The caste system of Coptotermes gestroi (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)
Data de publicação2005-08-04
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Coptotermes gestroi is an oriental species introduced to Brazil and considered, in the São Paulo State area, one of the most economically important pests. Although there are a few works concerning the basic biology of this species, its post-embryonic development has been poorly studied. The aim of the present research was to study the post-embryonic development of C. gestroi for a better knowledge of the caste system in this termite. The post-embryonic development of C. gestroi starts with two larval instars of whitish appearance and different sizes. A separation of the neutral and imaginal developmental pathways occurs following the second larval instar. The second-instar larva originates alates after six molts. The worker caste presents five instars and also develops from the second larval instar. Soldiers develop from younger workers in laboratory colonies and from older workers in field colonies.