Examining the Preference of Sodium Concentration in the Diets of Nasutitermes corniger (Blattodea:Termitidae)(Motschulsky)


  • Emile Fierro Morel Texas A&M University


Sodium is an essential element for the nervous system of many animals, including termites. This experiment tested different sodium concentrations on rotting wood blocks and cellulose in a pure, powdered state.  Nasutitermes corniger termites were collected from a nearby colony. Thirty-eight colonoids were created, which consisted of 10 soldiers and 50 workers each. Each colonoid was kept in a Petri dish with a damp filter. For the first part of the experiment, Seventy-six blocks of wood were cut into pieces of similar mass and dipped into sodium concentrations ranging from 0-10% for 10 seconds. The blocks were placed 1cm apart on the arenas and the termites were left to roam for a certain amount of time. In the second part of the experiment, sodium concentrations ranging from 2-8% were made by mixing with pure, powdered cellulose. The arenas contained all four concentrations this time. It was observed that N. corniger termites do not have a clear sodium preference, however some trends were apparent in both experiments. Further experimentation would be needed to explore these trends.

Author Biography

Emile Fierro Morel, Texas A&M University

Currently a Junior studying for a Bachelor's degree in Entomology. I am enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and taking the ENTO 481 course. Planning on pursuing a Master's degree in the field of Entomology.


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