Termites aren’t flying insects like wasps and mosquitoes. But a few species of termites have wings that they use during their reproductive stage.
These winged termites, called alates, leave their nests to seek out a mate. They then fly together to find a new colony to start their young.
Wings are elongated
When most people think of termites, they think of tunneling underground or destroying wood with their wings. But this is not always the case. Flying termites are a common sight in homes during warmer weather, and they’re responsible for helping the colony grow.
Unlike ants, termites have wings that are translucent and veiny. These are often white or light beige, but may be a different color depending on the species.
The wings are also elongated and have a pointed tip. This is because the wings are part of the insect’s body, so they have to be shaped in an aesthetically pleasing way.
They have two pairs of wings, with the front pair of wings larger than the second set of wings. Termites also have straight antennae, which are broken into small segments and look straight from beginning to end.
On the other hand, flying ants have antennae that are curved or “elbowed” at mid-point. The bends in these antennae make them easy to distinguish from termite antennae.
In addition, termite wings have a distinct iridescent sheen that may seem shimmery or metallic at certain angles and lighting conditions. This is especially true for drywood termites.
Wings can also be easily broken, which is why it’s common to see them discarded around your home or in areas where you’re experiencing a termite swarm. These broken or discarded wings can indicate that termites are actively looking for a new place to settle, and you should contact a professional immediately.
Typically, termite wings are about 0.5 to 1 inch (1.3 to 2.5 cm) in length, with the front wing being longer than the hind wing. They can also vary in size, with older reproductive termites having longer wings than younger ones.
These wing structures are believed to have evolved in a water setting, but that isn’t the only possible explanation for how insects developed wings. Some researchers suggest that the wings in termites, and even the wings of some insect pupae, are models for the earliest wings.
While some studies have shown that a single gene controls wing morphology in some dimorphic insects, others suggest that many genes play a role. This can be difficult to reconcile with the dual origin hypothesis, but it’s not impossible. Regardless of the origin, though, researchers agree that the wing structure has an important role in the evolution of insects.
They have a pointed tip
Termites are one of the most common pests that can cause damage to your home. They feed on wood, causing significant structural damage.
A termite infestation is a serious concern, and it’s important to get a professional to remove them before they cause more damage. However, you may be surprised to learn that a few termites can actually fly!
They are able to do so because they have wings. This is a normal behavior in subterranean termites.
This is a natural developmental process that occurs when subterranean termite colonies reach a certain size and maturity, and they start producing winged alates, which are the future kings and queens of their next colony.
These swarmers, or alates, will fly out of the nest in a group and seek new locations to establish their own colonies. Typically, these swarmers are seen during the spring and summer.
Once they have found a suitable location, the swarmers will begin to build their nest. This process can take months or even years, depending on the species.
Some swarmers will choose to settle down near your home, while others may leave to find a new spot away from your property. This is not a good thing for your safety, because they could spread to other areas of your house and cause more damage.
When you see a swarm of flying termites in your yard, don’t panic! These insects are not harmful to humans or pets, and they won’t bite. They are simply trying to establish a new colony nearby, and will do so once they land back on solid ground.
Besides swarmers, termites also have several other castes, including soldier and worker termites. Worker termites do not have wings, but they are the ones that build the nest, construct tunnels and care for the young.
They can often be confused with flying ants, but the two are very different. The main difference between these two types of pests is that the ants have bent antennae, while the termites have straight ones.
Termite wings are also larger than the ant’s, and they have an equal pair of front and rear wings. This makes it easier to differentiate the two.
They have a hardened front edge
When you see a swarm of flying termites outside of your home, it can be an immediate sign that something is wrong. Termites can eat away at your wood in a way that is difficult to detect, and their damage can be costly.
If you have seen a large swarm of these pests, it is probably the result of sexually mature female and male termites leaving their nests and joining together in the air to reproduce. After mating, they will fall back to the ground and shed their wings, then the impregnated female will search for a suitable location to start a new colony.
Swarms can occur in any time of the year, but they are much more common during warmer months, when females and males are more likely to find a suitable place for their colony. These swarms can be spotted around doors and windows, as well as near light sources like window sills.
These insects are about a quarter-inch to a half-inch long and have yellow to brown-colored bodies with two sets of equally sized wings mounted closely on their thorax. The front pair of wings have a special pattern of distinguishing and conspicuous veins that can help you identify these insects.
Unlike subterranean termites, which have tunnels underground to escape the heat of the sun, drywood termites are primarily found in warm climates and are often seen in the United States. They can cause significant structural damage to homes by feeding on cellulose and other organic materials in wooden structures, and their presence can be detected in wood, drywall, wallpaper, and flooring.
In addition to a hardened front edge, wings can also have a lacy appearance. This is because they are made up of delicate structures and may not be strongly colored.
Wings can vary in color depending on the species of termite, but they typically have a pale to translucent appearance. Some termite wings may have a slightly yellowish tint, while others can be more opaque or darker.
Wings are an important part of the reproductive cycle for most termites. They are used to attract a mate, and both male and female alates can live on for years. They will either inbreed within a single colony or outbreed, by pairing with males from other colonies. This type of reproductive activity can make the colony more prone to population fluctuations.
They have a lacy appearance
Winged termites, also known as alates, are produced by termite colonies when they reach a certain size and maturity. When the conditions are right, they leave their nest and swarm to different locations around your property where they can establish new colonies. The swarmers are attracted to light and are likely to be found around windows, doors and lights fixtures.
They have transparent or pale wings that are covered with a network of wing veins to give them a lacy appearance. The color of the wings can vary depending on the species, but they typically have a light yellowish or brownish tint to them.
During the alate phase of a colony’s development cycle, reproductive termites have wings as they mate with other termites. These are referred to as alates and usually measure 1/4 – 1/2 inch in length. They are also called “reproductives” since they are the termites responsible for forming new colonies.
Their wings are elongated with a pointed tip at one end and a thicker front edge at the other. The front edge is called the costa and helps to support the wing during flight.
The front edge is ribbed, with raised veins that run parallel to the length of the wing. The veins help stiffen the wing and prevent it from folding during flight.
A termite’s wings are similar to those of ants, but they have a few key differences. While a termite’s wings are equal in length, the two top wings on an ant are twice as large.
Another difference is that a termite’s antennae are straight and not bent. Alternatively, an ant’s antennae are curved with a 90-degree bend to them.
Some lace bugs are often mistaken for a lacewing because they have a pale green body with a lacelike pattern, including the back. These insects also have a gold-hued eye that looks like a pair of golden hemispheres.
Lace bugs are a common pest that can ruin the foliage of many plants in the landscape. If you notice reddish-orange spots on the underside of your leaves, look closely for these insects.