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Swarming Termites

By melvynyeo
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I have seen swarming ants but this is my first time seeing swarming termites,
Taken at night in Singapore forest.

Quote from
At maturity, a primary queen has a great capacity to lay eggs. In some species, the mature queen has a greatly distended abdomen and may produce 20,000 to 30,000 eggs a day. The two mature ovaries may have some 2000 ovarioles each. The abdomen increases the queen's body length to several times more than before mating and reduces her ability to move freely, though attendant workers provide assistance. The queen is widely believed to be a primary source of pheromones useful in colony integration, and these are thought to be spread through shared feeding (trophallaxis).

The king grows only slightly larger after initial mating and continues to mate with the queen for life (a termite queen can live for 45 years[3]). This is very different from ant colonies, in which a queen mates once with the male(s) and stores the gametes for life, as the male ants die shortly after mating.

The winged (or "alate") caste, also referred to as the primary reproductive caste, are generally the only termites with well-developed eyes, although workers of some harvesting species do have well-developed compound eyes, and, in other species, soldiers with eyes occasionally appear. Termites on the path to becoming alates going through incomplete metamorphosis form a subcaste in certain species of termites, functioning as workers "pseudergates" and also as potential supplementary reproductives. Supplementaries have the ability to replace a dead primary reproductive and, at least in some species, several are recruited once a primary queen is lost. Supplementary reproductives developed from nymphs are called secondary reproductives. In some species like eastern subterranean termite, reproductives can also develop from non-nymphs. These are called tertiary reproductives.

In areas with a distinct dry season, the alates leave the nest in large swarms after the first soaking rain of the rainy season. In other regions, flights may occur throughout the year, or more commonly, in the spring and autumn. Termites are relatively poor fliers and are readily blown downwind in wind speeds of less than 2 km/h, shedding their wings soon after landing at an acceptable site, where they mate and attempt to form a nest in damp timber or earth.
Image size
960x640px 772.59 KB
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Shutter Speed
1/160 second
Focal Length
100 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Oct 15, 2013, 3:58:52 AM
Sensor Size
© 2013 - 2021 melvynyeo
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I-Love-Tweek's avatar
.... My brain hurts...
silentstreet13's avatar
This is fascinating! 
Kaijukid23's avatar
Preparing Air Raid Squadron...
moonlightfoxartwork's avatar
I had a dream were these kinds of termites were attacking me in my home and I never seen them before. 0.0
raido-ehwaz's avatar
I've never seen swarming termites, either... What beautiful wings!
221Gunslinger's avatar
My house is currently having problems with Termites.... >.<
but this is a wonderful picture... :)
Lightningball's avatar
Wonderful picture!
insanity-pillz's avatar
The wings on those termites kinda look like rounded feathers.
QuintessentialArts's avatar
Swarming anything is creepy, but this is really a nice photo!
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shlizzer's avatar
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gensanity's avatar
the wings are awesome 
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yellowsmoke321's avatar
super pretty insects
I like the pattern n color texture of the winged bugs
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maryjayne530's avatar
wow; I never realized that termites have pretty wings :p
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Horcling's avatar
uh...btw nice shot:D
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