Nan-Yao Su

Nan-Yao Su
University of Florida | UF · Department of Entomology and Nematology

PhD, Entomology, University of Hawaii

About

390
Publications
110,258
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8,091
Citations
Citations since 2017
44 Research Items
2898 Citations
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
Additional affiliations
December 1984 - present
University of Florida
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (390)
Article
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Bed bugs are an important group of medical and urban insect pests. They are obligate blood-feeders. Their bites may cause skin irritation and allergic reactions and, under some circumstances, may lead to mental and other health issues. Despite numerous discoveries on the biology of these obnoxious pests and progress in control strategies over the l...
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Recent research has shown that a subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki) is dependent on dietary nitrogen in order to fulfill it's nitrogen requirements for colony growth and development. Crypototermes brevis (Walker) was chosen as a model for comparison, as it has no access to dietary nitrogen outside of it’s wood diet. A full nitrog...
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A eusocial insect colony represents a complex biological entity that must ensure degrees of perennity once it reaches maturity (production of dispersing imagoes over many successive years) to optimize its reproductive success. It is known that a subterranean termite colony invests differentially in different castes over time and adjusts colony func...
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Elaborate task allocation is key to the ecological success of eusocial insects. Termite colonies are known for exhibiting age polyethism, with older instars more likely to depart the reproductive center to access food. However, it remains unknown how termites retain this spatial structure against external disturbances. Here we show that a subterran...
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Background Foraging in group living animals such as social insects, is collectively performed by individuals. However, our understanding on foraging behavior of subterranean termites is extremely limited, as the process of foraging in the field is mostly concealed. Because of this limitation, foraging behaviors of subterranean termites were indirec...
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Intrinsic dinitrogen (N 2 ) fixation by diazotrophic bacteria in termite hindguts has been considered an important pathway for nitrogen acquisition in termites. However, studies that supported this claim focused on measuring instant N 2 fixation rates and failed to address their relationship with termite colony growth and reproduction over time. We...
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Contents: Introduction - Distribution - Description and Identification - Life History - Damage - Pest Status - Management - Selected References. This article is also published on the UF/IFAS Featured Creatures website at http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/termites/heterotermes.htm.
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Subterranean termites are hemimetabolous social insects where most of the individuals in a colony molt on a regular basis until they die. Nitrogen is a limiting growth factor in wood-feeding insects, such as termites. Because the exuviae of molting termites are consumed by nestmates, it is possible that exuviae represent a potential source of nitro...
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Effective active ingredients in toxicant bait formulations must be non-deterrent to insect feeding behavior at lethal concentrations. This study evaluated feeding deterrence for Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, C. gestroi (Wasmann), and Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) when provided access to cellulose impregnated with various concentrations of the...
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An incipient termite colony initially functions as a biparental family unit. The emergence of the first workers initiates the transition from biparental to alloparental care within a colony. During this transition, the number of protozoa harbored by Reticulitermes speratus (Kolbe) kings and queens is dynamic. In Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann), the t...
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1. Oceanic rafting through driftwood has been hypothesized to be a mechanism underlying the transoceanic distribution of termites (Order: Blattodea). To test this hypothesis, we examined the salinity tolerance of 12 termite species from eight genera and three families, namely Archotermopsidae, Kalotermitidae, and Rhinotermitidae. 2. Our results re...
Article
Climate change impacts the current and potential distribution of many insects, since temperature is often a limiting factor to where the insects can survive. The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae), has never been reported in South Korea despite its close proximity to 2 countries (China and Jap...
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The nutritional properties of subterranean termite exuviae (shed exoskeletons) are not well-known because obtaining the large quantities necessary for investigation is difficult. A method for collecting large numbers of exuviae is reported here for the Asian subterranean termite, Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae), an invasi...
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Hybridization of two different species is an important mechanism to have gene flows between species. Recently, mating of two economically important invasive species of subterranean termites ( Coptotermes formosanus and Coptotermes gestroi ) have been observed in the field and hybrids colonies have been established in the laboratory. It was previous...
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Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) (Blattoidea: Rhinotermitidae) are invasive subterranean termite pest species with a major global economic impact. However, the descriptions of the mutualistic protist communities harbored in their respective hindguts remain fragmentary. The C. formosanus hindgut has long been consider...
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The thicknesses of the cuticle and rectal pads, and the spiracle morphology were compared for four termite species from different habitats, including one drywood termite, Cryptotermes brevis Walker, one “wetwood” termite, Cryptotermes cavifrons Banks, one subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, and one dampwood termite, Neotermes jout...
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Subterranean termite nests are located underground and termites forage out by constructing tunnels to reach food resources, and tunneling behavior is critical in order to maximize the foraging efficiency. Excavation, transportation, and deposition behavior are involved in the tunneling, and termites have to move back and forth to do this. Although...
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Termite colony size can influence its foraging activity, reproductive maturity, and, for pest species, potential for structural damage. Estimating colony size of subterranean termite species in field conditions has been challenging owing to their extensive foraging territory and their cryptic nesting habit and has primarily relied on mark-recapture...
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This study compared percentage of total body water (%TBW), water loss rate under desiccative conditions, and cuticular permeability (CP) of four termite species (Order: Blattodea, Infraorder: Isoptera) from different habitats, including one subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae), one dampwood termite, Neot...
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Temperature preference of two invasive subterranean termites, Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) and Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae), and their hybrids were determined in a horizontal thermal gradient. The activity of workers of four mating combinations: ♀C. gestroi × ♂C. gestroi (C. gestroi), ♀C. formosanus × ♂C. formosanus...
Article
As a social insect, termites have different castes and division of labor in a colony. Investigating the social behavior of subterranean termites is a challenge due to the cryptic nature and large colony size. Planar arenas are commonly used to study these termites under laboratory conditions, and have provided several advantages. However, there is...
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Laboratory studies of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) often employ the use of field-collected foraging populations of individuals as defined colonies. The biological relevance of this practice is often called into question, because these colonies lack a full composition of reproductive castes and brood, which may have ph...
Article
Two invasive subterranean termite species, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Coptotermes gestroi Wasmann (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae), established in South Florida have the potential to hybridize owing to their sympatric distribution, overlapping dispersal flight seasons, and interspecies mating behavior. This study examined the effects of tempera...
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Mutualistic associations between insects and microorganisms must imply gains for both partners, and the emphasis has mostly focused on coevolved host-symbiont systems. However, some insect hosts may have evolved traits that allow for various means of association with opportunistic microbial communities, especially when the microbes are omnipresent...
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Termites and their nests are potential resources for a wide assemblage of taxa including nematodes. During dispersal flight events from termite colonies, co-occurring nematodes in the nest may have phoretic opportunities to use termite alates as transportation hosts. The two subterranean termite species Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) and Coptotermes...
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Fluid baits comprised of 10% dry medium (impregnated with 0.5% hexaflumuron) and 90% methylcel solution were injected into foraging galleries of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae), in trees and buildings. Elimination times at two of the six baited sites were longer than expected, possibly...
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Colony foundation and early growth is a critical period in the life-cycle of a termite colony, as the initial family unit is resource limited. One such resource is nitrogen, which is essential for initial colony growth. This study examined the whole-colony nitrogen inventory during foundation and early growth of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki colon...
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Site fidelity by molting termites in Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki colonies is a new addition to our understanding of lower termites’ behavior and biology. Our previous studies indicated that workers moved to the central nest to molt in the presence of eggs and reproductives. The current study showed that noviflumuro...
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Bacteria and fungi in shared environments compete with one another for common substrates, and this competition typically involves microbially-produced small molecules. An investigation of one shared environmental niche, the carton material of the Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus, identified the participants on one of these molec...
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Termite baits using chitin synthesis inhibitors can protect structures from subterranean termite damage by eliminating colonies. One of the potential shortcomings of baits is that termites may have to feed extensively on a bait station for the colony to be eliminated. If disturbances occur during this critical feeding time, termites may abandon the...
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Spatial assessment of molting in workers of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki was conducted in laboratory-reared colonies using extended foraging arenas. Workers at a premolt stage were found concentrated in the nest or in a planar arena near the nest. However, molting individuals were found exclusively in the central nest and they stayed inside or ne...
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This study investigated nuclear markers in Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) that can be used as a diagnostic tool to detect F1 hybrids from field samples. Six microsatellite markers were compatible for both parental species and hybrid termites and were optimized so that a standard gene lib...
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Termites (Isoptera) are widely believed to be one of the most desiccation-prone insects. They must combat desiccation by locating and efficiently conserving water resources. Termites have evolved morphological, physiological, and behavioral characteristics that aid in the tolerance of desiccation. In 3 studies using 4 termite species, water loss to...
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Background: The lethal time of a chitin synthesis inhibitor (CSI) baited colony of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki largely depends on the time for workers to molt after consuming a lethal dose. Given that termite molting biology can regulate the time for elimination of a baited termite colony, the objective of this study was to determine how the fa...
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The dispersal flight activity ("swarming") of two invasive subterranean termite species, Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) and Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, was monitored in metropolitan southeastern Florida, where both species are now sympatric and major structural pests. Historical records of alates collected in the area showed that the two species...
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Effects of ecdysone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), and an ecdysone agonist, halofenozide, were tested against the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, and the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), in a 12-d no choice assay. Approximately 22-26% of R. flavipes and C. formosanus exhibited symptoms of hy...
Article
1. In incipient termite colonies, biparental brood care rapidly shifts towards alloparental brood care. This transition was suggested to recapitulate the evolutionary trajectory from subsocial wood roach ancestors to eusociality in termites. 2. Incipient colonies of the subterranean termite Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) were investigated to determi...
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The relationship between colony size and foraging distance was examined in extended foraging arenas with juvenile colonies of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Our results showed that as long as royal pairs are present, larger colonies foraged at longer distances, and the oldest workers distributed farther away from...
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In the subterranean termite Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann), soldiers developing in incipient colonies display strong fluctuating asymmetry when compared with soldiers developing in mature colonies. This strong asymmetry may arise from two different types of stress factors on individuals. First, the accelerated development of nanitic (small) soldiers...
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Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki are economically important subterranean termites, particularly in the Southeastern United States where they are considered invasive. Where two C. formosanus populations met, aggressive encounters resulted in blockages in tunnels, but reinvading termites unblocked obstructions or constructed new tunnels. Experiments in...
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Recognition of nestmates is an important function in many social insects, as it maintains colony integrity by preventing outsiders from entering the colony. Agonism usually results from the interaction of con-specific non-nestmate individuals in termite colonies. Previous studies hypothesized that the cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profile of individu...
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The Asian subterranean termite, Coptotermes gestroi, is a tropical species but has increasingly been collected from the subtropics in recent years, making it sympatric to the Formosan subterranean termite, C. formosanus in at least three areas, Taiwan, Hawaii, and Florida. Simultaneous flights by these two species were observed since 2013 in South...
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Age polyethism in a social insect colony occurs when individuals of different ages perform different tasks. In termites (Isoptera), it has mostly been reported in higher termites, but elements of age polyethism were recently found in juvenile colonies of a lower termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Rhinotermitidae). The objective of this study...
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This study investigated age polyethism and the frequencies of behaviors in relation to the distance from the egg cluster in nests of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, a lower termite. Juvenile colonies of C. formosanus were introduced in planar arenas and termite activity was recorded with camcorders. The results showed that there were differences in...
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The Asian subterranean termite, Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), was discovered on Grand Cayman Island in 2000 and, by 2014, had been recorded from 102 land-based localities. These data were used in a hierarchical cluster analysis to identify homogeneous clusters of sites to estimate separate introduction points on the isl...
Article
Molt frequency of workers in laboratory-reared juvenile colonies and foraging population from field colonies of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki was determined using planar arenas in laboratory. Given that, chitin synthesis inhibitor (CSI)-incorporated baits disrupt the molting process of workers that comprises the major population of a termite colon...
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This study reports the spread of 2 major invasive subterranean termite species (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in metropolitan southeastern Florida: Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and C. gestroi (Wasmann). Termite records from 1990 to 2015 were analyzed to determine the expansion of their distribution. Our results suggest that the ranges of their distr...
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Coptotermes Wasmann (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) is one of the most economically important subterranean termite genera and some species are successful invaders. However, despite its important pest status, the taxonomic validity of many named Coptotermes species remains unclear. In this study, we reviewed all named species within the genus and invest...
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Durable baits, Recruit HD, were installed in 45 Sentricon stations between September 2010 and July 2014 in the 32-acre Armstrong Park, New Orleans. After eliminating all detectable termite colonies in the Park, 6-12 mo elapsed before new activity was detected. Newly invading termite colonies were usually found near the Park border or were smaller c...
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Following the elimination of all detectable termite colonies in the 32-acre Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans, LA, in 2002-2003, termite activity was monitored by using 808 Sentricon stations. Between January 2004 and July 2005, termites were found in 8-11 stations. In August 2005, the Park was flooded by Hurricane Katrina, but termites remained...
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Juvenile colonies of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki were investigated to determine the social interactions among all individuals near the central nest of a colony. The behavioral repertoire of whole colonies of subterranean termites has yet to be identified because of their cryptic nests. Colonies were placed in planar arenas, and their behavioral...
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In termites, it is challenging to recognize the incidence of molting in workers because of their successive stationary molt, asynchronous molting among individuals, cryptic behavior, a soft and poorly sclerotized cuticle, and they immediately consume the shed exuvia of nestmates. This study describes a method in which the degree of sclerotization o...
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This study examined temperature preferences of four subterranean termite species, Coptotermes gestroi Wasmann, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, Reticulitermes virginicus (Banks) and Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), and effects of temperature on their survivorship and wood-consumption rate. Termite preference was tested on temperature gradient along...
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The termite genus Coptotermes is both large and widespread but, as a whole, lacks robust diagnostic characters for morphological species identification. This has resulted in many taxonomic synonymies leading to the current pool of extant species a few of which are among the world’s most destructive pests of wood. The New World diversity of Coptoter...
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Colonias de Coptotermes suelen producir ninfas cuando la colonia alcanza la madurez. En este estudio, se describe un raro caso de producción de ninfas por una colonia de 10 meses de edad, que anteriormente habían perdido su estado reproductivo primario. Tales reproductoras de reemplazo no son funcionales. Sugerimos que la plasticidad del desarrollo...
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Termites are major plant decomposers in tropical forest ecosystems, but their cryptic nature poses an obstacle for studying their ecological roles in depth. In the current study, we quantified climatic and geographic information of 137 termite collection sites in the Kenting National Park, Taiwan, and described the ecological niches and assemblage...
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The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, is a structural pest of major economic importance in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the United States Gulf coast on August 29, 2005, inundating approximately 80% of the city. Though termite colonies survived prolonged inundation, the surviv...
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While hybridization of an invasive species with a native species is a common occurrence, hybridization between two invasive species is rare. Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus) and Asian subterranean termites (C. gestroi) are both ecologically successful and are the two most economically important termite pests in the world. Bot...
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The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, is a pest of major economic concern. This termite is particularly known for its tendency to establish populations in nonendemic areas via maritime vessels as well as human-aided transport of infested materials. The natural spread of this species after new introductions occurs in par...
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The big-headed ant, Pheidole megacephala (Fabr.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) are 2 invasive species in south Florida, and both have a major economic and ecological impact. Because both species are often associated with man-made structures, we investigate...
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A fluid bait, comprising α-cellulose and fine-ground phagostimulants (Summon Preferred Food Source) impregnated with 0.5% hexaflumuron (AI wt/wt) and mixed with 1% methylcel solution to yield 10% dry weight, was injected into simulated foraging galleries of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Reticulitermes virginicus (Banks) for a laboratory effica...
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In a termite colony, the incipient phase is the most critical part of the life of the colony. The quality of the investment in the first offspring by the primary reproductives may determine the rate of success of the colony to survive the first year and its growth rate in the following years. However, termite colonies possess a physiological constr...