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What Does a Termite Look Like?

What Does a Termite Look Like?

Author: Anthony Galz

Kids shouldn\'t be the only ones who should wonder 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 lead 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 still cause a lot of damage to residential areas.

Since termite are social insects, they live in colonies with a queen, king, soldiers and workers. In this sense, they are much like ants. In nature and the ecology, these insects actually play an important role. Although we may think of termites as enemies, they help in nature\'s natural process of recycling. As plants and trees rot, termites help them become dust and humus.

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What does a termite look like? That obviously depends on what species a termite belongs to since termites 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 termite\'s role.

The reproductive termites are also called swarmers. 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 feature 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.

A termite from the soldier group would 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.

What does a termite look like if it belongs to the worker group? 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 actually 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 primarily 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 narrow waists and they have antennae that point outward.

Recognizing what a termite looks like may be your key on how to kill termites for good. Learn more.

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