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Chemical Mimicry as an Integrating Mechanism for Three Termitophiles Associated With Reticulitermes Virginicus (Banks)
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The mechanisms by which termitophiles integrate themselves into the social life of termite colonies have long intrigued entomologists (Kistner, 1979). Various authors have suggested that plausible integration mechanisms might include the using of "appeasement chemicals" (Wilson, 1971), passing as morphological mimics (Kistner, 1968), or engaging in behavioral mimicry (Kistner, 1979). We recently reported (Howard et al., 1980a) that the host-specific, highly integrated termitophile Trichopsenius frosti Seevers associated with Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) possesses the same complex mixture of cuticular hydrocarbons as its termite host. We suggested that this was an example of chemical mimicry which functioned to integrate this beetle into the termite society.
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