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Subterranean Termites

Coptotermes spp. Queen

Appearance

  • 3/16"-3/8" in length
  • White, broad bodies with a brown head.

Lifecycle

  • Queens can lay several thousands of eggs in one day.
  • The king remains only slightly bigger than an average termite and continues to mate with the queen for life.
  • Males in ant colonies die immediately after mating, unlike termite male alates, which become kings and live with the queen.

Habits

  • Nests are built in the soil and these termites are very dependent on soil for moisture.
  • In their search for food, subterranean termites construct mud tubes because they are susceptible to desiccation when exposed to air.
  • Subterranean termites usually work their way above ground to reach wood or any other cellulose source. The cellulose is then broken down into simple starch with the help of protozoans in the termites’ gut.

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