Termite Encyclopedia

Termite Occupation and Role Assignment

Termite Queen
Produce eggs continuously

Termite King
Termite Queen’s pair with a duty to mate the Queen continuously 

Termite Worker
Termite workers are responsible for foraging or taking care of larvae. In the colony of termites, workers are the biggest number among the three specific castes (reproductives, workers and soldiers)

Termite Soldier
Termite soldiers are responsible to defend the colony from external threats. They always stay inside the nest to guard the colony. In a critical situation, soldiers will fight against the threats. Soldiers do not look for their own food, they are fed by the workers. Aside from fighting external threats, soldiers are also responsible as a guard and sacrificing their own lives to cover the nest. Sometimes, soldiers buy some time during a raid to save the other castes.

The eggs laid by the queen. The eggs are taken care of by the worker.

All eggs are in the same castes when they first hatched. Eggs are then become nymphs and received pheromones released by the queen. Nymphs are then getting a job other than as a worker termite. Usually, they are fed by the workers and grow by several times moulting.

Supplementary Reproductives Termite
In the colony, there are several supplementary reproductive termites. These termites are fertile and can replace the king and queen to produce eggs upon the death of the king or queen. When the king and queen are still alive, this caste of termite stays inside the nest and unable to lay eggs. As male and female with a potential of reproductions, their position is second to the primary reproductives (king and queen).

The young termite before adults

Winged Termites/alates
These termites are able to fly freely outside of the nest. Outside the nest, male and female alates pair up together to become the new king and queen and start a new colony.

Alates and soldiers are different. Mostly, termites grow into workers and soldiers and have certain percentage of around 2-3%. As it is needed, some nymphs will grow into soldiers. Alates are potential candidates to become king and queen. Autumn to summer is the peak season for the king and queen to produce eggs. As they produce eggs massively, the nest often become overpopulated. The queen then releases pheromones to create alates and let them fly outside to start a new colony.


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