Caste-biased movements by termites in isolation [article]

Hiroyuki Shimoji, Nobuaki Mizumoto, Kohei Oguchi, Shigeto Dobata
2017 bioRxiv   pre-print
The caste system of termites is an example of phenotypic plasticity. The castes differ not only in morphology and physiology, but also in behavior. As most of their behaviors within colonies involve nestmates, it is difficult to extract innate differences among castes. In this study, we focused on movement patterns of isolated individuals of Hodotermopsis sjostedti . We observed distinct clusters in movement patterns over 30 min, which indicates that termites have multiple innate modes of
more » ... nate modes of movement. The use of these modes is biased among castes, among which neotenics had a caste-specific mode and soldiers moved more actively than workers or neotenics. These caste biases may reflect different adaptive responses to social isolation. Our study provides a basis for a deeper understanding of the roles of individual movements in social behaviors.
doi:10.1101/239475 fatcat:umetvu3kmffebdivoowtxngxy4