Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Termite (Apicotermes) Nests-Important Ethological Material

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Behaviour

The subterranean nests of the African genus of termites, Apicotermes, present unique material for the study of the evolution of behavior. The nests are species-specific and show phylogenetic relationships much more clearly than do the morphological characteristics of the termites building them. Unusually complete phylogenetic series are found. The phylogeny of Apicotermes, although based largely upon nest characteristics, is also corroborated by taxonomic, zoogeographical, and ecological data. The evolution of nest-building behavior in Apicotermes illustrates particularly well several similarities to the evolution of structural characteristics. Circular galleries seem to have evolved independently four times within the genus. Wall perforations, the most characteristic feature of the genus, seem to have the function of permitting gas exchange across the nest wall. The circular galleries apparently serve to protect these perforations (probably from ground water). The nest of one species has lost the wall perforations through regressive evolution, while the nest of another species seems to be at an earlier stage of this regression. The ontogeny of galleries seems to recapitulate the evolutionary stages of this structure. The nest-building behavior of termites is instinctive, or innate. Behavioral characteristics evolve by the same processess as do structural characteristics.

Affiliations: 1: Zoology Department, University of Chicago


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation