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RE: Ding Ding

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Posted by: crocdoc2 at Mon Feb 13 20:43:07 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by crocdoc2 ]  
   

"1) What are the temps of termite mounds vs your nest box?"
The temperatures of termite mounds varies a bit, but is usually around 29-31C for a healthy colony. I keep my nest box heat pad at a little over 30C so that it is 30C somewhere in the middle. That's the temperature the female always seeks to lay in.

Termite mounds do drop a bit in temperature in winter, but are always much warmer than their surroundings. In the study I read on wild lace monitor reproduction, some mound were considered 'important' mounds and were nested in very regularly because they were good at maintaining temperature.

"2) What humidty do active termite mounds typically stay at? -bet it is more humid then the surround landscape"
They're at around 99%, from memory. Way more humid than their surroundings most of the time.

"3)What is the medium texture/ make up of an active termite mound? Is it sandy, packed or whatever and does it have any similarties to the medium that you use in your nest box?"
The outer shell is really hard, but ever so slightly crumbly. Beyond that there's what's known as 'carton' material, which is the chambering in which the termites live. When fully functional and repaired it consists of densely packed tiny chambers. When the females dig into it, it crumbles a little more easily than the outer shell. The substrate in my nest box isn't very similar to the carton material as it's a bit softer, even when tightly compacted. It does resemble the repair material that termites create after the hole is dug, but I wouldn't read much into that. Females scrape back the walls of the burrow to cover the eggs and the termites then build the carton material all over the eggs. When I saw photographs of the eggs collected for the zoo, many years ago, I can recall that they still had the zig-zag pattern of the column walls on their surfaces.


   

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