A termite (also known as a white ant) is any member of the order Isoptera, a group of social insects that eat wood and other cellulose-rich vegetable matter. Most termite species are tropical or subtropical, but a few live in temperate regions. They are of great biological and economic interest. Termites have biting mouthparts and are soft-bodied, of moderate to small size. They live in dark nests and tunnels, except when the winged alates emerge to leave their parent colony. The bodies of flying individuals are dark, but termites which remain in the nest are whitish with only their heads being heavily pigmented. The temporary wings of termites are long and slender, in two pairs that are similar to each other. The veins near the anterior margin of the wing are strong and the rest are faintly marked. The wings are shed after the swarming termites find a new nest site.













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Termites do not physically resemble ants; their "white ant" name is probably due to their similar social habits. The termite colony contains workers, soldiers, and reproductive individuals of both sexes. The workers are developed in subordinate castes in several species. The soldiers have large heads and strong jaws, and in some species are highly specialized. Many have jaws so overdeveloped that they cannot feed themselves without the assistance of workers, and varieties are known that squirt noxious turpentine-like liquid through a horn-like nozzle. In some colonies, the queen becomes enormous and quite helpless through the expansion of her abdomen as eggs develop. The workers feed and groom her and carry away her eggs to nursery chambers.

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