Archives for termite queen

The Termite Queen

The termite queen is one of the few creatures of the animal kingdom that demonstrate extreme physogastry or the expansion of the abdomen to an extreme size. This phenomenal growth is largely due to distended ovaries and fat deposits inside her abdomen. Some ant queens also display physogastry, but I can’t think of any creature that rivals the termite queen, in terms of size to body ratio.
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The termite colony

Termites live in well structured social systems, much like ants. There is a queen, a king, workers, and soldiers. Some species may have several queens and kings, but generally, the typical termite colony is ruled by a single queen and a male king, while the rest of the workers and soldiers are sterile males and females. Unlike other social insects like ants, wasps, and bees, termites have both genders in the worker and soldier caste.
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