There are about 3,106 species of Termites in the world so what do termites look like? This scientifically proven data shows that we would be addressing over 3,000 Termite Wings if we want to take a step by step approach. It is important to state that there are hundreds of Termites which are yet to be fully classified.
Based on this premise, we would narrow our focus to the things that apply to Termites across the board. Furthermore, Termites are found in all the Continents of the world except Antarctic. This spread has necessitated adaptation mode that helps them blend to a given locale; different lifestyle mannerisms, etc.
We can see that this would be a broad subject based on the points already highlighted. Also, to give traction to a well-thought discourse on this topic, we would run through some basic facts
So From Where Do Termites Come From?
Termites are one of the oldest recorded insects known to Man. They are linked to the Cockroach family, Bee, and Wasp. Different species have been associated with some of the listed insects due to some peculiarities. Some scientists have a strong leaning towards evolution, and they believe Termites come from Cockroaches. These arguments may be vague except when backed by actual research.
The basic facts about Termites remain that it is an Insect that functions in a Social Caste and has been in existence for long. They are called White Ants, but it must be reiterated that Termites are not Ants. It is important that termite droppings are first sign of termites learn more here!
The successful colonization of different landmasses has made the Termites spread to many regions of the world. It is kind of interesting to state that the National Kruger Park in Africa has an average 1,000 molds of Termite, and you are wondering right now who would ask such question as “what do termites look like?” heh.
Each Mould has hundreds of Termite while some mold could have up to a thousand Termites. The breakdown of the body structure of these insects is another area we would briefly address as we progress.
Termites have been able to blend their flying and crawling mannerisms to subdue various ecosystems. A recent study of Termites shows that the variation in their lifespan is tied to some reasons. There are many aspects of these insects that must be critically analyzed to get a functional knowledge of how they live.
The Metamorphosis of Termites
Contrary to earlier research work that tried to link the metamorphosis of Termites to Ants; more findings have shown a huge difference. Termites have what is called an Incomplete Metamorphosis. They go from Egg to Nymph and Adult stages. Interestingly, this incomplete cycle does not affect the well-being of the Termites.
The Termite Queen can live up to 50 years depending on specific Climatic conditions while the Workers can live for 1 to 2 years. There are Termite species that are invasive and could cause damage to wood and other related matter.
To control Termites, Humans have employed different mechanisms. It must be noted that the survival rate of Termites is commendable as they can become resistant to certain repellents over time.
These are other facts you must know
Certain people or cultures around the world use Termites for various reasons and trust me no one asks there what do termites look like. Termites could be eaten as a nutritious delicacy, or they could be used for Medicinal purposes. Given the recent developments in some parts of the world, it is essential to state that Termites can create Economic reactions.
The species of Termites that affect plantation forests, crops and wood influence the social and economic pattern in some societies. The Termite Queen is the longest living Insect in the world. She can live for up to 50 years.
The Social Caste system of Termites can be closely linked to some existing Human cultures. The Termite has many other facts that can keep us engaging in this sub-topic. However, it is important to look at other salient facts to give clarity to our topic.
The places you can find Termites
Before we delve into this subject, it is important to mention that the word Termite was first used in 1781. Prior to this period. Termites were only referred to as White Ants or Ants. We need to have this working knowledge, so it does not come as a surprise that Termites are all over the world. They have been here for long, and their effective migration and social skills have paid off over the years.
Termites could be classified as very intelligent insects due to their organizational ability. The cold, warm and hot weather has not affected their ability to thrive in various localities.
Without further ado, we can find Termites in Europe and North America. There are about 50 known species in North America while there are ten species in Europe. These regions have one of the lowest concentrations of Termites. In South America, there are interesting facts about Termites that show the study of Termite Wings could be broad. They have 400 known species which have different orientations to feeding, mating, and their habitation.
These differences reflect in their Body and wings too. We would go deeper into this new subdivision in due course.
The emphasis, for now, is to highlight the places Termites can be found. Over 1,000 species of Termites are in Africa. This shows a high percentage of Termites in the region when weighed against the total 3,000 known Termite groups in the world. In the South Africa, over 1.1 million Termites are found in a National Park.
This is due to some reasons such as vast Forest land, smooth migration, and laws that protect them. We have solution how YOU can protect against them.
Australia has 360 species which are endemic to the country while Asia has 435 species. The spread of these Termites is an engaging discourse that throws light on other areas of study. A few more points would be highlighted before we look into the wings of Termites. It is on record that despite various interventions to wipe the Termites in certain colonies, it has not yielded the expected results.
So What Do Termites Look Like?
Most Soldier and Worker Termites do not have eyes. They are blind. Some species are able to differentiate Moonlight and Sunlight due to their Compound Eyes. They have certain features known as clypeus and Labrum. The Labrum has the shape of a Tongue. In a more compelling analysis of the Termites body, it is important to dwell extensively on the Antennae. However, since this is not the focus of our discussion; an overview would be done on the Antenna’s functionality.
The function of this Body part includes Vibration, Taste, Heat, Odors and sense of touch. There are three basic segmentations when one critically examines the Antenna of a Termite. This breakdown includes the Flagellum, ScaDe, and Pedicel.
The mouth contains a Labium, Mandible, and maxillae. The Labium and Maxillae have palps which help the insect to handle objects and for feeding. Consistent with the structure of most insects, the Termite has three connected areas in its body. The reproductive organ is similar to that of a Cockroach. With the facts that have been discussed, a conscious separation of the Termite wings would be made so we can look deeper at the subject.
The features of Termite Wings
In order not to give a wrong impression, it is expedient to mention that not all Termites have Wings. Termites that have Wings are referred to as Swarmers. They usually fly to new areas and mate. After this procedure is completed, they shed their wings and build new colonies. We would look at some Termites that do not have wings as this would help us to appreciate those with Wings.
Also, it is important to state that the Wings of a Termite are not a permanent feature, unlike the flying Ant. This would help to eliminate any ambiguities when anyone mentions the Wings of White Ants which is another name for Termites. The non-reproductive castes of Termites do not have wings. So exactly what do termites look like? Check these below.
- They rely on their six legs for movement.
- The alates fly for brief periods and rely heavily on their legs for movement.
- The Soldiers have heavier and larger legs while every other Termite has smaller legs.
- Termites that climb have a feature called arolium between their claws. This is used for climbing smooth surfaces.
It is instructive to note that to analyze Termites thoroughly; one must be open to the differences in their Structure. The Wings of Termites are in equal proportion as against what is seen in Flying Ants.
The fore-wings and the hind- wings of Termites have the same length. The Termite can fold their wings behind their back, unlike the Flying Ant. Furthermore, it must be stated that the Termites are very poor flyers.
The Alates can launch themselves into the Air and fly randomly. Research findings have shown that larger Termites fly longer distances that the short ones. When a Termite is at rest, its wings are parallel to its body by when it is in flight; the wing is at a right angle.
A close link to other aspects of Termites Lives
It is important to mention that the Wings of Termites are crucial in their reproduction. We cannot address the role of the Queen and King without paying attention to what we refer to as Nuptial flight. The Seasons of the year in which these insects reproduce have a very strong base for understanding their Wings. You might wonder how do you kill termites? Well, I have a solution.
We would continue to address some issues in general terms as the total groupings of Termites is broad so that you might ask the same question again.. what do termites look like? Let me explain it to you. Here are some aspects of their lives that are worth looking at. The Worker Termites do a lot of work in each Caste.
Their duties include Brooding, Foraging, Nest Maintenance and Food Storage. Whenever you find an infested wood, it is usually occupied by this range of Termites. It is essential to note that some Termite groups do not have dedicated Workers in their Caste.
They rely on the Nymph to do the job, but this is not applicable to other groupings. Generally. Workers carry out the task of feeding the members in a social system, and this frees up the Queen and other Termites to focus on their core duties.
The Soldier Termites defend the colony, and their organizational skill is highly educative. They have the right behavioral and anatomical specialization to carry out their function. Many Soldiers have highly modified powerful jaws with large heads which sometimes makes it unable for them to feed.
This leaves their feeding to the Workers who take care of them like Juveniles. It is easier to identify Soldiers based on their darker and larger head coupled with the large mandibles.
The Soldiers can spray sticky and noxious secretions which contain diterpenes at their enemies. In the case of Nasute Nutrition, Nitrogen fixation plays a prominent role. The Reproductive Caste in every mature colony includes the King and the Queen which are the fertile Male and Female Termites.
The Queen has the sole responsibility of producing eggs in the Colony. The difference between the King in the Ants Colony and that of Termites is that the King in the Termites colony mates with the Queen for life. At a particular time of the year, the Queen starts reproducing.
The high number of swarms invariably attracts predators such as Birds and other common Reptiles. It is not out of place to state that the Queen and King are leading members of each Caste.
The Beauty of Termites
It is essential to mention that few insects in the world generates interest as Termites. It is rare to find Insects that are dynamic and adjust to new settings like the Termite. However, we cannot lay claim to any of this postulation without identifying the prominent role that Termite Wings play.
They help in differentiating them from similar breeds such as Cockroaches and Ants. The dignifying role that the wings play in helping them build new colonies is quite admirable. We can continue expanding on the features of the Termites but this would take
volumes to cover.
It is ideal to state that the basic knowledge which has been shared would put us in good stead to appreciate these unique insects and lets hope after reading this article you won’t have to ask anyone what do termites look like.