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*** Note: KnowYourInsects.org does its best to include correct identifications of insect photos. It’s always possible that we made a mistake, however, so if you see a misidentification, please contact us and we will correct it. Thanks!

Order Blattodea: the roaches and termites — Examples

Families (and one infraorder) represented below :
Blaberidae (the giant cockroaches) Blattellidae (now known as Ectobiidae) Ectobiidae (the ectobiid cockroaches) Corydiidae (the corydiid cockroaches) Termites (formerly Isoptera)


Blaberidae, the giant cockroaches

Central American Giant Cave Cockroach (Blaberus giganteus)
Central American giant cave cockroach, Blaberus giganteus, subfamily Blaberinae, family Blaberidae.
□ The Central American giant cave cockroach earns its name as giant: The males reach 7.5 cm long (3 inches) and the females are even larger at 9 cm long (nearly 4 inches)! The brave person holding this cockroach is 8-year-old Anusha, who with her father’s help is putting together her own website dedicated to insect ecology and conservation. Great work, Anusha!
Submitted by: Anusha V. Location: Alley Pond Environmental Center (part of an insect program), Little Neck, New York. Date: 9 September, 2018.
Giant Cockroach (Phortioeca phoraspoides)
Phortioeca phoraspoides (no specific common name), subfamily Zetoborinae, family Blaberidae.
Phortioeca phoraspoides (no specific common name) is richly colored, and quite distinctive with its brown-to-yellow wings, cream-colored scutellum (the triangle behind its thorax), and netted wing venation.
Photographed and identified to order by: Caleb Fooks. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: South Pacific side of Costa Rica. Date: 22 December, 2022.
Madagascar Hissing Cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa)
Madagascar hissing cockroach, Gromphadorhina portentosa, subfamily Oxyhaloinae, family Blaberidae.
□ This Madagascar hissing cockroach is well-named: it is native to Madagascar and it hisses! It makes the hissing sound through two of its spiracles, which are a series of small organs along the side of the abdomen. Like other insects, the cockroach inhales and exhales through the spiracles. Unlike other insects, the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach can blow air very strongly through two spiracles (the fourth pair on the abdomen) to make the hiss. This roach is in the hand of 8-year-old Vanusha, who has an interesting insect website here.
Submitted by: Anusha V. Location: Alley Pond Environmental Center (part of an insect program), Little Neck, New York. Date: 9 September, 2018.
Blaberid Cockroach (Rhabdoblatta spp.)
A blaberid cockroach in the genus Rhabdoblatta, female, subfamily Epilamprinae, family Blaberidae.
□ This female blaberid cockroach has a beautiful mottled pattern on her tegmina (the forewings). Species within this genus (Rhabdoblatta) are typically identified by characteristics of the male. This is a female, however, so the exact species remains unknown.
Photographed by: Senrita Raksam Marak. Identified by: entomologist Leonid Anisyutkin of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Thank you, Dr. Anisyutkin! Location: William Nagar, Meghalaya, India. Date: 25 June, 2019.
Porcelain cockroach (Gyna lurida)
Porcelain cockroach, Gyna lurida, subfamily Gyninae, family Blaberidae.
□ Adult porcelain cockroaches have a number of different appearances. This is a common and quite beautiful one: pale yellow with an ornate brown marking on the pronotum (the shield-like covering over its thorax), and large brown spots on the finely veined tegmina (forewings).
Photographed and identified as a cockroach by: Sarah Park. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Maroua, in the north of Cameroon, Africa. Date: 1 September, 2017.
Green Banana Cockroach (Panchlora nivea)
Green banana cockroach, Panchlora nivea, subfamily Panchlorinae, family Blaberidae.
□ The green banana cockroach is usually rather small at about an inch (2.5 cm) in body length, but it can sometimes reach nearly twice that length. It is a lovely shade of lime-green with a white or yellowish stripe running down each side.
Photographed and identified by: Paul Davis. Nicely done, Paul! Location: Rincon de vieja, Costa Rica. Date: 10 August, 2016.
Beetle Mimic Cockroach (Blaberidae)
A beetle mimic cockroach, family Blaberidae.
□ This beetle mimic cockroach really does look like a beetle! One of the features that gives it away as a cockroach is the pair of short projections, called cerci, at the rear. It also has other typical cockroach characteristics, such as spined legs; long, thin antennae; and a flattened body perfect for scooting under a narrow opening.
□ Although it is in the family Blaberidae, which includes many large insects, this one is quite small. In the right photo, it is on the photographer’s finger.
Photographed by: Yanni Petropoulos. Location: mainland of southwest Greece. Date: 10 May, 2020.
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Ectobiidae, the wood cockroaches

Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach (Parcoblatta pennsylvanica)
Pennsylvania wood cockroach, Parcoblatta pennsylvanica, male, subfamily Blattellinae, family Ectobiidae.
Pennsylvania wood cockroaches and other species in this genus are common outdoor insects. Occasionally they will come inside on firewood or in a potted plant that gets moved indoors — and sometimes they just wander in accidentally — but they rarely become numerous indoors.
Photographed by: Suzy Crawford. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Waterford, Michigan, USA. Date: 31 July, 2017.
Suzy says, “I find these in my flowers and in grass around my flower beds! Sometimes they are running across my porch or on the screen door.”
Wood Cockroach in the genus Parcoblatta
Wood cockroach in the genus Parcoblatta, male, subfamily Blattellinae, family Ectobiidae.
□ Distinguishing between adult male and female wood cockroaches is straightforward. Males have wings that extend back over the entire abdomen, while females have small wing buds and never develop full-length wings.
Photographed and identified by: Leah McPherson. Location: Highland, MI, USA. Date: 27 July, 2016.
Says Leah, “It was less than 1/2" and the only one in sight.... I found it this afternoon on a patio chair.”
Pale-Bordered Field Cockroach (Pseudomops septentrionalis)
Pale-bordered field cockroach, also known as a firefly roach, Pseudomops septentrionalis, subfamily Blattellinae, family Ectobiidae.
□ The pale-bordered field cockroach is quite an attractive small cockroach, reaching 0.5-0.6 inches (1.2-1.5 cm) long. It munches on plant leaves and flower petals.
Photographed by: Bonnie O'Barr. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Pineburst, Texas, USA. Date: 14 August, 2019.
Bonnie says, “I have only seen this bug a handful of times, a few times in my raised garden and a couple times on my hibiscus plants on the porch.”
Fun Facts
Several families of cockroaches have confusingly similar names: Blaberidae, Blattidae and Blattellidae. And to muddle things further, Blattellidae has now been demoted to subfamily status (Blattellinae within the family Ectobiidae) although it still appears as Blattellidae in many resources.
Asian Cockroach (Blattella asahinai)
Asian cockroach, Blattella asahinai, subfamily Blattellinae, family Ectobiidae.
□ This photo gives a good look at the spiny legs of an Asian cockroach. It also shows the two cerci, which are the pair of spiky extensions sticking up from the tip of the abdomen.
□ Asian cockroaches tend prefer to stay outside in mulch or rotting wood, whereas the similar-looking German cockroaches are more than happy to live indoors.
Photographed by: Crystal Baerwaldt. Identified to tentative species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: California, USA. Date: 30 December, 2020.
Crystal found this insect in a bathtub.
Asian Cockroach (Blattella asahinai)
Asian cockroach, Blattella asahinai, subfamily Blattellinae, family Ectobiidae.
□ One way to help tell an Asian cockroach from a German cockroach is to look at the length of its wings. German cockroach wings extend only as far as the end of the abdomen, or just slightly past. Asian cockroaches have wings that are quite obviously longer than the abdomen, as shown here. This is clearly seen in the length of the cerci (the pair of small spiky appendages at the rear of the insect). Even if the cerci were held straight back rather than to the side, an Asian cockroach’s wings would still be longer.
Photographed and identified to genus by: Helene Granlund. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Date: 30 December, 2020.
Asian Cockroach (Blattella asahinai)
Asian cockroach, Blattella asahinai, nymph, subfamily Blattellinae, family Ectobiidae.
□ The Asian cockroach nymph has a clear border, beige stripe down its thorax, and a pair of upward-turned, dark-tipped cerci at the rear. It is a native species in Thailand, where this photo was taken.
Photographed and identified by: Eric Blehaut. Excellent identification, Eric! Location: Bang Krang area of Thailand. Date: 28 September, 2023.
Fun Facts
The Asian cockroach (Blattella asahinai) is native to southeastern Asia, where it has natural enemies to keep its numbers in check, so it is infrequently seen. In the southeastern United States, where it was introduced at least as early as 1986, its numbers multiplied quickly and essentially unchecked, and it is now a major household pest.

German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)
German cockroach, Blattella germanica, subfamily Blattellinae, family Ectobiidae.
□ In the United States, German cockroaches are sometimes called croton bugs. Why? The Croton water system opened in New York in the mid-1800s, which was right about the time the non-native cockroaches had become numerous there.
Photographed and identified to order by: Sarah Park. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Bangui, Central African Republic. Date: 5 March, 2023.
Sarah found this visitor waiting at home upon a return from a trip. Not the best welcoming party!
Fun Facts
One way to tell the nearly identical-looking Asian cockroach from a German cockroach is its ability to fly: Asian cockroaches are strong fliers, while German cockroaches rarely fly and usually stick to running.
Three-Lined Cockroach, (Luridiblatta trivittata)
Three-lined cockroach, Luridiblatta trivittata, subfamily Ectobiinae, family Ectobiidae.
□ The pretty little three-lined cockroach has short-winged adults. The male’s wings are short, but they are still longer than the female’s, which are little more than nubs. The female is flightless, and the male is likely flightless, too. The center photo shows this individual holding its cerci (short, tail-like structures) upright.
□ This is typically an outdoor cockroach, although it may occasionally make a brief foray indoors. For more information about this small cockroach, which is fairly new to California (where this photo was taken), click here (University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources).
Photographed by: Thomas Langhans. See Thomas’s full-size images here, here and here. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: city of Brisbane, county of San Mateo, California. Date: 26 July, 2023.
Thomas says it had a body length of about 8mm long.
Spotted Mediterranean Cockroach (Ectobius pallidus)
Spotted Mediterranean cockroach (also known as tawny cockroach), Ectobius pallidus, nymph, subfamily Ectobiinae, family Ectobiidae.
□ This is a nymph (immature) of a spotted Mediterranean cockroach. When it grows into an adult, it will get full-length wings that extend back to cover the abdomen. To see the adult, click here (BugGuide).
Photographed and identified to order by: Janice H. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA. Date: 13 October, 2016.
Says Janice, “We have an old raised rock patio and I think they’re living underneath close to the house. We live near woods and water, and I have seen the weirdest bugs ever around our house.”
Cockroach, (Planuncus tingitanus-complex)
Planuncus tingitanus-complex (no specific common name), nymph, subfamily Ectobiinae, family Ectobiidae.
□ This cockroach is listed as part of the Planuncus tingitanus-complex, which means that this group may actually contain several species, but scientists are still determining how to separate them out. To learn more, click here (the scientific journal Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny).
Photographed and identified by: Eric Blehaut. Nice ID, Eric! Location: Lille, France. Date: 11 June, 2023.
Fun Facts
Cockroaches can escape a heavy stomping because their bodies can quickly collapse, thanks to their arrangement of hard and flexible body parts. In fact, a roach can nearly instantaneously collapse to a third of its height. To learn more, click here (the journal Science).
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Cockroach (Balta vilis)
Balta vilis (no specific common name), subfamily Pseudophyllodromiinae, family Pseudophyllodromiidae.
□ The wings of Balta vilis (no specific common name) have such detail! This species is found in Southeast Asia, but it looks similar to the North American wood cockroaches in the genus Parcoblatta, which are pictured elsewhere on this page.
□ Note: In some classifications, this species is listed in the family Ectobiidae.
Photographed by: Eric Belhaut. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Mueang Nonthaburi, Nonthaburi, Thailand. Date: 4 April, 2023.
Cockroach (Balta vilis)
Balta vilis (no specific common name), subfamily Pseudophyllodromiinae, family Pseudophyllodromiidae.
□ Like other members of its genus, Balta vilis has very spiny legs, a see-through edge on the wings and pronotum (the shield-like covering over its thorax), and a pair of large cerci (the pair of tail-like appendages) that extend well beyond the tip of the wings.
□ This one almost looks as if it has an extra pair of small wings up near the pronotum, but it is an illusion caused by its interesting wing venation.
Photographed and identified to order by: Eric Blehaut. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Bang Krang, Thailand. Date: 3 March, 2023.
Austral Ellipsidion Cockroach, Ellipsidion spp.
Ellipsidion cockroach in the genus Ellipsidion, quite possibly the austral ellipsidion cockroach, Ellipsidion australe, nymph, subfamily Pseudophyllodromiinae, family Pseudophyllodromiidae.
□ The austral ellipsidion cockroach is often found on plants where it is believed to munch on pollen, fungi and honeydew (the sweet secretion produced by aphids). In other words, it serves as a clean-up crew for plants. To see the adult, click here (brisbaneinsects.com). This species is native to Australia.
Photographed by: Denise Lloyd, Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Date: 8 September, 2021.
Denise says these cockroaches “are quite camera shy and scuttle into the shade of the gardenia when I attempt to photograph.”

Corydiidae, the corydiid cockroaches

Sand cockroach (Euthyrrhapha pacifica)
Sand cockroach, Euthyrrhapha pacifica, subfamily Euthyrrhaphinae, family Corydiidae.
□ The cerci on this sand cockroach can barely be seen poking out of either side of the rear of the abdomen. Those cerci act like “feelers,” and if anything so much as touches them lightly (even a breeze), nerves in the cerci immediately get the legs in motion. That quick motor response in this and all cockroaches is perfect for avoiding predation (or a stomp from a person’s boot).
□ Little is known about this species. Note: This species is sometimes listed under the families Polyphagidae or Blattidae, but the current classification is Corydiidae.
Photographed and identified as a cockroach by: Christian Moratin. Nicely done, Christian! Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Waimanalo Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. Date: 29 September, 2021.
Christian remarks that it looks like a roach, but might be “too nice-looking to be one.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “Yes, it is a very attractive cockroach!”
Egyptian Cockroach (Polyphaga aegyptiaca)
Egyptian cockroach, Polyphaga aegyptiaca, male, subfamily Corydiinae, family Corydiidae.
□ The male Egyptian cockroach has tightly veined wings, as seen here. Sometimes called an Egyptian desert cockroach, this is a nocturnal species and prefers dry habitats.
□ The female is wingless, and has a noticeably segmented abdomen which gives her a rather pillbug-looking appearance. To see the female, click here ( Jundishapur Journal of Microbiology).
Photographed by: Christina McEnteer. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Santorini, Greece. Date: 28 September, 2022.
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Blattidae, the blattid cockroaches

Cockroach (Thyrsocera spectabilis)
Thyrsocera spectabilis (no specific common name), subfamily Blattinae, family Blattidae.
□ This gorgeous Thyrsocera spectabilis (no specific common name) looks more like a broach than a roach. The photographer, Amirul Zahil, did some research and came up with the identification as Thyrsocera spectabilis. That was an especially difficult task, because so little information or photos are available of this species or this genus. Great work, Amirul! For more information on this cockroach, click here (Singapore Biodiversity Records).
Photographed and identified by: Amirul Zahil. Location: Penang Hill, Malaysia. Date: 17 February, 2019.
Smoky Brown Cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa)
Smoky brown cockroach, Periplaneta fuliginosa, nymph, subfamily Blattinae, family Blattidae.
□ The smoky brown cockroach is typically found in damp, moist or even quite wet places, which includes everywhere from basements to damp ground piles and even to soggy rain gutters.
Photographed and identified by: Anonymous. Location: Wilmington, North Carolina, USA. Date: 15 February, 2017.
Anonymous says, “This bug seems to have come from a salad from a restaurant.... No words for how gross it is!”
Fun Facts
Besides their strong and very flexible exoskeletons, cockroaches benefit from another defensive mechanism: positive thigmotactic behavior. In other words, they like to stay near edges, such as walls, which makes them hard to swat (or stomp).
American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana)
American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, subfamily Blattinae, family Blattidae.
□ The American cockroach is a large roach at about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in body length. (See the comment below.) It has cerci (the two tail-like structures) that extend beyond its long brown wings, and a pair of brown smudges on its thorax. In Florida, where this photo was taken, it is known as a palmetto bug.
Photographed by: Marcia Hall. Identified by: Marcia’s boyfriend. Great teamwork! Location: Florida. Date: 13 November, 2023.
Marcia found this “pretty awful” welcoming party when she arrived home from a trip. She says, “Check out the size of that palmetto bug — aka cockroach!!!! They definitely knew we were away.”
American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana)
American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, subfamily Blattinae, family Blattidae.
American cockroaches are common in the United States, but they are actually native to Africa and the Middle East, arriving on the North American continent with European explorers back in the 1600s, possibly earlier. And although they are sometimes called called waterbugs, they are not aquatic.
Photographed and identified as a cockroach by: Street Monk. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Ontario, California, USA. Date: 5 September, 2021.
Street stepped it, but it “then slipped away.”
Fun Facts
Cockroaches have flat bodies that allow them to gain entry into homes through tiny openings. To learn how to control them and lower the chance they may visit your home, , click here (University of Florida Extension).
Australian Cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae)
Australian cockroach, Periplaneta australasiae, nymph, subfamily Blattinae, family Blattidae.
□ This is a nymph (immature) of an Australian cockroach, and it appears to be a fifth-instar nymph (the last stage before becoming an adult). This species usually stays outdoors, but once in a while it wanders indoors. It is not known to be an indoor pest.
Photographed by: Sarah Sun. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: central Florida, USA. Date: 12 December, 2021.
Harlequin Roach (Neostylopyga rhombifolia)
Harlequin roach, Neostylopyga rhombifolia, subfamily Blattinae, family Blattidae.
□ The beautifully patterned harlequin cockroach is often found in homes in tropical regions around the world. It can grow to nearly 2 inches (5 cm) in body length, and has antennae at least that long.
Photographed and identified by: Paul Davis. Nicely done, Paul! Location: Sri Lanka. Date: 10 October, 2012.
Harlequin Roach (Neostylopyga rhombifolia)
Harlequin roach, Neostylopyga rhombifolia, subfamily Blattinae, family Blattidae.
□ The Harlequin cockroach is one of the flightless cockroaches. Notice the long antennae that this insect has swung rearward — one is visible between its pair of short, thick, stubby cerci (the “tails”).
Photographed and identified as a cockroach by: Shirley Berry. Nicely done, Shirley! Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Kamuela, Hawai'i, USA. Date: 31 March, 2022.
Shirley says, “How exciting to discover what this insect is. We thought it was a cockroach, but I searched online and I didn’t find I anything close.” KnowYourInsects.org replies, “Glad to help!”
Fun Facts
In most cockroach species, only early-stage nymphs are wingless — they then develop wing buds (flight-incapable mini-wings), and finally full-size flight wings when they become adults. A few, such as the Harlequin roach, only develop wing buds and remain flightless even as adults.
Harlequin Roach (Neostylopyga rhombifolia)
Harlequin roach, Neostylopyga rhombifolia, subfamily Blattinae, family Blattidae.
□ The tegmina (forewings) on the Harlequin roach are very short (right tegmen indicated in enlarged photo at right), and the hind wings are lacking altogether. This roach can get quite large, as noted in the comment below.
Photographed and identified by: Gail Burke. Nicely done, Gail! Location: Hawai'i. Date: 5 June, 2023.
Gail says its size was “almost 2 inches” (5 cm).
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Unidentified cockroaches

Cockroach (Blattidae)
Unidentified cockroach, nymph, family Blattidae.
□ This small, wingless, and white cockroach has obvious cerci — one is prominently sticking out straight from the back of the abdomen. The long antennae are another feature that helps to identify it as a cockroach. When cockroaches molt, they are often white (as seen here). Most species quickly darken as adults, but some remain white.
Photographed and identified by: Jim Park. Submitted by: Sarah Park. Location: Bangui, Central African Republic. Date: 19 August, 2021.
Sarah (Jim’s wife) adds, “Might want to say it had been recently stepped on by Jim Park.”
Fun Facts
Cockroaches get their name from the Spanish word cucaracha. Back in 1624, English explorer Captain John Smith described the insects when he was in Bermuda, but heard cucaracha as cacarootch, and spelled it that way. Since then, the English spelling has shortened to cockroach.
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Termites (formerly Isoptera)

Subterranean Termites (Rhinotermitidae)
Subterranean termites, family Rhinotermitidae.
□ Subterranean termites live underground, so the only time most people notice them is when the winged reproductive individuals (as shown) swarm out to start up a new nest. These winged reproductive termites are called alates. See the comment below.
□ The name of the termite order, Isoptera, breaks down into two Greek words isos and ptera that together mean “equal wings”. This refers to the alate’s four wings, which are all of the same length and size.
Photographed by: Arnold Lundwall. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: central Massachusetts, USA. Date: 25 May, 2019.
Arnold says, “Central Massachusetts today. These things were pouring out of a nest location in the ground by the hundreds!”
Fun Facts
Until very recently, termites were listed in their own order: Isoptera. A major study published in 2007 (Biology Letters), however, showed that they evolved from cockroaches and should therefore be part of the cockroach order: Blattodea.
Termites (Coptotermes gestroi)
Asian subterranean termite, Coptotermes gestroi, alate, family Rhinotermitidae.
□ The wings identify this as an alate, or a reproductive adult, of an Asian subterranean termite. This pair of photos show the wide parallel veining of the wings. The wings are actually covered by fine, short hairs, but they are only visible under a microscope.
Photographed and identified by: Eric Bleheut. Location: Mueang Nonthaburi, Nonthaburi, Thailand. Date: 11 May, 2023.
Termites (Coptotermes spp.)
Subterranean termites, possibly in the genus Coptotermes, family Rhinotermitidae.
□ The workers of these subterranean termites make shallow tunnels that look like tubes, but they also get into wood and are a common pest species in the Philippines, where this photo was taken. The photographer has found the wingless termite adults and the larvae that bore into wood, as well as the alates (the winged, reproductive adults shown above), which will mate and then fly off to find a place to start a new colony. See additional comments from the photographer below.
Photographed and identified to order by: Rey Nocum. Location: Philippines. Date: 21 August, 2018. Rey says, “During warm climate, the adults become brown and have wings. They fly to look for light, mostly before sunrise, but sometimes they come out in the evening also when an impending rain does not fall.” Once they mate, Rey adds, “Then they look for wood or paper.”
Fun Facts
To learn more about the fascinating biology of subterranean termites, click here (Mississippi State University Extension).
Drywood Termites (Rhinotermitidae)
Drywood termites, probably West Indian drywood termites, Cryptotermes brevis, family Kalotermitidae (the drywood and dampwood termites)
□ Like other drywood termites, West Indian drywood termites are quite content to live in dry wood (like cabinets and walls). Most other termites, such as subterranean termites, prefer moist locations and contact with the soil. According to the University of Florida, drywood termites were once called furniture termites because they were often seen in or on chairs, tables and other wood-furniture pieces.
Photographed and identified by: Larry N. Lillard. Location: Avon Park, Florida, USA. Date: 11 May, 2019.
Larry says, “After doing more research, I have determined that these are drywood termites which look very similar if not alike subterranean termites.”
Termites (Infraorder Isoptera)
Termites, family Kalotermitidae (the drywood and dampwood termites)
Termites, infraorder Isoptera.
□ These were photographed in the same room: winged and wingless.
Photographed by: Jon Roback. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: southwestern Las Vegas desert, Nevada, USA. Date: 2 August, 2019.
Termites
Termites, family Kalotermitidae (the drywood and dampwood termites).
□ These photos show termites without wings, with wings, and in the process of shedding wings. When termites are ready to form a new colony, they develop wings and swarm off to find a new site. Once in their new home, they shed their wings. See the photographer’s description below.
Photographed and identified by: Thomas Langhans. See Thomas’s full-size images here, here and here. Location: San Bruno, county of San Mateo, California, USA. Date: 19 September, 2022.
Thomas says, “There was what I would call a small swarm — a really wild guess would be maybe two dozen total — arriving in the backyard and concentrated on a fairly small area to land (center photo)." After landing and finally shedding their wings (right photo), he watched pairs form, break up and reform.
Fun Facts
The winged reproductive termites are known as alates. Another nickname is swarmers, because the adults will fly out together to mate.
Fun Facts
Have you seen mud tubes (about the diameter of drinking straws) stuck to the side of masonry at the base of an exterior house wall? They could be foraging tubes made by subterranean termites. The tubes protect the termites as they move to and from the house.
Termites (Infraorder Isoptera)
Termites, infraorder Isoptera.
□ This photo shows worker and soldier termites. See the comment below.
Photographed and identified to order by: D. Allard. Location: Redondo Beach, California, USA. Date: 20 October, 2015.
D. Allard says, “I took these today while replacing a trim board on my deck. I found 2 kinds one with pincers and a darker head (soldiers) and the white/clear kind (workers).” He adds, “Usually I just see the damage with no bugs in sight. This was very interesting to see them in their natural environment.”
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