Termites are perhaps one of the most numerous species of creatures on the planet. There are about over 500,000 species of them and most of them are left undiscovered just yet. Termites are actually pretty fascinating creatures, apart from the given fact that they can also be very destructive. If termites don't destroy human properties, then they might just be worth ever appreciation of every human being in the planet in the kind metamorphic evolution they go through. It's time that we take a closer look at termites and learn how to appreciate them. The question now is how do we do that? When every time we think about termites, all that ever pops into our head is the devastating outputs of termites once they start on their feeding spree? If you think about it, it is actually quite difficult to shift the paradigms of our minds into thinking that termites are actually great creatures. There's almost nothing to see that is good in them. We could almost condone their existence and find them pretty negligible. If nothing else comes good in their presence on earth, we could just practically wipe them off the planet and bring their species into extinction.
However, that's not necessarily so. Termites they may be, they also server a crucial role to our planetary balance. Their absence would prove to be fatal to the intermeshed web of life and the entire balance of every creature's existence. Imagine how many species of creatures on earth will be deprived of food source if we take out termites off the big picture. Then we would really have serious problems in our hands. It is worth the time to take a look at these amazing creatures so that once and for all we could learn to appreciate them. If we don't do it now, we might end up in the same scenario as predicted if we don't learn to give value or importance to such small creatures. Just because their destructive to our properties, doesn't necessarily mean their absolutely pests and that they do us no good at all.
It's about time we take a look at the biological backdrop of termites in the world and see through the salient points that is truly worth appreciating for when it comes to termites. You'll be surprised how much your perspectives have changed after you have read through this article and understood the very fascinating nature about termites.
The Biological Backdrop
Let us first talk about the most prominent species of termite in the planet and hope we could change our perception towards them by learning what they are and how their magnificent existence works. The Macrotermes bellicosus is the most widely distributed species of termites in the planet. They are also close relatives to the notorious subterranean Formosan termites which are usually the cause why we complain a lot about sudden property damages in our houses or any property. This species of termites are also among the largest of the termites species. They are quite large enough to become noticeably conspicuous. Termites do live in colonies. This one in particular, could actually have colony as large as hundreds of thousands in population and they could grow as much only within a span of few years. Probably 3-5 years of healthy thriving colony. These termites are also known for their other name "white ants" which is quite ironically, not true at all because of the obvious fact that they are termites and not ants. What's even more farfetched is that termites are not at all related to ants in any way possible.
Did you know that termites build nests? You may have only thought that birds are the only ones capable of building such a dwelling. However, termites do build nests as well. Well at least some species of termites are able to build nests and like birds, they also build their nests in wood materials. It's quite a wonder to imagine how termites could possibly relocate pieces of wood or twigs and construct them or assemble such that they will be to form a nest dwelling. And like birds, they also build their nests in trees and or sometimes in posts. The bellicosus species build their nests inside the ground, burrowed deep down underneath. Theoretically, they do this to prevent any harmful interference from their predators and careless humans. The nest is often constructed using sand and clay.
To answer your question as to how they are able to do it, it kind of works likes this: Worker termites would first go out in search of materials to be used in the building of the nests. Usually, the materials are sand, clay and some wood twigs, if ever there are any. They gather these materials by carrying them through their mouth. They would usually carry a mouthful of these materials back to the burrows they have created on the ground where they would build their nests. The sand and clay that they carry in their mouse would consequentially be moistened by their saliva. This would them make the materials sufficiently malleable during the process of moulding the materials into nest dwellings. Usually, the building activities for termites would be the busiest during the beginning of the wet seasons, wherein most of the materials are already wet and would naturally be easier to maneuver in order to build their nests.
All termites in the world would feed on cellulose materials or vegetations and this has been their primary source of diet ever since time immemorial. Their evolution perhaps has taken place a long time before since we have always known termites to eat wood materials. Some scientists have theorized that the ancestral termites or the first termites in the world didn't consume wood materials but only cellulose materials from plants that are relatively softer than wood. At some point, they have developed their diet on feeding on wood materials when the inclusion of the parasites within their system took place.