Two main problems confront researchers attempting to study the biology of subterranean termites from the genus Reticulitermes. The current taxonomic scheme needs revision. Equivocal identification of specimens using published dichotomous keys often complicates field and laboratory tests. In addition, a realistic definition of what constitutes a subterranean termite colony elevates the role of inference to the status of dogma. In this paper we outline both problems and propose a multidisciplinary approach using behavioral, ecological, chemotaxonomic, and genetic data that promises to resolve both dilemmas.
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