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Old 01-11-2017, 08:57 PM
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Default Needed cast to start termite culture

Hey everyone i just went rummaging in some rotting wood looking for different things and now have 2 unknown harvestmen, some bluish and white springtails, moss and happened upon some subterranean termites so i caught about 15 almost all are workers of varying sizes and 2 soldiers. My question is to start a culture would either of these cast become secondary reproductives or do i need to catch alates, babies or look for a queen?
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Needed cast to start termite culture

Ummm, I know people culture non-wood eating termites. Are you sure you want to try to colonize subterranean termites?? Maybe I'm crazy, but it doesn't sound like a good idea to me


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Old 01-11-2017, 09:22 PM
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They arent the pest species they live in rotting wood and require moist conditions to survive
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Needed cast to start termite culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dartfish View Post
They arent the pest species they live in rotting wood and require moist conditions to survive


Interesting. Learned something new today. Good luck.


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Old 01-13-2017, 03:59 PM
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Anyone started a termite cultue with these individuals
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Needed cast to start termite culture

I'm interested in knowing this as well, as well as how you would start a culture from just a few individuals, whether they're alates (I suspect that this is what's required) or not. Thanks for posting this topic as it's prompted me to do some more research into subterranean termite culture. I live in northern California and after the first rains every fall, hundreds of alates can be seen roaming all over the sidewalk. Often they'll appear to "pair off", with one individual following directly behind the other's abdomen. I always assumed they were some sort of winged termite or ant and collect many of them as a treat for some of my smaller pets, but I've never known for sure what species they were or thought that I could culture them. But this really makes me wonder if I could start some cultures going, maybe even with as few as a pair of individuals who are following each other, or a male and a female (If I can learn how to sex them). If that's possible, I could potentially start dozens of cultures in a day, and potentially supply others with a source of this feeder. I don't know if the post-rain congregation is typical of these termites or if it's more unique to the area where I live. Again, I haven't even started to research if this is possible yet, but thanks for planting the idea in my head.
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Needed cast to start termite culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy M View Post
I'm interested in knowing this as well, as well as how you would start a culture from just a few individuals, whether they're alates (I suspect that this is what's required) or not. Thanks for posting this topic as it's prompted me to do some more research into subterranean termite culture. I live in northern California and after the first rains every fall, hundreds of alates can be seen roaming all over the sidewalk. Often they'll appear to "pair off", with one individual following directly behind the other's abdomen. I always assumed they were some sort of winged termite or ant and collect many of them as a treat for some of my smaller pets, but I've never known for sure what species they were or thought that I could culture them. But this really makes me wonder if I could start some cultures going, maybe even with as few as a pair of individuals who are following each other, or a male and a female (If I can learn how to sex them). If that's possible, I could potentially start dozens of cultures in a day, and potentially supply others with a source of this feeder. I don't know if the post-rain congregation is typical of these termites or if it's more unique to the area where I live. Again, I haven't even started to research if this is possible yet, but thanks for planting the idea in my head.

Well, it seems that my excitement was short-lived. After about three seconds of searching, I found this: Termite.com <> WESTERN SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES
I suspect this is the species I've been seeing, and if so, it's a major cause of property damage. It states that while they do require moisture, they still consume and bore through timber in houses, and they can build mud tubes to and from areas of food so they can access these new sources. In addition, they seem to be able to chew through rubber lining and only need 1/8" gap to escape, which would make containing a culture difficult even if kept in a watertight container. I'll still research this further, but I don't think I'll be wanting to culture these in or near my house. That link is a great source of information to their natural life cycles and habits though.
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Needed cast to start termite culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dartfish View Post
They arent the pest species they live in rotting wood and require moist conditions to survive
Actually they are a pest species and are considered one of if not the most economically important wood damaging pest in the US... just as APHIS.

I'll answer the culture question along with Jeremy's question below.

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Old 01-13-2017, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Needed cast to start termite culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy M View Post
I'm interested in knowing this as well, as well as how you would start a culture from just a few individuals, whether they're alates (I suspect that this is what's required) or not.
These termites can form what are known as secondary reproductives and function as queen(s) in the colony. These develop from workers and/or nymphs in the colony and never form wings but you generally need many more termites than 15 (think along the lines of hundreds) to get the secondary reproductives to develop.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy M View Post
But this really makes me wonder if I could start some cultures going, maybe even with as few as a pair of individuals who are following each other, or a male and a female (If I can learn how to sex them).
If your collecting alates then the males are the ones generally following the females and yes you can start a culture from them but you may have to wait several years before it is big enough to harvest termites from it to feed. Also I should note that it is illegal to ship termites across state borders without permits for both the sender and receiver.

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Old 01-13-2017, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Needed cast to start termite culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy M View Post
It states that while they do require moisture, they still consume and bore through timber in houses, and they can build mud tubes to and from areas of food so they can access these new sources. In addition, they seem to be able to chew through rubber lining and only need 1/8" gap to escape, which would make containing a culture difficult even if kept in a watertight container.
With some simple precautions they are easy to contain ....

here are some ways to culture them

http://guelph.ca/wp-content/uploads/...CultureBox.pdf

Easiest way I found of culturing termites, wanted to share.

culturing Subterranean termites (Charlesbrooks)

The first and third link are the most helpful.

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Old 01-14-2017, 04:53 AM
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Default Re: Needed cast to start termite culture

ive got them in a container with soil, wood pieces and cardboard that is in a sterilite container full of water so if they try to much out of it they drown, also so a worker can become a secondary reproductive if the conditions are right? Jeremy id imagine your idea would be pretty easy just keep the containers in something like a 5 gallon tank and fill it up halfway with water so they drown if they get out plus if they do get out from what ive read they cannot climb glass. also i thought this species was only a pest in soggy, moist, wet or rotting wood?
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Old 01-14-2017, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Needed cast to start termite culture

[QUOTE=Dartfish;2818594] so a worker can become a secondary reproductive if the conditions are right? [quote]

Only if it is young, if it has matured to an adult worker then as I understand it no. Soldiers have matured and cannot become secondary reproductives. With only 15 termites probably all adults the odds of getting a male and a female to form secondary reproductives is pretty much nil.

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Old 01-15-2017, 11:20 PM
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How many do you think i would need to ensure at least 1 matures into a reproductive ?
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Needed cast to start termite culture

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Originally Posted by Dartfish View Post
How many do you think i would need to ensure at least 1 matures into a reproductive ?
You need two reproductives, a male and a female otherwise there will not be any reproduction. Did you read the links I provided above? One of them recommends about 30,000 termites to get a colony up and running ...

When I've collected termites I had to collect several thousand to get a number of nymphoids, without the nymphoids, you cannot get secondary reproductives.

As I noted above the links I included have valuable information if you choose to read them.

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Old 01-16-2017, 06:27 PM
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Ok thankyou, do you whoe why the arachnoboard termite thread dosnt work? Any time i click in it i am sent the the website home page.
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