Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Cuticular hydrocarbons of termites of the Hawaiian Islands.

Abstract

Seven species of termites (Isoptera) belonging to three families are found in the Hawaiian Islands. The Kalotermitidae include Neotermes connexus Snyder, Cryptotermes brevis (Walker), Cryptotermes cynocephalus Light, Incisitermes immigrans Snyder, and the recently introduced Incisitermes minor (Hagen). Zootermopsis angusticollis (Hagen), a native of the Pacific Coastal region of North America has become established on Maui and is the sole representative of the Termopsidae. The only rhinotermitid known to be established in the Hawaiian Islands is Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. A closely related species, Coptotermes vastator Light, has been reported from the Hawaiian Islands, but not recently documented. Cuticular hydrocarbon mixtures were characterized for each of the established and introduced species, as well as for C. vastator from Guam. The diversity of the hydrocarbon mixtures was extreme. At least half the hydrocarbons of C. brevis, C. cynocephalus, I. immigrans, and N. connexus are olefins. C. formosanus and C. vastator make no olefins, but methyl-branched alkanes comprise ca. 95% and 85% of their hydrocarbon mixtures, respectively. Blends of abundant hydrocarbons are species-specific and can be used to identify a given taxon without the diagnostic castes, soldiers, or imagoes. Cuticular hydrocarbon mixtures appear to correlate with habitat requirements.