Orders – Isoptera

Orders – Isoptera

Order – Isoptera (Isos – equal & pteron wing)

E.g. Termites (white ants)

Economic Importance: Termites damage wooden structures and standing field crops.


1. Social and polymorphic insects living in large communities composed of reproductive forms together with numerous apterous, sterile soldiers and workers.
2. Mouth parts mandibulate (typical biting type), ligula 4 lobed.
3. Wings very similar, elongate and membranous, superposed flat over the back, when at rest and capable of being shed by means of basal fractures.
4. In each wing, anterior veins strongly sclerotized, regular cross veins wanting and an archedictyon often present.
5. Tarsi 4 segmented.
6. Cerci short.
7. Genitalia usually wanting or rudimentary in both sexes.
8. Metamorphosis slight or wanting.

Castes of Termites:

1. Reproductive Castes:

a) Primary reproductives: – King and Queen
b) Supplementary reproductives.

2. Sterile Castes:

a) Workers
b) Soldiers
i. Mandibulate soldiers with powerful mandibles.
ii. Nasute soldiers – Mandibles vestigial but there is long median frontal nasus or rostrum at the end of which the frontal gland opens.
a) Nasutoid soldiers – Snout like structure
b) Phragmotic soldiers – Head strongly sclerotized

Important Family:

1. Termitidae – e.g. Termes spp. Odontotermes sp.
2. Kalotermitidae – e.g. Kalotermes spp. (Dry wood termites)

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