5 Facts about Queen Termite

A queen termite which is fully developed is a freakish, deformed creature.  Her head is around the same size as a worker termite but the rest of her body is simply bloated with ovaries.  She is basically a factory to constantly churn out eggs.  Furthermore, she hardly moves and it would be a miracle if she could drag herself from one end of her chamber to the other without bursting her oversized abdomen.

1.  This bizzare, outlandish queen is unable to feed herself as she can barely move.  Thus, her loyal worker termites have to provide sustenance for their queen.

2.  When the queen termite starts reproducing, she starts with a small number of offspring.  The first generation of termites are taken care of by the queen and king termites themselves.  Later on, these termites will take on the daily tasks of tending the new eggs being reproduced.

3.  How does the queen reach such a grotesque size? Her abdomen distends or, in other words, expands to accommodate her growing ovaries.  Her internal organs also grow to large proportions to support her body.

4.  The queen actually decides the types of termite she reproduces.  She releases chemicals called pheromones that determine whether the eggs would become worker termites, soldier termites or alates.

5.  There is a certain hierarchy for termites.  In a huge termite mound, there may be secondary queens living in smaller quarters that also reproduce.  Workers feed the queen and soldier termites, take care of the eggs and build the termite mound.  Soldiers on the other hand defend the mound.

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