Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Termites get the vibe on what tastes good

21.03.2007
Researchers from CSIRO and UNSW@ADFA have shown that termites can tell what sort of material their food is made of, without having to actually touch it. The findings may lead to improvements in the control of feeding termites.

By offering them a choice between normal wooden blocks and specially designed blocks made of wood and other materials, the researchers found that the termites always preferred the blocks containing the most wood – even though they could not touch or see the other materials.

The results are published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface (“Termites live in a material world: exploration of their ability to differentiate between food sources” by Dr RA Inta, Professor JCS Lai, Mr EW Fu and Dr T Evans (doi: 10.1098/rsif.2007.0223)).

Dr Ra Inta, from UNSW@ADFA [external link] and CSIRO Entomology, says the ability to differentiate between food sources is based on the vibrations of the food that the termites are eating, although the exact mechanism for this ability is yet to be explored.

... more about:
»Inta »termite »vibrations

“The researchers are designing further experiments to test termites’ assessment methods in an attempt to determine precisely what aspect of the vibrations termites are responding to in assessing food.”“Scientists have known for some time that termites are receptive to vibrations,” Dr Inta says. “But these results demonstrate that termites’ methods of food assessment are much more sophisticated that previously thought.

“When offered a choice between blocks of their normal wooden food, and specially engineered blocks made of wood and other materials, they could tell when there was another material attached and always chose the blocks that contained the most wood.”

The researchers are designing further experiments to test termites’ assessment methods in an attempt to determine precisely what aspect of the vibrations termites are responding to in assessing food.

“If we understand how they use vibrations to assess their food, we might be able to exploit this to manipulate their feeding habits, and address the very significant problem of termite damage in buildings and other structures,” Dr Inta says.

This research is a partnership between CSIRO and the University of New South Wales and is funded under the Australian Research Council Discovery project.

Ra Inta | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au

Further reports about: Inta termite vibrations

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The body's street sweepers
18.12.2017 | Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

nachricht Life on the edge prepares plants for climate change
18.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Error-free into the Quantum Computer Age

A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.

In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...

Im Focus: Search for planets with Carmenes successful

German and Spanish researchers plan, build and use modern spectrograph

Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

The body's street sweepers

18.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Fast flowing heat in layered material heterostructures

18.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

Life on the edge prepares plants for climate change

18.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>