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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 strong jaws so enlarged they cannot feed themselves. Instead, like juveniles, they're fed by workers.5556 Fontanelles, simple holes in the forehead that exude defensive secretionsare a feature of the family Rhinotermitidae.57 Many species have been easily identified using the qualities of the soldiers' larger and darker head and large mandibles.53 Among certain termites, soldiers may use their globular (phragmotic) heads to block their narrow tunnels.58 Different types of soldiers include minor and significant soldiers, and nasutes, that 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 plays an important role in nasute nutrition.60.

The reproductive caste of a mature colony includes a prosperous 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 certain species, the abdomen of this queen swells up radically 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 enormous swarms emerge from the colony when nuptial flight begins.

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

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

Depending on species, male and female workers 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 small 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, employees must feed thembut workers also take part in the social life of the colony and have certain other tasks to accomplish such as 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 few of those 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 lower 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 place for anonymous a colony.70 A termite king and queen do not mate until they find such a place. When they dothey 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 remainder of their lives in the nest.

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By way of instance, alates in certain species appear during the daytime in summer while others emerge during winter.71 The nuptial flight may also begin at dusk, when the alates swarm around areas with lots of lights. The time when nuptial flight begins depends on the environmental conditions, the time of my website day, moisture, 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 stages of the colony, but places as many as 1,000 per day when the colony is a few years old.53 At maturity, a primary queen has a great capacity to lay eggs. In certain species, the adult queen includes a greatly distended abdomen and may produce 40,000 eggs per day.72 The two mature ovaries may possess some 2,000 ovarioles every.73 The abdomen increases the queen's body length to several times greater than prior to mating and reduces her ability to move freely; attendant employees provide assistance.

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