Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies


Volume 2, Issue 2


Foraging activity of Hospitalitermes monoceros (König) (Termitidae: Isoptera) in Western Ghats, India

Author(s): Amina Poovoli,  Rajmohana Keloth, Bijoy Chenthamarakshan

Faunistic surveys undertaken at Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats, Kerala state, could document a few colonies of Hospitalitermes monoceros (König) (Termitidae: Isoptera).  The observed open air foraging behaviour of this group is detailed here. Some descriptive observations on natural history of H. monoceros were also made based on eight colonies of the species located at eight different sites in the sanctuary. The earlier notion about the genus Hospitalitermes being restricted to humid conditions in tropical rainforests need not necessarily be true, since their nests were sighted both in moist and arid patches at Chinnar. This indicates their ability to sustain in non humid habitats as well. The orientation strategy and organisation of marching column of foragers, colony defence by soldier castes and an active nest building event were also observed. More studies on the natural history are sure to unveil yet interesting aspects regarding these little known organisms.

H. monoceros –soldier caste (dorsal view)

Fig: H. monoceros –soldier caste (dorsal view)

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