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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 big heads with highly altered powerful jaws therefore enlarged they cannot feed themselves. Instead, like juveniles, they're fed by workers.5556 Fontanelles, simple holes in the eyebrow that exude defensive secretionsare a characteristic of their family Rhinotermitidae.57 Many species are easily identified using the characteristics of the soldiers' larger and darker head and large mandibles.53 Among certain termites, soldiers can use their globular (phragmotic) heads to obstruct their narrow tunnels.58 Different types of soldiers include minor and significant soldiers, and nasutes, which have a horn-like nozzle frontal projection (a nasus).53 These unique soldiers can spray noxious, sticky secretions containing diterpenes at their enemies.59 Nitrogen fixation has an important role in nasute nutrition.60.
The reproductive caste of a mature colony includes a prosperous female and male, 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 certain species, the abdomen of the queen swells up radically to increase fecundity, a feature known as physogastrism.61 Depending on the species, the queen starts producing reproductive winged alates at a certain period of year, and enormous swarms emerge in the colony when nuptial flight begins.
A young termite nymph. Nymphs first moult into workers, but others may farther moult to become soldiers 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 significant differences in life cycle. In the eusocial Hymenoptera, the workers are exclusively female. Males (drones) are haploid and develop from unfertilised eggs, while females (both workers and the queen) are both diploid and develop from fertilised eggs.
Depending on species, male and female employees may have different roles in a termite colony.63.
The entire 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 phases.64 Nymphs resemble little adults, and go their explanation 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, employees must try this site feed them, but workers also get involved in the social life of their colony and also have certain different activities to achieve such as foraging, building or maintaining the nest or tending to the queen.5367 Pheromones govern the caste system click in termite colonies, preventing all but a very few of the termites from becoming fertile queens.68.
Termite alates only depart the colony when a nuptial flight occurs. Alate males and females pair up together and then land in search of a suitable spot for a colony.70 A termite king and queen do not mate until they find such a place. When they do, they excavate a room large enough for both, shut up the entrance and proceed to mate.70 After mating, the pair never go outdoors and spend the rest of their lives in the nest.
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By way of instance, alates in certain species appear during the day in summer while some emerge during the winter.71 The nuptial flight might 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 fluctuates, 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 maturity, a primary queen has a fantastic capacity to lay eggs. In certain species, the mature queen has a greatly distended abdomen and may create 40,000 eggs a day.72 Both mature ovaries may possess some 2,000 ovarioles each.73 The abdomen increases the queen's body length to a number of times more than before mating and reduces her ability to maneuver freely; attendant workers provide assistance.