Termite eggs

There are many people who wonder what do termite eggs look like (unlike ants, termites eggs are rarely seen), but generally they all look like tiny translucent white or yellow jelly beans, regardless of species. The first batch laid by the female termite after the royal pair has mated and dug themselves in, is usually a yellowish color. But subsequent batches are white later on although there are also eggs with a slight sherry or yellow color.

Termites usually deposit their eggs near or around the royal cell (where the queen and king are); in other words, the heart of the nest (which is also the safest, relatively). It is unlikely you will ever come across their eggs at their foraging spots, unless it is their nest proper. Given the rate of egg laying by the queen, there are possibly thousands of eggs produced everyday (this being highly dependent on the species) and workers tending to the queen are always on standby to collect eggs as they are laid.

How large are termite eggs and how long do they take to hatch?

Termite eggs in soilThe size of termite eggs is usually quite standard for most species, regardless of the size of the species in question, with larger species only having slightly larger egg size. To get an idea of how large a termite egg is, a similar comparison would be a full stop dot with Verdana, text size 14. They are small sized, but visible to the naked eye nonetheless; more so because the eggs are usually bunched up in clusters.

Termite eggs take about 26 days to hatch into nymphs, which would be quite similar to the maximum duration for ants and cockroaches. As the eggs near hatching, they enlarge about 30% more in size. Different temperature conditions may affect the duration it takes for the eggs to hatch. A rather curious fact is that termite nymphs that first hatch out (first instar nymphs) are also usually about the same size and appearance regardless of the species.

Termite eggs

Above – Termite eggs are usually translucent white and shaped like jelly beans. They are very small, but visible to the naked eye.

Termite eggs

Above – Termite eggs may sometimes be colored a slight sherry or yellow color in appearance.

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