Author : Pamela.
Published : Mon, Jan 21 2019 :5 AM.
Format : jpg/jpeg.
Soldier termites are similar in size and colour to workers, but have an enlarged brownish coloured head with large modified mandibles (large biting jaws), used for defense.
Winged termites are darker. Termites have six legs, all of which are short. On ants, the front wings are longer than the back pair and they don`t break easily. Termites have four wings of equal size (twice as long as the body) which do not break easily. Ants have narrow and defined waists. Termites have thick undefined waists. Ants have elbowed antennae. Termites have straight ones which resemble tiny strings of pearls. They do not have eyes unless they are winged termites. Termites are actually more closely related to the cockroach family rather than the ant family.
Termites have a very thin cuticle (skin) and are subject to rapid desiccation (drying out) if exposed to the environment outside their enclosed habitat. In order to maintain a highly controlled environment, termites must live in a closed system. Colonies in wood are always contained within an outside shell of cellulose material. In this way, they are protected from exposure to the outside.
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Carpenter ants, found in the Pacific Northwest, the northern Midwest, New England and southern Canada, are distinguishable from termites by their dark colour, narrow waists, elbowed antennae and when present, the large front and small rear wings. Carpenter ants rarely attack sound dry wood, preferring damp wood, foam or cellulose insulation, and do not use wood for food. They are more easily spotted than termites as they expel wood fragments from their excavations, and forage for food in the open. The presence of carpenter ants may indicate moisture problems in the building as they generally prefer already rotting wood.