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Termites going through incomplete metamorphosis on the road to becoming alates form a subcaste in certain species of termite, functioning as potential supplementary reproductives. These supplementary reproductives only grow into primary reproductives upon the passing of a king or queen, or when the primary reproductives are separated out of the colony.6676 Supplementaries have the ability to replace a dead primary reproductivesystem, and there can also be greater than a single supplementary within a colony.53 Some queens have the ability to switch from sexual reproduction to asexual reproduction.

The neotropical termite Embiratermes neotenicus and several other associated species create colonies that contain a main king accompanied by a main queen or by up to 200 neotenic queens that had originated via thelytokous parthenogenesis of a founding principal queen.79 The form of parthenogenesis probably employed maintains heterozygosity in the passing of their genome from mother to daughter, thus avoiding inbreeding depression. .

Termites are detritivores, consuming dead plants in any level of decomposition. They also play a vital role in the ecosystem by recycling waste material like dead wood, faeces and plants.8182 Many species consume cellulose, having a specialised midgut that breaks down the fibre.83 Termites are considered to be a major source (11%) of atmospheric methane, one of the prime greenhouse gases, generated from the breakdown of cellulose.84 Termites depend mainly upon symbiotic protozoa (metamonads) and other microbes like flagellate protists in their bowels to digest the cellulose for them, allowing them to absorb the end products to their own use.8586 Gut protozoa, such as Trichonympha, in turn, rely on symbiotic bacteria embedded on their surfaces to produce a number of the necessary digestive enzymes.



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The flagellates have been lost in Termitidae.878889 Scientists' understanding of the relationship between the termite digestive tract and the microbial endosymbionts is still rudimentary; what is true in all termite species, however, is that the workers feed the other members of their colony together with substances derived from the digestion of plant material, either in the mouth or anus.54 Judging from closely related bacterial species, it's strongly assumed that the termites' and cockroach's gut microbiota derives from their dictyopteran her comment is here ancestors.90.

Certain species like Gnathamitermes tubiformans have seasonal food customs. As an instance, they may preferentially consume Red three-awn (Aristida longiseta) during the summertime, Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) from May to August, and blue grama Bouteloua gracilis during spring, summer and autumn. Colonies of G. tubiformans consume less food in spring than they perform during autumn when their feeding activity is high.91.

Numerous forests differ in their susceptibility to termite attack; the differences are attributed to such factors as moisture content, hardness, and resin and lignin content. In one study, the drywood termite Cryptotermes brevis strongly preferred poplar and maple forests to other woods which were generally rejected by the useful content termite colony.

Some species of termite practice fungiculture. They maintain that a"garden" of specialised fungi of genus Termitomyces, that are nourished by the excrement of these insects. When the fungi are eaten, their spores pass undamaged through the intestines of their termites to finish the cycle by germinating in the fresh faecal pellets.9394 Molecular evidence suggests that the family Macrotermitinae developed agriculture about 31 million years ago.



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Originally living in the rainforest, fungus farming allowed them to colonise the African savannah and other new environments, eventually expanding into Asia.95.

Depending on their feeding habits, termites are put into two classes: the lower termites and higher termites. The lower termites predominately feed on timber. As wood isn't easy to digest, termites prefer to consume fungus-infected wood because it is a lot easier to digest and the fungi are high in protein. Meanwhile, the bigger termites consume a vast array of substances, including faeces, humus, grass, leaves and roots.96 The gut in the lower termites contains many species of bacteria along with protozoa, while the higher termites only have a few species of bacteria with no protozoa.97.



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Termites are consumed by a wide variety of predators. One termite species alone, Hodotermes mossambicus, was found in the gut contents of 65 birds and 19 mammals.98 Arthropods like ants,99100 centipedes, cockroaches, crickets, dragonflies, scorpions and spiders,101 reptiles like lizards,102 and amphibians like frogs103 and toads consume termites, with 2 spiders in the household Ammoxenidae being professional termite predators.104106 Other predators include aardvarks, aardwolves, anteaters, bats, bears, bilbies, many birds, echidnas, foxes, galagos, numbats, mice and pangolins.104107108109 The aardwolf is an insectivorous mammal that primarily feeds on termites; it finds its food by sound and by detecting the scent secreted from the soldiers; a single aardwolf is capable of consuming thousands of termites in a single night by using its long, sticky tongue.110111 Sloth bears break open mounds to consume the nest mates, whereas chimpanzees have developed resources to"fish" termites in their nest.

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