What Is A Termite Queen: Size, Lifespan & Facts

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A termite queen is the primary reproductive female in a termite colony. She can lay up to 2000 eggs per day and can live for over 15 years. The termite queen size varies depending on the species, but she is generally larger than the king and workers. The main purpose of the queen is to mate and produce offspring. Termites are eusocial insects, meaning they live in colonies with a division of labor between the different castes.

What is a termite queen?

Termite queen

A termite queen is the reproductive powerhouse of a colony. She can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day and may live as long as 25 years.

When the colony gets larger, she will produce more eggs and may allow a small number of the termite nymphs to develop into supplemental or secondary queens.

That said, queen termites can also suppress the development of other queens with pheromones, preventing them from establishing their own colonies.

what does a queen termite look like?

Before termites became queens, they were creatures known as alates. These alates in the termite species will change in how they look after they become the queens of the termite colony.

Termite queens are the largest and most important termites in a colony. In fact, termite queens always dwarf the termite kings considerably.

Interestingly, termite queens have some unique features that differentiate them from other termites. They have large heads and bodies, strong mandibles, and long tongues.

Further, they can grow to be over two inches long and can live for up to 25 years. The thorax (upper body) of a queen remains the same throughout her life, while her abdomen expands with reproduction. Queens typically lay around 2,000 eggs per day.

The interesting fact is that they’re also responsible for producing all the eggs in the colony.

Female Coptotermes alates, the most commonly found termite species, are a brownish-yellow color and can range in size from 0.47 to 0.59 inches long. Their wings are lined with tiny hairs, which help them fly during nuptial flights.

Termite queens are the most important members of a termite colony. They lay eggs that hatch into new workers, which then take care of the colony. Termite queens also control reproduction, so they are essential in keeping the colony alive.

Now, it is possible that a queen termite, at some point in her life, becomes unable to move at all. This is because her abdomen continues to expand in size.

In fact, in some species, the queen termite can even become as large as 4 inches due to this increase in their abdominal size. This happening is known as physogastry.

What is the role of a queen termite in a termite colony?

The termite queen is the primary reproductive member.

The queen termite is the most important member of a termite colony because of how essential her role is. To put it simply, she is responsible for starting and maintaining the colony.

The fact is that the queen can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day, which ensures that the colony will continue to grow.

Her egg production varies depending on the species and the age of the queen. For example, a young queen may lay up to 2,000 eggs per day, while an older queen may lay only 100 eggs per day.

Additionally, she produces pheromones that help control the behavior of other termites in the colony. By doing so, she helps to maintain the social order within the colony and can live for up to 25 years.

Are the king termite and queen termite called the primary reproductives in a colony?

Termite king and termite queen.

Yes, the queen, king, and also alates (termite swarmers) are considered the primary reproductives in a colony. The queen is responsible for laying eggs, the king is responsible for fertilizing them, and the alates are responsible for starting new colonies.

Interestingly, when weather conditions are optimal, the queen will produce alates- winged termites that can start new colonies.

These alates will leave the nest and find a mate to begin a new colony. The king and queen termites are called the primary reproductives in a colony mainly because they are responsible for creating new colonies.

What are the secondary and tertiary reproductives in a termite colony?

There are three types of reproductives in a termite colony- the queen, king, and secondary reproductives. The queen termite and king termite are the primary reproductives and are responsible for reproduction.

The production of a blocking pheromone by the queen inhibits the development of female secondary reproductives. Female secondary reproductives will develop into tertiary reproductives if the queen dies or is removed from the colony.

What is the lifespan of a queen termite?

The termite queen lifespan can be up to a shocking 50 years. However, of these 50 years of life, queen termites can only lay eggs at a peak rate for about ten years.

Queen’s lay eggs, which hatch into worker termites that help maintain the colony. After the queen termite dies, the pheromone that she used to maintain order in the colony will wear off, and gradually, a new queen termite will replace her.

How do queen termites lay eggs?

In order to lay eggs, queen termites enlarge their abdomen. As queen termites lay eggs, their abdomen swells up significantly.

They also become physically dependent on worker termites for care and feeding. This is because the workers are responsible for gathering food and caring for the young termites. 

How does a termite infestation establish itself in your house?

Termites go through a four-stage life cycle: egg, nymph, worker, and soldier. The king and queen will land on a piece of wood, scratch off their wings, and burrow underground to create their own colony with offspring.

Their first order of business is to build a mud tube that leads from the ground up to the wood they will be eating. Once the colony is established, they will start reproducing, and the infestation will spread.

When a termite queen mates, she releases pheromones that attract male suitors. After mating, she will start to produce eggs, and the colony will grow. This is how a termite colony gradually establishes itself in your house.

Killing the termite queen usually leads to the death of a termite colony.

Fumigation is a good option when it comes to killing termite colonies.

Killing the termite queen is one of the most important steps in eradicating a termite colony. If the queen is killed, the colony will die soon after. Termites are social insects, and the queen is responsible for laying all of the eggs in the colony. Without her, the colony cannot survive.

However, this is not always easy as she can be protected by her workers. There are a few products on the market that are non-repellent, meaning the termites will not be scared away and will actually consume them.

Fumigation is also a great method to kill termites queen and termite colonies. However, this needs to be done with caution as different types of termites react differently to fumigation.

It is best to leave this process to the professionals who have the experience and knowledge to handle it safely and effectively.


Therefore, the queen termite is the most coveted member of the entire termite colony. Being responsible for the main reproduction in a termite colony, the queen termite is always the source of a growing infestation.

Therefore, it is utterly essential that you address any queen termite problem you have at home!

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.