To further magnify the definition of Eusociality, it would be best to identify first what are the qualifications that would make a creature identify itself as eusocial, which in this case, termites. Here are the reasons why termites are considered eusocial species:
1. Termites are considered Eusocial because they have an exemplary state of uniformity and organization. Inside each termite mound, there is a division of labor in the development of their colony and a reproductive goal to comply. The composition of castes both fertile and sterile circumscribes the aspects of colonial productivity of the species; one type of termites have purposes that are hinged in the construction of the colony, and others are developed to reproduce outside of the colony to create more branches of the colony by becoming kings and queens of their own mound.
2. Eusocial species have generations that overlap each other. The predecessors' generation will likely be overlapped and abreast by the following generation due to rapid reproduction.
3. Organisms like termites have organizations inside the colony that have members carrying out diverse specialized task. And one of the primary tasks is the cooperative caring of the young. A characteristic surprisingly found in eusocial organisms like termites. They are as if consciously aware of the crucial importance of their young to the progressive development of their colony.
All the qualifications mentioned above but not limited to them, are the reasons why termites are considered Eusocial. As of this moment, debates are still ongoing on what other qualifications are still out there to fully define the extent of Eusocialism's definition. The integration of the consideration of the nature of the division of labor, contingent to an organism's natural classification are still being argued over. Human beings are still arguably being classified as Eusocial due to broader perspective inclusions of the term. Temporary division and non-random distribution labor that outputs the ultimate goal of reproductive success are now being contemplated.
Nevertheless, with or without the debates, termites and other species alike are infallibly eusocial organisms as clearly manifested in their way of existence.
However, according to some studies, it is believed that termites were not originally Eusocial organisms. That at some point, they were disorganized as mess and it wasn't only until a climactic event took place that delivered them to their evolutionary organizational breakthrough. Some parts of this theory were potent adaption of Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection. Such research indicates that the termite organizational characteristic was derived from a long term survival of natural antagonism, thus resulted to the termites' present state.
Battles that Lead to Termite Eusociality Evolution
Some theoretical research have found and believed that the primary reason why there is the spawning of Eusocial organisms is due to the turf wars that took place within specific specie. These TURF wars have helped reveal the natural factors that resulted to the selective evolution among organisms and thus we now have Eusocial insects.
In the termite side of the theory, the reproductively capacitated soldiers that are unique to primitive termites are theorized to be the missing link in the evolution of the sterile soldier termites that are more commonly present in the modern termite societies.
A certain group of researchers from the University of Maryland arranged field interactions with various types of termite colonies to further investigate about the facts that can corroborate the theory.
One of the inconclusive but rather potently complimenting data they found was that the reproductive soldiers from the primitive termite societies are rare and docile. This have lead them to hypothetically deduce that the stronger soldiers from Zootermopsis nevadensis (another termite colony) came in to invade the weaker termite colony and immediately eliminated their king and queens and thus, effectively merging two colonies to become one that is far larger. Upon the subsequent turf wars that took place, it is most likely that the larger colonies will prevail.
Thus, Darwin's theory of natural selection comes in where some termite colony members are naturally forced not to develop into winged reproductive forms in order to stay put within and protect the colony from invasion. The inter-colony aggression and secession has produced an evolutionary incentive among these certain members of the colony to stay in one place instead of reproducing somewhere else. From these spawned as well the early manifestations of much more organized and allocated division of labor which eventually related termites to Eusocial organisms.
There are many contemporary researches that study the Eusociality of termites and their evolution to the present point of organization and system of their societies. However, all of them are inconclusive even if they all withhold strong evidences of the unaccounted past of termite evolution. The only thing that remains infallibly true at this point is that termites are perceived to be one of the most amazing creatures on the planet in terms of societal balance and system that it even exceeds human societies in the aspects of order and harmony. Of course there are levels of rationale in order to define the idea of harmony as it also depends on what specie is being taken into consideration. But at most parts, humanity could only dream to have a society similar to these Eusocial organisms.
Termites may be one of the most destructive organisms on earth, but they are definitely also among the most harmonious species living in the planet and that is definitely something humans could learn a thing or two.
Michael Rozatoru :)