Dr Don's Termite Terminology

An Idiosyncratic Glossary of (some of) the Words
Behind Which Isopterist's Hide.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Just another bit of
Dr Don's Termite Pages

Abdomen [ ab-doh-men ] n. The rearmost of the three main body parts (head, thorax, abdomen). It holds most of the gut and the gonads.

Abdominal [ ab-dom-in-ahl ] adj. Of, or relating to, the abdomen.

Acute [ ah-kUt ] adj. Nothing to do with being good looking, this means pointy or sharp (really angled at less than 90 degrees.

Adult [ ad-ult ] n. Usually the last or most mature stage of an insects' lifecycle, in termites the term is usually restricted to alates and functional reproductives.

Aestivation [ ee-stiv-A-shun ] n. Some insects are able to rest during hot, dry periods (much like a bear hibernates in winter) but there isn't good evidence that termites can do it. My guess is that they can.

Alate [ A-L8 ] n., adj. Bearing wings, or as a noun, any member of the functional wing-bearing reproductive caste; .

Alarm [ A-larm ] n. One of the termite behaviours, a behaviour in response to perceived threat. Typically involving defensive posturing, worker retreat and soldier advance (in some speces soldiers retreat and workers fight to the death). Often spread by the vibratory signal of head banging on the substrate or gallery floor or by the emission of an alarm pheromone from the frontal gland.

Altruism [ al-true-iz-mm ] n. A behaviour or behaviours of an individual or caste which is apparently self-destructive or potentially self-destructive but of benefit to the colony as a whole. An example is the self-sacrificing stay-and-fight behaviour of an alarmed worker

Altruistic [ al-true-iz-tik ] adj. Used to describe behaviour of an individual or caste which is apparently self-destructive or potentially self-destructive but of benefit to the colony as a whole. An example is the self-sacrificing stay-and-fight behaviour of an alarmed worker

Amber [ am-bur ] n. Termites are often sold in bits of fossilized tree sap, usually from central America or the Baltic, these are typically 20 million or more years old. The question is, what were termites doing outside the tree anyway? Tree sap is often found seeping from wounds in healthy tree and the trapped termites are often alates or attending

Anal [ A-nal ] adj. Of or pertaining (i) to the anus (posterior termination of the gut); (ii) the last segment of the abdomen, (ii) the area on a wing behind the cubitus and or the veins belonging to it.

Analaxis [ A-nal-axe-iss ] n. Another term for proctodeal feeding.

Anal cerci [ A-nal sir-C ] n. Plural. A pair of finger like appendages attached ventrally to the last (tenth) abdominal segment. They may have as many as eight segments, but typically have only two.Singular for is anal cercus

Anal lobe [ A-nal lohb ] n. A feature present on the hindwing of Mastotermes , and also present in cockroaches, where there is a distinct bulging curvature (lobe) on the posterior basal margin of the wing. This is said to be a primitive feature which, along with oothecae, Mastotermes shares with the cokroaches.

Anteclypeus [ ant-a-clip-ee-us ] n. The anterior segment of the clypeus to which the labrum is attached. See also postclypeus.

Antenna [ an-ten-ah ] n. All termites have a pair of dangly bits poking out from the top of the head. These segmented body sections are beadlike (see moniliform ) with usually about 11 to 17 segments but occasionally numbering 33 (dampwood termites), and are used as sensory organs, both in the detection of odours and for touching. Plural is antennae [ an-ten-A ].

Antennation [ an-ten-A-shun ] n. Touching with the antenna. Commonly observed during tandem running.

Anterior [ ant-ear-ee-or ] adj. Means closest to the front (the head). Opposite of posterior.

Anus [ A-nus ] n. The posterior opening of the gut (alimentary canal).

Appendage [ ah-pend-age ] n. Any limb or other organ, such as a palp or an antenna, which is attached to the body by a joint.

Apical [ A-pih-cal ] adj. At or near the apex (pointy end). Such as an apical tooth on a termite's jaw (mandible) and the apical segment on an antenna (the one furthest from the head).

Apterous [ ap-tur-us ] adj. Lacking wings.

Arboreal [ ar-bor-ee-al ] adj. Relating to trees. Used to describe the arboreal nests of certain termites which are found in trees.

Arolium [ ar-oh-lee-um ] n. A small finger-like apparently primitive appendage found between the tarsal claws of Mastotermes, dampwood and some drywood termites.

Articulated [ R-tik-U-lAted ] adj. Able to be moved at the point of attachment where it is united by a joint.

Arthropod [ ar-throw-pod ] n. Animals with a hard, outer skeleton (exoskeleton), jointed body parts (appendages), including, centipedes, crustaceans, millipedes, scorpions, spiders and insects (to which group the termites belong). From arthro- = joint and pod =foot.

Arthropoda [ ar-throw-pO-dah ] n. The animal phylum containing arthropods.

Asymetrical mandibles [ A-sim-et-rik-al man-di-buls ] n. While the mandibles of nearly all termites are lack symmetry (the left and right sides having markedly different arrangements of marginal teeth), this term is usually restricted to the seriously assymetrical mandibles of soldiers, for example Procapritermes , where the mandibles may be held against each other under muscular pressure, eventually springing apart with great force. A more active defence than the phragmotic head.

Attractant [ ah-trak-tant ] n. A substance which elicits a positive directional response; chemicals, usually in low concentration, that promote recruitment to an area or feeding site.

Author [ or-thor ] n. The taxonomist responsible for a particular scientific name.

- B -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Bait [ bayt ] n. An artificially added food source intended to be consumed as food. May or may not contain a toxin.

Basad [ bay-sad ] adj. Located towards the base but away from the tip or apex.

Basal [ bay-sul ] adj. The opposite of apical, meaning closest to the base or point of attachment.

Basitarsus [ bay-see-tar-sus ] n. The first (distal ) and largest, segment of the tarsus.

Bifid [ by-fid ] adj. Divided into two parts or lobes; double.

Bifurcate [ by-fur-kAt ] adj. Forked, partly divided into two parts or lobes.

Bivouac [ biv-O-wack ] n. A temporary encampment. Etymology: French, from German biwacht a temporary encampment, . Used to describe what appears to be a peripheral termite nest but which lacks eggs, larvae and reproductives . Usually constructed by subterranean termites at some distance from the central nest.

Basal suture [ bay-sul sue-ture ] n. On a termite's wing, this is the suture which breaks post-flight enabling the deciduous wing to be shed.

Blattodea [ blat-toe-dee-ah ] n. A sub-order level name for the cockroaches. Dorso-ventrally flattened insects with chewing mouthparts.

Brachypterous [ brak-ee-apt-ur-us ] adj. Describes an individual termite which has not fully developed wings, but has wing pads that do not cover the abdomen. Used to identify supplementary reproductives of the nymphal line.

Budding [ bud-ding ] v. Formation of a new colony by the splitting of an existing colony. Extremely rare in termites except by accidental event.

- C -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Calling [ kawl-ing ] v. As in calling for a mate. A behaviour of dealate females, where after alighting at a location suitable for constructing a nuptial chamber, the female raises her abdomen and emits scents from the sternal gland which are believed to be attractive to males.

Cannibalism [ can-i-bal-is-m ] n. Eating individuals of the same species. Termites cannibalise damaged or infirm colony members, presumably as a means of recycling nutrients.

Cardo [ car-doh ] n. The basal, elbowed portion of a maxilla.

Carton [ kar-tonne ] n. A construction material created by termites from partly chewed or part-digested woody tissue, salivary secretions and faeces. Used to make nests, galleries and bivouacs.

Caste [ kast ] n. A distinct form of termite, such as a soldier or worker.

Caudal [ core-dul ] n. Of or relating to the tail end of the insect.

Cell [ sell ] n. An area on the surface of a wing which is bounded by a number of veins. A cell is closed if it is completely surrounded by veins and open if it is partly bounded by the edge of the wing.

Cellulose [ sell-u-lOse ] n. A relatively inert polysaccharide (carbohydrate), the polymer which stiifens the tissue of woody plants and the primary food source of termites. See also lignin.

Central nest [ sen-trahl nest ] n. Typically applied to subterranean termites, the main location in the colony system where reproduction occurs, especially where there are also satellite nests and bivouacs.

Cephalic [ sef-a-lik ] adj. Of, or related to the head (cephalus).

Cephalic gland [ sef-A-lik gland ] n. Another name for the frontal gland.

Cercus [ sir-kus ] n. On of a pair of short anal or caudal appendages located at the rear of the abdomen. The plural form is cerci [ sir-see ]

Cervix [ sir-vicks ] n. The membranous neck between head and prothorax.

Chitin [ kite-in ] n. A nitrogenous polysaccharide compound that gives strength to the cuticle of insects and other arthropods.

Class [ klars ] n. A division, for example the class Insecta, of the animal kingdom lower than a phylum (see Arthropoda ) and higher than an order (see Isoptera).

Clypeus [ klip-ee-us ] n. Part of the complex of features that make up an insect's face, the clypeus is below the frons and above the labrum hence it separates the labrum from the head capsule. The clypeus is divided laterally into the anteclypeus (to which the labrum is attached) and a more sclerotised postclypeus, immediately adjacent to the head capsule.

Colony [ kol-on-ee ] n. Name given to a group of mostly related termites that live and feed in a shared gallery system.

Common name n. Most termites have an extra name, used in less formal discourse. For example, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (scientific name in format Genus Species Author) is commonly called by the common name, "The Formosan Subterranean Termite".

Compound eye [ kom-pownd i ] n. Unlike the simple eyes of mammals, insects have compound eyes which feature many lenses or facets. In termites, only the alate line usually has eyes.

Conspecific [ kon-spe-sif-ik ] adj. Belonging to the same species, but not the same colony.

Coprophagy [ kop-row-farj-ee ] n. Feeding upon faeces.

Copularium [ kop-U-lair-ee-um ] n. Another name for nuptial chamber.

Corneus [ kor-nee-us ] adj. Horny.

Cosmopolitan [ koz-mO-pol-it-an ] adj. Occurring widely, usually on a word scale. In termties, this typically refers to pest species spread by humans, for example the West Indian Drywood Termite.

Costa [ koss-tah ] n. On a termite's wing, this is the thick vein along the front edge (in other insects, the precosta has this position). Usually, in diagrams, abbreviated to "C".

Coxa [ kox-ah ] n. On a termite's leg, this is the large segment closest to the body. Plural form is coxae [ cocks-ee ].

Cubitus [ Q-bit-us ] n. One of the major wing veins, situated in the rear half of the wing and with multiple branches, abbreviated to Cu and only ever lightly sclerotised.

Cryptic [ krip-tik ] adj. A behaviour favouring concealment. Most termites are cryptic because of their tendency to remain within a gallery system.

Cuticle [ q-tickle ] n. The secreted (non-cellular) outer layer of an insects' surface (see also chitin and integument).

- D -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Dealate [ dee-A-late ] n. An alate which has become secondarily wing less after flight (see deciduous), newly mated queen or king ; a termite with wing scales but no wings.

Deciduous [ dee-sid-you-us ] adj. Able to be shed or discarded. Used to describe the wings of termites which are shed immediately after post-flight pairing.

Dentate [ den-tate ] n. Means 'toothed'. In termites, usually refers to the jaws. Opposite is edentate.

Dimorphic [ dye-more-fik ] adj. Occurring in two distinct physical forms or sizes, such as the dimorphic soldiers of Schedorhinotermes .

Dimorphism [ dye-more-fizz-mm ] n. A separation into two groups based on physical size, form, or colour, between individuals of the same caste. See also dimorphic.

Distal [ dis-tle ] adj. Far from the middle, terminal. Opposite of proximal.

Dorsal [ door-sal ] n. Means relating to or of the upper surface or back. Opposite of ventral.

Dorso-ventral [ door-so-ven-trahl ] adj. Of or relating to a direction running from the dorsal (upper) to the ventral (lower) surfaces.

- E -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Ecdysis [ ek-di-sis ] n. The shedding of the exoskeleton which occurs immediately before the new skin matures.

Ectoparasite [ ek-toe-para-site ] n. A parasite that lives and feeds on the outer surface (hence ecto-) of its host. See also endoparasite.

Endemic [ en-dem-ik ] adj. Of an organism, being native to a geographical region.

Edentate [ ee-den-tate ] n. Means without teeth. Opposite is dentate.

Endocuticle [ end-doh-Q-tik-ll ] n. The inner layer of the cuticle.

Endoparasite [ en-dough-para- site ] n. A parasite that lives and feeds within (hence endo-) its host. See also ectoparasite.

Entomologist [ ento-mol-oh-gist ] n. A person who studies insects. Not to be confused with an etymologist , who studies the derivation of words. See also isopterist.

Entomology [ ento-mol-oh-gee ] n. The study of insects.

Epicranium [ ep-i-kray-knee-um ] n. The rear (or rounded) part of the head capsule. Also known as the parietal.

Epicuticle [ ep-i-Q-tik-ll ] n. The surface layers of the cuticle which are thin and without chitin.

Epidermis [ ep-i-dur-miss ] n. The thin, cellular, outer body layer which, among other things, secretes the relatively thick cuticle.

Epifamily [ ep-i-fam-ill-ee ] n. A taxonomic rank, just above family but below order. Termites have recently been placed in the epifamily Termitoidae.

Epistomal suture [ epi-stow-mahl sue-ture ] n. Where present, a superficially like Y-shaped line (not a true suture ) present on the front of the head capsule, with the arms of the "Y", beginning near the eyes, meeting between the ocelli and the tail pointing forward towards the frons.

Epithelium [ eppy-th-eel-E-um ] n. A layer of cells covering a surface or lining a cavity.

Ergatoid [ ur-gah-toyed ] n. A brachyapterous female from the worker caste that has developed ovaries and is functionally reproductive but was never alate and lacks wing scales.

Exopterygota [ ex-oh-terry-goat-ah ] n. A grouping of all insects in which the wings develop gradually from wing buds on the outside of the body, in which there is gradual metamorphosis and no pupal stage.

Exopterygote [ ex-oh-terry-goat ] adj. A description for insects where the wings develop gradually from wing buds on the outside of the body, in which there is gradual metamorphosis and no pupal stage. See also exopterygota.

Exoskeleton [ exo-skel-et-on ] n. Unlike you, whose muscles are supported by internal bones (endoskeleton), termites and all the other arthropods gain their principal support from the strength of their outer skin (cuticle), hence it is termed an exoskeleton.

Extant [ ex-tan-t ] a. (1) of a taxon which has living representatives such as for a species. (2) can also be used to describe a specimen which is still in existence (ie in a collection). The opposite of extinct

Extinct [ ex-tin-k-t ] a. Of a taxon which has no surviving representatives such as for a species. The opposite of extant

Extractives [ ex-tract-ivs ] n. Quaint anthropocentric term used to define a wide range of oils, resins, waxes and similar hydrocarbons in wood. Term arises from their identification after solvent extraction. These chemical compounds often act to reduce the palatability of food for termites, sometimes persisting for many years.

Exuviae [ ex-you-vee-A ] n. Not often seen, the cast off skin (see also ecdysis), which is usually quickly eaten. Strangely, even though the skin usually comes off in one piece, the word takes a plural form.

- F -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Faeces [ fee-sees ] n. Solid or semi solid waste expelled from the anus. Mostly produced as a watery paste and typically used to line galleries or nest structures. In drywood termites (and dampwood termites under water stress), faeces appear as pellets. Adjectival form is faecal.

Family [ fam-ill-E ] n. A taxonomical division or classification applied as a grouping of genera which share a set of characters and are apparently descended from one lineage. For example, the Formosan Subterranean Termite belongs to the family Rhinotermitidae. The rank of family lies between superfamily and subfamily. It is conventional for termite families to end in -idae .

Feces [ fee-sees ] n. American spelling of faeces. Adjectival form is faecal.

Femur [ fee-mer ] n. This is the third leg segment which sits between the trochanter the tibia. The plural form is weird: femora [ fem-ore-ah ].

Field test [ feeld test ] n. A test or assessment not usually carried out, as the name might imply, in a field or paddock, but rather applied to any test of a system, process, product or chemical against termites living in a relatively wild or uncontrolled situation.

Flagellate [ flaj-elle-Ate ] adj. Bearing a flagellum, or whip like appendage. Usually used to describe certain mobile protozoa found in the termite gut.

Flagellum [ flah-gell-um ] n. That part of the antenna beyond (distal to) the pedicel (second segment).

Foraging [ fo-rage-ing ] v. To hunt or search for food (forage),

Foregut [ 4-gut ] n. The anterior alimentary canal from the mouth to the midgut.

Foreleg [ 4-leg ] n. The front leg. One of a pair. Plural -s .

Forewing [ 4-wing ] n. The front wing. One of a pair attached to the mesothorax. Plural -s . See also hindwing.

Fontanelle [ fon-tan-ell ] n. An opening (of the frontal gland ) in the head capsule found in the families Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae. It may be prominent or obscure.

Frass [ fras ] n. Polite term for termite poo that is particulate rather than runny.

Frons [ fronz ] n. The front of the face from between the antennae down towards the mouthparts.

Frontal gland [ frontal gland ] n. A gland capable of producing defensive secretions present in the soldier caste of the families Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae which occupies part of the head capsule, opening anteriorly (at the fontanelle ) and which, in the genus Coptotermes extends well into the abdomen.

Furrow [ fu -row ] n. An indented line on the exoskeleton.

Fuscous [ fuss-kuss ] adj. Used to describe body parts, usually wings, that are a semi-transparent smoky grey-brown colour.

- G -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Galea [ gal-ee-ah ] n. The most distal appendage of the maxilla, an expanded, membranous hoodlike structure with a short basal segment.

Gallery [ gahl-ur-ee ] n. A tunnel or void created by termites in soil or timber.

Genus [ jee-nus ] n. A group of what some taxonomist determines to be closely related species eg. The genus Coptotermes . The plural is genera [ gen-err-ah ]. The name given to a genus (the generic name) is always italicised or underlined. See also species.

Glabrous [ glab-russ ] adj. Why say bald or hairless when you can use a much more confusing term? Can also mean smooth. The opposite is pubescent.

Globose [ glo-bose ] adj. Globular or rounded. Used by taxonomists to describe the shape of a body part.

Glossa [ gloss-ah ] n. One of a pair of lobes (glossae) on the tip of the labium.

Gradual metamorphosis [ grad-u-al meta-more-fo-sis ] n. How termites grow up, starting as eggs and then changing shape only gradually with each moult Some other insects, notably ants bees and wasps, have a compelete metamorphosis where they go into a resting (pupal) stage and later emerge in a completely different body form.

Graveyard test [ grAv-yard test ] n. Old-fashioned field test for the assessment of the durability of timber against termites, employing a field array of test stakes arranged vertically and protruding from the soil, superficially resembling the headstones of a graveyard.

Grooming [ grooming ] n. Social behaviour where termites clean each other, typically removing excess dirt and fungal spores. Important in the control of pathogens. Where an individual being groomed is deemed to be damaged or unfit, grooming may lead to cannibalism.

Gulamentum [ gulah-men-tum ] n. another name for the postmentum.

Gut symbionts [ gut sim-by-onts ] n. Organisms that live in the gut and act in a symbiotic manner, aiding in the digestion of food. In termites, these are commonly protozoa, fungi and bacteria.

- H -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Haemolymph [ he-moh-limf ] n. This is the fluid that circulates within the termite's. A bit like your blood might be if it wasn't so restrained by blood vessels.

Head [ hed ] n. The large, usually darker and harder front bit of the termite which carries the antennae mouthparts.

Head capsule [ hed kap-sewel ] n. Part of the head, the head capsule, as viewed from above is rounded behind and may be slightly elongate in front. Typically darker and more sclerotized than the thorax or abdomen. The head capsule bears a pair of antennae, and in some castes, compound eyes.

Hemimetabolous [ hem-ee-met-ab-O-lus ] adj. Changing gradually from larva to adult with no pupal stage, synonym of gradual metamorphosis.

Hemolymph [ he-moh-limf ] n. American spelling of haemolymph.

Hindgut [ hInd-gut ] n. The posterior section of the alimentary canal from the midgut to the anus.

Hindwing [ hInd-wing ] n. The rear wing. One of a pair attached to the metathorax. Plural -s . See also forewing.

Holotype [ hollow type ] n. The type specimens (from a single colony or population) used by a taxonomist to define a species, the actual insect from which the original description of that species was produced.

Hormone [ haw-moan ] n. A chemical substance produced in the body and secreted directly into the blood which, when carried to another organ or tissue, produces a specific effect on a metabolic or developmental process. A hormone analogue is a synthetic hormone used to disrupt insect development (usually preventing proper secretion of the cuticle).

Hormone analogue [ haw-moan anna-log ] n. See hormone.

Humeral [ hew-mur-al ] adj. Of or relating to the anterior basal part of a wing.

Humeral suture [ hew-mur-al sU-tUre ] n. Another name for the basal suture of the wing.

Humivore [ hew-me-vore ] n. An animal that exclusively or principally feeds on humus.

Hyaline [ high-ah-line ] adj. Colourless and almost transparent. Such as the hyaline tip of the labrum in Macrotermes.

Hypopharynx [ high-pO-fa-rinx ] n. A tongue-like projection of the mouth.

- I -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Ichnotaxon [ ick-no-tax-on ] n. A taxon that is based purely on indirect evidence such as the fossilized work of an extinct organism, including fossilized trails, tracks or burrows (trace fossils).

Imago [ imm-ah-go ] n. The alate or adult insect. Plural is imagines [ imm-ah-jeans ].

Immature [ imm-ah-tUre ] adj. Not yet fully developed.

Inquiline [ in-qui-line ] n. An animal that lives within the nest of a social insect. Often beetles, bugs and flies and usually to some extent predating on their hosts.

Insecta [ in-sek-ta ] n. The Insects. The Class of animals to which termites belong. All insects have: a hard exoskeleton, three main body parts, typically with three pairs of legs and two pairs of wings. See also Isoptera

Insecticide [ in-sek-tih-side ] n. A substance used to kill insects. Please note that insecticides are typically broad spectrum biocides active against most invertebrates and are not at all as specific as the name might imply. See also termiticide.

Integument [ in-teg-U-ment ] n. The outer layer of the body or body covering, comprising the cuticle and the epidermis which secretes it.

Instar [ in-star ] n. What we can call an insect between moults. For example, a newly hatched termite is first instar but becomes a second instar after the first moulting.

Invertebrate [ in-vur-teh-brate ] n. , adj. The vast majority of all animal types: everything except the phylum Vertebrata. Animals without backbones.

Isoptera [ eye-sop-terra ] n. The original taxonomic order of the Insecta containing the termites: polymorphic, mandibulate, truly social insects having two pairs of membranous wings (reproductives), chewing mouthparts, beadlike antennae, developing through a gradual metamorphosis and which live in a colony with a few functionally reproductive individuals and numerous wingless, sterile workers and soldiers. The name means equal winged. Recent taxonomic work suggets that at the ordinal rank, termites are cockroaches and thus belong in the order Blattaria. To keep this tidy, they have created the Termitoidae, a new epifamily, which creates a group within the cockroaches to define the termites but leaves all the families intact.

Isopterist [ eye-sop-tur-ist ] n. An entomologist who specialises in the Isoptera.

- J -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Joint [ joynt ] n. In an insect's exoskeleteon, a flexible area that permits movement (articulation) of adjoining body parts.

- K -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

King [ king ] n. A functional male in a termite colony.

- L -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Labial palps [ lay-bee-ul palps ] n. The bits that copy artists usually leave of drawings of termite heads. A pair of feelerlike lateral structures arising from the lower lip (labium).

Labium [ lay-bee-um ] n. The lower lip of a termite which is a substantial sort of shovel-like with lateral accessory finger-like labial palps.

Labrum [ lab-rum ] n. A broadly flattened plate which serves as the upper lip of a termite, and which sits just below the clypeus, to which it is attached.

Lacinia [ lass-in-Ea ] n. A minor plate of the maxilla, adjacent to the galea. It terminates distally in a heavily- sclerotised, two-toothed portion with the basal section bearing a row of large bristles and a pubescent area.

Lateral [ lat-ur-al ] adj. Of or pertaining to the side.

Larva [ lar-vah ] n. An immature stage of an insect. Usually kept for insects with a pupal stage, it can mean any instar after egg and before pupa. Plural is larvae [ lar-vee ].

Lifecycle [ life-sigh-kul ] n. The sum of developmental events from birth (egg maturation and hatching) to subsequent reproduction (egg laying).

Lignin [ lig-nin ] n. Substance produced by woody plants that binds cellulose in cell walls.

Longitudinal [ long-git-tu-din-ul ] adj. Relating to the longest axis of a body or body part.

- M -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Malphigian tubules [ mal-pig-ee-an tube-ules ] n. Somewhat similar in action to your kidneys, these are the parts of an insect's gut that absorb waste products from within the body cavity. They arise from the anterior hindgut into the body cavity.

Mandibles [ man-dih-bulls ] n. Jaws. The pair of laterally articulated (as opposed to your dorso-ventrally articulated) unsegmented jaws of any insect with chewing mouthparts. Singular is mandible .

Mandibulate [ man-dib-you-late ] adj. Having a mouth with chewing mouthparts (mandibles).

Marginal teeth [ marj-in-al teeth ] n. On a mandible, the teeth on the medial margin, proximal to the apical tooth and distal from the molar plate.

Maxillae [ max-ill-ee ] n. A pair of mouthpart appendages located below the labrum with fingerlike maxillary palps and which act in part as accessory jaws. Singular is maxilla [ max-ill-uh ].

Maxillary palp [ max-ill-are-ee palp ] n. A small five-jointed fingerlike structure arising from the maxilla. (The first joint is often obscure).

Media [ me-D-ah ] n. One of the major wing veins, situated mid-way in the wing. abbreviated to M and may be lightly or heavily sclerotised.

Medial [ mead-ee-al ] adj. Of or relating to the middle; along the body's mid-line.

Membranous [ mem-brain-us ] adj. Relating to wings: appearing thin and partly transparent. Relating to an area of integument, appearing thin and flexible.

Membranous wings [ mem-brain-us wings ] n. Term to describe the thin, partly transparent wings of insects.

Mesad [ me-sad ] adj. Towards the mid line of the body.

Mesonotum [ miso-no-tum ] n. The dorsal plate of the pronotum.

Metanotum [ met-ah-no-tum ] n. The dorsal plate of the metathorax.

Mesothorax [ miso-thor-axe ] n. Of the thorax, the middle segment (of three). See also prothorax and metathorax

Metamorphosis [ metah-mor-fo-sis ] n. Change of body form during development from the egg through the adult stage. Complete metamorphosis is development from egg to larva to pupa to adult. Gradual metamorphosis, as occurs in the Isoptera, is development from egg to nymph to adult.

Metathorax [ met-ah thor-axe ] n. Of the thorax, the rear segment. See also prothorax and mesothorax.

Midgut [ mid-gut ] n. The middle section of the alimentary canal running from the foregut to the hindgut. Well populated by symbionts, it is a major site of digestion and absorption.

Molar plate [ moll-are play-t ] n. On a mandible, a basal thickened region considered analagous to a mammalian molar tooth.

Molt [ malt ] n. American spelling of moult. The shedding of the exoskeleton & its replacement. See also ecdysis.

Morphology [ maw-fol-oh-gee ] n. Formal study of, or the body of knowledge about, structure and function of the body and its parts.

Moult [ malt ] n. The shedding of the exoskeleton & its replacement. American spelling is molt. See also ecdysis.

Mouthparts n. The accessory structures to the mouth (opening through which an animal takes in food). For mandibulate insects, such as termites, these include the labial palps, labium, labrum, mandibles, maxillae and the maxillary palps.

Moniliform [ mon-ill-ee-form ] adj. Means having beadlike (rounded) segments and is used to describe the antennae of termites.

Mound [ mound ] n. A type of termitarium, typically constructed to rise above the soil surface, with internal carton and often, an exterior cladding derived from the subsoil.

- N -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Nanitic [ nan-it-ik ] adj. Truly obscure term used to describe the distinctly undersized form of the first brood of a new colony (arising from primary reproductives), presumably due to the need to conserve nutrients.

Nasute [ Naz-ute ] adj. In the soldier caste, having a head with a rostrum through which it may eject a defensive fluid and having vestigial jaws. Occurs in certain members of the Family Termitidae, notably the Subfamily Nasutitermitinae.

Nasutoid [ naz-U-toyed ] adj. Word used to describe soldiers of some Rhinotermitidae, notably Rhinotermes having an enlarged and elongate labrum which superficially resembles the rostrum of the nasute soldiers of the Termitdae.

Neotenics [ knee-oh-ten-iks ] n. Another name for supplementary reproductives.

Nest [ nest ] n. That part of the gallery system housing the reproductives, eggs and young nymphs. May be a simple set of chambers excavated in food (such as in the drywood and dampwood termites) or may be a complex structure called a termitarium.

Notum [ know-tum ] n. The dorsal or upper surface of any of the thoracic segments. The prefixes pro -, meso -, or meta - are used to indicate which particular segment.

Nuptial chamber [ nup-T-al chAm-bur ] n. A small cavity excavated in timber or soil by the recently dealate primary reproductives immediately after flight and pairing, where the first eggs are laid, the commencement of the nest.

Nymph [ nimf ] n. A termite which has wing pads but not mature wings.

Nymphal [ nimf-al ] adj. Of or pertaining to nymphs.

- O -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Occiput [ ossi-put ] n. On the head, the posterior, dorsal side, hence occipital . Analagous to the back of your head, above the neck

Ocellus [ oh-sell-us ] n. A simple eye spot. In termites, one of a pair found on the head, just closer to the midline from the compound eye and antenna. Plural is ocelli [ oh-sell-ee ]. Note that the medial (central) ocellus is absent in the Isoptera.

Ootheca [ ohoh-thee-kah ] n. In the termite, Mastotermes darwiniensis , the queen lays eggs in a mass or raft, a condition which is regarded as primitive, and is shared with cockroach ancestors. Plural is oothecae [ ohoh-thee-keye ]

Order [ ore-dur ] n. A taxonomical grouping below Class and above Family. For example, the Order Blattaria.

Ova [ oh-vah ] n. Insect eggs. Singular is ovum [ oh-vum ].

Oviparous [ oh-vip-ah-russ ] n. Using externally deposited eggs for reproduction.

- P -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Palp [ palp ] n. Any of the segmented, fingerlike extension associated with the mouthparts. Plural -s . Palps are sensory and may be involved in the tasting of food.

Paraglossa [ parrah-gloss-ah ] n. One of a pair of lobes (paraglossae) on the distal tip of the labium.

Parasite [ para-site ] n. An animal that lives on ( exo- ) or within ( endo- ) the body of another animal (its host) feeds upon it over an extended period.

Parietal [ par-eye-et-al ] n. The rear (or rounded) part of the head capsule. Also known as the epicranium.

Pathogen [ pa-tho-jen ] n. An organism, usually a microorganism, that can cause disease. Typically fungi, although bacteria and viruses also occur. A parasitic nematode may also be regarded as a pathogen.

Pedicel [ ped-ih-sell ] n. Counting upwards from the head, this is the second segment of the antenna. In termites it is always longer than the scape (first segment).

Pellet [ pell-et ] n. Hard form of faeces produced by drywood termites and dampwood termites when water is in short supply. Usually having a complex polyhedral shape of some taxonomical value.

Pheromone [ fair-oh-moan ] n. A substance which is exudes externally and which causes a specific predictable reaction in other termites of the same species. Common functions are: alarm substances, trail making pheromones and mate attractants released by the female alate post flight.

Phragmotic [ frag-mott-ik ] adj. Description for the large, heavily sclerotised head found only on the soldier caste of some termite species, particularly drywood termites, which is thought to be specially adapted as a plug for a narrow gallery, useful to prevent the entry of ants.

Phylum [ feye-lum ] n. A major division of the animal kingdom, for example, the Phylum Arthropoda.

Physogastric [ feye-so-gas-trik ] adj. Term used to describe the greatly distended abdomen of a mature termite queen. The distension is caused by massive enlargement of the ovaries (which may increase in size with each moult). Physogastry is also present to a lesser degree in supplementary reproductives.

Postclypeus [ post-klip-ee-us ] n. The posterior segment of the clypeus which is the more sclerotized of the two and is immediately adjacent to the head capsule. In the Rhinotermitidiae and Termitidae, the postclypeus is divided by a longitudinal furrow. See also anteclypeus.

Pigment [ pig-ment ] n. A chemical substance that provides colouring. Pigmentation in termites is best seen in the bodies of alates and the heads of soldiers.

Pitfall trap [ pit-fall trap ] n. A cup-like container buried close to ground level so that walking animals may stumble in and be trapped. Not an appropriate way to sample termites.

Pleural [ plu-rahl ] adj. Of, or relating to the lateral face of a body segment.

Pleuron [ plu-ron ] n. The lateral face of a thoracic segment.

Pleurostoma [ plu-row-stw-mah ] n. A depression in the head capsul around the antenna.

Polycalic [ polly-K-lik ] adj. Term used to describe a distributed nest system which has typically a central nest and associated satellite nests.

Polyethism [ polly-eeth-izm ] n. The changing of behavioural role that occurs as a termite grows. Older members of the worker caste are widely known to take the roles furthest from the nest. In the harvester termite Drepanotermes , typically the workers do not forage in the open for grass until reaching the fourth or fifth stage.

Posterior [ pos-tier-ee-or ] adj. Towards the rear, or rearmost.

Postmentum [ post-men-tum ] n. The basal, posterior or proximal part of the labium. Also known as the gulamentum.

Precostal [ pre-cost-ahl ] adj. Being in front of (anterior to) the costa.

Prementum [ pree-men-tum ] n. The anterior, distal part of the labium.

Presoldier [ pre-sold-yur ] n. The last larval stage before the moult to soldier. Has some similarity to the soldier caste, with typically an enlarged head but lacking the darker pigmentation of the fully sclerotised soldier head.

Primary reproductives [ pry-mah-ree ree-pro-duk-tives ] n. Dealate queens and kings which have the original or primary role for reproduction in the colony. May be replaced or aided by supplementary reproductives.

Proctodeal [ prok-toe-dee-al ] adj. Literally, anus to mouth feeding, a form of coprophagy. Termite food may pass through several guts. Faeces may be stored and re-consumed later. Proctodeal feeding allows workers to transfer food to other castes, but more importantly allows the replacement of gut symbionts that are lost on moulting. Apparently rare or absent in the Termitidae.

Pronotum [ pro-no-tum ] n. The dorsal surface or plate of the prothorax. Often the main dorsal feature visible between head and abdomen.

Prothorax [ pro-thor-axe ] n. Of the three thoracic segments, the prothorax is the first or anterior segment which never bears wings. See also mesothorax, metathorax.

Pterothorax [ terro-thor-axe ] n. The wing -bearing segments of the thorax ; the mesothorax and metathorax together.

Proximal [ proxy-mal ] adj. Close to the middle, terminal. Opposite of distal.

Pseudergate [ su-dur-gAt ] n. Literally, a "false worker ", an individual that has regressed from the nymphal line with moults that reduce or eliminate the wing buds.

Pubescent [ pew-bess-ent ] adj. Having a cover of short hair (opposite of glabrous )

Pupa [ Pew-pah ] n. A resting stage between larva and adult in insects with complete metamorphosis. Not present in termites which have gradual metamorphosis.

- Q -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Queen [ queen ] n. The primary reproductive female in a colony. Note that colonies may have multiple queens and also may have supplementary reproductives.

- R -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Race [ race ] n. A readily identifiable subset of a species.

Radius [ ray-dee-us ] n. On a termite's wing, this is the third major vein (after the costa and subcosta ) and which branches several times producing the veins termed R 1 ..R 2 etc .

Recruitment [ re-krute-meant ] n. In termites, the action of termites to cause others to join them in an activity, such as feeding.

Rectum [ wreck-tum ] n. The posterior, slightly expanded section of the hindgut, just inside the anus.

Replacement reproductive [ ree-place-ment ree-pro-duck-tiv ] n. A reproductive, promoted from another caste which takes the place of a lost primary reproductive. See also supplementary reproductive.

Reproductive [ Ree-pro-duck-tiv ] n. , adj. Termites capable of reproduction: alate, queen, king ; capable of reproduction. See also primary reproductive and supplementary reproductive.

Reticulate [ ree-tik-u-late ] adj. A surface pattern that appears at least superficially net-like. Such as on the wings of Reticulitermes .

Rostrum [ ross-trum ] n. A medial anterior nozzle-like projection of the head of the soldiers of some Termitidae. Used for the projection of defensive secretions.

Rudimentary [ rude-ih-men-tahry ] adj. Used to describe a taxonomical feature said to be poorly or imperfectly developed.

- S -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Saliva [ sal-eye-vah ] n. A fluid secreted by the salivary glands which has digestive and other properties. Termite saliva and faeces are important in the construction of carton.

Salivary glands [ sal-eye-vah-ree glands ] n. Glands opening into the mouth which secrete fluids with digestive and other properties. Termite saliva and faeces are important in the construction of carton.

Satellite nest [ sat-elle-light nest ] n. Typically applied to subterranean termites, an additional nest which supplements the central nest. Differs from a bivouac in that either food is stored or young larvae and reproductives (typically supplementary reproductives ) are present. See also polycalic.

Scape [ skape ] n. Counting from the head, the first, segment of the antenna. Often called the basal segment.

Scientific name [ sigh-en-tif-ik name ] n. According to internationally recognized convention, after Linnaeus, a mostly two-part Latin name given to an organism in the form Genus species Author.

Sclerite [ sklair-ite ] n. An individual piece or plate of the exoskeleton usually separated from other sclerites by a membranous area.

Sclerotised [ sklerO-tyzed ] adj. Of the integument, a description applied to an identifiable area, or segment, which is hardened or thickened. Also sclerotized.

Segment [ seg-meant ] n. A separate part of a body or appendage, typically separated from other segments by a joint.

Serrate [ seh-rate ] adj. Appearing toothed or bearing teeth along an edge, as with a saw.

Seta [ C-tah ] n. A stout hair or bristle. Plural is setae [ C-tee ].

Setaceous [ C-tay-shush ] adj. Either like a stout hair or bristle in form or bearing stout hairs or bristles; bearing setae.

Sexual dimorphism [ sex-U-al dye-more-fism ] n. A condition where the typical morphology differs according to gender. Typically females of any caste are slightly larger than the males. In the case of the physogastric queen, the dimorphism can be extreme.

Shelter tube [ shell-tur tUb ] n. A form of termite gallery, constructed over, rather than through a substrate. Typically made with soil, faeces, saliva and carton. An extension of the gallery system over an impenetrable surface.

Social insect [ so-shall in-sekt ] n. Insects which live as a society so that individuals of the colony exhibit division of labour, polymorphism into castes, reproduction is limited to a few colony members, and there is inter-generational caring for the young. Includes the termites, ants and some species of the bees and wasps.

Soldier [ sold-yer ] n. The caste which is characterised by a more robust body and sclerotised head and which is considered to have a primarily defensive role. Across the species, soldier heads exhibit a wide variety of forms and functions and this caste is often considered diagnostic by taxonomists.

Somite [ sew-might ] n. Another name for segment.

Species [ spee-sees ] n. A taxonomical grouping of similar populations of organisms are able to interbreed (reproduce) with one another. Often a difficult and arbitrary grouping, not based on the breeding criterion but based on morphology or genetic similarity. It is conventional for termite species names to end in -termes , but there are several exceptions created by attention-seeking taxonomists.

Spine [ spine ] n. A strong, acute or sharp protruberance of the exoskeleton, typically flexibly attached.

Spiracle [ spear-a-kul ] n. A breathing pore, one of many, which connects the outside air directly with the tracheal system.

Spur [ spur ] n. A strong, acute or sharp, typically terminal spine of the exoskeleton, typically rigidly attached to a segment of a leg.

Stadium [ stay-de-um ] n. The time interval between moults. Plural is stadia [ stay-dee-ah ].

Stage [ stay-j ] n. A distinct period in development, e.g., egg, larva, adult stage; each instar.

Sternal gland [ stir-nahl gland ] n. A ventral gland situated on the abdomen (on the third fourth and fifth sternites in Mastotermes , on the fourth sternite in dampwood termites and on the fifth sternite in most others) which appears as a thickening of the integument and secretes directly through the cuticle. Sternal secretions are involved in trail marking and in calling for a mate (by dealate females).

Sternite [ stir-knight ] n. A ventral sclerite or a plate on the underside of a body segment.

Stipes [ sty-peas ] n. The major elongate plate of the maxilla which supports the maxillary palps laterally and the galea and lacinia distally.

Stomodeal [ stO-mO-D-al ] adj. Mouth to mouth feeding. Occurs in all termite groupings. The soliciting termite caresses the head of the potential donor with its antennae or taps its mouth with its mandibles. This provokes a disgorgement of a droplet of food which is then consumed.

Strip shielding n. A form of physical termite barrier which typically passes horizontally completely through a building element, preventing unseen termite access within that element.

Subcosta [ sub-koss-tah ] n. On a termite's wing, this is the vein immediately behind the costa and which may branch (bifurcate).

Subspecies [ sub-spee-sees ] n. A sub-group of a species, usually separated by geographical isolation and differing size, colour, or other morphological characters. Interbreeding is assumed to be possible.

Subterranean [ sub-tur-A-knee-ann ] adj. & n. From sub- below and terra earth. Meaning having a connection with below ground activity. An informal grouping of termites (mostly the in the families Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae) which tend to, as a whole, nest below ground level or use subterranean galleries to reach food.

Subfamily [ sub-fam-ill-E ] n. A taxonomical division or classification applied as a grouping of genera which share a set of characters at a level below that of Family. It is conventional for termite families to end in -inae .

Supplementary reproductives [ sup-le-men-tah-rhee rhee-pro-duk-tives ] n. Sometimes a termite colony will contain reproductive termites in addition to or as replacements for original kings and queens. These extra or supplementary reproductives are produced from the nymphal line and typically have not developed and shed wings They are often called neotenics. Wing pads may be present.

Suture [ sue-ture ] n. A narrow membranous area between segments, often appearing as a line or groove.

Swarm [ swarm ] n. A nuptial flight of alates, the process by which colonies outbreed and new colonies typically arise.

Symbionts [ sim-by-onts ] n. Organisms that live together, apparently, to mutual benefit. Also as the process, symbiosis. For example the gut symbionts of termites.

Synonym [ sin-on-im ] n. A duplicate scientific name which a taxonomist has given to a species. By convention the earliest published name takes precedence (called conservation). Synonyms may arise due to incomplete knowledge or the tension between splitters and clumpers (see taxonomist).

- T -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Tandem running [ tan-dem run-ing ] n. Post flight, alates attempt to pair with a potential mate. The male pursues the female, keeping his head close to or in contact with the tip of her abdomen, keeping his antennae in contact with the sides of her abdomen (antennation). Typically the female moves quickly in an apparently random (but almost certainly directed) manner. Often, one or more additional males will similarly join the parade, producing what looks like a conga line or procession.

Tarsal [ tar-sul ] adj. Of, or relating to, the tarsus.

Tarsal formula [ tar-sull 4-mu-lah ] n. The leg of a termite terminates in a variable number of tarsal segments. The tarsal formula is a three digit number coding for the number of segments observed in the fore, middle, and hind tarsi. For example 555 describes Mastotermes, which have typically five segments to each tarsus, while 333 is more common in the Termitidae.

Tarsus [ tar-suss ] n. The distal leg segment (beyond the tibia), comprising of 3 to 5 small segments and typically terminating in a claw.

Tarsal claw [ tar-sul klaw ] n. One of a pair of terminal claws found on the tarsus.

Taxon [ tax-on ] n. A unit of taxonomy, such as a genus or species. Plural is taxa [ tax-a ].

Taxonomical [ tax-on-om-ik-al ] adj. Of or relating to taxonomy.

Taxonomist [ tax-on-oh-mist ] n. One who works on the identity of organisms, placing them into various taxons such as genus and species. Famously divided into splitters and clumpers according to the propensity to either create as many names (species) as possible, or to be conservative and keep new taxa to a minimum.

Taxonomy [ tax-on-oh-me ] n. The assignment of organisms various groupings based on perceived similarity. See also taxonomist.

Tergite [ tur-geye-t ] n. Dorsal surface of an abdominal segment. See also tergum.

Tergum [ tur-gum ] n. Dorsal surface of an abdominal segment. See also tergite.

Terminal [ tur-min-ahl ] adj. On or relating to something at or near the distal end or tip, the last in a series..

Termitarium [ tur-mitt-air-ee-um ] n. A large multi-chambered nest, usually constructed as an approximately conical mound (may be very short, as in Drepanotermes or relatively taller than the base, as with Amitermes laurensis ), which aside from housing the reproductives and brood, typically contains accessory structures which store food and or water and or ameliorate the physical environment.

Termiticide [ tur-mit-tih-side ] n. A substance used to kill insects. Please note that insecticides are typically broad spectrum biocides and are not at all specific as the name might be employed to imply. See also insecticide.

Termitoidae [ tur-mit-toy-dE ] n. A recently erected taxon at the level epifamily intended to replace the order Isoptera following its revision as a subset of the cockroach order. See Daegan et al 2007

Termitophile [ tur-mit-oh-file ] n. Name given to other animals that live within the nests and gallery systems of termites, often feeding on them as predators or feeding on their production as scavengers. Beetles, flies and wasps are the majority and often there is considerable specialisation, morphological adaptation and chemical masking involved. Could also be a useful adjective for some obsessive isopterists.

Thoracic [ thor-ass-ick ] adj. Of or pertaining to the thorax.

Thorax [ thor-axe ] n. The major body section lying between the head and abdomen and which bears the legs and wings (if present). Comprising three main sections prothorax, mesothorax, metathorax.

Tibia [ tib-E-ah ] n. The fourth leg segment, found between the femur and tarsus ; usually bearing spines and spurs and more slender than the femur.

Trachea [ trac-key-ah ] n. A respiratory system tube, running inwards from an external spiracle into branching into tracheoles. Plural is tracheae [ trac-key-a-ee ].

Tracheal system [ trac-key-ahl sis-tem ] n. The respiratory system including the external spiracles, trachea and branching tracheoles.

Tracheoles [ trac-key-olls ] n. The thinner branches at the internal end of tracheae.

Trail [ trayl ] n. A path created by termites and marked with trail pheromones .

Transverse [ trans-verse ] adj. Running across a body or appendage at right angles to the main (longest) axis. For example the transverse division of the clypeus.

Trochanter [ tro-kan-tur ] n. The second segment of the leg, a small segment after the coxa and before the much larger femur.

Trojan Termite [ trO-Jan Tur-m-eye-t ] n. Name given to a control technique where individuals of one colony of termites (usually treated with a poison) are allowed to enter the gallery of another colony with a view to killing it.

Trinomen name [ try-no-men ] n. The name given to a sub-species, where the genus and species (binomial) names are followed by a third, trinomial or sub-species name. An example is Coptotermes acinaciformis raffrayi

Trophallaxis [ trO-fal-axis ] n. Name given to the transfer of food between members of the same colony, it is the normal way by which reproductives , soldiers and young larvae obtain food.

gallery system of another colony with the intention of controlling it.colony, it is the normal way by which , soldiers and young larvae obtain food.

Trophallaxis [ trO-fal-axis ] n. Name given to the transfer of food between members of the same colony, it is the normal way by which reproductives , soldiers and young larvae obtain food.

Truncate [ trun-kate ] adj. Something that appears shortened, cut off or squared at the end.

Type specimens [ type spess-i-mens ] n. Representative samples from a single colony or population used by a taxonomist to define a species, the actual insects from which the original description of that species was produced. See also holotype.

- U -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Uric acid [ U-rik ass-id ] n. A nitrogenous compound (the white crystalline part of bird droppings) which is generally retained by termites and may give captive colonies a distinctly white appearance in the abdomen. Can reach over one third of total body mass. Also excreted by Dalmatian dogs.

- V -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Vein [ vane ] n. On the alate wing, this is a thickened line which appears darker and provides strength.

Venation [ ven-A-shun ] n. The pattern of veins. Used to describe the wings of termites.

Ventral [ ven-trul ] adj. On or about the underside of a body, opposite or dorsal.

Vestigial [ vest-tij-jul ] adj. A body part that has through evolutionary change, become smaller, is reduced or is non-functional.

- W -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

White ant [ white ant ] n. Really stupid name for termites that persists for no good reason. Termites are Isoptera, ants are Hymenoptera and the twain only meet at the Insecta level. Please help to make this term go extinct!

Wing [ wing ] n. Attached in pairs to the thorax, the wing is really a flattened extension of the body wall. In termites the wings are membranous and show reduced venation (veins ). Wings develop over several moults, beginning as wing pads or wing buds, eventually becoming complete and functional.

Wing pad [ wing pad ] n. One of a pair of appendages that develop on a thoracic segment, eventually giving rise to functional wings. Also called wing buds.

Wing scale [ wing sk-ale ] n. That part of a termite's wing that remains after the basal suture breaks post flight and the wing is discarded.

Worker [ whir-kur ] n. The relatively undifferentiated caste in the termite colony that provide the bulk of the labour. Functions include food gathering, tending the reproductives , eggs and young larvae, repairing and enlarging the nest and gallery system and gathering water.

- X -

Dr Don's Termite Pages

Xylem [ Zy-lemm ] n. The woody tissue of plants, which has cell walls thickened with cellulose and lignin. The primary food of termites.

Xylophage [ Zy-low-faje ] n. A xylophagous creature, that feeds on woody plant tissues (the xylem).

Xylophagous [ Zy-low-fay-gus ] adj. Feeding on woody plant tissues (the xylem).

- Y -

- Z -

Just another bit of
Dr Don's Termite Pages