Do Termites Have Eyes? And How Do They Use The Senses

April 22, 2017 | Termite Information

Termites are classified as insects. You will usually find termites in tropical environments, but they do have the ability to live in any location where the ground won’t freeze during the winter season. A lot of people mistake termites for ants. The truth is that termites have more in common with cockroaches than they do with ants.

Are there eyes on termites?

No, termites do not have eyes because they are not able to develop them. All species of termites are very social. Each termite colony is split up into different groups, known as castes. Termites from each caste perform various jobs and contain different kinds of physical features.

Termite Workers

Most termites that eat wood are termite workers. They are roughly 3 millimeters in length and are completely blind. They have soft bodies, no wings, and a round head that has a creamy white and gray color to it. The job of a termite worker is to search for food and water, feed other younger termites with the food they find, build shelter tubes, care for the eggs, and defend their colony.

Termite Soldiers

Termite soldiers have blindness just like termite workers. However, termite soldiers are able to spot enemies through means of chemicals and touch. The average termite soldier has a big hard dark head. Their powerful jaws, called mandibles, are long and hooked. Sometimes they’ll even have teeth as well. The termite soldier uses its mandibles and head to protect its colony against harmful predators, such as ants. When a termite soldier attacks, it lunges rapidly while its mandibles open and close like scissors. This attack has the power to behead, lacerate, grab onto, or dismember its enemy. Some termite soldiers have asymmetrical mandibles that can snap easily. The left side of the mandible is arched and twisted while the right side is shaped like a blade. When the soldiers defend themselves, they lock and release their mandibles, which makes a loud clicking sound. Other kinds of termite soldiers have short heads in front which they use to plug up the entry holes to their nests.

Termite Queen

The main job of the termite queen is to reproduce and lay down eggs within its colony. The queen also commands the other termites of the colony, which protect the queen at all costs. The queen termite has almost the same biological features as the king termite. The only difference is the queen has a bigger abdomen because that is where eggs are carried in its ovary.

Read also: What do Cockroaches Eat? And How do They Survive

Termite King

The termite king is the colony’s fertile male which fertilizes the queen so it can reproduce. The head of the king termite is round and has a yellowish-brown color. It also has small mandibles, hairy wings, and a long abdomen.

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