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X-ray tomography of termite nests from Senegal and Guinea

posted on 2017-12-22, 13:39 authored by Kamaljit SinghKamaljit Singh, Christian Jost
In this study, two different African Trinervitermes geminatus termite nests were excavated, one from Nguekokh, Senegal (during early October 2010) and the other from Kankan, Guinea (during early July 2007), which are about 1100 km apart. Both nests were in Savanna type vegetation, with higher tree density in Guinea. Both nests were exposed to the sun. The excavated nests were first imaged with a medical X-ray CT scanner at a pixel-resolution of 0.3-0.6 mm, which allowed us to investigate the complete structure of the nests in three dimensions non-destructively.

We then drilled multiple samples from different parts of the inner and outer walls of the nests, and scanned them non-destructively with a high-resolution X-ray micro-tomography scanner at a voxel size of 5 µm. All the X-ray micro-tomographic images in these datasets are from the outer walls, except the sample 'Senegal_termite_nest_Xray_micro_CT_sample_3' which was taken from the internal walls of the Senegal nest.

The details of the image properties and the usage notes are provided in the 'Read_me_files_Termite_nest' file.

The display pic shows the Guinea nest imaged with a medical X-ray CT scanner (left). The outer solid wall of the nest was imaged with a high-resolution X-ray micro-tomography scanner (right).