What is a Termite Red? Appearance & Behaviour

The appearance of a termite red can be intimidating, especially when they possess wings. However, these insects are simply drywood termite swarmers.

The wings of these insects are either transparent or light grey, which helps to identify them. There are two pairs, with the first pair standing out thanks to its pigmented veins.

In addition to the colour red, they also can display shades of light and dark brown. What does the termite red look like? what behaviours do these insects exhibit? let us now find out.


What Does a Termite Red Look Like?

Termite Red
Picture of Red Termites

Termite red are diminutive insects, typically ranging in size from 4 millimetres to 15 millimetres in length. Queen termites are the largest individuals within a termite colony, typically exceeding a length of 10 centimetres.

In the Miocene epoch, there was a species of termite known as Gyatermes stryriensis, which had a wingspan of approximately 76 millimetres. Additionally, the body length of the specimen measured approximately 25 millimetres.

Contemporary termites possess pliable bodies and elongated, uncurved antennae. The colour of insects ranges from white to pale brown.

Worker termites typically exhibit a lighter hue in comparison to swarming termites. Species also exhibit variations in terms of size and colour.

For example, the heads of western subterranean soldier termites exhibit a yellow colouration, while the termite soldiers belonging to the western drywood species display reddish brown heads. Subterranean termites typically exhibit smaller physical dimensions compared to damp wood and dry wood termites.

A termite red functions within a hierarchical structure known as a caste system, which consists of three distinct categories. In a colony, each caste is assigned a distinct task.

Furthermore, each caste possesses unique physical attributes that enable it to perform its designated tasks. The various castes within a species can exhibit distinct physical characteristics, even if they belong to the same species.

Worker termites typically exhibit a lighter hue compared to other members of their insect community. Additionally, they possess the smallest physical size among all termite species.

Worker termites and nymphs generally have soft bodies and bear a resemblance to larvae. Soldier termites typically possess a comparable physical composition to that of worker termites.

Soldiers, on the other hand, possess cranial structures that exhibit a deep hue. Additionally, they possess prominent mandibles.

These characteristics enable them to ensure the security of their colonies. In general, worker and soldier termites cannot see. Termites develop wings during their reproductive phase.

In addition, these insects possess robust exoskeletons that serve as a protective shield during their dispersal from existing colonies to establish fresh ones. Flying termites possess wings and exhibit a dark exoskeleton.

Flying termites, also known as alates or swarmers, possess two pairs of wings approximately twice the size of their bodies.


Read also: Termite Larvae: Identification, Behaviour & Control


How is the Behaviour of a Termite Red?

A termite red generally exhibits low levels of aggression, unless their nests are subjected to external threats.

Soldier termites employ their robust mandibles to inject venom into potential intruders, such as other insects, that pose a threat to their colonies.

The number of soldiers in a termite colony depends on the size of the colony. During the initial stages of colony formation, there is a higher number of workers dedicated to establishing the colony.

As the termite colony expands, an increasing number of individuals assume the role of soldiers to enhance their defensive capabilities.

Termites possess the capacity to communicate with one another while residing within their nest. The process is accomplished through the utilization of pheromones and vibrations.

This enables termites to identify fellow members of their colony and determine the specific caste to which other termites belong. Termites generate vibrations by striking their heads.


What Does a Termite Red Eat?

Termites consume wood as their bodies require cellulose, a constituent found in wood. Insects possess a bacterium in their digestive system that aids in the breakdown of cellulose, thereby enabling them to obtain hydrogen.

Termites do not possess naturally occurring bacteria in their digestive systems. To obtain sustenance, they consume faeces from one another.

Termites do not experience sleep. Insects engage in continuous activity throughout their entire lifespan, working around the clock without any breaks.

During this period, the ants engage in feeding, ensuring the well-being and security of their queen, and constructing their nests. Given their incessant nature, insects can consume significant quantities of wood.

If individuals choose to have a meal at someone’s residence, they have the potential to cause significant harm to the property.

Indeed, it has been documented that a group of Formosan termites can consume up to 1,000 pounds of wood within a single year.

Insects can consume a quantity of wood equivalent to the area of a football field. In addition, termite workers are capable of foraging for food up to a distance of 250 feet from their nests.


Read also: What are the Main Causes of Termites in Your Home?


Where is the Habitat of a Termite Red?

Termites can be found in various regions across the globe. This implies that their habitats encompass both tropical and subtropical regions, as well as warm climates.

The insect species thrive in humid lowland regions and coastal areas. Certain North American species have adapted to colder environments, allowing them to inhabit the northern regions of the country as well.

Various species of termites inhabit different types of environments. Subterranean termites establish colonies beneath the surface of the ground, constructing pathways within these colonies to facilitate their search for sources of wood.

To access wood that is situated above ground level, such as the structural framework of a building, insects construct mud tubes through which they traverse. These tubes establish a connection between the soil and the source of wood.

Dampwood termites establish their colonies within moist wood, which can be located either below or above the ground surface.

Insects seek out moist wood that remains damp due to contact with the ground. The potential cause of this issue could be either a blocked rain gutter or water leakage.

Drywood termite colonies typically establish their nests within solid wood. These insects can survive without direct contact with the soil. Drywood termites typically inhabit furniture, wooden framing sections, attics, and doors.

The large termite mounds that are often depicted in television programs or magazine advertisements are constructed by termites that engage in mound-building behaviour.

This particular species of insect inhabits regions in South America, Australia, and Africa. The impressive mounds can reach a width of up to 98 feet, and they are typically built in areas with good drainage.


What is the Lifecycle of a Termite Red?

Termites undergo incomplete metamorphosis in their life cycle. In scientific terms, this phenomenon is referred to as a hemimetabolous life cycle.

The life cycle of a termite begins with an egg, which then develops into larvae and nymphs. As the nymphs grow older, they become older nymphs.

In the middle stage of their life cycle, termites can either become workers or soldiers. The final phase involves the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle.

The average lifespan of a queen termite is 25 years, while other types of termites typically live for only 12 to 24 months.


Read also: What You Did Not Know About Termites With Wings



As their name implies, they thrive inside dry and hardwood in our homes instead of making colonies underground. Unlike subterranean termites, they don’t need the soil’s dampness to survive.

The wood they consume provides them with the moisture they need. They’ll live in wooden structures, furniture and picture frames, making them just as destructive as other species.

Now that you know what the termite red is all about do well to share with your friends!

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