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Termite Social Structure

Termite colonies are divided into three social castes, each with a different job:

Reproduction (the only winged termites) leave established colonies and swarm to create new ones. It takes two: a king and a queen, who produce eggs to build up the population.

Workers (the termites that infest your home) forage for food, and build nests and tunnels. They are sterile and blind. Drywoods, which are more primitive than subterraneans produce “false workers” called pseudergates that perform the job of workers.

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Soldiers defend the colony from predators.

A typical termite colony consists mainly of workers (85% to 99%), a single king and queen, and the rest soldiers and reproductives.

Color: Reproductives are dark brown to brownish-black; workers and soldiers are white to cream-colored.


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