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Queen termite anatomy

May 20, 2016 | Termite Information

queen termite anatomy

Queen termites have the longest lifespan out of any other termite. There are worker and soldier termites that are responsible for building the termite colony and protecting it from any outside intruders. But the role of the queen termite is to reproduce and create more termites. The queen termite typically stays inside of the colony where it is protected by the termite soldiers. This is why the lifespan of a termite queen can last as long as 50 years. There is also a king termite that the queen mates with. They are the darkest termites in any colony. They are also the only termites that have eyes in their colony. All of the other termites are born blind and have to rely on their antennas to sense where they are going.

The anatomy of a queen termite consists of the antenna, head, thorax, legs, and abdomen. Queen termites can grow as long as 15 millimeters in length, which is bigger than any other termite in their colony. This bigger size allows them to lay more eggs in their colony. The main job of the queen is to lay eggs and produce more termites. That is why if the queen ends up getting killed then the colony will ultimately be destroyed in the long run. That is why it is essential for the queen to be protected if the colony is going to survive. The abdomen of the queen will grow to be so big after years of laying eggs that it won’t even be able to move anymore. Its wings will have fallen off and its legs are just too tiny to support all of the weight of the abdomen. That is why once the termite eggs are laid by the queen, the worker termites take the eggs and carry them away to a place where they can safely mature.

A queen termite usually has one mating partner and it can store sperm inside of her body that can be used for a long time to produce eggs. Queens also produce pheromones that control all life within their colony. These pheromones determine what kind of termite that will get produced from an egg such as soldiers and workers. Every day, thousands of eggs are laid by the queen. The more eggs it lays the bigger its abdomen grows. In the event that a queen does die, there are sometimes secondary reproductive female termites that may take its place as the queen if they exist in the colony.

Read also: Benefits of termites

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