SOCIAL INSECTS: are specialized group of insects of the same species which live together cooperatively in organized community known as colonies.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SOCIAL INSECT/ANIMALS
1 They live together in colony
2 They show or display division of labour
3 They show distinct castes
4 Members communicate with one another within the colonies.
CASTES OF TERMITES
Termites are usually found living together in large communities in nest which may be in tunnels in dead wood, chamber under the ground or anthill, or termitarium/termiteria.
All the various individuals in termite colony are grouped into three castes as follow the reproductive are of three types. The reproductive are fertile and are able to reproduce. These are the (a) king (b) queen (c) and long winged reproductive.
- The king is a reproductive individual that is fertile
- It has no wing
iii. It is smaller than the queen
- The function or the king is to mate or fertilize the egg of the queen
- The queen is a reproductive female individual.
- It has a small head and small thorax with very big abdomen
iii. The abdomen is large and swollen with eggs
- There is usually only a queen at a time in a colony
- The queen is the largest of all the castes
vi The function of the queen is a lay egg the long winged reproductive
1 They have wings
2 They are fertile i.e. able to reproduce
3 They can become new queen or king in a new colony after a nuptical or wedding flight
I They soldiers are sterile i.e. unable to reproduce
Ii They are wingless
Iii They have a big head with a pair of strong and hard mandibles
Iv They defend the colony against enemies . The solders are of two types (1) Madibulate soldiers termite defend with their strong mandible .(11)Nasute soldier which kill with poison from its
I The workers sterile and blind
Ii They are wingless and white in colour
Iii They form the largest population of the colony
Iv They possess well developed mouth parts.
- They build and repair the termitarium
- They provide food for other member of the colony e.g. large queen and soldier
- They look after the nymphs (baby termiter)
- They feed the nymph and the queen.
Watch National Geographic commentary on Termite Caste:
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