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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 exceptionally modified powerful jaws therefore enlarged they cannot feed themselves. Instead, such as juveniles, they are fed by employees.5556 Fontanelles, simple holes in the forehead which exude defensive secretions, are a characteristic of their family Rhinotermitidae.57 Many species have been readily identified using the characteristics of the soldiers' bigger and darker head and massive 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 significant soldiers, and nasutes, which have a horn-like nozzle frontal projection (a nasus).53 These unique soldiers are able to spray noxious, sticky secretions containing diterpenes at their enemies.59 Nitrogen fixation has an important part 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 the 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 dramatically to increase fecundity, a feature known as physogastrism.61 Depending on the species, the queen begins producing reproductive winged alates at a certain time of the year, and huge swarms emerge from the colony when nuptial flight begins.

A young termite nymph. Nymphs first moult into employees, but others might further 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 span. In the eusocial Hymenoptera, the workers are entirely female. Males (drones) are haploid and develop from unfertilised eggs, while females (both workers and the queen) are both diploid and grow from fertilised eggs.

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

The life cycle 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 through a series of moults as they grow.



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The development of nymphs into adults can take months; the time frame depends on food availability, temperature, and the general population of the colony. Since nymphs are unable to feed themselves, workers must feed thembut employees also take part in the social life of their colony and also have certain different tasks to accomplish like foraging, building or maintaining the nest or tending to the queen.5367 Pheromones govern the caste system in termite colonies, preventing all but a very look at this web-site 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 employees, soldiers and nymphs.69 The decreased levels of harm appear 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 men 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 spot. When they do, they excavate a chamber large enough for both, shut up the entrance and proceed to partner.70 After mating, the set never go outside and spend the rest of their lives in the nest.



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By way of example, alates in certain species appear during the day in summer while some emerge during winter.71 The nuptial flight might also begin at dusk, when the alates swarm around areas with a great deal of lights. The time when nuptial flight begins depends on the environmental conditions, the time of day, moisture, wind speed and precipitation.71 The number of termites in a colony also fluctuates, with the larger species normally having 1001,000 individuals.

The queen only lays 1020 eggs in the very early stages of the colony, but lays as many as 1,000 per day when the colony is several years old.53 At maturity, a main queen has a fantastic capability to lay eggs. In some species, the mature queen includes a greatly distended abdomen and might produce 40,000 eggs per day.72 The two mature ovaries may possess visit the site some 2,000 ovarioles every.73 The abdomen increases the queen's body length to a number of times more than before mating and reduces her ability to move freely; attendant workers provide assistance.

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