Wingless Sterile Blind
The most common subterranean termite is the worker caste. It is wingless, sterile and blind. It is about 5mm in length.
Queensland Deparment of Agriculture and Fisheries
Categories of Termites
Termites are social insects, working and living together in groups (colonies). The different castes within a colony differ in body shape and behaviour. As mentioned above the most common caste is a worker that is wingless, sterile and blind.
- build the nest and galleries
- tend the eggs and young
- gather food
- feed other castes incapable of feeding themselves
The soldier caste has a heavily armoured and pigmented head - they too are wingless, sterile and blind. The image above is is a mandibulate due to the promienent jaws, with the other common soldier being a nasute with a pronounced snout. Soldiers must be fed by the workers, becuase their mandibles are so modified or specialised.
Soldiers defend the colony against predators such as ants.
Alates - establish new colonies
After swarming, alates (winged reproductive) shed their wings and each mated pair seeks out a suitable place to establish a new colony.
That is quite a system, designed to spread and flourish. Some subteranean queens are capable of producing 2000 eggs per day.