Archives for General

A rather strange species of nasute termite

Some of us may be familiar with the strange nesting habits of certain animals and invertebrates; termites are no exception. Recently, I came across what appears to be a rather strange species of termite which I have never encountered before. This species of termite is of a nasute variety, and looks to be subterranean in nesting habit.
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How drywood and subterranean termites differ

Mention the word “termites”, and most people will immediately think of some type of whitish colored insect that feeds on wood and can damage buildings. It is true that termites can damage wooden structures and that most of them eat wood, but when you consider there being thousands of species of termites in the world, it won’t be surprising to know that there are also major differences amongst each species or type. However, it is important to know how drywood and subterranean termites differ.
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How mound building termites repair damage to their nest

Mound building termites are probably the most advanced architects in the animal kingdom. The main family of termites that build large and advanced mounds are the Macrotermitinae. Although better known from Africa, mound building Macrotermes species are also well distributed throughout tropical Asia as well.
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Termite droppings

If you have an infestation of drywood termites in your home, usually the only evidence of their presence are the termite droppings that appear around woodwork, but there’s a whole lot of more to it. With termites, their droppings are either liquid or solid, and this depends on the type/species of termite in question. Also, did you know that termites are the only insects that make full use of their droppings in as many ways as possible, literally?
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The typical termite life cycle

Termites are one of the longest living insects in the world, but this only applies to the termite queen, which in some species, may live for a decade or even more. The typical termite life cycle (for workers and soldiers) is about 1-5 years, but this depends a lot on the species and the environment it is in. Termites are one of the insects that undergo incomplete metamorphosis, which is a major difference from the other eusocial insects, namely ants, bees, and wasps, which undergo complete metamorphosis.
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The origin of termites

Termites are very ancient organisms; they have even existed before ants. So, perhaps it can be regarded that ants “adapted” their complex social structure from the termites, and not the other way around. What I notice is that termites back then and today are not much different in terms of morphology, or how they look. The origin of termites seems to be quite clear-cut; termites have not changed much in spite of being around for so long.
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Termite pictures – Macrotermes gilvus

Macrotermes gilvus (Macrotimitinae) is the most common mound building termite throughout South East Asia, but at the same time, there are also several subspecies which have slight variation, mostly in terms of size. They build a stout mound which under good conditions, may attain large size, and reach almost 2 meters in height.
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Introduction to termites

Termites. Most people loath termites because of their reputation. But termites have been around on the earth for a very long time, and are essential to many habitats and ecosystems – Far longer than most creatures on earth today. Known as “white ants” to some folks, termites are most numerous in the tropics, but they are also found in many temperate regions of the globe. Read on to obtain an introduction to termites.
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