A Look At the Enemy – What Does A Termite Look Like?

A Look At the Enemy – What Does A Termite Look Like?


More than disinctive kids, adults and homeowners should also ask what a termite looks like. You should ask yourself the same question. Asking what a termite looks like can help save you a lot of trouble.

What Does a Termite Look Like?

Understanding some basic facts on termite would rule us to identifying it. There are surprisingly more than 2000 species of termites all over the world. Fortunately, the U.S. only has a fraction of that number at about 41-55 species. Most other species live in tropical regions which is probably the reason why there are only a few species in America. It is believed though that cold weather does not really kill termites but only causes them to reduce their speed of activity. Nonetheless, they can nevertheless cause a lot of damage to residential areas.

As social insects, termites live in colonies with a queen, king, soldiers and workers. In this sense, they are much like ants. In character and the ecology, these insects truly play an important role. Although we may think of termites as enemies, they help in characters natural course of action of recycling. As plants and trees decay, termites help them become dust and humus.

Caste System

Identifying what a termite looks like would depend greatly on what species a termite belongs to. Termites can come from different species may have slightly different physical traits. It also depends however on what group a termite belongs to in a colony. The answer to the question, what does a termite look like can be answered by looking at a termites role.

Swarmers are also called reproductives. Depending on the species, a swarmer may be brown, yellow brown, dark brown or grayish brown. Some may have shorter legs while others may have long ones. One distinctive characterize of a swarmer however, is that it has four wings that are of the same length but are longer than the body. Unlike ants with wings, these termites do not have bent antennae and no constriction in the abdomen area. These termites are responsible for spreading the termite race.

Soldier termites look different. Just like soldier ants, soldier termites are big with large heads and crushing mandibles. They may come in a yellowish brown color. These large insects defend the colony from other insects and invaders.

The termites from the worker group also looks different. Workers are definitely smaller than soldiers and slightly smaller than swarmers too. Most termites that we worry over are creamy white and translucent. These insects are truly blind and do not have wings but they can be the most destructive group from the human point of view. These members of the colony are chiefly responsible for eating wood.

These worker termites also function in their society as food gatherers, nest builders and larvae carers and feeders. Except for the wings, they are similar to swarmers since they do not have thin waists and they have antennae that point outward.

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