13 May 2013

Monday macrobug: Flight of the termites

Posted by Callan Bentley

Termites can fly.

But not all termites.

Around here, the only flying termites are the reproductives – the fertile males and females that a termites colony produces periodically. It seems to be associated with the advent of spring.

I spotted this group a couple of weeks ago, when I noticed the sunlight catching in their diaphanous wings.

They hatch, emerge en masse, and take to the air, seeking a partner of the opposite sex.

It’s a busy scene when they emerge – lots of termites, lots of wing fluttering.

Once they have mated, they jettison their wings, and the female crawls underground (or into a suitable piece of wood?) to inoculate a new colony.

Stay away from my house, termites!