Feeding habitats and wood preferences of termites in Iran
Sultan Ravan, Imtiaz Ali Khan, Farkhanda Manzoor, Zaheer-ud-din Khan
Termites are one of the most destructive insect pests of crops, buildings and forests across the world, causing heavy damages each year. For effective control of termite, its feeding preferences and habitats are important. Feeding habits and preferences of wood destroying termites was carried out in ten provinces of Iran, i.e. Sistan, Baluchistan, Kerman, Hormuzgan, Khurasan, Esfahan, Khuzistan, Fars, Tehran and Mazandaran in 2011. Five habitats were recognized on the basis of dominance of five tree species, i.e. Populus alba, Tamarix gallica, Morus alba, Salix babylonica and Vitis vinifera. Maximum infestation (20.6%) was recorded for P. alba and minimum (0.072%) for M. alba. A total of 17 tree species were found in five habitats. P. alba habitat harbored higher number of 13 species of termites and this habitat was more diverse in vegetation than other habitats. P. alba was the preferred host for termite species, Postelectrotermes pasniensis. In T. gallica dominated habitat only two termite species, i.e. Anacanthotermes iranicus and A. vegans were present. A. vegans had positive association with T. gallica. Microtermes mycophagus and A. gurganiensis were recorded in Vitis vinifera and Salix babylonica habitats, respectively. The findings of the present research might help in devising efficient control strategies against the wood feeding termites.