Archives for Flying termites

How a termite swarm looks like

I was witness to a termite swarming event recently, during one of my travels, and managed to record some footage of the swarming termites (also called alates), which you can see below. The termites started swarming right after dusk around 7:30 pm, and swamped all the lights in and outside the guest room where I was staying.
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Flying termites – The nuptial flight

Flying termites or termite swarmers/alates swarm during the right climatic conditions, such as after a rainy spell following a dry season. But they don’t just appear, the termite colony has to produce this special caste, which it does from time to time (some more frequent than others). During certain periods, some nymphs will develop into reproductive males and females with wings; once they develop and mature, these alates will then fly from the nest at the right time.
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The flying termites or alates

There are lots of misconceptions about flying termites or termite alates. In scientific lingo, we call them imagos or alates (winged reproductives). Some people think these flying termites can attack wood. Others think these flying termites can fight (with ants). The truth is, these flying termites are winged reproductives that comprise either males or females whose sole purpose is to start new colonies and become the future king and queen of their new colony.
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