Poster or Presentation Title

Functional Design of Mandibular Musculoskeletal System in Termites

Location

Hall Memorial Ballroom

Access Type

Campus Access Only

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Start Date

4-4-2018 12:00 PM

Department

Biology

Abstract

Functional Design of Mandibular Musculoskeletal System in Termites

Samuel Vickers, Erica Morris, & Takashi Maie, Ph.D.

Abstract

The Eastern Subterranean Termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, is commonly found in warm and humid environments and widely distributed in southeastern regions of the United States. Wood materials and moisture within wood fibers provide water and cellulose to R. flavipes, however, little is known about musculoskeletal morphology of its mouthparts and how the mandibles are used. Variation in morphology of termites indicates specific caste and social behavior within the community, and may reflect how they use their mandibles. Of the three primary castes, worker termites are the only caste capable of wood fiber mastication. The mandibles of the worker termite can be distinguished by their size in comparison to those of the soldier termite. In this study, we investigated how the mandibles and mandibular muscles (i.e., adductors and abductors) of R. flavipes were configured within the exoskeleton of the cranium using haematoxylin and eosin staining technique and the light microscopy. We discuss the functional implication of our findings regarding the mandibular biomechanics of termites.

Faculty Mentor

Takashi Maie, Ph.D.

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Apr 4th, 12:00 PM

Functional Design of Mandibular Musculoskeletal System in Termites

Hall Memorial Ballroom

Functional Design of Mandibular Musculoskeletal System in Termites

Samuel Vickers, Erica Morris, & Takashi Maie, Ph.D.

Abstract

The Eastern Subterranean Termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, is commonly found in warm and humid environments and widely distributed in southeastern regions of the United States. Wood materials and moisture within wood fibers provide water and cellulose to R. flavipes, however, little is known about musculoskeletal morphology of its mouthparts and how the mandibles are used. Variation in morphology of termites indicates specific caste and social behavior within the community, and may reflect how they use their mandibles. Of the three primary castes, worker termites are the only caste capable of wood fiber mastication. The mandibles of the worker termite can be distinguished by their size in comparison to those of the soldier termite. In this study, we investigated how the mandibles and mandibular muscles (i.e., adductors and abductors) of R. flavipes were configured within the exoskeleton of the cranium using haematoxylin and eosin staining technique and the light microscopy. We discuss the functional implication of our findings regarding the mandibular biomechanics of termites.