The richness of plant species consumed by \textit{Constrictotermes cyphergaster} termites in a semiarid ecosystem in northeastern Brazil

The foraging activities of \textit{Constrictotermes cyphergaster} termites were monitored in an area of dryland caatinga vegetation in northeastern Brazil. Three nests were company during 15 days during each trimester between January/2016 and June/2017 to identify the plant resources used as well as variations in their consumption during the wet and dry seasons. We delimited a 10 m² plot within each of the areas used by each nest to quantify the plant resources most visited by those termites. Fourteen plant species were found to be exploited by \textit{C. cyphergaster}, of which \textit{Croton} spp. (21%), \textit{Mimosa} spp. (17%), \textit{Poincianella pyramidalis} (11%) were the most visited and the most abundant (\textit{Croton} spp. 34.6 individuals/m², \textit{Mimosa} spp. 16 individuals/m², \textit{P. pyramidalis} 10.6 individuals/m²) in both seasons. Temporal variations were observed in the use of the different species in different seasons (F4,30=9.83, P<0.01), with increased visitation in January/2017 during the dry season. The diet of \textit{C. cyphergaster} was observed to be relatively varied, although with greater consumption frequencies of pioneer Caatinga plants as well as the most abundant species within the foraging areas of the colonies. The low consumption specificity of the most abundant Caatinga plant species may help explain the wide distribution of \textit{C. cyphergaster} in that phytophysiognomy. Financial support: CNPq, CAPES