Series: Records of the Zoological Survey of India Occasional Papers Volume: 42
156 pages, 4 plates with colour photos; b/w line drawings, b/w fold-out maps
Termites (Isoptera) constitute a most fascinating group of social insects specially because of their ubiquity in the tropics, superb architectural ability, cryptobiotic nature of life and enormous economic importance. The diverse physical and climatic features of the Indian subcontinent, offer favourable conditions to support a rich and varied termite fauna. Perhaps, because of its vastness and many other difficulties, State-wise faunal work has been undertaken by previous workers in the recent past. But, West Bengal, a polltically defined state of Eastern India, remained unexplored so far as its termite fauna is concerned. The area is probably unparallel in Whole of India, especially due to its contrasting land elevation i.e. from sea-level (Bay of Bengal) up to 3650 m. (Sandakphu and Phalut) in the Himalayas. For the sheer diversity in the physiography, climate, vegetation, etc., the area has developed a few natural units within which the study of termites creates enormous interest. Keeping this in view, the author explored the termite fauna as well as studied their ways of life and the present monograph is the output this endeavour. It deals with the termite fauna with special reference to taxonomy, zoogeography, field biology, faunal zonation and their relation with biotic and abiotic factors. However, any such discussion will not be satisfactory unless it takes into account the physiography, climate, soil, vegetation, etc. of the area concerned. Therefore, these factors are also briefly tabulated.
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