromone may neutralize the quantitative differences of a common component. Activity bioassays showed that synthetic (Z,Z,E) 3,6,8-dodecatrien-1-ol may act as the common component of the trail pheromone of these species. Further studies should focus on the chemical identification of the trails laid by the termites.