Original Research

Distribution and density of Cubitermes Wasmann (Isoptera: Termitidae) mounds in the northern Kruger National Park

V.W. Meyer, L.E.O. Braack, H.C. Biggs
Koedoe | Vol 43, No 1 | a208 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v43i1.208 | © 2000 V.W. Meyer, L.E.O. Braack, H.C. Biggs | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 July 2000 | Published: 02 July 2000

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V.W. Meyer,
L.E.O. Braack,
H.C. Biggs,

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Abstract

This paper provides fundamental information on distribution and density of the genus Cubitermes, Wasm. quantified for future monitoring. After distribution trends have been established, changes in Cubitermes density over time can be brought into contention with other factors in the Kruger National Park, such as the impact of fire frequency, water distribution, and elephant density on these insects. At least ten 2 ha belt-transects were undertaken in each of the 20 northern landscape zones of the KNP. Termite mounds were recorded and their activity within was determined. Cubitermes accounts for 29.8% of all active termite mounds in the northern KNP, with an average density of 0.33 mounds/ha. Cubitermes favours the Nwambiya Sandveld (zone 32). These termites occur in high density in the Klipkoppies 1 land type (Gorge), but in low densities in the Phalaborwa 10-12, Bulweni 1-3, Letaba 1-7 and Pafuri 3-6 land types. Cubitermes mounds tend to occur in high numbers on the Nzhelele formation (Mn) (sandstones; quartzite; basalt). Mounds of this genus in the Far North are highly concentrated on the Gaudam and Moriah soil series of the Hutton form, suggesting that these termites prefer very sandy soils with medium to coarse particles.

Keywords

termite mounds, Isoptera, Termitidae, Termitinae, Cubitermes, Kruger National Park.

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