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Termite adult
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Termite - adult
See also: larva | damage

Scientific Name: Isoptera: several species

Status: pest of homes and buildings

Damaging Stage: adult

Biology: Termites are small insects that are white, tan, or black. The name “Isoptera” means “equal wing” and refers to the fact that in the adult stage, all four wings are of the same length. Nymphs resemble smaller termites with external wing buds. They are less than ½ inch long and white or gray in color. With each successive molt, they develop wings, eyes, and functional organs. There is typically one generation per year.

Termites are social insects with three castes (reproductives, workers, and soldiers), each with separate functions in the colony. The reproductives are responsible for producing large numbers of offspring. The workers and soldiers are sterile, wingless, and blind. The workers build the nest, forage for food, and care for the young. The soldiers defend the colony from intruders.