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The reproductives reside in a central room in the nest where a femalequeen or queenwill put many thousands of eggs every year over her life span of approximately 10 years. Man, or kings, are responsible for fertilising the queens. Reproductives are commonly observed.
The young termites develop in the colony by shedding cuticles in the end of each growth phase, gradually changing until they reach the worker, soldier or grownup (winged form). If queens die, some supplementary reproductives can carry on the colony as neotenics.
Reproductives are generally darker than workers and soldiers. They have functional eyes and their stronger skin (cuticle) is able to resist the external environment. Once flight, unlike other insects, the wings of termites are lost and piles of discard wings are a hint to termite infestations.
Officials have darker, heads that are bigger than the other castes. They are blind, wingless, and have undeveloped reproductive organs.
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Soldiers are tougher than the other castes and take longer to die from most toxins, exposure, or starvation. It's their function to defend the colony, if disturbed, while the damage is fixed by the workers.
Soldiers exist in different types. Many species have soldiers, together with well-developed jaws (mandibles) utilized to crush attackers, such as ants.
Nastute soldiers occur in Nasustitermes species and are only rarely found as pests in Victoria. They've a snout where they eject a tacky solution which irritates and glues attackers.
Phragmotic soldiers have a very large head, which can be wedged in tunnels to prevent attackers. Are only occasional introductions to Victoria.
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The employees account for the largest number of termites within the colony, and are therefore responsible for the maximum harm.
They collect food, groom other termites, construct tunnels and fix damage in addition to tending to the kings, queens and their young. These termites are believed to work 24 hours per day throughout their life span. Worker termites are generally unpigmented. They're blind, wingless and have undeveloped reproductive organs. .
Termites hatch from eggs that have been tended by their own nest mates in specially constructed nurseries.
As soon as they're mature enough, the young work within the colony in which jobs change with age and maturity.
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Once a single colony gets sufficiently large it generates winged reproductives that wait in specially constructed chambers until ready to leave the nest and undertake a colonising flight.
They leave the nest for a swarm under conditions of high humidity atmosphere, and sometimes light. Termites are not strong fliers and usually only fly around 1km, but breezes and updrafts can take them a lot farther.
Upon landing near a suitable nest site, the female sheds her wings and emits a calling scent. Males respond.
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They dig in and within the next few weeks, mate and look after their young until enough workers grow to take over the maintenance roles.
New colonies are established via budding. This is believed to occur when the extremities of the colony lose contact and become independent.
The king and queen are believed to hormones, which suppress the development of the remainder of the colony. This control breaks down whether the territory is big or contact with groups is lost.
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Termites work together in nests or colonies. They hatch from eggs as larvae, which can be fed by adult termites. They then develop into castes or four kinds of termite:
Soldiers have big, black heads, are blind, wingless, and have undeveloped reproductive organs. Soldiers are more demanding than other castes and might take longer to control. Some species of soldier termites have strong jaws (mandibles) top article used to crush attackers, such as ants.
Employees are colourless, blind, wingless and have undeveloped reproductive organs. Workers are the largest caste within a colony and are, therefore, responsible for harm.
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Reproductives which are darker in color have functional eyes and robust skin. This caste becomes the leaders of colonies.
The temperature, food grade, and activity of this colony will determine how long it takes to get a termite.
Nests and tunnels are kept moist because worker termites cannot stand low humidity for long periods of time. The temperature within the nursery of a large nest ranges between 10 C and 35 C but changes more than one level a day. The relative humidity is approximately 100 per cent.
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It's important to correctly identify the type of termite before beginning treatment. This will allow you to understand the habits of this colony, locate the nest and indicate the appropriate method of control.