Monday, April 6, 2009

Morning Class

When I was having a rest at the park after hiking, I found out that I was actually standing beside a tree with the tree bark looked so abnormal to me. It was very different from others in such a manner there seemed to be a "coating" being attached to the bark. My gently press onto it resulted some broken pieces dropping from the surface. I tried to scratch one big section only then I knew that it was a termite nest. The coated layer was actually a mix of soil, mud, chewed wood, saliva and faeces. I could see termites moving from the exposed portion back to the inner part of the nest.

As far as I know, termites live either in large conical mounds that can be easily seen in the forest or inside a building. This was the first time I found them building their nest atop a living tree. Anyhow I have not cleared my doubt on how long the tree can survive after the termite infestation.

The termite colony has three castes, 1. dark brown to brownish black winged castes, or what are called king and queen, 2. creamy white, soft-bodied, wingless and blind soldiers; they have enormously elongated, brownish and hard heads that are equipped with two jaws, and 3. the workers that can be seen having pale colored heads.

From the information then I know further about the nest that I had found earlier on the branches was actually an arboreal termite nest.

To avoid being overpowered by ants and other predators when exposed, termites cover their tracks with tubing made of faeces, plant matter and soil. These "sheltered tunnels" on a tree trunk can be seen in the last picture.

This is what I have learnt from the nature this morning.

4 comments:

Ratty said...

This is a very interesting article about termites. I watched a TV show that mentioned them, and I've been interested ever since then. They are very different than I knew before. You have educated me further on these creatures.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Strange! I never even contemplated that termites would live like this. Thanks for picturing this interesting find.

roentarre said...

Termites are interesting according to yout article. The writing is very educational

rainfield61 said...

Ratty: This is a brand new experience to me. I have also learnt from this exploration.

Sharkbytes: Me too!! I have not thought of this before. I have to scratch to clear my doubt.

roentarre: Thanks for reading. My effort and time on writing is by then not wasted.