ODWS logoThe Open Door Web Site

Social Insects: Termites

Termite colonies are found in regions of Africa, South America, Australia and the United States. They are social insects but less advanced than ant colonies. Termites are related more to cockroaches.

A termite nest, Thailand © Shirley Burchill

The termite colony has three classes of individuals and each class includes both sexes. The reproductive class is represented by the king and the queen. These two individuals are locked away in a chamber in the centre of the termite nest.

The queen becomes huge soon after fertilization as her abdomen swells with eggs. She lays these eggs at a rate of several thousand each day throughout her lifetime. The soldiers have enormous heads with powerful jaws. The queen, king and soldiers are fed by the workers.

A worker termite © Shirley Burchill

A soldier termite © Shirley Burchill

Termites digest wood and paper. They do great damage to woodwork in houses, as well as to furniture and books. Some species of termites build nests up to 6 metres in height.

Drawing of a termite queen © Shirley Burchill

Privacy Policy

Copyright Information

Sponsored Links

Sponsored Pages

Donating to the ODWS

Advertising on the ODWS


IB Biology Web

Biology Homepage

Biology Chapters Index

> Topic Chapters

Facts and Figures

Laboratory Work

Questions and Quizzes

Listings, Recognitions and Awards

© The Open Door Team
Any questions or problems regarding this site should be addressed to the webmaster

© Paul Billiet and Shirley Burchill 2016

Hosted By
Web Hosting by HostCentric