Termite

The Termite (Blattodea or Isoptera) is an insect. Only some termites have wings.

The winged Termite has a dark head with two antennae, dark eyes (only winged termites have eyes), and strong jaws for chewing.  It has a thorax with six legs and four transparent (clear) wings. It has an abdomen.

Termite alate

Termite alate

It grows up to 4-15 millimetres (0.16 to half an inch) long.

The Termite eats plant tissue, such as wood, grass, plants, leaves, and soil.

The Termite prefers dark, warm regions in the world. It is terrestrial, living on the ground in colonies in termite mounds (nests). The average colony is 500,00 to 800,000 individuals.

The Termite colony conists of castes, such as a king, several queens, alates (winged termites), workers (non-winged young termites), and soldiers (non-winged termites defending the mound). Alates, workers, and soldiers can be male and female.

A winged adult termite (male or female) that is ready to have babies is called an alate. Termite alates swarm when they leave the nest. They are called swarmers. Their wings drop off after mating during a nuptial flight. This is called deciduous.

Females lay about 1,000 eggs, which take 2-4 weeks to hatch into baby termites, called nymphs. Worker termites feed the nymphs. Nymphs do not pupate. Instead, it continues its incomplete (or partial) metamorphosis to gradually become adult termites. As it grows, it will develop into a king, queen, alate, worker or a soldier.

The Termite has a short lifespan of 1-4 years.

Termite alate

Termite alate

Termite

Termite alate

Spoonbill

Spoonbill eating a winged termite

 

 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

 

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