About Termite & its Type, Life Cycle, Colony in Detail:

TERMITES:

There are Three Main Categories Of Termites:

  • Subterranean
  • Dampwood
  • Drywood
  • Subterranean:

    Tunnels underground originating from parent colony and leading to a food source, or shelter tubes up vertical objects.

    Dampwood:

    Exist in trees, stumps and areas where timber is in contact with moist soil. Sustained moisture supply necessary. Also occurs in wall cavities and beneath houses

    Drywood:

    Mostly exist in dry wood where atmospheric moisture is often high, such as in the warmer tropical areas. Also occur in some dry area.

    Now SUBTERRANEAN divided into more Three Types:
  • 1-Mounds:
  • Central colony in a raised mound from which subterranean tunnels radiate.

  • 2-Non-Mound Colonies
  • In trees, tree stumps and wood in the ground. Subterranean tunnels radiate from these.

  • 3-Arboreal Colonies
  • Nest at various heights on trees or on top of posts. Ground contact necessary, and tunnels radiate underground from the base of the tree or post.

    THE COLONY & ITS CASTES:

    Reproductive:

    They are the sexual forms of the colony – the future kings and queens. When they are fully winged and ready to leave their nest, They go on the colonising flight. If the queen dies or degenerates, in many species some of their reproductive are selected to carry on the colony. It is also likely that supplementary kings can be formed from the developing reproductive.
    reporductive termite

    Worker:

    They constitute the greatest number of individuals in a colony. They do the work of the colony: gathering food, maintaining and repairing, and feeding all the other castes.

    Soldier:

    Their main function is to defend the colony against invaders, particularly ants.
    soldier termite

    King:

    He fertilizes the queen from time to time and, like the queen, is long-lived. The original king along with the queen tends the young during the early life of the colony.
    king termite

    Queen:

    The main function of the queen is reproduction. However, during the early developmental period of the colony, she together with the king tends her young until the workers are numerous enough to take over these nursery duties.
    bed bugs breed temp

    LIFE CYCLE:

    Termites develop gradually. The developmental stages are egg, nymph, adult. The eggs are laid singly except in Mastotermes darwiniensis, which lays its eggs in long rows. The eggs hatch into first instar nymphs, which are fed by the workers or, in the case of M. darwiniensis and species of Family Kalotermitidae, which have no true worker caste, by the older nymphs. After molting several times, the young nymphs differentiate into the various castes: workers, soldiers and alates. The developmental period may take 2-4 months to several months. Depending on such factors as food availability, temperature and the vigour of the colony. The fully winged forms (alates) leave the colony during the colonizing flight, usually in early summer, to set up new colonies. Timber in moist ground or a rotting scar at the base of a tree is a favored nesting area for a potential new colony. When a pair of de-alates set up in a suitable environment, they hollow out a small chamber in which they mate, and then the female lays small number of eggs. At this stage, this future king and queen must feed and care for their young. Later, task becomes the responsibility of the workers or in primitive species, the nymphs.
    lifecycle termite

    TERMITE NEST:

    a) Ground mounds – Species such as Coptotermes lacteus, Nasutitermes exitiosus, Microcerotermes turneri and Amitermes spp. In the Northern Territory build substantial mounds. on the ground. Most of these have a hardened outer casing, an extensive layer with tunnels and inner central area of softer, papery material, forming the nursery where the queen is located.

    b) Subterranean nest Major pest species (e.g. Coptotermes acinaciformis, C. frenchi, Schedorhinotermes intermedius) mostly nest underground but some can nest above ground provided there is a constant source of water/moisture. C. acinaciformis has been found nesting between floors in large city buildings and inside trees, even well above ground level. Trees and stumps are favoured nesting places for these termites. Subterranean nest lack the outer hard casing but the structure is the same of the ground mound, with softer and more fragile chambers near the center. They also excavate the roots on which trees depend for their stability.Tree wood – species such as Neotermes insularis, Porotermes adamsoni and the many species of genus Cryptotermes live in small colonies throughout the branches and trunks of trees, often preferring the softer growth rings.

    c) Arboreal nest: - Termite species such as Nasutitermes graveolus and Nasutitermes walkeri construct arboreal nests, which may be large and at heights sometimes exceeding 20m. They have ground contact usually through the root crown of the tree on which nest occurs.

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