Archives for alates

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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Termite pictures – Reticulitermes species

The following photos were sent by a reader, Angela, from Nashville, Tennessee. While poking around in the garden, the reader came across some white colored insects and wondered if they might be termites. She dropped me an email to ask my opinion. With her kind permission, I’d like to share some of the photos here.
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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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