Q:

What are some characteristics of a termite?

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Quick Answer

Termite body can be from 1/8 to 1 inch long. The body of these insects is usually oval-shaped. Termites can be white, brown, black and different shades of these colors. Castes of termites that are able to reproduce have two pairs of identical wings on their body. However, the wings shed after the mating period.

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Full Answer

Termites have mouthparts that are suitable for chewing. In addition, they have a pair of antennae on their head. The antennae are usually as long as the head of the insect is. Colonies of termites have several types of these insects, including a queen, sterile workers, sterile soldiers and alates. Alates are male and female termites that are able to reproduce and can be identified by wings on their body.

The primary food sources for termites are wood, bark, leaves, fungi and other organic matter. Once a termite colony starts getting too large, it creates a reproductive caste. These termites leave the colony, mate and start new colonies. The first termites who are born in a new colony are workers and soldiers. Once the colony is capable of building a larger nest and feeding the queen sufficiently, she starts laying eggs, and the number of termites in the colony increases.

Termite nymphs look like adult insects. There may be more than a million termites in one colony.

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