Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

 
 
 
 

 
                 
You are here: Home / Associated publications / Belgian Journal of Zoology / Bibliographic References / Functional morphology and evolution of a Carpenter's plane-like tool in the mandibles of termite workers (Insecta, Isoptera)

J Deligne (1999)

Functional morphology and evolution of a Carpenter's plane-like tool in the mandibles of termite workers (Insecta, Isoptera)

BELGIAN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 129(1):201-218.

The left mandible of termite workers possesses just in front of the molar plate a characteristic ``premolar tooth'' that, in most species, is partly or wholly hidden under the mandible. The position, structure and size of this tooth were observed and compared from a functional point of view in 46 wood-feeder species belonging to all termite families and in 33 soil-feeder species belonging to 4 different clades of Termitidae. In all wood- and other plant matter-feeder species observed the premolar tooth resembles the chisel of a carpenter's plane-like device. It is suited to cut superficial fragments out of the wood before ingestion. In all soil-feeder species observed the premolar tooth has lost one or several functional features that characterise wood feeders. It assists the other teeth in the gathering of soil particles towards the mouth before ingestion. In the left mandible of termite workers, the premolar tooth thus shows clear morphological adaptations to the species' diet.

functional morphology; adaptation; mandibles; termites; diet; food processing
5th Benelux Congress of Zoology, GHENT, BELGIUM, NOV 06-07, 1998
BJZ

ISSN 2295-0451 (online version)
ISSN 0777-6279 (printed version)
impact factor 2015: 0,87.

Editor-in-Chief:
Prof. Dr. Isa Schön
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium

 



1863-1903
Annales de la Société malacologique de Belgique
 
1903-1923
​Annales de la Société royale malacologique et zoologique de Belgique
 
1923-1989
Annales de la Société Royale Zoologique de Belgique
 
1989-
Belgian Journal of Zoology