Social Insects, Biology tutorial


Social insects comprise termites and white ants due to their color and social habit. They mainly distinct in their size, wings and in habitats. Social insects reside in groups in communal nests and they are organized that, there is division of labor among them. The termite society is mainly based on castes in embers of each and every caste varying from those of other casts comprise primary reproductive (that is, Kings and queen), supplementary reproductive, workers and soldiers.

The Termites:

Termites are the most dreaded insect's pests of human residences and other structures because of their capability to demolish wood and wood products. Termites are frequently termed as 'white ants', due to their color and social habit. Their bodies vary from those of ants by having an abdomen generally joined to the thorax and a narrow waist.

Castes in Social Insects:

The termite society is mainly dependent on castes with members of each and every caste varying from those of other castes in body structure and behaviors. In most general species, such castes comprise primary reproductive's (that is, Kings and queens), supplementary reproductives, workers and soldiers. New termites are produced in the spring or fall by winged primary reproductive that swarm from the parent colony. After a small flight, the wings break off and females and males form pairs. Each and every pair excavates a cell soil or wood and they mate. The original king and queen stay mated for life. 

King and Queen:

They are the merely members having functional reproductive organ and are termed to as reproductive (that is, are at first winged)


Workers are immature, undistinguished individual that are wingless and lack compound eyes, having pale and soft exoskeleton. They do the work of the colony: gathering foods, feeding reproductive, soldiers and the young, building nests, related tunnels and galleries and finishing other tasks similar to tend fungal gardens, gathered laid eggs and equally look subsequent to the nymphs.


Soldiers have inflated heads and/or mandibles; they might not encompass compound eyes, have thick exoskeleton and huge mandibles. Whenever present in a colony, soldiers attack intruders or protect the structural integrity of the nest. In certain species soldiers are termed as nasuti. They defend the territorial integrity against the intruders into the colony.


Most of the termites are saprophagous, feeding on dead wood and other non-living plant materials. Cellulose of wood is the main termite food component. Cellulose is digested by the help of symbiotic microorganisms which supply the required enzymes for this aim. Because they can break down woody tissues, termites encompass extraordinary ecological significance in the humification of soil. 

Behavioral Adaptations of Termites:

1) They ward off enemies simply as they move in the mass.

2) They basically nourish on the dead or living organic matters.

3) They build burrows which are air-conditioned even in the ruthless tropical savannah soil.

4) New colonies are made if the winged reproductive go on to the nuptial flight.

5) As merely few survive getting to a new colony, most of the eggs are laid to avoid their going into extinction.

6) The secondary reproductive forever stands by in case the queen and king are killed.

The Bees:

The queen bee is mainly concerned by means of laying of eggs. They fertilize the queen; the queen is acknowledged to be lazy. They sterile females are the workers which do the building of the hives.

Behavioral Adaptations of Bees:

1) Workers nourish on the nectars from flowers.

2) The senses of smell and sight are employed in look for food.

3) The worker bee dances about a food site, signaling other workers to come around.

4) Abundant eggs are for all time laid throughout summer when flowers bloom and there is adequate nectar for the bees.

5) The activity in a beehive tends to stop throughout cold weather due to the fact that the queen and workers should have gone liberating.

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