What Are Reproductive Termites?

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It is not a shock that most of us share is feeling of dislike for termites. In fact, I would go ahead and say that some of us (including me) just hate these pests because they are not just a big-time nuisance, but they can also result in a lot of money spent to safeguard our house from them.

Now think about how these creatures keep multiplying so fast? So today, in this article we will talk about What reproductive termites are to figure out the answer to the question I just posed.

What are the roles of various termite castes in a colony?

Termite swarmers are social insects that live in termite colonies. The colony is headed by a queen, and she is responsible for laying eggs and nurturing the young termites.

What are Reproductive Termites?

There are different jobs in a colony depending on the caste of the termite. For example, reproductive termites are those that have the job of reproducing, and they are usually found in the lower castes.

The caste system is a way of organizing termites into different groups, each with specific tasks to complete in the colony. There are three main castes in a termite colony- the reproductives, the soldiers, and the workers.

The reproductives are responsible for mating and laying eggs, the soldiers protect the colony from predators and other threats, and the workers build and maintain the nest, gather food sources, and care for the offspring.

Let us learn about these castes and their roles in depth.

Termite caste

Worker Termites

Worker termites are the most active type of termite. They are responsible for finding food, storing it, and maintaining the nest. Worker termites are also responsible for caring for the young and building new nests.

Furthermore, they are responsible for digesting cellulose (the part of the wood that termites eat). Worker termites can be both male and female, but they’re usually sterile.

They are also responsible for the natural process of decomposing wood. They are generally harmless to humans, but they can cause damage if they escape from their colony and infest a building.

Soldier Termites

Soldiers’ termites are a specific caste of termite that is usually sterile. They are responsible for protecting the colony from outside threats and act as the first line of defense. They have large heads and powerful jaws that can crush most objects.

Reproductive Termites

Reproductive termites are the termites that are responsible for the reproduction of new colonies. They include both the fertile male and female termites, called the king and queen.

The king and queen are responsible for producing eggs, which will hatch into new workers and soldiers.

The queen termite is the most important member of a termite colony. She is responsible for egg production and for mating with the king termite. The queen can live up to 10 years, while the king typically lives around 5-7 years.

Winged alates are reproductive termites that are produced by some species of queen termite. These termites have two pairs of wings and are often seen emerging from a colony in a phenomenon called a nuptial flight. This is the time when they leave the colony to mate and start new colonies.

What are reproductive termites?

Reproductive termites are a specific type of termite that is responsible for the continuation of the colony. They are differentiated from other termites by their ability to reproduce.

Reproductive termites are essential for the survival of the colony and play a key role in its growth.

In fact, this case of the termites is the backbone of every successful colony.

They are able to reproduce slowly at first, but when the colony is healthy, and eggs are hatching regularly, secondary reproductives (neotenic) will be present.

These neotenic reproductive termites have the ability to reproduce quickly and keep the colony growing.

Winged reproductives, also known as alates, are the new kings and queens of a termite colony. Once they mature, these reproductive termites will fly from the colony to start new colonies.

What Do Reproductive Termites do?

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Reproductive termites are the lifeblood of a termite colony. They are responsible for producing new workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Without them, the colony would die off.

Furthermore, reproductive termites are responsible for creating new colonies and maintaining the genetic diversity of the population.

This is why it is so important to keep an eye out for reproductive termites, as they are vital to the health and success of the colony.

How do termites reproduce?

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Termites reproduce through a process called swarming. When the colony has reached a certain size, a portion of the termites will break off and fly into the air.

These are the reproductive termites, and they will mate in flight. The two main termites in the colony that is the king and queen termites are the only fully mature termites in the colony, so once they have mated, they will start a new colony.

The queen will also swarm, along with some males. The queen will start a new colony by laying eggs, which will hatch into more termites. She can actually live up to 10 years if the conditions are right.

Do termites shed wings after reproducing?

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After termites have reproduced, they will shed their wings. This is a way for them to start new colonies and spread out. If you see termites with wings in your home, it’s likely that they are just starting a new colony and aren’t cause for alarm.

Termites are often mistaken for flying ants, as they both have wings. However, there are a few key differences. Termites lose their wings shortly after reproducing, and the wings are generally the only sign that homeowners will notice when there is a termite problem.

Even though termites are essential for the environment, their presence in a structure can be devastating. It is important to detect termites early and seek treatment, as the longer they are left untreated, the more damage they will do.

The Termite Life Cycle

Termites go through a process of development known as incomplete metamorphosis. This means that they do not completely change their form as they grow.

In a nutshell, there are three life stages in termites: egg, nymph, and adult. Depending on the colony’s needs, young termites can molt several times over the course of their lives. This process allows them to assume different roles in order to support the colony.

Let us discuss the two most important stages of the termite life cycle, i.e., Termite nymphs and Mature termites.

Termite Nymphs

Termite nymphs are the immature form of termites. They are small and look very similar to adult termites. Nymphs go through a series of molts before becoming adults.

They will typically molt into workers first, often in three stages. They are wingless and lack reproductive capabilities.

Depending on the availability of food, temperature, and the colony’s population, they can take months to actually develop into adults. There are three types of nymphs: worker, soldier, and reproductives.

Mature Termites

Maturation into an adult termite is determined by the colony’s reproductive agents. In order for a termite to become an adult, it must pass through a series of molts that are determined by the caste it is in.

The castes are broken down into three categories: reproductives, soldiers, and workers.

Termites reach maturity upon the death of their colony’s main reproductive agents. In order for a termite colony to continue growing, it is necessary for the queen and king termites to die.

Once they do, the colony’s immature termites will then mature and take on the responsibilities of reproducing and maintaining the colony.


Termites exhibit great diversity in their breeding systems. The breeding system of a termite colony can change as the colony ages. In a young colony, all the reproductives are produced by a single queen.

As the colony matures, it may produce winged reproductive males and females that fly off to start new colonies. In some cases, two or more colonies will fuse to form a mixed family colony. Hope this information helps

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.