Flying Ants Vs Termites
There are a lot of similarities and differences between termites and flying ants, and hence they can be confused for each other. Besides being visually similar, their behavioral patterns are alike too. Both the species have swarming behavior by which they see new colonies or homes being established because of denizens of one colony flying out to mate with the opposite species of another colony. Termites and flying ants also have a social strata system which sees the colony being divided into a queen, worker insects and soldiers. The queen is the reproductive insect.
That is where the similarity ends. Both are arch enemies and can get into pitched battles. More often than not, ants win.
However, close inspection of their bodies and habitats will give one a better idea on how to differentiate between termites and flying ants.
Start with their antenna. The flying ant’s antenna will, typically, look like it has been crowned with a ball. It will also look like it is bending inwards. The termite’s antenna will be without any bends and kinks whatsoever and will resemble a beaded necklace.
Next, the build of the body. The ant looks like a snowman that most of us build – three separate sections. So an ant will have an abdomen, the middle section or a thorax and a head. The two connecting portions for these three sections are significantly thinner. The termite, on the other hand looks stouter than an ant and visually looks like it has just two sections – comprised of a thorax and a head.
Wings are another way of distinguishing between the two. The ant’s wings, typically, cannot be seen. The termite, on the other hand, has clearly discernible back and front wings. However, both species have 2 sets of wings when they are trying to find a new colony to settle into or searching for a mate.
The texture of the wings is also different. Ant wings are clear, termites wings are not. Ants also have clearly visible veins running through their wings. Termites’ wings are a pale gray in color.
One final method to differentiate between the two is also to note their habitat. Both can be considered household pests but ants will more often than not be found in the vicinity of food that humans eat. Kitchens, larders, stores are thus their favorite haunts. The main diet of termites is wood and thus they will be found in places like attics.
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