Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Evidence for the use of magnetic cues in mound construction by the termite Amitermes meridionalis (Isoptera : Termitinae)

P. M. Jacklyn and U. Munro

Australian Journal of Zoology 50(4) 357 - 368
Published: 15 November 2002

Abstract

The termite Amitermes meridionalis builds meridionally elongated mounds. We removed the tops of such mounds and then allowed the termites to repair their mounds in the natural geomagnetic field and in artificial magnetic fields with different magnetic declinations. Cross-sections of repaired mounds were taken and the arrangement of the small, elongated cells that form the basis of mound architecture was assessed. The results suggest that the termites align mound cells along the existing axis of the mound and the cardinal axes of the horizontal component of the applied magnetic field.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/ZO01061

© CSIRO 2002


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