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The soldier caste has anatomical and behavioural specialisations, and their only real purpose is to defend the colony. Many soldiers have large heads with highly modified powerful jaws therefore enlarged they cannot feed themselves. Instead, like juveniles, they are fed by workers.5556 Fontanelles, easy holes in the eyebrow which exude defensive secretionsare a feature of their family Rhinotermitidae.57 Many species have been readily identified using the qualities of the soldiers' bigger and darker head and large mandibles.53 Among certain termites, soldiers can utilize their globular (phragmotic) heads to block their narrow tunnels.58 Different types of soldiers include minor and major soldiers, and nasutes, that have a horn-like nozzle frontal projection (a nasus).53 These unique soldiers can spray noxious, sticky secretions containing diterpenes in their enemies.59 Nitrogen fixation plays an important part in nasute nutrition.60.

The reproductive caste of a mature colony includes a fertile female and man, known as the queen and king.61 The queen of this colony is responsible for egg production for the colony. Unlike in ants, the king mates with her life.62 In some species, the abdomen of this queen swells up dramatically to increase fecundity, a characteristic known as physogastrism.61 Depending on the species, the queen starts producing reproductive winged alates at a certain period of year, and huge swarms emerge in the colony when nuptial flight begins.

A young termite nymph. Nymphs first moult into workers, but others might farther moult to become soldiers or alates.



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Termites are often compared with the social Hymenoptera (ants and various species of bees and wasps), but their differing evolutionary origins result in major differences in life span. In the eusocial Hymenoptera, the workers are exclusively female. Males (drones) are haploid and develop from unfertilised eggs, while females (both employees and the queen) are both diploid and develop from fertilised eggs.

Depending on species, male and female employees may have different my blog roles in a termite colony.63.

The life span of a termite begins with an egg, but is different from that of a bee or ant in that it goes through a developmental process called incomplete metamorphosis, with egg, nymph and adult stages.64 Nymphs resemble little adults, and go through a series of moults as they develop.



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The development of nymphs into adults can take months; the time period depends on food availability, temperature, and the general population of the colony. Since nymphs are unable to feed themselves, workers must feed them, but employees also get involved in the social life of their colony and also have certain different tasks to accomplish like foraging, building or maintaining the nest next or tending to the queen.5367 Pheromones govern the caste system in termite colonies, preventing all but a very few of the termites from becoming fertile queens.68.



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Queens of the eusocial termite Reticulitermes speratus are effective at a long lifespan without sacrificing fecundity. These long-lived queens have a significantly lower level of oxidative damage, including oxidative DNA damage, than workers, soldiers and nymphs.69 The decreased levels of harm seem to be due to increased catalase, an enzyme that protects against oxidative stress.69.

Termite alates only depart the colony when a nuptial flight takes place. Alate males and females pair up together and then land in search of a suitable spot for a colony.70 A go to this web-site termite king and queen do not mate until they find such a place. When they perform they excavate a chamber large enough for both, close up the entrance and move to mate.70 After mating, the pair never go outdoors and spend the rest of their lives in the nest.



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For example, alates in certain species emerge during the day in summer while some emerge during the winter.71 The nuptial flight may also begin at dusk, when the alates swarm around regions with lots of lights. The time when nuptial flight begins depends on the environmental conditions, the time of day, humidity, wind speed and precipitation.71 The number of termites in a colony also varies, with the larger species typically having 1001,000 individuals.

The queen only lays 1020 eggs in the very early phases of the colony, but places as many as 1,000 a day when the colony is a few years old.53 At adulthood, a main queen has a fantastic capacity to lay eggs. In some species, the adult queen includes a greatly distended abdomen and might produce 40,000 eggs per day.72 Both adult ovaries may possess some 2,000 ovarioles each.73 The abdomen increases the queen's body length to several times greater than before mating and reduces her ability to maneuver freely; attendant workers provide assistance.

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