Termite pictures – Microtermes pakistanicus

Microtermes is a genus of Macrotermitinae that is so named because it is the opposite of Macrotermes, being pretty small in size, but still recognizably one of the Macrotermitinae, as can be inferred from the appearance of the workers. This particular species is likely to be Macrotermes pakistanicus, a wide ranging Microtermes species found in Pakistan eastwards to Thailand. They are highly common in agricultural estates.

They nest in wherever is convenient for them, and this includes other termite mounds or their own improvised little hillocks usually at the base of trees, stumps, logs and bushes. When they nest in other termite mounds, they will excavate their nests within the walls of the mound itself. The extremely hard and thick walls of the mounds of Macrotermes carbonarius for example (which may be one foot thick), provide an ideal nesting habitat for Microtermes pakistanicus, allowing them to hollow out chambers and construct their fungus gardens within them.

Generally, Microtermes species constructs some of the most exquisite and beautiful fungus combs of any termite. Workers are dimorphic, but soldiers may or may not be, depending on species. Microtermes pakistanicus has dimorphic soldiers, although it is hard to tell the small sized soldiers apart at first glance. Major workers are larger than any of the soldiers though.

Microtermes termites

(Above) Microtermes pakistanicus

microtermes workers

(Above) Microtermes pakistanicus – Workers

Microtermes workers

(Above) M. pakistanicus workers (major, minor castes and nymph)

Microtermes soldier

(Above) M. pakistanicus soldier. They seem to have poorly developed aggressive instincts.

Fungus gardens of Microtermes

(Above) The exquisite and plush fungus gardens of Microtermes pakistanicus.