Termite mound and castes

Termite mound and castes

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Termite mound and castes. Termites are eusocial colonial insects mostly found in the tropics. The mound (background) is a combination of mud and chewed wood and can be several metres high. It has been sectioned to show the internal structure. In the lower foreground are the five types (castes) of termites. The flying termite is the male, the one with the hugely distended abdomen is an egg-carrying female (queen). The three at lower left, from left to right are: soldier, worker and nymph (developing young). Artwork from the first volume (first period of 1888) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.

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