[Urdang et al. (1983) was consulted for clarity and confirmation]
– Zoogeographical region (one of eight) comprising Africa south of the
Nearctic & Palaearctic.
APEDAL (soil) – Generally referring to materials in the B-horizon that are well aggregated (Soil Classification Working Group, 1991).
BIOTOPE – Or microhabitat (Kenneth, 1975) – area supporting its own distinctive community.
BREEDING CELL – Or royal chamber in which breeding reproductives (usually a pair) reside and where copulation and egg-laying take place (eggs are removed by workers and transported to nursery).
CAPPING – Or idiothèque: mud sheet (Lepage, 1984) – outer covering or wall of mound (composed of saliva and soil particles) serving as protection around galleries (Fraser, 1993).
CARTON – Organic material (vegetable matter and faeces) used in construction of certain kinds of mounds (loc. cit.); e.g. Microcerotermes (Coaton, 1953).
CELLS (of nest) – Single enclosures (cavities) usually of subspherical shape (Coaton & Sheasby, 1972; Fraser, 1993).
CELLULOSE – Main plant cell wall constituent: polysaccharide (carbohydrate) consisting of long unbranched chains of linked monosaccharides or simple sugars, in this case glucose (C6H12O6), that does not hydrolyze to form other sugars; compare lignin.
CLIMOTYPE – Or climatic region – one of 7 such areas in the Kruger National Park having its own typical climate (Holdridge et al., 1971 in Venter, 1990).
DEALATION – Losing their (alates) wings at the basal fractures by shrugging after nuptial flight.
DIMORPHISM – Two morphologically distinct types of individuals within the same species; compare polymorphism.
ECCA – Second series or layer (lower Permian) of four (Dwyka, Ecca, Beaufort and Stormberg) making up the formations of the South African Karoo basin; Ecca sediments (subdivided into lower, middle and upper Ecca) have a thickness of ca. 1 800 m and contain coal beds; also found in West Africa and the Congo (Furon, 1963; Whitten, 1975).
ENVIROTYPE – Modified 'ecozone' (Jacana Education & Kruger National Park, 1996) generally consisting of lumped landscapes as conferred with W.P.D. Gertenbach; original symbol identifiers of ecozones are used for envirotypes due to map compatibility; compare land form, landscape & land type.
EPIGEAL – On or close to the surface of the ground (aboveground) as opposed to hypogeal (underground) and arboreal (tree-dwelling); compare lignicolous.
EUSOCIAL – Applied to the condition or to the group possessing it in which individuals display all of the following traits: cooperation in caring for the young; reproductive division of labour with more or less sterile individuals working on behalf of individuals engaged in reproduction; overlap of at least two generations of life stages capable of contributing to colony labour (Wilson, 1972); compare subsocial.
FERRALLITIC (soil) – A term developed in Africa to describe highly eroded soils that are characterized by a clay fraction (SiO2/Al2O3 molecular ratio) of less than 1,3; low cation exchange capacity; loss of silica and bases (Soil Classification Working Group, 1991).
FONTANELLE – Pale, depressed spot on front of head of certain termites (Skaife, 1979); small gland orifice or opening (Fuller, 1915).
FORAGING – Searching for food and taking it back to the nest/mound; carried out by workers accompanied by soldiers for protection.
FUNGUS COMBS – Undigested and partly digested wood and vegetable matter serving as substrate for cultivation of fungi (Fraser, 1993); fungus mycelia are intertwined with comb material; only in the Macrotermitinae.
GALLERIES – Subterranean to semi-subterranean passages making out a part of the nest (loc. cit.).
GEOPHAGOUS – Soil-feeding (humus and detritus) where soil is passed through gut.
HALOMORPHIC (soil) – Properties wholly or partially determined by the presence of neutral and/or alkalic salts (Soil Classification Working Group, 1991).
HEMIMETABOLOUS – Metamorphosis slight (young resembling adults) as opposed to 'ametabolous' (no metamorphosis, e.g. Thysanura – fishmoths) and 'holometabolous' (distinct life stages, e.g. Lepidoptera – butterflies and moths) (Braack, pers. comm.).
HYALINE – Clear and translucent.
HYDROMORPHY – Process of gleying (intense reduction) and mottling (colour variety) resulting from the intermittent or permanent presence (saturation) of free water (Soil Classification Working Group, 1991).
ISOTHERM – Line on map linking places of equal temperature.
KOPPIE – Prominent, isolated hill or outcrop [from Afrikaans].
LABIUM – Fused pair of appendages forming the lower and more posterior 'lip' of insects (De Villiers, 1989); compare labrum.
LABRUM – Lip or liplike part being a cuticular plate forming the anterior upper lip of insects (loc. cit.); compare labium.
LAND FORM – One of 5 distinctive types of area in the Kruger National Park having specific morphological or configurative surface features, e.g. local relief , slope classes, drainage pattern and stream frequency (Venter, 1990); compare envirotype, landscape & land type.
LANDSCAPE – One of 35 such areas in the Kruger National Park having a specific geomorphology, macroclimate, soil and vegetation pattern together with associated fauna (Gertenbach, 1983); compare envirotype, land form & land type.
LAND TYPE – One of 56 such areas in the Kruger National Park having a distinctive hillslope profile consisting of land units (e.g. crest, scarp, midslope, footslope, valley bottom) with its own characteristic morphometric, soil and vegetation variables (Venter, 1990); compare envirotype, land form & landscape.
LIGNICOLOUS – Wood-dwelling (Scholtz & Holm, 1989).
LIGNIN – Complex polymer (compound with large molecules composed of relatively simple repetitive units) occurring in certain plant cell walls (fibre) to make the plant rigid; compare cellulose.
LIGULA – Distal part of the labium composed of four paired lobes (De Villiers, 1989).
LITHOSOL – Usually shallow soil consisting of weathered stone or rock fragments without distinct soil morphology; sometimes called 'skeletal soil' (Soil Classification Working Group, 1991).
LOWVELD – One of three regions including the eastern parts of the South African province of Mpumalanga (capital: Nelspruit) in the northeastern parts of the country; casually meaning an area of low-lying bushveld; other regions are the Escarpment (Middleveld) and the Highveld (Smith, unpubl.).
MONTMORILLONITIC (clay) – From montmorillonite – member of the smectite group (molecules orientated in layers) of swelling, clay minerals comprising 2: 1 unit layers rich in magnesium (Soil Classification Working Group, 1991).
MOUND – Epigeal structure composed of galleries, cells and capping constructed by many members of Termitidae (Coaton, 1953); see termitarium.
NANITIC – From nanicism – dwarfishness.
NASUTES – Belonging to the family Nasutitermitinae; soldiers have mouthparts (nasus) that eject fluid as defence mechanism (Weesner, 1969; Fraser, 1993).
NEARCTIC – Zoogeographical region (one of eight) comprising North America north of the tropic of Cancer and Greenland; compare Afrotropical & Palaearctic.
NEST – Colony's residential area comprising the following: breeding cell, nurseries and fungus gardens on combs (if occurring); see termitarium.
NUPTIAL FLIGHT – So-called 'wedding' flight undertaken by alates before pairing takes place.
NURSERY – Cell/s housing eggs and nymphs (Fraser, 1993).
NYMPHS – Immature insects (hemimetabolous) resembling the adults and developing into adults without pupal stage.
OMURAMBA – Shallow river or water course overgrown with grass and only flowing during heavy rains; non-perennial tributary; literally 'river bed' or 'dry water course' [from Herero] (Albertyn, 1984; Raper, 1987).
OOPHAGY – Feeding on eggs.
PACKING – Soil filled into cavities hollowed out in a wooden food source (e.g. Odontotermes and Microcerotermes), seemingly to protect the remainder (Fraser, 1993).
PALAEARCTIC – Zoogeographical region (one of eight) comprising Europe, Africa north of the Sahara and most of Asia north of the Himalayas; compare Afrotropical & Nearctic.
PHEROMONE – Or ectohormone – chemical substance (highly volatile organic acid or alcohol) effective in minute concentrations, emitted into the environment as a signal to another organism (usually of the same species); important in social behaviour (cohesion, pairing, marking, coordination) (Isaacs et al., 1991).
PHYLOGENY – Evolutionary history of an organism or group of related organisms (loc. cit.).
PHYSOGASTRIC (female) – From physogastry: expansion of the abdomen as egg-laying capacity increases (Harris, 1971).
POLYMORPHISM – Occurrence of more than one morphotype within an interbreeding population of a single species; compare dimorphism.
PROGNATHOUS – Head and body axes are in line and the mouthparts are directed forwards (De Villiers, 1989).
PRONOTUM – Dorsal plate on first thoracic segment behind the head of an insect (loc. cit.).
PSEUDERGATES – Or 'false workers' – alate nymphs that have regressed from nymphal stage by 'stationary', non-differentiating moults that reduce or eliminate wing buds (Miller, 1969); perform duties of true workers and occur in the 'primitive' Kalotermitidae (Skaife, 1979).
PTEROTHORAX – Collective name for meso and metathorax (2nd and 3rd thoracic segment), each of which may bear a pair of wings (De Villiers, 1989).
RELIEF – Altitude variation of an area; difference between highest and lowest levels.
RUNWAYS – Trails used by foraging individuals (Fraser, 1993).
SHEETING – Layer of soil partly or wholly covering food source (e.g. Macrotermes spp., Odontotermes spp. and Allodontermes rhodesiensis) away from nest or mound, also protecting the foraging termites from predators and the elements (loc. cit.).
SPIROCHAETES – Any of a group of spirally coiled, rodlike bacteria.
STERNITE – Ventral part of an abdominal segment (as opposed to tergite – dorsal) (De Villiers, 1989).
STOMODEAL (food) – From stomodeum: anterior ectoderm-surrounding portion of alimentary canal (Kenneth, 1975); foregut nourishment trophallaxically distributed.
SUBSOCIAL – Applied to the condition or group showing it in which the adults care for their young for some period of time (Wilson, 1972); compare eusocial.
SWARMING – Nuptial flights conducted by alates, usually after good rains during spring or early to mid-summer (species-specific).
TARSUS – Fifth part of an insect's leg lying between the tibia (4th) and the distal pretarsus (6th) (De Villiers, 1989).
TERMITARIUM – Nest of a colony of termites (Uys, pers. comm.); many termites reside in termitariums (others are lignicolous), but not all have mounds.
TERMITOPHILE – Termite-symbiotic invertebrate or guest from another order dependent on the termite colony for at least part of its life cycle (Wilson, 1972).
TROPHALLAXIC – Feeding behaviour where exchange of nutrients and intestinal symbionts between individuals on contact is eminent (La Fage & Nutting, 1978).
VELD – Open grassland in southern Africa; similar to 'pampas' (South American plains), 'prairie' (North American meadow) or 'steppe' (Russian lowland) [from Afrikaans via Dutch].
VLEI – Type of wetland slightly drier than marshes; rushes and terrestrial grasses occurring; similar to 'fen' (Europe) and 'bog' (North America) [from Afrikaans] (Meyer, 1992).
Compiled by Victor
[Originally edited by Leo Braack, Vivienne Uys & Jill Archer]
No glossary is exhaustive – that's why it's
not called a dictionary!
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Copyright © 2000 VWM.