What do termites look like

There is much confusion (even ignorance) among the uninformed, as to what exactly do termites look like. To set the record straight, termites have broad waists and a more or less, rounded body with no curves. They have straight antennae which are flexible and pliable. That’s why termite workers are able to clean their antennae by bending it at will at any time, by turning it into their mouths.

Ants on the other hand, have a more angular body, and a slender waist. You can easily make out the thorax, head and abdomen for ants. The antennae for ants are always bent at an elbowed joint, and they can only clean their antennae by using their forelegs to “comb” their antennae.

Finally, the alates (winged reproductives) of termites have 4 wings which are all similarly sized, but ants have 2 larger wings plus 2 smaller wings. However, you are not going to be seeing termite alates too often, as different species have different swarming seasons, and the same goes for ants – They don’t release winged reproductives from their nests at all times.

Termite identification

(Above) Termite identification – What do termites look like compared to ants; the main differences. A comparison between workers.

Termite identification with a termite soldier as comparison.

(Above) Termite identification – This time with a termite soldier as comparison. Ants are all generally regarded as workers without such caste specialization, unlike termites. It should be noted that termite soldiers do NOT eat wood.

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