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Termites live and work collectively in nests or colonies. Members of this colony take different forms or castes. These include:
Their wings are equivalent size and form and twice the length of the body. They drop following the colonising flight is made. Shed wings are a good indication of termite presence.
These are the sexual forms of the colony including future kings and queens of colonies .
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The reproductives reside in a central chamber in the nest where a female, or queen, will put many thousands of eggs every year over her entire life span of about a decade. Male, or kings, are responsible for fertilising the queens. Multiple reproductives are commonly observed.
The young termites develop in the colony by shedding cuticles in the end of each growth stage, slowly changing until they get to the employee, soldier or grownup (winged form). If queens die, some supplementary reproductives may carry on the colony as neotenics.
Reproductives are generally darker than employees and soldiers. They have functional eyes and their more robust skin (cuticle) is able to resist the outside environment. Once flight, unlike other insects, the wings of termites are lost and piles of shed wings are a fantastic clue to termite infestations.
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Soldiers have darker, heads that are larger than the other castes. They're blind, wingless, and have undeveloped reproductive organs.
Soldiers are tougher than the other castes and take longer to die from most toxins, exposure, or starvation. It's their role to defend the colony, if disturbed, while the damage is repaired by the workers.
Soldiers exist in different types. Many species have soldiers, together with well-developed jaws (mandibles) used to crush attackers, such as ants.
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Nastute soldiers happen in Nasustitermes species and therefore are only rarely found as pests in Victoria. They have a snout where they eject a tacky solution which irritates and glues attackers.
Phragmotic soldiers have a huge head, which can be wedged in tunnels to block attackers. The drywood termites, that utilize this particular strategy, are only occasional introductions to Victoria.
The employees account for the largest number of termites within the colony, and are consequently responsible for the most harm.
They gather food, groom other termites, construct tunnels and repair damage in addition to tending to the kings, queens and their young. These termites are thought to work 24 hours per day during their 4-year life span. Worker termites are generally unpigmented. They're blind, wingless and have undeveloped reproductive organs. .
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Termites hatch from eggs that have been tended by their nest mates in specially constructed nurseries.
As soon as they are mature enough, the young work within the colony in which occupations change with age and maturity.
Once a single colony gets sufficiently large it generates winged reproductives which wait in specially constructed chambers until ready to depart the nest and undertake a colonising flight.
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They leave the nest as a swarm under conditions of high humidity air, and sometimes light. Termites are not strong fliers and usually only fly around 1km, although breezes and updrafts can carry them a lot farther.
Upon landing near a suitable nest site, the female sheds her wings and emits a calling scent. Men respond.
They dig in and within the next few weeks, mate and look after their young until enough employees develop to take over the care roles.
New colonies are occasionally created via budding. This is believed to happen when the extremities of the colony lose contact and become independent.
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The primary king and queen are believed to emit hormones, which suppress the sexual development of the rest of the colony. However, this control breaks down if the territory is too big or contact with groups is dropped.
Termites work in nests or colonies. browse around these guys They hatch from eggs as mammals, which can be fed by termites. They then develop into castes or four forms of termite:
Soldiers have big, dark heads, are blind, wingless, and have redirected here undeveloped reproductive organs. Soldiers are tougher than other castes and may take longer to control. Several species of soldier termites have strong jaws (mandibles) utilized to crush attackers, like ants.
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Employees are colourless, blind, wingless and have undeveloped reproductive organs. Workers are the largest caste within a colony and are, therefore, responsible for most damage.
Reproductives that are darker in colour have functional eyes and robust skin. This caste becomes the leaders of prospective colonies.
The temperature, food grade, and action of this colony will determine how long it takes to get a termite.